Dysregulation

I think in complex epiphanies. I never have a single thought, except “I am insufferably bored!” Thoughts stay with me, whispering, connecting, birthing ideas faster than I can speak or write.

Life is a procession of instantaneous and profound moments. Some would consider my experience spiritual.  I know it is neurological.

I have little to show for my excessive mental energy. Too many ideas crowd me.  Sprawling narratives stream from my fingers. The ideas dart about so wildly  they hold meaning only to me.  Weeks pass before I whittle a simple blog post to lucidity. The world outside my skull is so slow it crawls.

Excruciating boredom opposes intellectual excitement.  The sensation is physical. Hold your breath until it hurts. The burning for air in your lungs is how boredom feels deep in my muscles and joints. Intellectual nothingness is drowning.  Movement is a gasp of air, but until my mind can latch on to the right thought, I flail.

I exist either dazzled by thoughts or restless with fidgety, aching boredom.

I am intellectually dysregulated.

Vroom

As a child, my mother smoothed my way. She fed my brain continuously or pressed me into captivating activities. She scheduled my time.

The hardest part of my life was young adulthood. I chose the wrong career path. I mistook intellectual ability for intellectual motivation.   Electromagnetics and calculus were easy, but boring. Despite natural talent, I failed.  I did not possess the maturity, the wisdom to find a good path for myself.

Only in the past few years did I become self-aware. Raising an autistic child placed a platter of insight before me. He is me revised. Perhaps most parents take this journey; a complete digestion of their own lives, absorbed and reflected upon to nourish the next generation.

My son must learn that uncommon intellect comes with a caveat—the rest of his abilities will lag.  One day he will celebrate not the marvel of his genius, but the other skills he mastered to balance it.

Comments

  1. Kylie says:

    I can relate to this, a little. I used to want to write papers in three dimensions, because there were so many different directions and interlinkages I wanted to explore, but couldn’t figure out the hierarchy.
    I particularly like your last two paragraphs.

    • A Quiet Week says:

      Writing papers in three dimensions? What a vivid description! I know just what you mean! Filtering out information is the hardest part because it all seems so interesting.

  2. Mados says:

    Lovely post! I can relate to everything in it except for the boredom and the ease with calculus:-) I especially like this part:

    Life is a procession of instantaneous and profound moments. Some would consider my experience spiritual. I know it is neurological.

    I have little to show for my excessive mental energy. Too many ideas crowd me. Sprawling narratives stream from my fingers. The ideas dart about so wildly they hold meaning only to me. Weeks pass before I whittle a simple blog post to lucidity. The world outside my skull is so slow it crawls.

    and thinking in complex epiphanies… (I understand it as AHA-moment manifestations that are too complex for separation and communication, which therefore largely remain relatively invisible to the world)

    Beautifully phrased – of something that is extremely hard to convert to words. Thank you!

    Ps. I am with you on the wrong career path too!

    • A Quiet Week says:

      I am so touched by your kind words. Thank you, Mados. This post took months to write and spawned three others along with it. I am trying to write you a fine response, but struggling. And, heh. I imagine we could trade many interesting stories about our “careers.” 🙂

      I appreciate the visit and connection.

      Lori

      • Mados says:

        This is a fine response! You don’t need to struggle with replying to me, there is no performance pressure (I mean not from my side).

        I know that a lot of time & work goes into your posts, the words are very intense and dense in meaning like extracts, or poetry, and the collages adds visual expression. Actually what I see as characteristic of your writing is the visual intensity of both writing and illustrations. (that’s not the only characteristic of course)

        Re. “careers”… I bet 🙂

        Thanks for your response – It warms my heart and gives a nice start on the day (it is morning here).

  3. Songs play on endless loops in my head. Ideas come so rapidly I am not able to organize and capture them all. And then there is nothing.

    Love this post, esp. the poem at the top.

    • A Quiet Week says:

      Natalia,
      Thank you so much for your comment. I got a bit lost for a while! I appreciate the compliment on the poem, though it is more a jumble of words than anything else!

      I relate to what you say, about the ideas. It’s like surfing on water without getting wet. Thoughts fly but you don’t always sink in. Sometimes I wish I had a little dial on my head with a speed control knob. I’ve often wondered if thinking slower means thinking less!

  4. Have I told you lately how much I love your graphics? I love the words, of course, they’re beautiful and sometimes it’s like you’re speaking words I didn’t know were inside me. But the graphics! I’ve come back to this post at least five times to lose myself in the wonderful layered beauty of them, finding something new each time.

