I’ve always wanted to write. And at about 9 years old I wrote something that was considered amazing by teachers etc, I was identified as gifted. For the rest of my school career I usually wrote at an above average level with occasional flashes of brilliance.
But I could never write at any length. If really inspired I could write up to 500 words. I could write silly poems and silly songs. If I tried to write anything, not just creative writing University level science papers, I became confused and overwhelmed. It felt like the thoughts moved too quickly.
About here I might mention, or restate, that I have a weird way of reading that takes in chunks at a time.
So I considered voice recognition software and other methods to try to speed up the recording of my ideas. I tried a voice recorder but I have never done particularly well at transcribing auditory information. I can do it but first it makes my head hurt and then it makes my vision swim, not conducive to writing or typing.
My husband and I create stories together, I created stories & songs for our kids, and my mother regularly complained that I was wasting my talents not writing professionally. I wrote social stories and pamphlets on Autism and things my children were interested in. I couldn’t write a speech but I could give one; unfortunately not a lot of people have ever wanted me to.
Meanwhile I was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and after years of not qualifying the government brought in the National Disability Insurance Scheme and after a year of not being accepted I was accepted. And I was given 10 sessions with a psychologist.
This brilliant lady Rikki Ambrosius suggested as seemed to have a good grasp of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy perhaps like other autistic people my anxiety was subconscious. I couldn’t get a chance to use CBT because my anxiety started in my limbic system and before I could recognize my anxiety consciously I was already having debilitating pschosomatic symptoms; oh and I have some really nasty/gross psychosomatic reactions.
So she suggested something that I had learned about 28 years ago when I started university; Biofeedback. The type she wanted to use is called neurofeedback; it involves ECG (electro encephlagraph). There is no electrical shock involved; my mother watched Electro Shock Therapy make my father a lot worse so she has never allowed them to do that to me. The graph is used to map different types of brainwaves then the subconscious is encouraged to reduce anxiety brain waves & increase alpha (good) waves. Apparently I also have deep sleep waves while I’m awake, it’s an autistic thing (not common but not rare complication of autism), probably why I fall asleep when stressed. The reward is the uncovering piece by piece of beautiful photographs (animals, flowers, landscapes, etc.). There might be others but that’s the game we play.
So I started to feel the difference really quickly. Less anxiety, less fatigue, less irritable; it was great. It worked better and faster than I’d expected and I was happy. But I didn’t realize the true gift I’d been given.
On Mother’s Day this year (May) I was sitting at my mother in laws table while my kids were temporarily occupied and I started to think about the funny things that had happened that day. I remembered that my mother always complained because I didn’t write these ideas down, several times I had just jotted down some notes just to placate her that I was still trying. I grabbed my ‘To Do List’ pad out of my bag and started to make notes. Over the next 2 & 1/2 hours while we had cake, chatted to my family, went home had gifts & afternoon tea with my Mum, I wrote whenever I wasn’t occupied, I/2 an hour semi uninterrupted; pets & kids, I had finished over 6000 words. I typed them up, tweaked them a few times let family read & critique, what had I done. My 2nd eldest had joined a Writer’s Circle; Grandma took her while I was at Neurofeedback actually, and they had both been pushing me to go with them. I went on a week we had to change the appointment time and I was hooked, a few weeks later Rikki changed the appointment time because she was so happy I had found writing. Later I found myself writing poems and sharing them with my family when bad things happened; normally I played electronic games so obsessively that I blocked out my family and gave myself minor injuries; carpel tunnel, burst blisters on my fingers etc.
I can write perhaps not literature, but I am now capable of translating some of the ideas dancing through my head onto paper.
So please be kind; I have basically been writing for 3 months. I am a novice, and an extremely enthusiastic and pent up writer to boot. Tell me what you like and what you don’t, I need to learn and despite the authoritative tone to my words I am unable to edit/critique my own work.
To reiterate the important points; teach me how to write even though I sound bossy I’ll listen. And if you have any anxiety, depression or autistic problems ask about Neurofeedback, not dangerous, not invasive & it works. But for some people medical professionals will know. And keep the faith or at least listen to your Mother, all those years I put off my dream but I never killed it!