I’ve wondered this before, but I really do think I’m way farther away from neurotypical than I’ve always thought. Not that I even knew what that was until recently.

So I may have mentioned once or twice that I spend a fair amount of time on TikTok.   I see all these things that say if you do this then you’re neurodivergent or if you do this you must have ADHD.

Things like not closing cabinet doors, staying up way too late scrolling TikTok or reading even though you know you’re going to be exhausted the next day, procrastinating, being easily distracted when in a noisy environment, talking too much in a social situation, wanting to or actually finishing other people’s sentences.

Also being good at math with strong attention to detail. This one I actually thought was one of the things that made me ‘normal’. There are many more that I don’t identify with or have, but all these things apparently mean that I’m neurodivergent.

So neurodivergence is an umbrella for many things including autism, dyslexia, and ADHD. Turns out that ADHD in women often manifests with sleep difficulties, anxiety, and eating disorders among others.

The traits I found most telling were the ones that I had more trouble with as a teenager than I do now. These were: rarely initiating friendships, having trouble maintaining them, and isolating to protect from discomfort; risky sexual behaviors; and struggling with rejection sensitivity with intense emotional responses to actual or perceived rejection. Ok, I still struggle with rejection, isolating to protect from discomfort, and maintaining friendships.  

I also know which parent I got this from-my mother. Other traits are tactile defensiveness and sensory overload such as cutting out tags from clothing, sensitivity to certain smells and loud noises, having to wear socks inside out, etc. She has all of these in spades.

I have learned to mask or compensate for most of these things over the years. It is kind of nice to know though that all of these quirks of mine are not the result of multiple faults or flaws in me but are rather all tied to the same thing, my neurodivergent mind. I still have some shame associated with some of these things that I’ll have to work through, but maybe it’ll be easier now. I foresee additional homework from my therapist.

And yes, I spent most of the day researching this instead of writing an outline for my subplot. Rabbit holes are dangerous to productivity, but at least I know the cause of my procrastination.

In case you’re wondering, here is one of the sources I found doing my research:

Most of the symptoms I’ve posted here come directly from this article, but I ran across several others with similar findings (I just forgot to save their links as I got distracted). There’s also a self-test at the end of the article. I scored 47 out of 72, which is 65%. Normally this is a failing grade, but the higher your score the greater the likelihood of you having ADD so, in this case, I think I’ll learn to be okay with not acing the test.

Be well my friends.

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