Why is it so hard to make a couple of simple phone calls? Oh yeah... #ActuallyAutistic
Because tweeting about it helped me lay out the steps, I made the two phone calls. Unfortunately I had to leave a voicemail for one, which means they’ll call back and terrify me.
“Why don’t you just do the thing?”

Because I can’t mentally put together the steps to make that thing happen.

“Just do it”

I’m trying, but I keep forgetting how.

“Stop making excuses”

I’m making a plea for help.
For neurotypical people, completing a task is linear and straightforward: ‘If I do this, then I feel better.’

For autistic and adhd people like myself, it’s complicated.
Executive dysfunction gives me a billion different ways of completing a task, with lots of random thoughts thrown in.

By the end of the day my house is a mess but I’ve learned to sew ice cream hats for stray cats and... oh crap I forgot to do the thing.
Executive dysfunction gives me an infinite amount of great ideas, with no way to string them together.
Most people can put things out of their mind once they’re completed, but not me.

They go out of my mind before they’re completed and pop back in afterwards when I need to be focusing on something else.
Whenever I see something that triggers a thought, my mental process reboots and loops until it gets back on track. This is why my house can’t have any clutter.
I was originally diagnosed with only ADHD since autism diagnoses were rare in the 80’s and 90’s, but was diagnosed with autism last year.

Unfortunately, the ADHD meds that work wonders for so many people are unreliable and mostly ineffective for me.
One good thing about executive dysfunction, however, is that my mind produces novel and creative solutions that would never be considered by a neurotypical mind.

As Adrian Monk said, “It’s a gift... and a curse.”
The trick is to grab onto those brief moments of hyperfocus and insight and hold on for dear life until I crash.

If I can hyperfocus on a tweetstorm, I should embrace it.

If I can hyperfocus on drawing comics, great!

If I can hyperfocus on housework, then no harm done.
For most people, procrastination is a dry spell. For me, it’s fertile ground.

I do best when I follow my hyperfocus first thing, and do the boring stuff after I’ve gotten wound up.

Otherwise I spin my wheels and stall, trying to find traction.
Another thing about executive dysfunction is that I don’t feel any sense of accomplishment when my tasks are complete.

That is often seen as a weakness for autistics or ADHD-ers, because it keeps us from doing things deemed important.
But our lack of motivation can be an asset. It means that we have to find new and exciting ways to challenge our brains.

If you can embrace your hyperfocus and ride the wave, executive dysfunction allows you to go with the flow.

It can take you anywhere!
For example, this all started with me whining about how hard it is to make phone calls.

But then hyperfocus set in. I kept adding tweets to describe my experience with executive dysfunction.

Now I have a resource to help me in the future.
So a reminder to myself and anyone else with executive dysfunction:

The next time you feel ‘stuck’, cut yourself some slack. Your brain works differently and it can only function when in hyperfocus.

Find your hyperfocus for the day and branch out to other tasks when ready.
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