10 Affirmations for Productivity

I deserve to feel pride for achieving any task regardless if it feels like an insignificant one, and I am proud of myself.

If I cannot accomplish a task or use my time in a way I deem productive, I will not shame myself and I will be proud that I do not need to belittle myself— I am worth more than what I can do in an hour, day, week, year, or lifetime.

I respect my needs and appreciate the ways my body and mind tell me I need rest, whether that means taking a break from a task, taking a nap, or dedicating the day to taking care of myself.

When I struggle with motivation, I don’t and won’t use negativity to push myself forward. I will treat myself kindly.

Before dedicating myself to responsibilities, I will evaluate my energy and ability as to not overload myself.

I communicate with the people in my life and not avoid difficult conversations about productivity. I keep them informed and ask for help when I need it.

I keep myself hydrated, nourished, and rested as best I can and know that the better I’m sustained, the more productive I am. I recognize a lack of sleep, food, or adequate water intake to be a primary roadblock in feeling good about myself.

I pay attention to what works for me and what doesn’t, and I don’t sabotage myself by ignoring what I know.

When overwhelmed, I break tasks down into manageable portions without overcomplicating them and prioritize the foundation or fundamentals of a problem.

I love myself and am productive by choosing to love who and what I am.

Being Recognized as You Are

As autistic and neurodivergent people, the ways we interact with the world are informed by how we’re perceived and how people react to us. This can be said of all human beings but being born into pre-established expectations we’ll never meet, social, emotional, educational, etc, involves a convoluted sense of self being projected onto us. We’re told in many ways that we are not acceptable. 

I mentioned being seen and understood in my previous writing, The Pull: Describing Inspiration, in how the act of being inspired is a moment of ourselves being reflected

truly and wholly. We are seen by the world and we see aspects of ourselves within it. I believe this is a reason why autism is deeply entwined with special interests, a term used for hobbies or topics that neurodivergent people hyperfixate on. 

Going through life feeling isolated and unable to relate to other people requires a replacement or at least supplement feeling of being recognized. When we’re drawn to something, we latch onto a novel feeling of relatability or understanding. We find we’re rarely understood and so when something seems to match with us, sync with who we are and how we think, it becomes extremely important to us. 

Last night, a dear friend of the family was conversing with my mother on the topic of socialization. This friend turned to me and said, “You know your mother is autistic, right?” I affirmed with a lighthearted, “Obviously.” We then talked about my mother and I’s shared face blindness and social phobias, and the difficulties a parent with undiagnosed autism has in raising an autistic child. So rarely do I feel seen by another person.

In the last few years I’ve noticed people are truly beginning to understand what autism is. We may still call our senses and actions disordered, the way we hear, speak, feel, experience, but our understanding of the root cause is changing— nothing is sick, our pain is caused by unwillingness to accommodate and a lack of acceptance of our needs. We’re made to feel we can’t leave an uncomfortable environment. We’re shamed for stimming, or for dressing or acting in comfortable ways. We’re forced into situations that don’t align with who we are in any way. We’re underestimated, stigmatized, or otherwise dehumanized. 

However, more and more I’m feeling recognized as I truly am, when my entire life I’ve been made to feel wrong for the way I experience the world. A nutritionist casually talks about sensory issues surrounding food, a therapist approaches autism from a de-medicalized perspective, a friend acknowledges I can’t listen to them speak and perform a task simultaneously, none of these moments occurred when I was a high schooler finally ready to be screened for autism. Everything I faced back then was opposition, before and after realizing I was on the spectrum. 

I wasn’t recognized for who I was. People would see I was autistic, but no one would see what that really meant. Sensory processing issues and a lack of social skills was an obvious disharmony, but the blame has always been on the person with autism. What we usually see is that no one can thrive without support when faced with adversity. There’s nothing wrong with someone who has fair skin that burns easily in sunlight, but without access to sunscreen they would live their life with a blistered, peeling face. 

