until i can’t think

red and white wall with graffiti

“Individuals with ADHD often become quickly immersed in one salient emotion and have problems shifting their focus to other aspects of a situation.”

“For many people with ADHD, the brain’s gating mechanism for regulating emotion does not distinguish between dangerous threats and more minor problems. These individuals are often  thrown into panic mode by thoughts or perceptions that do not warrant such a reaction. As a result, the ADHD brain can’t deal more rationally and realistically with events that are stressful.” – some article i found from ADDitude

“nothing is wrong. everything feels wrong. that’s what’s wrong.” on mental disorders (simple explanation), our favorite weez

well.

that doesn’t make this easier.

if anything, it could very well make this.

worse.

worse like groan a little and rock back and forth for an hour because it would’ve been nice to have known *before* all this happened. stare into the abyss and not imagine dragons waiting to take me away because i still have homework worse. scrolling through instagram and feeling overwhelmed worse. so much worse that it feels scary to address the worse because what if it gets worse

i’m trying the breathing exercises and they’re kinda helping, but they just make me feel dizzy and have a bit of a headache. and i already ate so it can’t be that. and i don’t have anyone that actually know know what it means to have a mind with a million tabs open and one sound coming from all of them in unsion

“oh! no! oh! no! oh! no!”

and what do i say to the tabs?

“you’re! not! real! you’re! exaggerated!”

and then what? lie because everything in the world is going

“oh! no!”

and me saying it doesn’t make it more or less true?

i hold no power as to the truthness level of a situation, and that scares me more than the actual situation. i’m not sure what to think about that, and i’m not sure if i *can* think, because then it’s like

realize that everything i’m processing and experiencing will always be received by hypersensitive, maxed up senses,

leading to questioning everything i hold dear and i speak up about being actually important or just important to me,

then leading into panicking as the things and people i love don’t get better and don’t get anything at all and the world and the governments and how itchy my left eye is,

then trying to shut my phone off before yet another cry of how the people who need to listen won’t listen and are just trying to maintain order and calm, and how can i blame them when i’m trying to do the exact same thing, but the difference between me and them is i’m actually trying to change for the better and they only want to surpress the cries,

oh the room is cold now, oh, there’s a bag of groceries where the table is, that’s not right, oh no, a million little things are inscrutably different than how they were yesterday and oh no that is not okay, not okay, not okay!

sometimes it ends in a meltdown and sometimes it ends in long periods of feeling nothing after feeling everything for so long

but everything seems to set me off today, like

all the lovely things friends write and put up and share

and all the mean things the outside does and the bills they pass and the doom they bring to make everything great again! no you’re not you just want you to be great again

and that someone brought me crackers and now i feel priveleged because nobody else asked for crackers

and then lonely because nobody else asked and i feel like i can’t go home and i don’t know where home is

and i know that i don’t know but it doesn’t make up for the fact that i don’t know

i want to save the world. and i also want to save myself. and i have to make peace that having both is okay. that i am okay.

that even with all the unokayness it will be okay, because we’re just humans and everything we see is filtered through the confines of our minds, and that’s why when we’re united it doesn’t feel as lonely as it tends to be, but *why* is so much, why is there so much why

why

why

perhaps… perhaps feeling, and caring is a superpower that… that i can’t control yet? and therefore… and therefore the opposite, to be normal, to be apathetic, is my weakness?

but then…

but then…

when does it stop?

