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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The Role of the ED in Managing Chronic Illness

Hello, my zebras and spoonies How are you today, I’m super glad that you’re here hanging out with me. So today I want to talk about the ED: its role and relationship with those of us that have chronic illness.

I frequently hear people talking about their experiences in the ED. There is a distinct dissatisfaction amongst the chronic illness community in the way that the ED handles our cases. I wanted to talk about some of the reasons that this happens, and maybe talk about what we as patients could be doing to maybe improve that relationship and to maybe avoid the ED.

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Is ADHD a Super Power?

Hello May zebras and spoonies. Thank you for coming in and visiting and hanging out with me today. I’m glad that your hare. Yeah.

All right, so today I’m going to talk about ADHD again, still, some more. One of the things that people often talk about is ADHD is a superpower. Yeah, I don’t buy into that. I personally don’t feel like my ADHD is superpower. A lot of my ADHD stuff makes me a hot mess. I mean, there are days that I sit here and I think to myself, “Am I really an adult?” because I don’t feel like I’m doing these things right. Let’s just be honest having difficulty paying attention and being impulsive and having dysregulation of your emotions is hard and it can be messy. It can make life complicated, and it just can make everything else in your life so much harder.

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Broken, scattered pieces

Laying strewn across the floor

Something missing and lost forever

I cannot no longer see my future

Or the person I was becoming

Now, I’m undone and something else

I am this diagnosis

This label that owns me

Stealing everything I imagined I’d become

And rewriting me without my consent

As my body cracks and crumbles

My hope turns to dust

Leaving me here to stare at my mortality in the mirror

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.

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It could be worse

But I wish it was something better

Burning pain

Branding me, scarring me, breaking me

In all the places you cannot see

I walk through the crowd

A spector of suffering unrecognized

Looking the same as those around me

And I wonder if they feel the same

Bitter, iron bars caging around me

Biting down into my bones

Seeping into the fundamental programming

Forever altering who I am

I clutch upon the thing with feathers

That perches precariously in my soul

I wish I could hear it sing

Letting the little bird go

I watch it fly away, fly away

And with a fragile voice

Begin to sing

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Be like the tree.
Set your feet firmly upon the ground
so that you might have a solid foundation to build yourself.
Reach your arms up to the sky
so that you may be inspired by the sun.
Drink of the inner waters and of the sunlight
so that you may know joy.
Feel the winds of the world around you
so that you might free you soul.
And like the tree,
know the eternal satisfaction
in the simple state of being within the now.

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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