Being recognized as I am means I’m not a burden. Being understood means I’m free to express myself and exist in a comfortable way. Our attitudes toward autism are shifting because attitudes toward disabilities and nonconformities in general are changing to be more accepting, more educated. 

I have hope. So many places in this world are inhospitable to certain people and the more we learn and spread truth, the more hope can spread to build safe, secure, comfortable homes for each and every one of us. Humanity has such luxuries and yet we still cannot seem to do even that— but it is hope which will bring this dream to fruition.

See and be seen. Spread the hope.

Feeling Through Media: Autism and Trauma

Media such as movies, books, tv shows, comics, etc, with characters and storytelling are often safer ways for neurodivergent people to experience the world, learn. We’re given moral lessons and understanding of how different people express and cope with emotions, but the consumption is regulated and handpicked by us. Our special interests are appealed or we grow attached to a character we novelly empathize with. 

We may avoid the failures of practice by trial and error, potentially causing difficulties in advancing our social skills, but storytelling media gives us guidance we may lack from people who don’t understand us and our needs. A well rounded understanding of social skills requires practice and engagement but when many of us find it seemingly impossible to begin the journey, media helps us take the leap. A person can rarely sustain a happy and fulfilling life revolving solely upon escapism. Still, without the aid of our favourite characters and plots, many of us who are autistic and traumatized would have a far more strenuous a struggle with our place in, and our understanding of, the world.

70’s tragicomedy series M*A*S*H formulated my early understanding of right and wrong. I learnt that bad people may do good things, but these actions don’t negate their evil, and that good people may do bad things but their goodness doesn’t change the wrongness of their actions. The complicated psychology of humans was taught by fictional crises based on reality and dimensional characters. I could begin to understand my own suffering watching others cope with impossible situations. I developed critical thinking skills regarding the military, looking past the fact my father was in the army to form my own anti-war and anti-military opinions. 

As a teenager, beginning to be cognizant of the social cruelties I and others were subjected to, media was a landscape I could critique and build my own moral opinions upon. I looked back at M*A*S*H with an appreciation for where it had failed spectacularly, and where it taught lessons beyond its time about racism, homophobia, and misogyny. 

The playground of fiction is a place where people with autism and/or trauma can explore what it means to be alive without the criticizing eyes of neurotypical people looking over our shoulders. Most media we consume isn’t created by neurodivergent people but each person has a unique way of interacting with and absorbing information— I can find aspects of my experiences in most storytelling if I look for it.

What neurotypical people find strange and surreal, we find familiar. The haven of entertainment media is an important place to recognize and honour. As always we have to be aware of the seductive temptation of escapism to be sure this haven doesn’t become a cage, but the deepest truths are of connection, empathy, and learning. Temperance keeps the use of media productive rather than enabling hindrances to social development.

Do Your Friends Uplift You?

Social bonds form stabilizing aspects of our lives when built correctly. Like any foundation, this support structure, if it’s terribly faulty then it will crumble upon weight and need to be rebuilt or repaired again and again. We must have a standard for how we’re treated and how we treat others. Are your friends making your life better? Are you bettering theirs?

When you tell someone they do something that makes you uncomfortable, do they stop? Do you feel able to tell them in the first place? When someone brings up a problem to you, do you work to understand their point of view? Are you taking more than you’re giving in a relationship? Does anyone make fun of things they know you’re insecure of, or you them? These are signs that something is awry. Differences make the world turn but common values are what create equality.

Interpersonal relationships are one of the most seemingly complicated and confusing parts of living, there’s no handbook for them and every situation is different. Still, there are a few rules we can all live by. Try to be empathetic, have self respect, learn adaptation, boundaries, and effective communication. If any of these are lacking then the whole relationship is out of balance. These are pillars, they hold everything up.

Friends are important and anyone can make them, but time and learning is needed to make the struggle to gain friends worth it. Bad friends are not better than no friends, ever. You can take the time to become a friend to yourself so that you may have more fulfilling and uplifting relationships in the future. Building the bridge isn’t easy and it may take years to form that solid social structure you’ve always desired, but time will make it happen.

