My mom used to say

…that moving things from place to place, isn’t cleaning.

Except it turns out that for me, it really is. Sorry mom.

One of the weird side effects of writing about my life, my disabilities, my projects, my feelings, basically everything about me, is that I spend a lot more time questioning my own motivations than the average person. Add to that the ADHD boosted tendency to overthink everything, the autistic tendency to run multiple scenarios and scripts to try and anticipate every eventuality, the PTSD symptom of over analyzing everything you and others do, all combine together to create a circumstance where in a desperate attempt to try to have meaning, I spend a lot of time under my own microscope.

I try and share my self-discoveries in more polished senses and ideas, since… although essentially what I do is talk about myself, I also feel self-conscious about talking about myself.

What I’ve been realizing more and more, is just how many of my actions are in many ways driven by unconscious attempts to make my world more accessible, without actually realizing that that’s what I’m doing.

There are times when I do things that seem self-destructive to people around me, maybe even make them want to rend out their hair in frustration at me and want to jump out and stop what I’m doing. But then those same things end up playing some… necessary function in achieving some of the seemingly impossible things that I do.

There are many examples of this just off the top of my head.

My tendency to talk to strangers about everything and wherever we went, from an incredibly early age and somehow end up getting their life stories is something that used to drive my mother crazy about me.

However, it is this same tendency that has allowed me to meet the people who save my life on a regular basis. Either by providing financial, physical, emotional, or some other kind of assistance. It’s this same tendency that manages to get me in to see the doctors who actually help me, and who get me in touch with other good doctors. It’s the thing that makes someone do the little extra thing they’re not really supposed to do but that manages to solve some problem that makes everything else fall into place.

My tendency to pick up new projects without finishing old ones, or long before I will have the energy to do them, or picking up supplies in anticipation of said projects, and then not getting to them for months, or becoming obsessed with some brand new thing and then abandoning it half way through to get super obsessed with some other thing is something that I think pushed Alyssa into hating me. To her it looked like Chaos, not realizing that it was a spiderweb of organization that actually spanned time and unpredictable factors.

It’s this chaos that kept us alive, fed, healthy, and medicated, that got her permanent residency when it should have been impossible. It’s this tendency that gave me the abilities that I use every day to keep myself alive. If I had abandoned any one thing, I could well be homeless, dead, living in a terribly or unsafe or abusive situation.

Because it’s not me that’s chaos, it’s the world. The whole world is made up of endless puzzle pieces. Billions of them. And somehow my job has become putting this puzzle back together, with no guides. I have no pictures. I have no instruction manual. The pieces don’t give me many hints about where they go.

So I’m putting together this puzzle of the world through trial and error. This piece goes there, but it looks like it could also fit there. Some of the pieces have been broken because the puzzle is incomplete. So now, I have to find a new place for them to fit. Because even the broken pieces have a place. Everything has a place, it just needs to find the right connections.

Some pieces, I can maybe help repair or offer enough first aid to help smooth down the rough edges, in ways that help them fit again and find a place. Broken pieces don’t scare me, though they can take a long time to find the perfect place. In the meantime, I keep them near my heart.

It’s the pieces that disappear that scare me. I’m scared of the pieces that I drop, and then never find again. I’m terrified of knocking over pieces. So I try to work on several sections at once, and sometimes I do too much.

Sometimes I have to force myself to rest. Sometimes I’m so tired, I miss an opportunity to find a space for a piece.

Sometimes, I luck out, and two pieces fit together without my help, or just because I moved them from one place to the next and they were close enough to fall into place.

It’s how I organize my life. It’s how I make things happen.

It’s how I clean.

 

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My mom used to say
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