Neurodivergent Life Changes

I know I’ve said it before in other posts, but I want to start talking more about my actual life on this blog. That’s partially because I want to write from my soul more, purely for the sake of writing. It’s also because as I look through my blog, I don’t feel like it gives a very authentic portrayal. Reading through it you’d think that I struggle here and there but have coping-mechanismed my way into managing life. I assure you that is wildly far from being the case.

Being Vulnerable on the Internet

While I try to be honest and upfront on this blog, it’s hard to decide just how vulnerable to be. Sure, I could write about general interest topics related to neurodivergence and hope to educate the masses. But I also know there are plenty of other websites and blogs doing exactly that. The only thing I have to offer that’s different is my actually kind-of-ridiculous life. I’ve always wanted to write a book one day. I’m also very aware that will never happen if I don’t start writing more about genuine experiences and how messy my life can be.

I know it’s a necessary step but it’s also a very steep step to take. Do I want future employers to potentially see what I write here and hold it against me? Will people I know see what I write and make fun of it behind my back? I know I’m very guilty of that, so how could I blame others for doing the same? Will people read what I have to say with good intent? Or will I get more angry texts from my mom, accusing me of stirring the pot for simply writing about my own experiences? It’s a wobbly line to walk, trying to decide how much of my soul to bare while having to worry about how others will perceive it.

But Will it SEO?

My other hesitation about getting real is the struggle to break out of what I feel like I should do. In all my research about how to build a successful blog, so much of the advice is about SEO and bringing organic traffic. How the hell do I write SEO-friendly posts about the realities of my life? I don’t think people are googling “rants about life struggles.” Nor are they searching “processing childhood trauma and feeling failed by my parent while living through a war”.

I know I could use keywords that would bring traffic. “Autism and adjusting to change” would probably do well. But your girl is not trying to pull a bait and switch. Imagine searching that phrase, looking for tips or guidance and you just find this rambling post of mine. If anyone has any tips for how to navigate this, please leave them in the comments because I am truly struggling on this.

The Autistic Struggle to Cope With Life Changes

I’m trying to be more open and vulnerable by sharing honest experiences. Which means that I need to admit how much I struggle with things. There are so many things I struggle with regularly and it makes me nervous about the future. I already struggle to get everything done that I want to. I struggle to regulate my emotions, especially when I’m overwhelmed or processing something. It’s hard to find a balance between how many hours to put in at work versus my own projects. Combine that tug-of-war with trying to maintain the house. Don’t forget (because I probably will), I also have to feed myself regularly. I tall leaves me feeling perpetually behind and like I’m failing. And we don’t even have kids yet! Which is a whole different topic when it comes to neurodivergent life changes that I’ll save for another day.

The Neurodivergent Urge to Get Ahead of Yourself

If I had to list the top ten things I’ve been told in my life, “Don’t get ahead of yourself” is definitely on there. I can’t help it, my brain just works in a domino effect. Rather than speaking in generalizations, I’ll use my currently chaotic life to explain what I’m talking about.

Romania, really?

Recently, my husband was given a great job offer…in Romania. It would be for six months with a possibility to transition the role back to Israel if things go well. It’s a great opportunity for him career-wise. The pay is great and his company would pay our rent while we’re there. We really want to have kids but don’t feel like we’re in a place financially to feel comfortable really trying yet. We live in the 8th most expensive city in the world. The idea of living rent-free somewhere with a lower cost of living for six months is wildly appealing. Despite all the pros, when my husband first told me about it, I cried.

I couldn’t focus on the offer itself. My brain heard what the offer was and dominoed in three directions. I cried because I can’t imagine leaving Israel during a war and being somewhere I have to worry how my Jewishness will be perceived. We’ve been talking about ways to build more of a Jewish home and moving to Romania feels like the opposite direction. Then there’s the fact we have an entire apartment full of belongings and of course, two dogs. One of which is basically a bear.

Neurospicy Processing Pace

Despite initially crying and feeling horrified by the idea, I couldn’t sleep that night. I knew I was balking at the change more than the actual idea and I didn’t feel right denying my husband this opportunity. It’s only six months. Also,iIt’s cheap to fly back to Tel Aviv if I miss my chosen family or if they want to come visit. It’s an opportunity that allows us to do some traveling before we start having kids. So we’re going for it. Once my brain got past the initial freakout over the change of routine and plans for the near future, I found myself ready for the adventure. Only to get stuck treading water.