Over the course of my traumatized autistic life, making friends has been an ongoing exploration. With my fiancé I’ve found a deep bond of understanding as we’re similar people and our values are aligned at their core, but my fears and insecurities of the grand masses cause me to lock up when expanding my social life. I’m friends of my fiancé’s friends and I find them to be spectacular people but my fears of being ostracized for opening up keep me closed down. 

We all must use trial and error to find what works and what doesn’t but also use research to ground us productively. I have great hope in my ability to build fulfilling friendships that last lifetimes, but I still fall in a pit occasionally. With a shattered bridge I feel like I’m drowning. “I’m not capable, not relatable, they perceive me as [insert self perception here], no one likes me.” This negative self talk works to actively isolate me. Realizing that this is only ever to my detriment is a way I focus on finding shore rather than letting myself sink to the bottom of the water.

Don’t Fear Scars

Are you scared of having scars on your body? Well, your body is a scar. What is tissue, matter, where does it come from? All these amounts of carbon, protein, minerals, why have they arranged to create us? Maybe there’s a template in reality which molecules are directed by, maybe all matter is an illusion, maybe our universe is but a growth under the toenail of God, maybe all that is and will be has already happened, but few can claim to know the truth. What we know as fact is that our bodies grow. When this morphing, changing flesh is damaged the wound grows.

What can we define a scar as? Skin becomes torn and as it heals, it becomes tougher, numb, sometimes bulging out around what was once an injury. Put simply, a scar is evidence of protective growth. 

What are we? An embryo inflicted by a nurturing environment— we start as parasitic souls attached to tissue building in our mother’s womb, subjected to the weathering of reality. Once we can support ourselves and are a person with a body, no longer residing in the artistic creations of a host organ but existing as a separate entity, we begin to grow. This is protective action. 

Our skin becomes thicker, courser, our hormones rewire, we experience painful growth spurts, a keloid of a body. Skin stretches and we see the marks of change. Scars aren’t isolated to damage— but are a response to affect. Our reality consists mostly of harm as even the air we breathe kills as it oxidizes. We more often notice the effects of damage. 

These responses are protective, like our body forcing our eyes shut when we attempt to stare at the sun. Our true sensory system can’t handle exposure. Nerves of inner flesh are extremely sensitive to warn us of penetrating substances, so our skin scars over this raw, naked form of us with duller senses. Our perception of hearing would be blown out if the way we experience the world wasn’t scarred over, if we didn’t grow an outer ear to protect the inner ear. 

Our soul and the delicate systems it spawns within us are of the utmost sensitivity— our soul and senses connect us to the rest of reality but our matter builds in a way that protects us. Our receptors form scars. I wish I could remember which talk it was, but modern philosopher Dennis Klocek spoke of this scarring as being a natural separation between the self and the other. He spoke of the moving and crossing of boundaries within all things, as all becomes one in it’s intricate dances.

The mind is a scar around the soul to process information, the brain one around the mind to support its functions, our body and its physical structures a scar around the mind and brain. We could not be if we weren’t subject to harm. What we are couldn’t exist. We can never be perfectly safe or always happy, which is good because it keeps us working to be safer and happier. Scars are our bodies way of learning. We are always learning. 

Psychological trauma can be referred to as scars on the psyche. Like a tumorous keloid scar that doesn’t know when to quit growing, our coping mechanisms can be maladaptive. Luckily we can learn to reduce the scarring though some marks will never disappear, we learn to still flourish, scarring over the first with our knowledge as a beautiful mural over a cracked wall.

Don’t fear your anxieties and insecurities as they are teaching you where healing is needed, like the senses of inner flesh warning the brain of injury. Thank them for informing you. Once you attend to the wound they stem from, they will fade like physical pain over time. This type of mending isn’t always as instinctual at first as our flesh’s awareness of how to repair itself, but once we fall in line with our natural ability to connect with our values, the rest will follow. 

