I am the first to admit my mind is an untamed bromby. It flits from idea to idea at a pace I sometimes cannot keep up with. Don’t ask me to speak, cease my thoughts or coordinate my body. If my brain is in flight mode, best to leave it be.
Attempts to discipline my brain have left me with a disdain. Loathing might more apt. My brain coped with the rigours and demands of conformity at uni, but only if it were a subject I had interest in. The closest my brain has got to being disciplined and responsive is through body building.
The repetition of each day and the exhaustion through starvation helped my brain deenergise and be humbled. It takes second seat to the functioning of my muscles and other organs. The downside is the hissy fits my brain has at its neglect.
So, I am now letting my brain follow its own needs, albeit in close supervision. My brain is jumping from idea to idea again. I am kind of hoping it will settle, eventually. Life doesn’t necessarily allow me the time, circumstances and finances to follow my brain’s whims. Just because I want to go to Japan to look at all the Ando buildings til my eyes hurt, doesn’t mean it is the smartest idea. Pragmatics enter the arena, dear brain.
Right now, I am flirting with philosophy again, playing with Russian tsarist history, dipping back into cultural theory, still avidly researching perfumes, deciding what sort of PhD topic on autism I might like to work on, wading into another committee related to trades, wondering if I might pick up a paint brush this year and humming about that bass guitar. I really do wish I could write and perform hip hop slam rhymes.
See? Too much. What I enjoy today, I’ll be tired of tonight and I just want to rest. My body begins to flop in the sheer effort of trying to keep up, but my brain says just a minute more. That minute throws me into disarray the next day. Tired, grouchy and anti social.
My brain and the rest of me are not in synch by any means. I can pretend in your presence that they are, but only for a short time. Then it all goes wrong. It feels like my brain is a short spanned 3 yo child. I watch energised autistic children running about, full of too much energy and I understand. They seem to be all over the place, annoying order driven parents and irking those standing in queues.
I thought being a mechanic, my brain would be quietened by the physical activity and happy to be working on problems to nut out. No. Didn’t last long. It is corrupting my efforts. It is demanding I let it have free run. Couping it up in a workshop with very little stimulation, tight deadlines and the same faces is detrimental to my brain’s health. It wants to be free. But I have bills to pay.
One problem is, left alone, my brain produces nothing of value. If anything, the frenetic energy just creates a whirlwind of chaos. Then there is debris to clean up. I see it in H too. He destroys a load of electrical equipment with no apparent purpose and then he has to clean up the ground. Pointless exercise in futility. He learns nothing, but releases pent up neurons. Try to focus his mind and it rebels. What to do?
I can see the sense in alcohol. A drunken state not only numbs the emotion, but also legitimises chaotic behaviour. Just a drunken night out… but behave that way naturally, it becomes frowned upon and seen as anti social.
Some have tried giving access to padded rooms, gyms filled with giant pillows etc. They remove the spontoneity of the act of dishevelled chaos. It becomes a political act of subverting my wildness. I become more inwardly tumultuous as a result. Same goes for H. It takes away his agency, and that defeats the brain’s purpose. To create order out of the über order, which reads to most as creating chaos out of societal order.
My natural state makes sense to my brain. The part of me that wants to fit in, abhors this natural, undisciplined state. People say autistic folk want and need extreme order. Yes and no. I need order when it comes to dealing with other humans and looking after my basic needs. Get me in a mental vortex of some interest and I forget I need to empty my bladder and replenish my water. Not good. I don’t need imposed order when my brain is out to pasture. And my brain hates being away from pasture. It flings off the attempts to subdue it and make it acceptable.
So, that is why I know I’ll always be poor. Unless my brain produces something of value by accidental fluke, it will never develop the discipline needed to see a project through and contribute purposefully to society.