9 things I hate about me, and one thing others probably do

One - I've fallen into the trap.

I wrote a title promising a predefined number of things to the reader in order to lure them in, thinking it'll be short and instructive in some way and make them feel better about themselves. I hope my entrapment meets at least some of those imaginary requirements. If it does, feel free to leave a comment. I love to hear your voices (in my head as I read. You'll likely take on the voice of someone I know in real life, complete with whatever accent they have). 

Two - I stay sick on purpose. 

I do this because I'm afraid that I am sick. It's my identity, the one thing I know how to do really well. I talk about it, I write about it, I moan about it, I think about it. There ain't a lot else going on in here y'know. It's my MO, it's my deal, my bag, my jam yo. I'm shit at writing fiction, and it's hard to think of a decent storyline when you have so many other thoughts vying for attention at the same time. I thought everyone had a constant barrage of intrusive visions playing on a dodgy cathode-ray computer screen off to the right hand side of their mind, but when I dropped it into conversation people seemed to react less than favourably. It's not even an illness anymore, it's just how I am. That's why I love neurodiversity as a concept so much, because it really does apply to me.

Three - I take drugs... 

When I a) don't really need to, and b) should be trying to reset myself because I have the digestion of a sloth and I pay someone to get me back to health whilst simultaneously doing things that don't fit with that objective. When I say 'drugs', I don't mean the kind you can purchase over the bar in some East End pub where people lose entire weekends and acquire injuries and STIs as frequently as they do other people's coats, bags, wallets, money, saliva and underwear, I, of course, mean prescribed medication. Here's an example of my most recent psychiatrist (named as one of the top 150 doctors in the UK by Tatler in 2005), who had a 'pet drug', which he foisted upon me, without having any knowledge of my physical medical history whatsoever. He only ever asked me about my mind. He sold this drug to me with stories of patients with spinal injuries who were able to live pain-free because of this drug, and others whose anxiety had vanished as if by miracle, allowing them to lead full lives again. Now I have no idea about the validity of those patients' experiences, but I can tell you that I've had no miracle cure, and if anything it's just another drug added to the list of things that are hard to stop taking once you start. I also take co-codamol, which is the only thing that actually works on my pain. Codeine and I have a long, colourful history together, comprising of heroin clinics, enforced buprenorphine use and stigma the size of a small country. I take 6 tablets a day that are meant to be split into 3 doses, but I take 2 in the morning, and then 4 all at once when the pain starts up again in the evening. I know they also contain paracetamol and that I've been technically overdosing every day. I've been doing this for over ten years now. It's utterly feckless.

Four - I listen to the voice in my head. 

I know when I'm doing something that will fuck things up, but I just do it anyway. Self-awareness, I'm told, is the beginning of changing this pattern of behaviour, but I've always been self-aware and it only makes things worse. Knowing you're going to do something dumb and then doing it = double-dumb. Dumbledore, if you will.

Five - I can't put anything out there unless it's perfect. 

This applies to my blog (as any regular readers can tell you) and to virtually anything I do. Crafting an email can take days, yet it may actually achieve very little. As soon as it is 'out there' I stop caring almost instantly. I never learn that fucking lesson.

Six - I want to 'be on the internet', but I can't 'do the internet'. 

Refer to five. I'm tardy, unproductive and just bollocks at doing what one must in order to succeed in engaging as many people as possible. I start something and then forget what I'm doing halfway through, so it would be totally arbitrary to say 'I write a new blog every Tuesday'. It just wouldn't happen. 

Seven - I can only be productive when I feel like it. 

Remember that cathode ray computer screen I mentioned in number two? That needs to be turned off for a bit for anything to happen. That time may come at anytime, and it's not that I choose to be, or not to be. I don't deliberately sit around doing fuck all, in fact I hate it. It depends on my mood, and whether I give a shit about the thing I'm trying to achieve. Sometimes I need to be drunk. It might be the middle of the night. I have no control over this pattern; none whatsoever. I'm a terrible employee but I also have moments of genius. I've written music I could never have imagined. Many of those times I can't even remember what I did, or how I did it. I don't even want to control this - I think this is how it should be. Give me one moment of genius over constant mediocrity any day.

Eight - I have no space left in my working memory.

It's all jammed up with song lyrics I learned in my teens and every instrumental line of a piece of orchestral music I love. We might have a conversation about something, but when you later refer to something that was said during that conversation, I'll just be pretending that I remember what the hell you're talking about. I literally have to record everything on an app so I can replay it and maybe rehearse it until it gets lodged in there. Most people, and definitely employers, expect you to be able to do this in a neurotypical fashion as part of the capability requirements for a job. Well, I would challenge that notion - we have technology now my dears! Why miss out on the moments of genius that I might have on your time over something as silly as that? You're welcome.

Eight - I've lost my train of thought... Oh. I did number eight already? Moving swiftly on.

Nine - I'm a terrible parent. 

I can't be consistent, I struggle both with routine and without it, and I try so hard not to be as tough as my mum was on me that I've become the parent that gives in, for an easy life. I'll soon have a 3 year old who still needs a dummy when he's tired to prevent situations where I have to sprint through a supermarket, leaving my wallet and a stunned cashier plus a line of people waiting in the queue, to knock innocent shoppers left and right out of my path and rugby tackle my child to the ground before he escapes into the road. I can't imagine how people have more than one child - and not because of how bloody hard it is to be a parent, and especially so when you're neurodiverse - but because I can't imagine loving anyone as much as I love my boy. 

Ten - and this is that 'one thing' I mentioned in the title of this post.

I refuse to 'play the game'. Even when I know it would be easier for me, I'd probably be richer and I just might not be a 30-something stuck in an entry-level job in the very same 'system' I set out to fight against. I'm still able to see the hypocrisy in myself, and cringe whenever I type something like this. Others find this frustrating because I moan a lot, about this, about everything really. When I die, nobody will say "she was such a happy soul, always smiling, never complained", and I'm glad about that because I think it's wrong to mourn someone on the basis that they put up with a lot of shit and never expressed that it sucked. Even shitty people don't deserve death. I used to berate the stroppy teenager in me that prevented me progressing through life the way others seem to do, all nice and smooth and in sequence, but I've come to realise that my refusal to change myself to fit into things I have always believed are fundamentally wrong isn't a bad thing. Without an awkward and belligerent someone around, the really good ones among us have nothing to about which to say 'Now I definitely don't want to be like that!'. I give people the opportunity to learn what not to do, without ever having to do it themselves. For God's sake don't follow my example, just carve out a you-shaped hole wherever you want to. Do not take any of my advice. Now, fly my pretties!

You're welcome.


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