~then i try, try to deny, jo~

light still shines through these cracks

light still shines through these cracks

sometimes i realize just how messed up i am.

i try to avoid this for obvious reasons. i mean, yes, we all know you need therapy jo, you don’t have to insert it into every single bio on the internet, nobody could care less.

and i attest to being a self-decrepating person, because sometimes the funniest joke is myself. at least i have a point, y’know. and i’m okay with that. mostly. i’d rather be the goofy comic relief with a totally messed up personality than the serious brooding main character, because at least i actually survive the whole thing. that’s cool. so i don’t really hide away from pointing out my flaws because there’s too many of them to hide anyway. and i guess people can sympathize.

but sometimes…

sometimes, good lords, i just feel like the biggest clown. (technically i’d be one of the smallest but we won’t tAlK about t h a t)

like, my giant, padded, noise-blocking, cursedtomakemyheadlooklikeagiantmushroomwheniwearit headphones? they’re always there. always. and if there’s too many people i’ll freak out, and if there’s not enough people, i’ll freak out, and i still have to put my fingers in my ears to breathe. spd is a pain in the neck.

and i’ve gotten called out for snacking constantly through the day, and i don’t know how to explain that if i don’t get at least some amount of sugar i could literally faint and fall into a fog of inadequacy and no, i’m not being.. you know, a glutton. i’m being me. (would that make me a glutton? a concept.) hypoglycemia why

and do we even need to talk about how i still feel my throat go tight and my voice squeak when i have to talk to new people? do we really need to discuss how my eyes nervously dart back and forth in a crowd of kids just like me? do we have to address my uncanny ability to disappear whenever there’s guests or kids coming around? has absolutely nobody acknowledged social anxiety? nobody? is it just me?

it’s just me. okay. that’s fine. better than nobody. (unless i am nobody) (jo stop it)

see, my problem is i could be totally faking it and i wouldn’t know. because guess whose doctor was too busy to confirm the labels of which her peculiar patient displays almost all symptoms?

ma’am pls why

and it is… a struggle.

it’s a struggle to hear people whisper behind closed doors than just stare at me eating two cookies in a go. it’s a struggle to hear the doubt in their voices when i explain that guess what, this person? me? is a messed up creature with actual problems that sadly makes her a high maintenance child and could use adult guidance.

it’s a struggle to experience those concerns being ignored anyway.

i mean, good sir

sir

sir

please don’t reach out to touch my shoulder you don’t know what happened the last time

and i bang my head on the wall and smile at the passing people who have real problems look at me and go

“she’s just full of herself, isn’t she?”

i mean, am i supposed to be anyone else?

i don’t know.

it hurts when people say they care and they- yeah, don’t.

so sometimes i pull a billie eilish and wish i was me but… no problems. no trauma. no issues. no nightmares. normal. perfect. not dividing families or creating mayhem or getting escorted into police cars. like me, but the opposite of me. like paige from the newest episode of young sheldon, but not an angsty goth, smart, or white. sad, though.

should i take off the clown makeup yet?

it’s like that sometimes.

but then i remember that what i experience is something many people everywhere experience and sheesh, they’re probably sobbing all over their laptops too, wishing they didn’t have to be divergent. and i remember that people know and people even if i can’t feel that. because, hey, my feelings told me i was being attacked when it was just one of the girls coming up from behind to say hi, so they aren’t exactly a trustworthy source.

and if i am full of myself, i’m full of someone God designed and put a lot of work into creating and went, oh yeah, her, that’s it, that’s perfect. just right.

so i mean

it’s kinda pointless to argue with God

i’m not perfect. i’ll never be. but i don’t think i was created to be. i have issues and i have flaws and i struggle with them.

but it’s like how the japanese break their pots and then fix it with gold, i think. through brokenness something is made whole and worth so much regardless of their imperfections.

light still shines through the cracks. i think that’s the point.

i don’t know if this was a post about self love. i mean, it totally could be but that’s not really the point though.

it’s more like, hey, look, when God made me, He outfitted me with a crazy imagination and a brain that may not understand quadratic equations but would totally binge watch nerd videos to understand lightspeed, and a mind that’s expanding and might be a little topsy-turvy but it’s perfect for me. also i ran 5k. my body ain’t the best, but it is functional and it’s mine. which is kinda sorta lowkey awesome. which therefore makes me a working human being with a little hyperactive mind and that is a good thing.

maybe this was about self love after all.

maybe i wasn’t ever a clown. maybe i’m just a kid who talks too much and maybe people are okay with that.

but even if they aren’t, i think i’ll be. i hope they’ll be okay with themselves too.

so am i messed up? totally.

is it fun?

you know what, kinda.