The logic found in this piece of writing comes from personal experience. I live with severe trauma. I’m badly scarred physically and mentally.  I’m autistic and hypersensitive (known as a sensory processing disorder). Spirituality makes sense of suffering. A scar is not just a scar— it’s change. We don’t need to fear change. Spirituality doesn’t oppose science or biology but instead supports and enriches it. It’s easy to fear reality but much harder to learn to appreciate it for everything it offers, pain and growth. I live to understand life so I may wish to truly live it. This is the basis of my research, hobbies, and career goals. This is the reason I’m no longer suicidal. Learning about how and why we exist gives me reason to, because everything is beautiful and good, always. 

So don’t worry about scarring, we will all have scars when we die. We don’t need to fear life or living. We are alive because we are a scar. It’s possible to become thankful for your stretch marks, keloids, blemishes, craters. These are proof of our success in living in this environment far less nurturing than the womb we started out in.

How to Talk to Plants

Using the word ‘talking’ loosely, it’s possible if not essential that we learn to communicate with plants. The flora already know how to bridge the gap on their end, but we as humans are often too insular and egocentric to take the time to listen and reciprocate.

First, let’s go through how plants speak. All life communicates in many ways, through chemicals, electromagnetic pulses, body language, and more. Most of these means are outside our ability to translate with our inherent senses though with technology we can, but one way is able to be recognized by anyone. 

As an autistic person I studied body language in my peers to better socialize as I wasn’t born with the skill to instinctively interpret this form of expression. Growing up I realized while the conditions of body language aren’t universal, the mode of communication almost always is. The most obvious sign of this is in animals— I took the time to learn the behaviours of cats and dogs, how they communicate with their bodies. A dog smiling is a nervous dog. A cat wagging its tail is angry. There’s another layer to this when it comes to diagnosing problems. 

Living creatures show problems both with any actual physical manifestation of the issue (injuries, sickness, parasite, etc) and how they react. With this in mind we can infer that these means of communication also apply to plants. Just as for each animal we learn their specific language, we must give the same respect. 

A houseplant is a good start to begin to practice learning plant-speak. There are a few general rules that can be applied: a happy plant is lush and has new healthy looking growth, one that’s water deprived will be limp or have shrivelled foliage (you’ll also notice the soil to be dry, cracking, and/or compacted), a plant in need of more sun will stretch and reach for the light with faded colouration starting in parts with least exposure, a plant with too much sun will be stunted and bleached started from the parts getting the most exposure, and illnesses or pests are visible by discolouration, welts, holes, and overall obvious ‘unhappiness’. 

Plants do experience sensations, they suffer and thrive, they express contentment and dissatisfaction. They also communicate readily with the world around them, animals and other plant life. The world has created endless connections and relationships within our ecosystems. 

Which brings us to flowers, a system of communication which may mean several different things. Taking a few epiphetites for examples, orchids bloom many times throughout their life and are a sign of ideal conditions, but with bromeliads and air plants they bloom when their lifespan is coming to an end. There are also many plants which will bloom when in distress— consider the purpose of a flower, to communicate with and attract insects and wildlife in order to spread pollen and seeds. Often plants in optimal conditions will want to reproduce because the area is obviously good for growth as they’ve grown so well, but a dying or suffering plant will also feel extra pressure to pass on its genes before perishing. How tragic is it, to put all your draining energy towards blooming one last time in a desperate bid to continue your lineage. 

Plants are alive and the world is full of emotion. The more you learn to hear what it has to say the more connected you will be to reality. 

How do we speak back? The title isn’t ‘How to Listen to Plants’. What would you like to say? 

Just as the flora don’t communicate with words, we most effectively express our intentions to them in nonverbal ways, but don’t underestimate the power of literally talking to plants. I know we’ve all heard it before, but like ‘meditate, connect with nature, and prioritize your sleep schedule’ also rings true, plants do benefit from being spoken to if only because of the expulsion of carbon dioxide in our exhale. 

Otherwise, we can express intention by being caretakers. Most often I find that what I want to say to a plant is ‘I love you, you’re beautiful, I want you to continue growing beautifully’, and the best way to say this is to facilitate it. If you enjoy how lovely a plant is, work to sustain it. 

