Embracing Neurodiversity: A Therapist, Mother, and Bipolar Individual's Journey of Self-Discovery After an Impulsive Splurge

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The Rollercoaster of Bipolar Mood Swings

Navigating the mood changes that come with bipolar disorder is always a journey. Each twist and turn reveals new insights about myself and how I function in the world. 

Recently, I've gained a deeper understanding of how my neurodivergent thinking (many signs pointing to ADHD) influences my actions, especially the impulsive decisions I sometimes make.

(a tired Mama riding the waves of post-concert joy)

The Concert Dilemma: A Prelude to Self-Discovery

I live for concerts, although they've become a rarity since becoming a parent. 

Yet, the anticipation for a big show was STRONG.

Despite the financial strain, I had bought tickets long ago. But as the day approached, shame began to creep in. The fear of disappointing my loved ones weighed heavily on me, a familiar sensation due to Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria (RSD).

Turning Shame into Opportunity

In comes that intense feeling of shame. Instead of succumbing to shame's urge to bury it all away, I’ve decided to reframe the experience and do the opposite. 

I choose to share my insights from the concert, my first concert truly unmasked, embracing and learning from my vulnerability.

The Regulating Power of Music

For me, live music transcends mere entertainment; it's a form of healing. The sensory experience of sound, bass vibrations, and lights helps regulate my emotions.

 Air drumming for two hours straight seemed to get me out of the rut of everyday stressors built up over the past months. Wait—this has to be stimming. It was self-soothing as hell.

Few will bat an eye at your need to thrash your limbs about without restraint at a metal concert.

I now aim to push my limits by exploring how it feels to stim authentically, mask aside, in an everyday setting (trying it out as I write this in a coffee shop). 

Music as a Spiritual Connection

Beyond its sensory appeal, live music fits on a spiritual spectrum for me.

Being someone familiar with years of suicidal ideation, I cherish the shared experience and deeper meaning found with others there for the same purpose. It makes for an authentic life worth living to the fullest. 

Strengthening Relationships Through Curiosity

Attending the concert with my partner allowed me to reconnect beyond the hustle of parenthood. We needed to update our friendship, and the occasional gift exchange as “friends” on Pokemon Go wasn’t cutting it. 

We needed to update our lovemap (the room in your brain where you store all the info about your partner and what’s happening in their life). 

Delving into each other's interests and understanding the unique way our brains worked deepened our friendship and strengthened our bond. It came down to being curious and excited about the smaller details. 

Balancing Needs and Urges

On one end, there was an urge to spend. On the other end, there was an unmet need.

The need to reset and refresh. 

To be in a space where you are in a singular experience, outside of the forcefield of attachment and guard of your child.

A space where you can explore within. 

Rather than having this unmet need build-up to the point where I'm craving this grand, immersive experience again, I'm figuring out how this need can be filled with healthy, totally doable, near-daily activities in my life. 

Filling your cup is a true balancing act, but I believe you’ve got what it takes to figure it out. 

Conclusion: Live music means a lot to me. It tends to my sensory, novelty, social, and spiritual needs. 

This experience was more than just a "wreckless, stupid, selfish decision", as I first framed it. It turned out to be a cool learning experience. 

Each experience, whether impulsive or deliberate, contributes to my growth. 

If you've made it this far and tend to hyperfocus on exploring similar topics of parenthood, self-exploration, and neurodivergent identity, consider signing up for my monthly newsletter, where I share insights, brain hacks, prompts for reflection, and other oddities that will take up space in my brain at the time. 

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