~this will all make sense when i am olDER, jo~

a thousand sounds vie for my attention, and, darling, I have no filter

a thousand sounds vie for my attention, and, darling, I have no filter.png

was it october? it was october. i think it was october.

see, weez is a cool person. she’s one of my favorite creators with a different mind like mine and she draws and writes and weaves extraordinary from the extra-ordinary and lloyd deserves a lot of love and so, i emailed her asking if she’d like to join me in trying to comprehend the mind.

i think they call it a collab. whatever that could be.

and she said yes!

so after a month or three of planning, talking, writing, and forgetting, here’s what happens when you take two subpar artists together to unravel the deep questions of the world.

enjoy.

~

I wake up a little, and I think my heart flutters nervously in my chest. Oh no, my brain is awake.


My brother moves into the living room (I’ve been asleep on the couch) and he sits down. He’s going to turn on the TV. I brace myself for the noise.


It’s loud. I expected loud, but it’s loud. I cover my ears, for a second, and then sit up a little. We watch Star Wars. It’s early, for a Saturday, but who needs sleep / well you’re never gonna get it.


It’s going to be a good day.

(right?)

I’m going to get things done.

(right?)

I’m not going to let my brain control me, or my heart either, for that matter.

(right?)

Balance.


Like the Force, Jo.
Like the Force?

“But you’re fine!” They tell me.


I’m huddled in the corner. Corners are nice. Corners are safe. Corners don’t sneak up on you, corners don’t scream loudly, corners don’t fill your head with people-static and corners will never betray you and stab you in the back.


I’m fine.


I’m fine.


They want me to smile, but I don’t know what for. “Girl like you, you’re so pretty when you smile.”
I- I don’t wanna be pretty. I want to go home. It’s so loud- it’s too loud, my shirt itches and I wanna cry.
“What’s wrong? You look so uncomfortable.”


Weez! They finally got one thing about me right!

“You look on the verge of tears.”


They’re right, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to let them see me cry.
“Why?”


They couldn’t possibly understand, because it’s not like they have everything they’ve ever heard playing on loop in their heads all of the time. I can’t explain to them how the very air has texture and color and sound. I can’t explain to them how I am surrounded by terrifying beauty at all times.


I envy them, just a bit.
I look uncomfortable too, Jo.


And it’s hard to hide it, isn’t it?

weez 2.jpg

What did you say?


I have to take off my headphones to hear you.


I’m sorry, I’m not trying to be rude. Honestly.
The headphones allow me to breathe. Otherwise the world around me will crash and it’s a terrible sound, when a world crashes.

They said I was being a baby, that I didn’t need them to survive. I’m supposed to be grown up, I’m supposed to be okay, I’m not supposed to need a piece of plastic to make it through a normal day.
I wish.


Oh.


Yes.


You can’t hide it. I can’t hide it.
We can’t hide the things that make us different. Try sticking a penguin in a forest of giraffes.
Hi, fellow penguin.

The giraffes look really tall, Weez.

What was that?


Sorry, I was stuck in my own head.
I wish I had my headphones on, too–then, at least I could listen to music, or podcasts, or anything besides the whirlwind of remembered conversations that is rushing through my head constantly.


I’m too old to still cover my ears and cry into my bear at night. I know that. And most of the time, I think maybe I’m so, so close to being like… the other people. You know them.
I wish.
It’s hard.


Maybe the world needs penguins, though, Jo. Maybe we shouldn’t try to hide.
But why is it so loud?

Anything. Yes. Just. Anything else than what’s in front of me. It’s all a moving mess and I’m already a mess and, oh, I give up.