Take care of your forests and your parks. Clean up litter. Plant new trees and flowers. Attract pollinators like bees and butterflies. Adopt an eco friendly lifestyle. Educate others. Open your mind.

For a moment of classic kookiness, I’ll give you the true answer to the question at hand, “how do I talk to plants?”… meditate. Personally I believe in the possibility of authentically communicating with anything by quieting the mind. Sense the plants presence, let your mind be clear of mundane thoughts so you’re open to experiencing everything for what it is. Feel the life coming from the being before you, and feel outward what you wish to communicate. Project it not with words, but with the deep sense of truth within you. ‘I want you to be happy.’ A heart that’s full, warmth, comfort, peace, show this. Don’t be afraid to fall into a thought. Project the thought, but try to translate it also with intention. 

Thank you for reading. I hope you’ll think more about how you communicate with the world around you.

5 Ways to Recuperate and Still Be Productive

I have ADHD along with several other neurological and psychiatric disorders which has meant I require more rest breaks during tasks, need to identify obstacles, and learn to prioritize. Understanding our own personal needs is a crucial step in increasing our productivity as we can’t accommodate problems we haven’t familiarized ourselves with. 

For myself, I know I’m becoming overwhelmed and need to do something else when my skin starts itching underneath and I begin grinding my teeth. Noticing physical indications of stress will help avoid overload and meltdowns. Pushing yourself too far will never be productive— it’s quicker and easier to recharge if you still have some energy reserves left than if you burn yourself out. Don’t wait until it’s too late, let yourself choose to take a break rather than need one. 

‘I’m lazy, I’m a burden, I’m worthless’, be aware of these notions. Internalized ableism can cause shame and stigmatized thoughts, this is problematic for people who aren’t disable as well and are symptomatic of an inhumane capitalist system. Everyone deserves rest. No one should be pushed too far. We all need to take care of our bodies and minds. 

All rest is productive, spendings days in bed and leaving your dishes dirty for weeks is a sign there is an issue with your physical or mental health and steps should be taken to ease your suffering with medical treatment and to gain help and support from your loved ones. You are not unproductive because you’re experiencing symptoms. Your body and mind are trying to protect you, heal you, though sometimes maladaptively. 

As we begin learning about ourselves and negotiating with our states of being, we start to rework our life and how we function. We learn different ways to rest and recharge to maintain our energy levels without initiating downward spirals. 

What is a downward spiral? Ruminating thoughts of guilt, shame, worthlessness, these self deprecating notions are unproductive and are self sabotaging self harm. They are symptoms to be acknowledged and healed like any other. 

Without further ado, let me present five ways to rest productively. 

  1. Acknowledge all rest is productive. A long nap, a movie marathon, playing a video game all day, you are recuperating and it’s time to acknowledge your needs. The only thing that’s unproductive in hating yourself and believing this is all you’ll ever be capable of. Recovery doesn’t mean belittling ourselves for what we do, but instead realizing we do what we do for a reason. If you sleep for twenty hours and still feel tired, you are still tired. You aren’t lazy.
  2. Don’t lie to yourself about how much time you require to rest. Be proactive in working out relevant deadline extensions, event cancellations, communication with people in your life, scheduling of your day, and delegating responsibilities. Don’t avoid difficult conversations with yourself and others.
  3. Keep an inventory of hobbies and interests that you can engage in during your off time. Identify activities that make you feel badly about yourself and work to replace them with equally revitalizing alternatives, ergo rather than watching an entertainment show, watch a documentary about something you’re fascinated by, or instead of playing a video game perform a low energy but fun hobby such as doodling, knitting, etc that gives you a sense of accomplishment. When in the depths of depression we may feel disinterested in these sorts of activities but often it’s more a disinterest in initiating, if we focus our limited energy on one small push often we will find ourselves remembering why we enjoyed these hobbies.
  4. Plan your breaks. Whether that means planning five minutes doing dishes and fifteen minutes reading a magazine, or switching between tasks at work every ten minutes, or planning a couple days every week where you have no expectations of yourself, or scheduling a weeklong vacation for just bumming around the house, be intentional about when you rest or change things up. Take control of your recuperation.
  5. Change your environment. If you usually nap in bed, try napping on the couch. Whenever you feel physically up to it, get outside for even just a few minutes and breathe the fresh air. Spent your resting time in a different room or place in a room than you usually do. Stagnation is often what triggers negative feelings within us, giving our brain that sense of change can break circuitous thoughts. Even when resting we can become overstimulated by our constant environment which causes stress and anxiety, even something as simple as changing my blanket out for a different one or turning the lights on or off can help make my rest more productive.

