Saturday, 19 July 2014

You can only do what you can do

Guess what I found jumbled up with my tax paperwork?  The sensory profile I had done a couple of years ago:
example of a sensory profile report
example of a sensory profile report
I'm going to hang onto it, and when I've got enough space for a big noticeboard, it's going up on it.  Not because I need to refer to it or because it has any particular sentimental value, but because it's a tangible, professional report that quantifies how my sensory processing differs from the norm. 

I keep it for the days when I feel down about my ability to get stuff done.  For the days when I wonder if I was just a bit smarter or worked a bit harder or tried another productivity technique or got up earlier or took different vitamins or got over myself, I'd be normal.

That's a thing that happens when your disability's invisible, I think, especially if like me you weren't diagnosed until adulthood.  When I was a kid the narrative I lived was that I was fairly bright and destined for a certain kind of life.  Then I grew up, and between Aspergers and depression that life didn't happen.  Bits of it did, and bits of it still might, but the overall narrative is very different.  And, irrational as I know it is, I feel I've rather let the side down.

That's where this thing comes in.  It's a reminder that I haven't just failed to launch, I'm not lazy or fussy and I'm not wasting my life.  I'm doing the best I can with what I have.  It's just that what I have is quite different from what most other people have, and different from what I thought I had when I set out on the journey.  At the first flat tyre, I opened the boot and instead of a wheel brace and a jack, I had an oud.

It's worth remembering that.  Because I still spend a lot of time blaming myself for not changing the tyre, even though I know I don't have the best set of tools for the job.