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  • Writer's pictureDandelion

Itching, hypersensitivity, ADHD and me.

I'm going to attempt to drop an entire post in one sitting, without deviation, hesitation and repetition. (my OCD tendencies will have made me spell check...)

I have itched and scratched, like a fidgetty chimpanzee my entire life. I have daydreamed and doodled. I have burned with focus and forgotten to eat or take necessary bathroom breaks. I have read my way down busy streets as cars have parted like the red sea as my book was all consuming. I have been scared to read to know I will loose myself. I have had mini-breakdowns due to unforgettable ideas, like the end of 1984 that interrupted my sleeping and existing for several weeks.

Everything can be too much; tastes and textures, volume, noise, pitch, smells, bright lights, patterns, engines idling for no reason, itching, tickling, touch, ideas. I never knew that I was hypersensitive, I just over time tried to avoid the triggers that made it all too much.

After my time in a well known war zone I used to joke that it induced a level of OCD, later I discovered that I probably also had PTSD. Bad luck for me, best develop more strategies to cope; reduce as much clutter as possible, remove chemicals, clean my diet, mute noises, remove sensationalist news outlets, activate do not disturbs, change the brightness and limit the volume on my devices, turn away from the book of faces, switch off notifications.. this list is not remotely exhaustive.

Turn towards the warmth.

Not long ago, between Beltain and the Summer Solstice perhaps, I read an ed-psych report of a pupil. She had ADHD... 'she?!', I read, and I devoured, I researched and delved. As I followed links the maze straightened. I then came across hypersensitivity. Welcome home. With the two lenses of HS and ADHD overlapped and scanned upon events and any remembered details, my entire life made sense. I ran an epsom salt bath, soaked and wept. Sadness, joy, understanding. Did it need to be ticked off by a professional, in the long run yes, but I know. I know.

This is not information about neuro divergence, as people in these brackets present in many different ways, but with them you are more prone to both PTSD, OCD and a raft of other consequences. My explanations are clumsy, but my intention of acceptance and even pride in my brain is not. I am not ashamed to identify with these labels, I just wish I'd uncovered this knowledge sooner.

By trial, error, luck, determination I have created strategies to cope with my particular difference from the general experience. I have progressed despite and because of them. The GP referral queried that I was too successful, I disagreed. Neurodivergence isn't bad, it's a superpower trapped in a box by all the shoulds, oughts and musts.

Back to the itching. I can itch and scratch without noticing as my mind is fully and deeply engaged elsewhere, but once a tipping point is reached the itching is everything, and then with the full force of hyperfocus then I can destroy myself, I bring my entire powers to bear on my psoriatic scalp or whichever errant body part that happens to be in my cross hairs, I cannot stop myself the pleasure and pain of scratching is hard to explain. it is irrational, as is trichotillomania which I indulged in for well over a decade. I was warned by someone's parent that I'd never find a boyfriend if I carried on being me. I cried and cringed then over those words, and yet I'm sure these cruel asides are still dropped liberally hither and thither to our children.

I've been meaning to dlog about:

  • A year (2020) of sober curiosity... unless i actually have, poor memory, but stopping the flow now to check is not on the agenda

  • Riding JOGLE in May half term, The Nelly 100, the Wye 10.5k, Dorsetting, Tour de PL8

  • Starting a Year of Yoga on Sept 1st

  • Turning towards the warmth and kindness

  • Approaching the menopause like its a gift not an illness.

  • Changing my seen name and using Mx

  • Becoming a parish councillor

  • And even an update on how my 42 challenges have morphed and are progressing, or my future plans, or finding a seal pup in my favourite lagoon. Or how I now eat over 95% plant based, (aside from eggs and honeys from the healthiest happiest hens and bees) and I how I approach food hospitality like my guide the Dalai Lama.

But when you know you just have to write something that means you can barely think about anything else, then that's what happens.

My pen has been nicely primed this evening by the best Cherry Yoga, tea with my beloved Physics mentor, Pokemon discussions with the critters, and a pint of Beavertown Neck Oil with Benbot. It's late, I have chosen not to do my marking... or packing but that's a job for daylight. I have a full weekend of Brizzly joy to look forward to so I must get some sleep... So a rough and ready 30 mins typing and press I shall.

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