Disabled Motivation: Obstacles

Routines of everyday life are often riddled with roadblocks for people with disabilities. The range of obstacles is as vast as every person’s individual journey but there are basic systems of overcoming that can aid everyone. We as humans are diverse but connected in many ways, aspects of my life have been lived by many others before me and my experiences will echo in those of the future. Learning about other people and what works and doesn’t work with their struggles can also teach us about ourselves.

Our first steps are identifying our obstacles. Always, these are lessons in knowing ourselves.

There are many questions to ask, what are your physical limitations? Are there attention issues? Have you sustained yourself for optimal performance, eg, eating, sleeping, water consumption? Is there psychological stress masking your perceptions? Are there specific aspects of your life and responsibilities that are overwhelming to you? 

Writing down your stressors and reasons your productivity and motivation have been affected will help paint a clearer picture of what you’re facing and what to do about it. I’ve written a bit about finding self awareness in Disabled Motivation: Procrastination.

For example, today I haven’t eaten anything, causing low energy, which makes me feel as though I have no energy to make myself food or do daily chores. I’ve taken my ADHD medication but I’m distracted away from my responsibilities by creative projects and hyperfocus. My body dysphoria and dysmorphia is making it difficult to go outside to take out the trash or do the laundry. The smell of dishwater often triggers dissociation or anxiety related to PTSD, making me avoid doing the dishes. I’m overwhelmed by the number of chores to do because I’ve created impossible assumptions of what ‘success’ looks like and am held back by anxiety of feeling like a failure. 

For every perceived limitation, there’s a resource and a way to lessen the load. Finding resources relies on keywords, often involving specific symptoms of your disability (time perception, fine motor control, low energy, etc) and knowing how to sift through unhelpful info found through search engines. Every skill and exercise that I’ve been taught in therapy, I’ve also been able to find online. 

With our obstacles labelled, breaking them down and finding feasible solutions is our next step. Sometimes we can do this on our own, like deciding to wear a face mask or lighting an incense while doing the dishes to alleviate scent triggers, and sometimes we may need help, like asking a friend to lift something for you. For more elaboration on the next steps, read on with Disabled Motivation: Prioritization.

We may find skills in time management and overcoming anxieties but with some obstacles there’s no shame in asking for help. 

This can be related to needing major life changes and intense therapy, or just needing a favour. Learning to ask for help is a valuable skill because we can’t and don’t need to do everything alone.

Anger

Staring at a blank page, the title labelled ‘anger’. My understanding of the emotion is naive relative to others, other emotions and other people experiencing them. I’ve known sharp fiery rage on behalf of myself and others— born in suffering of various abuses, indignities, disrespect. I’ve also repressed anger. 

When enduring crisis, repression is a survival skill if often an unproductive one. Refusing your right to feel is a dangerous disprivilege towards yourself and everyone around you. Numbness can’t adequately replace any given emotion. 

My mind rebels from thinking about anger and always has. 

As a child I frequently had meltdowns and panic attacks, autistic people can struggle with frustration especially when overwhelmed or overloaded and I was coping alone with severe traumas. Coupled with betrayal due to how people in my life reacted to and treated me, it was always easier to become repressed and self isolating. Instead of expressing my pain and anger, I became a cranky closed off person. 

