The Power of Music

Music is a core part of all of humanity. Every culture across the globe has some kind of music. All of humanity: we sing and we dance and we make musical instruments. We do this by ourselves. We do this as groups. We do this in times of celebration. We do this in times of stress. We have been making music for as long as we have been documenting history and evidence suggests that we have been doing the making of music before we have been writing. So this suggests that there’s something really essential, profound and powerful about music, which is why so many people research it, because we ask this question of “why music?” What is it about music, that’s so important that every human being on the planet, engages with music, on some level? Whether you are a performer or you’re just somebody who is listening. Whether you’re singing in the shower or tapping on the table to a song in your head. We all engage in the creation and listening and sharing of music. Why is that?

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Stimming

Hello, my zebras and spoonies. Thank you for coming and hanging out with me today. I am glad that you are here!

Today, I’m going to talk about some of the myths around stimming.

Well, first of all, what is stimming? Stimming is a self stimulatory behavior, and it is a sensation seeking that can ease feelings of anxiety, frustration and boredom. Some people find stimming pleasurable, or fun or relaxing.

The first myth that I want to address around stimming is that it is something that only neurodivergent people do. The truth is that stimming is something that every human being alive engages in to some degree, because stimming exists on a continuum, just like most of human behavior. Most people stim, at least some of the time. So, if you’re chewing on a pencil, biting your nails, tapping your fingers on a desk, twirling your hair around your finger, flattening out the wrinkles in your clothes etc. these things are stimming behaviors. They’re things that we engage in, when we’re bored or frustrated or anxious, and we all do it, you don’t have to be autistic or ADHD to be doing the whole stimming thing. That’s the first myth.

The second myth is that somehow stimming is harmful. It’s not 99% of the time. Stimming is just a repetitive behavior that humans engaged in that has a sense of familiarity and habituation that makes us feel comfortable and safe. It’s completely harmless, there’s no harm in drumming your fingers on the table unless you’re sitting next to somebody who will thump you for it. There are some kinds of stimming that can cause physical damage and these self injurious behaviors need to be addressed, but that is not stimming as a whole. I mean some people engage in nail biting to the point that it causes bleeding painful fingers. This is problematic. There are people who engage in skin picking, where they create wounds, and there are people who bang their head against a wall. All of these behaviors are self injurious. And that’s what’s problematic, not the fact that they’re stimming. So we really need to look at the behavior on a case by case basis and evaluate their behavior for itself and its own sake and ask, Is it causing harm for this individual and if it’s not, leave it alone, because we all do it.

In fact, most stimming behavior is largely ignored. I mean most people don’t think about it when somebody is smoothing over their hair or twirling a strand of hair with their finger. We don’t look at that and say, oh, this person is stimming and they’re anxious. But that’s probably exactly what’s going on. They’re anxious in this social interaction, and they’re engaging in this stimming behavior by twirling their hair around their finger, and it’s helping them deal with the anxiety of the social interaction that they’re currently engaging in. And it’s totally part of being human.

So those are my two myths that I wanted to bust. Is that stimming is part of being human, not part of being neurodivergent. And that stimming is harmful because it’s really not. There are some types of stimming that’s harmful, but it’s a really small minority. For the most part, stim on. And, hey, Get your relaxation and your comfort where they come.

Life Transitions

Hello my Zebras and Spoonies. Thank you for coming over and hanging out with me for a little while. I am really glad that you are here.

Something that we don’t tend to think of as a stressor in our lives is our life transitions. These are the times in our lives that we are having a role shift or a major change in the way that we are living. Some examples of these are marriage, the birth of a child, retiring, the death of a significant person in our life, a disabling accident, or having a chronic illness that develops to the point of disabling us, getting a new job, traveling to a new location, a new place of living, getting a new house or a new apartment, getting divorced, graduating from school (high school or college), empty nest syndrome, and many others. All of these are times in our lives where we change the roles that we’re playing. With that comes a shift in our identity and how we see ourselves.

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040120

I hope that you guys are finding things to keep you busy in this strange time of staying home. I myself am getting a little stir crazy, but am doing my best to keep my ADHD brain from exploding. 

For those of you that don’t know, I have bronchitis and because I am a nurse I have been swabbed for COVID-19. First, I am not in any kind of medical crisis. I have some mild shortness of breath and a bit of a cough. I get bronchitis almost every year and it is likely more of the same, but I have to be sure what’s going on before I can return to work. I am still waiting on the test results and have no idea when they will come back. The labs are pretty busy right now. Long invisible lines. 

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