Not a Complete Shitstorm: the Benefits of Neurodivergence

Running out of bacon, on the other hand, is a complete shitstorm

Last Wednesday, when I got up, I did not feel like going to the gym. I had a headache, I didn’t sleep all that well and generally felt like shit. But, my morning routine involves getting up at early, hydrating with a large glass of water, and chilling until 6:30 when I get dressed and exercise. Any, and I mean any, divergence from that routine causes me to break out in metaphorical hives. Basically, I spend the entire time I would be doing the thing specified by my routine thinking, “Shit, I really should be _________.” That lasts until the time I could do that thing is past. Then, I beat myself up for being a lazy fuck until something comes along to distract me. Needless to say, I got off my ass and went to the gym.

I Love My Weird-ass Brain

In the past. I’ve said that society is the cause of my problems surrounding neurodivergence is a fucked up society, not neurodivergence itself. But that doesn’t capture the whole truth. Which is that neurodivergence is something to be embraced, not endured. I love my weird-ass brain and there are a lot of benefits of neurodivergence. Seeing as how I’ve spent the last several weeks bitching about things, today I want to look at some of the good shit associated with being neurodivergent.

Some of the Benefits of Neurodivergence

  • I stay never bored for long: You know all those “Ooh shiny” and “Squirrel!” jokes? They’re kind of true. My ADHD causes my attention to flit from one thing to another almost constantly. So, if I find something boring as fuck (and there is no in-between, it’s either boring as fuck or crazy goddamn exciting), all I have to do is wait a bit and something new (and therefore crazy goddamn exciting) will come along. Nifty life hack, huh?
  • Creative problem solving: I have very different ways of solving problems than most folks. And, when I say different, I mean fucking different. Like, “What the fuck?” different. That, of course, is due to the way my brain is wired. It’s weird, but it works. A lot of times, it works better than the “accepted” way of solving a given problem. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.
  • I have a built-in excuse for being an asshole: As you know, the title of this site is “A Socially Awkward Weirdo” and it describes me to a fucking tee. I often say the exact wrong thing at the exact wrong time and it is oh-so-fucking-awkward. Sometimes, though, and I’m not proud of this, I have used my social awkwardness to say and/or do things that were “less than nice”. Hey, if I have to live with this shit, at least I can get some mileage out of it.
  • It’s a “get out of jail free card”: And by “jail”, I mean phone calls, meetings, social gatherings, etc. Who among us hasn’t had to sit through interminable goddamn meetings, get-togethers, or fucking phone calls that have you wanting to commit harakiri with a rusty butter knife? But, here’s the thing: when people know you struggle with social stuff, they let you slide on shit that you social butterfly motherfuckers could never get out of. Not that you freaks would ever want to. But hey, to each their weird-ass own.
  • My pathological yen for routine is actually a good thing: As you can see from the story that kicks off this post, my obsessive-compulsive need to follow a routine can force me to do shit I may not want to do. And, this doesn’t apply to just exercise, it’s anything where I’ve established a routine. Take writing this blog, for instance. Now, it took a couple of (somewhat hellish) months to get my current writing routine established. Now that it is, I have to write a couple of hours a day. At least. This is especially advantageous because, otherwise, my ADHD would have me all over the fucking place, doing all sorts of weird shit. Can it be a pain in the ass? Absolutely. Would I ever get anything done without it? Probably not.

A Difference, Not a Disorder

ASD and ADHD both have the word “disorder” in their titles and that’s a problem. Because they’re not disorders, goddamn it, they’re differences. Look, mental disorders are, according to MedlinePlus, “conditions that affect your thinking, feeling, mood, and behavior.” But, ADHD and ASD don’t do that. Society’s reaction to them? Well, that’s a different story. Both conditions, though, are remarkably beneficial when they’re accounted for and handled properly. As I said earlier, I love my weird-ass brain. It’s unique and helps me contribute to the world around me in significant ways. It’s a situation that is, like I said earlier, not complete a shitstorm.