Further into my young adulthood I began learning about myself and my emotions. Dams broke, sorrow and rage spilled forth. All the pain I’d kept inside was a natural disaster, obliterating any security or structure I had. It was for the best, but my natural proclivities for dissociation and repression still remain a precarious threat. The process of unravelling, reorganizing myself was tedious and is ongoing.

Life will continue to throw new obstacles in the way of a traumatized autistic person’s journey to peace. Our world has been designed by humans, mostly rich white men, to be hostile and degrading. Capitalism and selfish, entitled perceptions, these create oppressive environments and crises in every life. 

Anger will always be something that I must process, accept, and transform into constructive energy so that the anger may healthily dissipate and have meant something. My anger towards the willful ignorance of people who hurt me or allow others to hurt me has in the past been for nothing. I avoided confrontation and allowed my bludgeoned emotions to fester or fade. Instead of expressing my pain with communication, I allowed the suffering to last until I could remove myself from the situation. Problems with my home life, my highschool relationships, and then the demeaning, humiliating, and dehumanizing events of my early young adulthood all built sadness and anger that I refused to acknowledge until it was unavoidable.

You don’t forget, but you can forgive. You can forgive yourself for still struggling, forgive people whose actions you now better understand, forgive contexts and cosmic catastrophes. “What they did hurt me, and my feelings are valid. I am angry, sad, and I understand why I feel this way.”

There are many things impossible to understand, I’ve written of the circuitous trauma in trying desperately to truly comprehend all aspects of what’s happened to us in Losing the Present in Investigating Our Past. It can be unreasonable to scope out every angle to achieve understanding. That energy is best left for understanding yourself.

You can accept and even forgive the reasons why you’ve been hurt without invalidating your pain. With or without forgiveness, or apologies, or any combination of the previous, you can learn about yourself through the acceptance of anger.

Living a life repressing emotions punctuated by cataclysm is a slippery slope. Damaging to you and the people you love, it suppresses honesty and openness, facilitating toxic behaviours. Repression fuels an inability to cope with extreme emotions and the possibility for abusive behaviours. We must process our feelings and build from them, not let them tear us apart after lengths of ignoring them.

Disability and Time Perception: Hour Gone By

Beginning in many ways; curled in my lovers arms, painting freely, heightened anxiety, thinking of a horrific memory, somehow I slip from the time stream. An hour passes. To me I have been drug through days or maybe only caught a couple seconds, I’ve detached from the normal experience of time. How I relate my existence to its place in the flow of animation and decay relies on my psyche and it’s communication with my instinctive internal clock. Our bodies track time with accuracy our minds aren’t capable of. My disconnect from my physicality directly contributes to how I fall out of an hour.

Often in a positive experience, the cause is a novel experience of being connected to reality. Comforting touch when I’ve spent much of my life touch repulsed may absorb all my attention, leaving nothing to be aware of time. Similarly, artistic endeavours may enrapture my being and rebuke how an hour is supposed to feel. Hyperfocus is a common trait amongst those with time perception issues. When nothing you experience seems right, activities that satisfy your soul transcend the restrictions of sixty minutes. Measurements of that sort fall short in necessity.

Negative experiences conduct the same lapses but contrasts in a need to limit experience and perception. Instead of being fully absorbed, I reject what I’m feeling and dissociate from reality and it’s instruments. Panic attacks, flashbacks, depression, sensory overload, there are many reasons to leave time behind. At the baseline of my mood and disability I struggle with perception causing daily problems with basic functioning, episodic symptoms exponentiate dysfunction.

An hour passes, and I still rest with my temple against their heartbeat. I have lived a lifetime in that longest moment, in a second. A different hour, I’ve relived my life countlessly and been forced through glaring detail. Time experiences us as a piece of sand in a shaken hourglass, I sometimes cause cracks but I continue with the flow whether I will it or not. I can’t choose how I experience my journey. 

Daily tasks such as eating, communicating, hygiene, and maintaining my personal environment must be taken inventory of. I must stay present. My faith in the present moment will rely on myself and ability to withstand myself.