Creating Your Sanctuary


June 29, 2023 Katie Sanders Episode 119
Creating Your Sanctuary
Show Notes Transcript

You decide what you are comfortable calling yourself.

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00:00 Hi, this is Katie and thank you for joining me on the My Senses, My Space podcast. And this is a podcast about feeling the world intensely, creating time to support your needs, and planning your space and life to fit you.
00:16 And today I wanted to talk about terminology. And so, This is mainly connected to any kind of health or chronic illnesses or any kind of health experience that you're having.
00:31 Whether it's something that's diagnosed or yet to be diagnosed or something that you're experiencing, we have words for it. But it's also an evolution of those words.
00:44 So I am going to be speaking upon some of my experiences, but I would love to hear about yours as well.
00:53 So when I have been slowly coming to terms with my neurodiverse, I would love to hear about your neurodiverse. Thank you so much for watching and God bless you guys every day.
01:17 Bye. I mean growing up, I think kids feel different. Like there are things voters that I felt was like, why am I not fitting in?
01:33 Why am I taking more time to do this? Why am I more upset more often? Why? Do I want a more rigid schedule or something I can depend upon?
01:46 What are those things? And it wasn't until my like late twenties. I'm like, oh, highly sensitive. And I think that's probably when the book came out about being a highly sensitive person.
01:58 And so I think being in an evolution of or journey of discovery about yourself and finding words that more closely relate to your experience is important and going, oh, I can identify what's going on.
02:19 And you can step into like the labels of things. Like, do you want that label? And maybe I'll get into that a little bit more here, but there can be a lot of fear of labels, like being labeled as someone who has depression or who has autism or who has bipolar or something.
02:42 Thing can feel like, well, then you'll always have that label moving forward. And I think there's both side of thoughts, both sides of people can treat you differently because of those labels.
02:56 But those labels can also free you to getting more support. And. It depends on your community and your situation and your family and a lot of different factors.
03:10 There is like a fear of like, well, can I be hired at certain places if I have like, if my work knows that I have this chronic illness or depression.
03:21 These depressive episodes that I have bipolar or that I'm taking certain medications are there certain things here that they could deny me employment.
03:33 Even if it's like, yes, it should be equal opportunity employment, but you know, those times. It's so muddy that you can't prove that they're doing that.
03:48 But as what I've been experiencing with my son is like when he has his label of autism, he can then have his IEP and have support services from the school in, from other medical occupational therapies and things because of that diagnosis.
04:10 So, it's hard. Like, I don't have like an answer for that, but I know for you, you can make especially if you're, an adult and you don't have that diagnosis yet there are ways to self-diagnose.
04:27 I truly believe that a lot of when you're calling things disorders, you're saying that the way that many people's brains are wired is wrong, that kind of need to be fixed.
04:42 It's to when they don't. And so if we step away from the word disorder and into conditions, then you're coming into more acceptance of like, no, the people are differently wired and they think differently and there is nothing wrong with that.
05:00 There's nothing that needs to be fixed about that. Along with a myriad of other things that don't need to be fixed, right?
05:11 That who you are and who you no matter what kind of body you're being born into, that you are you and you are who you say you are.
05:21 Not what other people, say you are. So after kind of like having and that can come on a whole bunch of different spectrums, whether it's a gender spectrum or any other spectrums of where you are not wanting a label or you are stepping into a label.
05:42 That's entirely up to you. And that can be a process of going from like one side to another. So that's continuing on my perspective of like highly sensitive people.
05:54 Yes, that's kind of what I first identified with. But then as I did more and more research and looked at my own family.
06:02 And watch my son grow up. That was the biggest part was seeing how he was being diagnosed for these behaviors that I could relate to that maybe you know, that he was doing certain behaviors more than I ever did.
06:19 But I could see the similarities of going, oh. I'm on this kind of spectrum somewhere and then going, okay, my next label of acceptance for myself that I felt good about was neurodivergence.
06:32 I am neurodivergent and the way I'm thinking is very different from other people and it was, it came a lot with, I couldn't work in like a, an office setting very easily.
06:45 I went and started my own business, did my own head, web design clients and then into logo design and marketing and that kind of stuff that I could do on my own.
06:56 And realizing like not a lot of people, I mean a lot of people start their own businesses and I think a lot of people start their own businesses.
07:03 But a lot of entrepreneurs are no divergent. I think you have to have that trait of going no, I'm going to do this on my own.
