Continuing on from my last post, diving into the topic of hormone balance and autism, particulalrly relating to adult females on the spectrum and those with corresponding pain conditions such as EDS. A personal discussion, backed up by recent studies.
Beaking down "what happens" when you flare-up and coming to understand why your body migth tend to resort to these responses to certain triggers, usually in an effort to help you (an understanding that can occur to you when you slow down enough to listen, instead of letting fear lead the research party) can make for a big breakthrough in managing these dips...
How do you measure who you are, what makes you feel core-strong regardless of what else is going on, and how does this manifest in your physical health? Boy this feels like such a big post, too much in it to summarise so dive in if you are prepared to ask these questions with me.
Knowing what your weaknesses are and, importantly, owning them can be the very first step to making your "problems" much simpler to navigate, avoiding the endless re-runs of such familiar-old challenges and then claiming all those hidden strengths that are just waiting for you to notice them beyond the smokescreen of struggle...
For years, I told myself my very biggest area of weakness was, in fact, my greatest strength...how's that for getting your life in a knot, leading to complete burnout, though very easily done as a woman with undiagnosed autism. Exploring the complete change of priorities that came out of this...and how it has significanly altered my a-typical lifestyle for the better.
Are sensory-sensitivities in autism the same as being a Highly Sensitive Person and what can you do, in either case, when your sensory experiences seem to play on loop, especially if they trigger physical symptoms? Sharing some insights as someone with both traits and ways I am starting to rewire my own highly sensitive responses.
For the past few months I have been engaged in an experiment - me, the middle-aged autistic woman with a whole bundle of chronic pain syndromes, dancing twice a day almost every day. The result is, I can't possibly summarise the incredible benefits I have reaped, specifically within the context of autism but also relating to reduction of chronic pain...there are just too many to abbreviate and some of them may very well surprise you, so you will just have to read this post...
As an autistic person, I find there is a definite link here between my particular wiring for high sensory processing, which can make me feel more overwhelmed than some other people might be in the same situation, along with a tendency to live in my thoughts way too much, plus also the need to actively process those senses though my body in such a way that the body fully registers them, but without overwhelm, on the way through…because, otherwise, I can tend to bypass the body altogether. Not least because of issues with chronic pain, learning to bypass the body can become a really big issue. Also gentle grounding activities, such as letting energy passively drain through me into Mother Earth, doesn’t feel quite enough.
Rather, I tend to need to actively participate in the processing part in order to remember what my body is there for…and that it is important and useful for me to have one (something I tend to forget…), which is where the power of dance comes in for me. Dancing, quite literally, puts me back in touch with my body and helps me to remain more grounded for a long time afterwards. Yet whilst this especially applies to someone like me, as in highly sensitive person with autistic wiring, I suspect it applies to anyone that lives in their head and has become detached from their body to a very high degree…which is more common that you might think; a typical modern phenomenon.
I plan to share much more about the proven benefit of dancing, for autistic people, soon in another post that I’m working on for Living Whole.
To start off this topic, here is a post I shared yesterday, in my other blog Spinning the Light, on the importance of GROUNDING joy into the physical body (an absolute essential for health and for navigating these times), whatever that happens to take in your particular case.
Cultivating joie de vivre
…has never been more important, or elusive-seeming, so how do we conjure up, specifically, grounded joy, rooted in the body, during such challenging times?
(As doing the research that led to my retrospective post the other day reminded me) a relentless sense of my own joy of life has always been one of my defining traits, as it were, rescuing me from some very hard times, even way back when as a child feeling quite helpless in situations that traumatised me. As an adult now dealing with chronic health challenges, I have come to regard it as an utterly essential ingredient of life, so much so that I cringe when I watch so many people loose their grip on it (not that I blame them in the circumstances) because of perceiving themselves as victims of those circumstance, knowing as I do that unless we take our own personal steps to…
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Being diverse has got to be allowed, as a valid possibility, from the moment we are born, which takes a new kind of culture; one that has reached a whole new stage of maturity and with emphasis to that word "whole".
Autism is overdue to add its own part to the diversity conversation, because the kind of portrayals that it currently gets in the media and our society at large are well-and-truly in need of an overhaul. The world is ripe for achieving a whole new level of acceptance of diversity, in all its many forms and those with autism need to take a seat at that table.