Blaming my autistic ADHD self for something I can't control

issue/87

hello friend

I’m Pete Carr. I'm a photographer and this isn't a photography newsletter. This is a form of "Rubber Duck Debugging". Writing helps me process thoughts and work through problems. So I write to my computer about issues relating to mental health and being autistic. I then share it with you fine folk. There's nice photos too. 🖖


hello computer

This week's photographs are from a very hot day in Amsterdam, 2015. A very hot day. Maybe not as hot as the UK recently but close enough. We went for a wander and then a sit by the canal with a beer. 

You can get prints of the photos in this weeks newsletter on my print store or you can tip me on Ko-Fi so I can buy film for my camera.

hello there

Sorry this is late. (Super late as Substack never sent it last week. Arg!) My life has been taken over by a sudden infestation of cat fleas in our house. We, wrongly, assumed that indoor cats are immune to such things. Yet some how here we are. Both cats have them. Only 10% of the fleas are on the cats. The rest are in the house. It would be more accurate to say our house in infected. Every waking minute is now spent clearing, decluttering and cleaning. Have you ever wanted to do the deepest clean of your house in 30+ degree heat? I do not recommend it. 

I'm a zombie by lunch time because I've made so many decisions on what to keep and what to bin that I can't process information any more. We're doing a Marie Kondo speed run. Items I've been meaning to sort are instantly gone. "This? Bin." In some ways it's quite cathartic frantically decluttering instead of slowly binning things when you have nothing better to do. It sharpens your thoughts like driving on the edge of a cliff. 100% focus. The house looks amazing. We're doing good but we need to vacuum the entire thing every day. Not a casual once over. A deep long back breaking vacuum each day that results in incredibly painful palms muscles for some reason. 

Thing is I blame myself. Do we have any evidence that I somehow caused this? No but I blame myself. I blame my undiagnosed ADHD for distracting me from, squirrel, those little tasks I should get done but somehow don't even notice they exist. I blame myself for not having an official diagnosis that could have given me medication to help manage ADHD so maybe I could have avoided this. It could be being autistic just as much as ADHD though. I blame Venn diagrams. I'd have a clear understanding of my issues if it wasn't for Venn diagrams causing overlap. shakes fist at sky It's probably general executive function disorder. Neurotypical people will pay the bills, brush their teeth, remember to eat and such. I forget. I forget those things. I forget to put something away. It's only a few weeks later when you're tripping over 30 different things that you notice there's a lot of stuff on the floor. Somehow you never notice it until you do and it's shocking. I unfortunately have the same issue with email. I spend about 2 weeks remembering that I must reply to something to find its actually been 6 months and too late. Oh I use to do apps. They nudge me and I am aware of the nudging but then squirrel

Being aware of these issues makes me feel guilty for not managing them better. This issue is just one of those random things that happens though. Flea eggs lie dormant for up to a year so this could have been the workmen who redid our kitchen floor or the ... ok so not many people have been in our house over the past year so it probably was me. I will blame myself but I shouldn't. If I was an awesome sauce neurotypical person with everything going for them a single flea could just as easily land on them and screw up their world. Yet here we are. Somehow my mind tells me I failed and that's just depression rearing its ugly hideous bum hole it calls a face to taunt me. It loves stressful times like this where it can worm its way into my thoughts and attack me when my energy is low. Piss off depression! No-one likes you. Thankfully I don't have time to listen to it. I have vacuuming to do. So much vacuuming. 

How can this all be avoided in the future? It's impossible to avoid a flea getting into my house. So I'm not going to go to extreme lengths to prevent that. Can I be tidier? Maybe? Have you ever tidied your desk only to find it a mess a week later like someone came in and put a load of stuff all over it? I can happily say I will be tidier but evidence shows that I won't. I can add it to my to do app but will I actually to do it? I guess knowing that these issues exist will help figure out workarounds over time. Maybe I need my to do app to nag me more? Disable social media and web access until I've vacuumed?

Sorry this is later than my normal lateness. It has been a week that is turning into a month and possibly the rest of the year. At least it's safe to go outside again right? Right? 

Stay safe 💜

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“Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous.” Christopher Pike, Captain USS Discovery.

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I'm streaming photography in various forms on Twitch.tv/petecarr. Stream schedule is Tues/Wed/Fri at 7:30PM GMT and Monday at 2PM GMT. Photography focused but accessible. Friday is a look at art events I've photographed. You can also ask me about autism and there's cat cam too.

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