You may have noticed that two of the last three posts were about how I’m (not) dealing with sensory overload. My family and friends are wonderful and some of them were slightly worried about me. So I decided to use this week to let everyone know I’m all right.
An Overload of Sensory Overload
I think I’ll start by recapping the tidal wave of social fuckery I’ve dealt with lately (for more in-depth coverage, click here. Or here). There have been changes at work (I do not handle change well), a shit ton of medical/therapy appointments (some for me, some for Parker), enough noise to wake the goddamn dead (sensory overload is a real thing, y’all), and an obscene amount of socializing (with people I know and care about and that I don’t know and don’t really care about). It was like drinking from the proverbial fire hose and I was nearing the end of my rope. And then, Hurricane Ian showed up. And, thank god he did.
I’m Done Feeling Bad About Feeling Good
I know that sounds bad. I mean, almost 80 people died in Florida as a result of the storm and a fuck ton of other people lost everything. Believe me, I’m not trying to celebrate that shit. But, part of being neurodivergent is coming to terms with the fact that I live in a society that only seems able to give me what I fucking need to thrive through natural disasters or global medical emergencies. I would say I feel bad about the relief Ian brought to me, but I don’t. At this point, about all I can muster up is a qualified ambivalence. And, by “qualified”, I mean that I’m sad that people died or lost their homes, but I refuse to feel bad that the current situation gave me some room to fucking breathe.
How About Cutting Me Some Fucking Slack?
This feels like a good place to expand on that whole “society that only seems able to give us what we need through natural disasters or global medical emergencies” thing. It’s a bit of a hot take, but I think it’s truly shitty that our world has such a neurotypical/extrovert focus. Why do I say that? Because anywhere from 15-20% of the world is neurodivergent in some way. That’s a significant fucking number of people that are left hanging by society. I know some of you neurotypical types are probably thinking that I’m being overly emotional, or even dramatic. And, maybe I am. But, brains are basically meat with an electrical charge, and mine is kind of fucked up, wiring-wise. So maybe you can cut me some slack on this socializing bullshit, okay?
This Was Supposed To Be a Happy Post
But, I started this post out by sharing my desire to let folks I’m all right, so let’s get back to that shit. The past weekend played a big part in why I’m all right now. Outside of Parker (my son), I don’t think I said more than a handful of words to any one person. In fact, I only left the house twice. Once, on Friday, to go to the grocery store and again, on Sunday, to walk at a local park. Now, I’m sure that you weirdo, extroverted types probably think that sounds like hell, but it was exactly what I needed. The number of Monday mornings where my first thought is, “Oh god, not this shit again” is a little disturbing. But, this week? This week, it wasn’t so bad, more “Time to make the donuts” with less existential dread. It was nice. Well, as nice as a Monday morning can be, anyway.
So Fucking Be It
Does it suck that it takes some kind of major goddamn event for neurodivergent folks to get the things they need, not to thrive, but fucking survive? Yes, it does. Do I see that changing any time soon? No, I do not. That would require the neurotypical world to make wholesale changes to way it operates. That probably isn’t going to happen since we can barely get it to acknowledge our fucking existence. Think about this for a second: when I mentioned a little earlier that as much as 20% of the world in neurodivergent, what was your response? Were you surprised? Did you raise a skeptical eyebrow? Or did you just flat-out call “bullshit”? Yeah, that’s what I thought. So, until society understands, and acknowledges, that we’re out here and our needs are different from yours, we’re going to keep making the best of a bad situation. And, if that means being happy about thriving in less-than-pleasant times, so fucking be it.