Embracing Being Neurodivergent, Louder

How to embrace being neurodivergent? How to live happily with ADHD without thinking it’s an obstacule in our lives? Here’s a start.

By Laly Steel

September 5, 2020

I spent over two months without posting at Laly’s, and now I’m back with this new blog. Is this a ‘new thing’ my brain has found, searching for a jolt of dopamine (which will fade away in a month)? I already gave you the answer.

Two months” without comments, likes and without having a sense of achievement after finishing and publishing something. How did I get through that without a “reward”? Why did I bring half of the content of Laly’s to this blog? Well, it all comes down to one magic word.

I Need to Win Something Now

When the quarantine started I tried to blog daily, sharing the surreal scenario outside my door and what I was feeling as neurodivergent (like a cheetah in a cage, basically) But that didn’t turn out as I expected…

On one hand, I couldn’t post daily… which I knew it would happen; why did I embark on something I knew it would lead me only to frustration? On the other hand, the quarantine took a big a toll on me, when one of my traumas got fatter than I had: the issue with my identity; during my yearly dark days (May/June) I couldn’t stop ruminating about not being able to go to a judge to change my legal name and claim my own identity.

So, I reflected a lot… “How can I move on now? If I can’t win this, what else can I win? I need to win something, now.”

If you felt out of breath during those days, it was my fault; I took so many breaths – reflecting and controlling my impulsivity – that I’m afraid I suck all the oxygen of the planet earth. So, I’m very sorry about that; but it was mandatory, and it paid off … for both of us (hopefully)

On My Way

As I was reflecting, two things happened; first, I was getting tired of saying “I have ADHD” because it’s followed by such an explanation, on neuroscience, that people either don’t get a word or end up replying “so, you cure it with your medication?” Thus, on June 3 I registered “neurodivergent.blog” so I could eventually advocate louder for ADHD; I was very committed with that humble start at Laly’s.

Then the “No birthday on June 6 for you!” happened, and the “Boohoo, nobody knows which my birthdate is.” … But this year I felt different; I wanted to celebrate my life because I’m doing so well! I have achieved so much! So, I clung to those good feelings; I celebrated it and I shared it at “Happy Lifeday.” However, just like that, I started ruminating again and to graphic that mood swing I published “Act 2: Voices in the basement”. 

So I started thinking, “I really need to stop this vicious cycle; I need more tools for this brain!” On June 15 I sent an email to an Academy to start training to become an ADHD coach; a gentle lady replied to me the next day; it took me ten days to answer back to her; yeah…, hashtag oops.

And then, two more things happened… 

Opening My Eyes Wider

First, I came across a discussion at Twitter land on how should we call ourselves; “People with ADHD; ADHDers; ‘Brains;’” and that really opened my eyes because I didn’t know there were so many people struggling with it, feeling that way. 

Then, two days later I woke at 2am to the sound of crickets piercing my ears and what happened in my mind was so chaotic that I wrote about it at “Neurodivergent Mind Exposed”… That was huge for me because I’ve opened up myself (big time) and surrendered the necessity of writing something perfect or “genius;” and I was very proud…

But, I received a comment saying “I think telling our stories does not demand us to be geniuses;” and I thought, “That is exactly why I published this! Dude!” … I felt so misunderstood… I couldn’t reply and I started thinking “How do I explain, quick and simple, how much I appreciate the comment and what is happening in my brain? Days are passing by… He’ll think I don’t care.”

Getting There

Engaging with other neurodivergents and the awareness that I wasn’t reaching with Laly’s who I wanted to reach, lead me to realize I had to start “Neurodivergent” now; a place where I’ll be able to share my feelings and findings with people who understand – or want to – the struggles of living with ADHD and PTSD; a place where I’ll be able to write without having to explain – on every comment – what’s written in and between the lines.

And then another thing hit me: a big one. Before having a name, I had a nature; I wasn’t born with a name, I was born with a brain with a unique wiring; “neurodivergent” is what I am on the first place; this is something regarding my identity that I can win now. Therefore, without a doubt, I changed all the usernames on my social networks to “1neurodivergent” and started developing this blog you’re reading today.

Purpose Is All We Need

As neurodivergents – specially with ADHD – intention, purpose is the main thing we must have to do anything; it’s our magic word; and, I always had plenty. Throughout my life I kept bouncing back from the traumas and tough experiences thinking they were stories I needed to collect for the greatest inspiring book or movie ever written…

Eventually I realized I could do it with a blog and I started doing it at Laly’s; but at that time, it was the story of a resilient person… I never imagined it was the one of a neurodivergent succeeding just by listening to her guts. 

Seriously, being diagnosed with ADHD as an adult blew my mind; above all, because all the strategies I was supposed to start learning I had learned them already! Just by listening to myself, to my guts telling me what my purpose was and how to get it.

So, two months off-line without reward? “Piece of cake.” When our purpose is clear, putting ourselves in motion to achieve it is a reward on itself.

Doctors and coaches will tell us they can give us strategies, and I’ll even share mine at this blog; but I beg you to start taking into account that you can start searching for them within you.

I dare to say this because I know for a fact that if you truly listen to yourself, if you remove the noise that the bad thoughts are creating in your mind, you’ll be able to hear a clear voice; perhaps a whisper …; one that will be saying:

“Listen…”

So what do you think?