07:14 I'm going to do structure this in a way that works for me in an office setting that I build and I do on my own.
07:22 And, It's a really interesting journey, right? So stepping into neurodiversity, but then what does that mean? Where am I along that spectrum or even along the, It's almost like this painted picture of like, Oh, are you in the upper left or upper right?
07:43 Does it even matter? That's the other whole part of this. Does this even matter that you have a label on you that you are using a certain terminology for what you're going through?
07:54 And I think for me, I wanted to pursue that more because I wanted to understand it more. Because I felt like my flavor, my internal flavor, of neurodivergency was different from other neurodivergent people I was coming across.
08:10 That I could think very, very quickly and jump around to different things. Yet there were certain things where I would feel very uncomfortable in, office settings or clothing or be particular about food or anything like that where, And then reading more up on how much ADHD and autism are very
08:38 , very similar. A lot of people think they're very different and very apart from one another but at their, actually very, very and often cases overlap in a person.
08:49 A lot of people are overlap or diagnosed with both. And I would not be surprised if my son is actually both.
09:00 It's again, I don't think people should be, measured in how much someone is of this or that. You're just like a recipe.
09:11 You're just like a mix of neurodivergencies and have needs that you need to support for that. So I know a lot of social media has taken off at least, the past five years, if not a bit more, with therapy speak and all of these things where we're diving deeper into looking at our needs, creating 
09:35 boundaries. And there can be, it can be very eye-opening and very like weight. I've never even considered this. I've been in therapy for a long time since I was 18, 17.
09:52 So I've been on and off. And so I knew that world very well and it was really encouraging at first to see that blossom over on social media with all these therapists going, okay, let me give you.
10:04 The really, really quick version of a lot of therapy concepts. But again, those are very, very quick versions of therapy concepts.
10:12 You're not digging in really deep and getting to know this one therapist and them getting to know you. They're just a sprinkling of these concepts.
10:21 It can be very eye opening and going, oh, that's what's going on. And then when you try to talk to other people with that same language, they might not know or understand because they're not watching the same things.
10:35 They don't understand what or could wrap their head around the intergenerational trauma that your family is. Experiencing the social trauma, the myriad of different things that our, our whole society has gone through, including the pandemic.
10:59 And I do think a lot of people took the pandemic to take some time and look at themselves. And so it, I think not only blossoming of a lot of therapy speak on social media, I think it was bolstered by the pandemic because everyone was sitting down and listening and watching things that they
11:21 didn't have time for before. And, So going, oh, well, maybe I could be these things. And I think a lot of people did self-diagnose themselves with things whether it's ADHD, whether it's autism, when any of these things, and it was up to them if they wanted to get an official diagnosis or not.
11:42 But I think they're all valid of going, wait, I do it. Experience all of these things. So, and then going through to me this last year, going through a lot of health issues and all my chronic health conditions on top of that, which are very common in the neurodivergent community, that and also gender
12:03 spectrum sexual. Well, the spectrum is very common in the neurodivergent communities. Then I had to, I couldn't self diagnose as much.
12:14 I had to go to experts and have them diagnose me because I can't see inside my body for a lot of these things.
12:21 And just recently going through I can't. A couple surgeries here and I was diagnosed with uterine cancer and had hysterectomy and I'm like sitting here two weeks post up in this whirlwind of this new label.
12:38 In terminology that I had no idea what was going on. I knew something was wrong from an ER visit about.
12:45 Four or five months ago, about five months ago now, I was just like something is seriously wrong. I've always had like horrible cramps and horrible cycles to experience and so I knew at the time I was labeled as, just accepted, it's normal.
13:08 In my twenties to late thirties, I finally got, oh this is PCOS, but it's clinical, it's not showing up on some tests.
13:19 But then when I had my first surgery about a month ago now, it, was definitely like, oh no, the PCOS is causing this condition and you need to have that out now.
13:33 So having those labels that terminology, now everything's very clinical, and now I'm stepping into this like, okay, these were hard diagnoses.
13:44 And then I got really lucky. They got it all. It was very small, but it was starting. And now I'm sitting here going, wow, this is quite the whirlwind of knowing something wasn't right and keeping and I kept pushing my doctor saying something is not right here.
14:04 And I could research. Which as much as I could, but I still was not stumbling across that. I didn't actually think it was that.
14:11 It was actually hyperplasia, which is a building up of the uterine lining too much. Like it wasn't all coming out.