    • A Quiet Week says:

      Thank you! And I am embarrassed for taking so long to get back to you. Sometimes, I don’t know what to say or I can’t say the right thing, so I wait until it comes.

      I spend much time on my graphics, I am always touched by a kind word. Thank you for visiting and appreciating my pictures. I am fortunate to have found you online. It is so rewarding to visit with you and learn about myself. I have some of your articles printed out and placed prominently in my ASD notebook. Flaaaa-p!

      Thank you for writing and sharing and visiting and breathing and so on. 🙂

  5. Hi Lori,

    I was just thinking about how little time I spend reading other autism bloggers these days and I am glad I dropped in here.

    You have articulated perfectly the internal conflict that I experience between intellectual excitement and what in my case I would call inertia.

    Like you, it is a subject on which I regularly ponder but also one which have been unable to fully connect with, let alone articulate in a way that would be meaningful to me, let alone others.

    Thank you for taking the time and thoughtfulness to compose and share this.

    🙂

    • A Quiet Week says:

      I deeply appreciate your visits, Sam. I fall on and off the social media train so constantly that I have few steady connections. I am glad you are one of them.

      I like the term inertia, though for me boredom is a palpable vortex. Perhaps it is regulatory or depression. It is difficult to tolerate in either case.

      I am glad that you understood where I was coming from. I’ve struggled with this post for months. We are both trying to nail down our altered experiences of the same sort of thing. Science needs our voices, to define and explore the human experience in all its forms.

      Thank you for visiting with me and encouraging me.

      Lori

  6. I’m amazed at the depth and wonder of the thought process you go through on a daily basis! I’ve always been struck by how creative and original people with Aspegers and autism are. Yet the struggle to put it down in writing or in speech frustrates many Aspies so much. I deeply appreciate you educating me on yet another beautiful aspect of the autism spectrum.

    • A Quiet Week says:

      Steve,

      Thank you so much for your kind words. It can be an exhausting process, and perhaps even part of why I am not social–my energy is limited.

      I appreciate you dropping by and sharing with me. Your thoughts are appreciated and help fuel me for future posts.

  7. m13kelter says:

    great post…i particularly enjoyed those last two sentences. it’s something i’ve learned the hard way, the need for regulation…the tendency to get lost in endless detail has been a recurring issue, so this post really hit home.

    • A Quiet Week says:

      Thank you. Even though it takes me a ridiculously long time to reply (thank you OCD/performance anxiety!), I deeply appreciate knowing that others get what I’m saying. Regulation is my biggest issue and I get off track easily, or rather I grind the track into the ground. I appreciate your visit. A few words mean a great deal.

      Lori D.

  8. lee rhoden says:

    Hard to read. Thank you for putting my life and experience in words. 35 years to find you’re not alone after all.

    • A Quiet Week says:

      Lee,

      Thank you so much for your kind words. For so long I also lived alone with this. I appreciate you reaching out.

      Best Wishes,
      Lori D.

  9. petrossa says:

    I can totally relate to this article. It very well describes what aspergers is like. For a while i found solace in alcohol which reduces the mental activity, softens the sensory overload and helps with social events. Unfortunately that did my pancreas in so now i have to live again fully aware. It hurts.

    • A Quiet Week says:

      Thank you so much for sharing with me. I understand very much how alcohol can numb overactive senses and thoughts. I often find myself shutting down just to manage daily life. Asperger’s truly is a double edged sword. I appreciate your visit and sharing of something so intimate, and apologize for taking an eternity to respond. ❤

      Lori D.

  10. Matt Tucker says:

    This really resonated with me on a number of levels, will be rereading and have bookmarked…Thank you very much for sharing this!

    • A Quiet Week says:

      Matt,
      Thank you so much for sharing with me. Forgive my late response, I lag behind reality for days at a time. 🙂

  11. Chris says:

    Just discovered this while browsing the web, and I have to say this is one of the best autism blogs I’ve ever seen! It’s so fuuny, and yet so focused on useful things and anecdotes :0 This is where I want my blog to be! I’ve never even heard of some of your colloquialisms, like ‘spectrumites’ 😛 I tend to use Aspie a lot 🙂 I hope you don’t mind if I feature a few of your posts on my blog? I’ll just be posting the links on mine and having a little talk about how great they are 😀

    • A Quiet Week says:

      Chris!

      Thank you for stopping by and leaving such encouraging words. I just visited your lovely blog. I enjoy the happy, positive feel of your writing and am excited to see what the future holds for you.

      You are more than welcome to feature posts. Back links make my day. 🙂 Hope to see you around often!

      Cheers!
      Lori D.

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