Daniel Oliver’s Neurodiversity Writing Retreat to the prompt word of neurotypical.

Today I am feeling full of nerves, like my body is fizzing, like the stress is bubbling over – I can’t pinpoint the reason or where it is coming from in my body – the virus news or the fact I have pages and pages of marking to do & that my articulations are too long and hard work to make sense of. 

My head, my nasal passage, my navel, my back passage all inflamed and not thinking straight – I’d like to be less nervous or less gibberish – but waiting for the effervescing to leave or wear itself out. Whatever, my body has an agenda.

Which strand of non-typical does the iterations come from, I’m told I romanticise difficult issues and talk viscerally or visually – in art is that not a skill? Writing works best for me when it flows – today is barred from that ease. Constantly looking for something to put right or waiting to be put right, not quite in control, drunk without the alcohol, feeling fallout I can’t quite touch. High on unrooted nerves. 

Making the work because I felt I couldn’t articulate what I wanted to say or form sentences – or even engage an audible voice. Relying on facial expression or a poker face, to get into where the crowd was and then still not quite fitting. Literally having the opposite thought to the rest of the class and self-marginalising. 

Not being able to tell the difference between a word, a thought, a body or a being. All amplified as colour or an electric nerve pain, or both clouded and sharp.  Still trying to shift the right bit into focus, the bit I want you to see. Could it be something about learning to hide yourself and then becoming scared of your reflection.