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This Working Life: Autism, ADHD, Complex PTSD and Getting Stuff Done.

November 10, 2021

I’ve struggled my whole life to understand why, in spite of my love of learning, doing and investigating, I get lost, stuck in a loop, overwhelmed or frozen all the time! It happens when I embark on a course, take on new projects at work, join a club or group and even when I sit down to ‘switch off’ with a movie or book. I just can’t seem to get the balance right, enjoy one thing at a time or participate on a piece-by-piece basis.

While this has been a constant struggle for me in my home and working life, I must take a moment to acknowledge just how far I’ve come and how much I’ve acheived both in spite of and because of this. This blog being a part of what I’d classify ‘my success’ in the broadest sense of the word.

In the business world, the ADHD tag often gets linked with behaviour that could be judged to be ‘immature’ or lacking discipline: impulsivity, flakiness, being a bit all-over-the-place or unpredictable. Being Autistic in business enjoys some slightly more positive stereotypes but they don’t quite compensate for the quiet ‘othering’ and weirdness that surrounds people like us. Our tendency to come across as socially awkward may make us seem eccentric, aloof, shy or disinterested while our amazing pattern seeking brains can see us as curiosities or have us framed as deep but narrow thinkers (the boffin or brain in the corner) but people who you wouldn’t want as part of your leadership team – who don’t often have anything ‘real world’ or practical to offer. The complex PTSD is a hard one – In business we should be able to ‘fake it until we make it’, show up as our strong, armoured self. But complex PTSD can rob us of our ability to know who we really are and make this game of ‘putting on our business self’ a real cognitive struggle – it may even trigger our trauma to do so.

The long and the short of it for me is I’m ready to get this part of me cleansed and treated. I’m sharing this video on here as the dysfunctionality I talk about helps explain what makes me both brilliant and chaotic, productive and stuck, creative and predictable.

I hope that in sharing this I can do my bit to normalise conversations around mental health in the workplace, help my readers understand how my brain works and where I might take this working life adventure in future!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 11, 2021 12:35 am

    I am glad you have shared this blog and it’s great to see you doing well. I am on the autistic spectrum as well!

  2. Mary permalink
    November 13, 2021 1:30 am

    I love your openness and honesty–thanks for sharing and shedding a light. The world needs all kinds of people. Viva la difference!

  3. November 15, 2021 9:13 am

    It has taken me years to face the fact that I have ADHD and have suffered a lot of struggles…it is sometimes so frustrating.

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