The other people? You think we have a shot at being like the other people? Do they cry in their rooms when the noise hurts their sensitive brains? Can they order an ice cream at Brewsters without stalling for ten minutes because looking into the poor ice cream guy’s eyes was like being judged a million times over for not being able to decide anything? Are they okay? Are they happy?
And,


if they are,


Can we be one of them?
I don’t know Weez. I don’t know.
Maybe, maybe I don’t wanna be one of the others, after all. They stare at us penguins like…


Like we’re lesser.
Some of them anyway.
See, there’s too many. I’m gonna put my headphones back in.

weez1.jpg


I don’t know, Jo. Do the other people ever just feel like something is wrong with their brains? Like there’s something integral missing inside them and they can’t fix it? Does it scare them? Does it make them cry alone in their rooms and hide their fears from their friends? Does it make them question everything? Does it feel inescapable?


I don’t know, Jo. I guess God intended us to be this way, and we really shouldn’t question Him.
Sometimes I wonder why, though.


And why do so many people look at us like we’re broken? Why do we sometimes look at ourselves like we’re broken?
Are we broken, Jo, or are we just as we should be?


Dare I hope we’re as we should be…?

My laptop died. I’m sorry. Bad, bad, laptop.
Without the keyboard and screen to let my mind flow, it gets pent up, see, Weez.


I don’t know, I don’t know. I’ve never seen them wail they way I did when their Google Docs don’t work. I’ve never seen them pace back and forth wondering if they’re okay or if that’s make believe too. I’ve never had one of them come up to me and say, “hi, I’m so sorry if I’m bothering you, but I have sensory processing difficulties and the way I calm down can be a little bit loud, please forgive me in advance.” They don’t worry. They don’t know.

And maybe, because of that, they don’t care.
Is it bad though? Is it bad to question God?
Perhaps He can help give is the answers we so desperately crave. Or at least the promise that He knows what He’s doing, because I certainly don’t. Do you?
Are we? Is anyone?

See, a question.


The drums beat rather loudly on Sunday night, and my senses were screaming for the answers, per norm.

But what is norm?

I forgive you, and I hope you’ll forgive your laptop.


I understand that, Jo. When the words can’t get out, they bottle up and it’s scary. It’s too much. It’s loud.


Have you ever seen them cry over a broken plate, or collapse in giggles in the middle of target for no apparent reason, or cover their ears and cry because they’re just so, so tired?
I haven’t. But maybe they have different problems, different hard things—and they just don’t share them with us. Maybe they hide them very well.

And… maybe some of them do care. Maybe they just can’t afford to care too much, for their own sakes. Can we fault them, Jo, can we fault them?


He says we are fearfully and wonderfully made, Jo.
He says we are His, and He has formed us.
I believe He knows what He’s doing. Sometimes I just wish I knew what Ge was doing.
I want answers all the time. Then I think, maybe there’s a reason we can’t have all of the answers.
So that we’ll rely on Him.
It’s just so hard to remember.
I try to calm down and remember to act the norm, but….


You’re right… what is the norm?

Perhaps we are, Weez. But then think about that.
If we were mean to be, if we were perfect and good like God said, then why are we so broken?

Why are we so.. stuck?

Why are we so us?

Why are you you? And why am I me?

Is it the world?

I suppose it is.

Maybe normal means the totality of everyone’s uniqueness. I don’t know.
I don’t know too.
Are we meant to find the answers? Here, in this world.
Maybe I’m okay with not knowing.
But maybe I’m not.

Uncertainty is hard to live with, yet we do it all the time. Why, Weez? Why?
Could it be the questions actually have answers to them?

Maybe we’re thinking about all of this wrong. Maybe our stuckness comes with a type of unstuckness, and we just focus on one more than the other. Maybe “stuckness” and “unstuckness” aren’t words. Who decides what’s a word, Jo?


Maybe normal isn’t a word.
Who decides?


Maybe we can learn to live with not knowing, for now.
Maybe it’s okay if you’re not okay, Jo.
Maybe you gotta kick at the darkness ‘til it bleeds daylight.


Maybe I stole those sentences from songs.

~

~almost as amazing as BNL and the persuasions, weez and jo~