How to Plan When You Can’t Plan

And this is where I feel like I’m going crazy lately. The way my brain works, as soon as we settled on these plans I started to think about the next steps. What do we do with our stuff? How difficult will it be to bring the dogs? What do we need for a visa? How much time do we have to figure these things out? Fuckedly for me, I can’t plan anything because there’s so many moving pieces we’re just stuck buffering.

Rather than trying to pack up and store our whole apartment, we wanted to find friends to sublet. My brain: “But what if they don’t want to, what’s the next idea?” Well, that idea didn’t even matter because we found out the dogs need a rabies antibody test. Said test takes a week for the results but only once those results come back negative, three months from that day is when the dogs are allowed to enter the European Union. We were planning to leave next month but now the dogs won’t be able to leave until late August at the earliest. Meaning, now we don’t just need someone to sublet, we need someone who can handle both our dogs. Including the bear, aka our American Akita. Don’t be confused by the cute fluffiness, they are dickheads sometimes and difficult to manage.

Said BearDog.

Waiting for Neurodivergent Life Changes

So now I am just stuck waiting. Waiting to find out if the one person we feel can handle it can do it. If he can’t, I have to stay with them, which means I see my husband 1-2x a month for almost three months. We literally miss each other when he has a long day at work so this sounds like our actual nightmare. Also, it defeats half the purpose from the financial aspect if we’re still paying Tel Aviv rent for three months.

Can I do anything to fix the situation or move things along? Nope. So my brain just sits here, swirling around in what-ifs. And when I can’t solve something, I try to over-compensate in other areas like working more or deep cleaning something. Obviously, that doesn’t actually relieve the difficult feelings I’m having so then I just feel like failures of my own expectations just start piling up while I slowly become more and more anxious.

Neurodivergent Life Changes I Can Make Right Now

While I may not be able to make any real decisions or form any plans while so much is in limbo, I know there are things I can focus on in the meantime. I can get back into habit tracking to better manage things that are in my control. I can journal to work through my self-esteem issues and the source of my expectations for myself. I can spend extra time with my friends while I still can. I can keep working with my therapist, even if my mom thinks she’s not doing her job because she’s not convincing me there wasn’t toxic and abusive behavior in our household.

I can do things to connect with my Jewishness more. I can enjoy the beautiful craziness that is Tel Aviv summer for what will likely be my last summer living in Tel Aviv. It’s a long and hard process, but I’m learning how to take a step back from the chain reactions in my head and look for the things I can focus on now and not get so de-railed by uncertainty.

Doing Things Neurospicely

I ramble through all of that to say, this blog may shift a bit moving forward. Things might not be such neat SEO categories and more of whatever’s on my mind at the time. Obviously, I hope by being more open and vulnerable about realities of daily life that it will help grow the blog. I hope that it will somehow be helpful and relatable to others. Maybe it will even eventually lead to the book deal I’ve always secretly pined for. Even if it doesn’t, I know I’m taking a big step in my healing journey and learning how to connect with my feelings more. By writing about them more, I’m learning how to see them as less of a perpetual burden to be dealt with and more a natural part of myself.

Yes, this blog is something I want to grow and monetize to set up a better future for myself, my husband, and the family we want to build. But ultimately, I’m doing this for myself. To process my experiences and work through my alexithymia. I’m doing it to help me form coherent thoughts around what changes I want to make in my life and the type of partner and parent I want to be. If people choose to read words from my soul and make fun of that, that’s on them. If people choose to read this and make it about themselves, that’s also on them. If they choose to attribute me as having nefarious intent, again, that is on them.

Support for Silenced Neurospicies

While I admit to having self-serving intentions with this blog, it’s not just about me. Being neurodivergent can feel really isolating sometimes. People are always trying to tell you to tone it down or reign you in. For those of us who grew up with toxic family members, we often feel silenced by control mechanisms meant to control what narrative gets out about the family. Well, I’m tired of feeling silenced and boxed in and I know I’m not the only one tired of feeling so stifled. That’s exactly why I think it’s important for me to be more open and vulnerable about my neurospicy life. If something I write helps one person feel less alone, less gaslit, or less lost in this world because of an experience I shared, then it’s worth the vulnerability to me.

Lessons for Neurodivergent Life Changes

That’s the mindset I’m carrying with me into these upcoming and rather large life changes. The only thing I can control is my own actions. I can’t control if people misinterpret me. Nor can I control if they’ll opt to mischaracterize me as having bad intentions. I definitely can’t control if someone chooses to think what I write is about them when the possibility of them reading it didn’t even cross my mind when I wrote it. By focusing on one day at a time and having realistic expectations of myself, I can be more regulated and ride the waves of these neurodivergent life changes rather than drowning in them.

You Might Also Like

Leave a Reply