Oops I did it again: Hard lessons & foreign shenanigans
I’ve just arrived in Portugal…not many selfies I’m afraid but here’s a good one of a stop off we did on our way down.
The drive down through Spain and the north of Portugal was magical .... and not without its challenges.
Yep, I ended up on a drip for an afternoon folks: nice self-care, coach!
And no mean feat given we'd just arrived in town, I don't speak Portuguese (thank you Google translate) and know nothing about the local medical system. I bounced back quickly and went home the same day - but there were some hard lessons in there on how I handle my neurotype.
Although the “culprit” was covid+heatwave+1200km drive, I know for sure that I was in sensory overload for days previous to picking up the virus and that this wiped out my natural immunity. I didn't just get sick, I got REALLY sick.
Despite having much of my life set up so that I'm well-supported and can largely focus on taking care of myself and my kids and the bits of work I'm really good at, I still get heavily blindsided by sensory overwhelm from time to to time.
Years of internalised ableism don't leave your system overnight. Although I'm working hard on mastering this, I still misread how much effort something will take, or my own capacity to handle it.
I've spent the majority of childhood and adult life thinking of myself as "extremely capable". I still feel disoriented when I try to take in my whole self, including the parts that struggle to function in "normal" ways - by normal I mean "the way I've been socially conditioned to think of as normal and expect myself to function".
I've lost count of the number of times I've ended up either exhausted, dissociated or in a meltdown because I've ignored my sensory needs or haven't budgeted for the extra processing energy I need to plan, organise, remember and execute everything I have to do.
I CAN do all these things (I'm super smart!! I have systems!!) but I wasn't raised to pay attention to the COST of doing these things.
So still, sometimes, I have to be peeled off the ceiling or the floor by the long-suffering adults who are close to me (and occasionally, I'm sorry to say, by my kids). Or, in the case of last week's episode, sent to hospital in a foreign country by an extremely kind woman I met that morning on Facebook.
The difference is that now, I'm tracking it. Years ago I would find myself ill with another virus, or shaking with rage I didn't know what to do with, and have literally no idea why this was happening to me.
Now I know exactly why: I'm autistic. I have ADHD. And I'm a survivor of complex trauma.
Each episode is a chance to check in with how well I'm taking care of myself. To re-calibrate my internal bar once more to fit my real self, rather than the identity other people created for me when I was growing up.
Coaching for ADHD, Autistics, Dyslexia, and more
I have a whole box of tools and tricks to help you navigate life and work more easily. Yay! BUT the most important work I do with clients is this recalibration process I've just described. It allows you to be in a much less fraught relationship with yourself, and as a result, the contracts you make with the outside world become kinder too.
For many people there is a big process of mapping - because, like me and so many neurodivergent folks, they have been working from a false picture of themselves, and it takes time to get to know the real story. But once this is well underway, everything else becomes much easier. The rest, as I say, is just admin.
If you're recently diagnosed suspecting or self-identifying as autistic, ADHD, Dyslexic or another neurotype, coaching with me can support you to find a kinder and more workable relationship with life and work.
The best first step is to book a short intensive. This will start to give you some direction in terms of your own self-care, understanding and next steps as well as a sense of how we might work together longterm.
Beyond that, next spots for longterm coaching are likely to be early in 2023. It's worth getting in touch now if you'd like to go on the no-obligation waitlist as availability can change.
UK folks in work/self employment can also get funding through the government’s Access to Work scheme and the application processing time is about six months. Give me a shout if you think this is relevant to you and we’ll support you with the application process, again with no strings.
I look forward to connecting with you around how to realise your sustainably wild dreams!