Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been trying to explain to my driving instructor why telling me to calm down and slow down is counter-productive. While he is obviously neurotypical and means well, it is still rather annoying! Of course I know I should do things slower, but try telling my brain to cooperate with that when the default mode is more anxious than not! Finally today, I made a real breakthrough. I was explaining that places where I screw up, my brain shuts down and that is why I don’t respond in a timely and useful manner. He laughed and compared it to a computer virus, and I concurred. If one is going to make any sort of connection about dysfunctionality, that is worth celebrating to me.
I’ll add that even though the mistakes I made today were of a level where I wanted to cry (thanks brain, you’re a pal :p), he assured me that I’m still on track for my test next week. Fingers crossed he’s right, ha ha. I’m mainly feeling good about it… but I’ll feel even better when it’s done and I don’t have to worry about fekakkin’ manual transmissions again. *grins*
I’m also, on a related note, pleased to see a public movement here to end mental health discrimination:
I will concede that here in the UK, we have the advantage of very forthright celebrities talking about their mental health issues; while he’s not perfect, Stephen Fry being out with his cyclothymia means more people are willing to discuss and ask questions about the bipolar disorders. I would have been upfront and honest about it were I still in the States as well, but it is definitely ‘easier’ against a social backdrop more geared towards acceptance (instead of say, painting us as the real problem with guns… when no. *rolls eyes*). Something like one in four people will experience some sort of mental health issue in their lives, so why should anyone have to hide what is fairly common? I do understand that it’s hard to understand just how differently some of our brains work, but at least if we have and use the freedom to talk about it… then maybe we can make understanding the norm. I definitely don’t expect it to require special treatment towards me (and I am sure anyone with a mental health disorder would feel the same), but a little understanding all the way around is definitely a fantastic way to make society a better place.