Nonverbal Learning Disability. It’s also known as Nonverbal Learning Disorder, and I think that would be my preference if I had to pick between the two because I feel like it better describes what’s going on in my head.
They say the worst battles happen inside your own mind, and they’re not wrong. It’s chaotic up here and there’s so much going on and my thoughts are being pulled in so many different directions. It’s like having an atomic bomb go off in my head all the time and my thoughts are the mushroom cloud. I have so much to say – if only I could figure out what to say first. I’m trying to find something to help it, but things are so unfocused and without the proper stimulation, most of my thoughts just seem to slip away. Everything feels very linear to me, but it can be hard to find a point to connect to.
It really helps me to think about what I remember about you, so why don’t you tell me something about yourself. Or if we’re friends already, what’s new? Over time, I’ve discovered that music provides me with a kind of structure and calm to help organize myself. Noise in general can be very stimulating to me – listening to people in a group conversation or something like the TV playing in the background. Be careful it’s not too loud though, otherwise it might be overwhelming and too much to process. After awhile I might have enough information to have a one on one conversation with you. I’m always happy with myself when I can get to that point.
It’s more than talking to people that I struggle with. Sometimes the disorder going on inside me can make it look like I’m lost because I have a bunch of things I need to do, but I can’t decide which one I should do first. In those instances, I’ve found it very helpful to make a list on my phone so I don’t have to try to remember everything. If I miss a step, I’m very critical of myself and if I have to go back and redo something, I’m laser focused and I won’t forget again.
Transitions have always been a struggle for me, whether we’re talking about getting things done or talking to people. It’s better for me if I can focus on one thing without trying to juggle a bunch of other tasks at the same time. Don’t even think about asking me to be social and work at the same time because I find it so hard to talk to people while I’m working. To do my best, I need you to leave me alone so I can be 100% focused on my job. To some people that probably makes me seem antisocial, but I don’t care because I’m not trying to make friends while I’m working. The things people talk about on the job are boring to me anyway.
Contrary to what most people believe, life moves pretty slowly and not a lot has changed since the last time I wrote one of these. I’m still writing because people seem to like reading them, so hopefully I don’t run out of things to talk about.