14:18 And to me that's super surprising because I had such heavy periods. And so, Knowing having that information has been so eye-opening and grounding for me to know that I wasn't making it up, that because I'm highly sensitive and my pain threshold is much lower.
14:45 That I s- still had very valid pain and very valid conditions going on that were serious. And I had to keep pushing for that.
14:54 So, looping that around to you know, diagnosis of chronic health conditions plus, ADHD, which I have come around to as a self diagnosis for me.
15:15 I could pursue something more, but I, I feel like if I were to officially get that there are a lot of, ADHD can mainly be diagnosed with those who are born male, their characteristics of ADHD instead of female.
15:37 So sometimes a lot of females, or those assigned at birth as female, are misdiagnosed because they're basing it on those who are assigned male at birth, their experiences, which is that typical, they're really loud, they interrupt a lot, they run around, I never did that.
15:59 But the way my brain works and some of the troubles I was having completing things, My, not my current therapist, my previous one was like, are you sure you don't have a pain in your teeth?
16:13 Like, why don't you try, like, looking at some of these lists of things or try some quizzes online and I think she was about to like, hey, maybe I can diagnose this for you.
16:23 But I don't, for personally, for my body, I don't want to be on a lot of medications, not that I'm afraid of medications at all.
16:34 Like, I will take a medication if it will help me. If I was feeling depressed, I would go on an antidepressant and if I needed a certain medication for something, I will take it.
16:47 I thought when I was giving birth, I wanted to be in a hospital. I feel like myself. I don't feel like, like, all of this that I'm telling you right now is off the top of my head.
17:12 I have a very loose list of words here that I'm going off of, but all of this is just coming from my brain, and I love that about me.
17:21 I love that I can sit here and talk about all of this. So I don't want to change that. And, but if I was having trouble focusing and if I had trouble with like, if I wasn't feeling like myself, we're wanting to feel different going, ugh, this just doesn't feel right in my heart and my brain
17:44 , then I would. I would seek out medication. Along with other things that can help too, like going out for walks in nature, I, is such a huge thing for people who are neurodivergent to take in their surroundings, to look at all the colors and textures around them and have that kind of.
18:07 Time to kind of tune out some things, right? Because we can be like overloaded with a lot of things. So I guess what I'm kind of coming around to through this whole talk is there is a point where you do accept a lot of like, okay, well I may have called it one thing at the beginning.
18:27 But through my journey, I got more and more specific about what was happening in my body, which then led me to an acceptance of self to accept that, you know, this is the body I'm living in.
18:41 It is having trouble with things and it's also flourishing with things. So, This is a journey you're meant to have.
19:10 I don't feel like anyone should be forcing labels on you unless you're in a health crisis and you need to take care of yourself like this last month for me.
19:20 Having that label first of precancerous to cancer was like I'm still trying to rep- my brain around it to then it being gone.
19:32 Like, I, I, I'm, again, therapy is wonderful for these things, but to have those, to have the knowledge, to have the good, to the.
19:48 I guess have the facts. That's what grounds me. And going, okay, this is who I am. This is where I'm at.
19:56 This is what I'm dealing with. To me, that all brings acceptance. Because if I'm using fuzzy words for it, I'm like, okay, I'm just feeling kind of sad.
20:10 And it could be cultural as well. There are certain cultures who do not like to say like the word depression or trauma or certain things.
20:20 They'll like, they're like, we don't call it that. But we call it other things that can still lead to going to the dark.
20:30 And it's not a fix. For everything, we can't just go out there and find a fix for something, but sometimes you can get the support that you need.
21:00 So I guess that's a roundabout way of me trying to end this. Again, these podcasts this year are a lot more informal.
21:08 And these last ones have been a little bit longer because I've had more space in between, but it was because I was in multiple surgeries and trying to take care of myself.
21:19 And now that I have this information, I can go forward to the next information to have the. These exact terminologies to use with my future doctors because I have other chronic illnesses and also my PCOS to support as I'm moving forward.
21:40 Just without a uterus. So, but that's my acceptance journey. Now I'm accepting where I'm at right now. And it'll be very interesting to see where I'm.
21:49 Accepting myself in a year from now. So I hope that helps. If you want to share anything yourself, you're welcome to email me or connect with me on social media.
22:01 So those links are in the description and I hope you have an absolutely wonderful week and it might be. Every other week for a little while here, but I'm getting back to things.
22:12 So until next time, thank you for joining me on the My Senses, My Space podcast.