to deal with mental health issues, you need to challenge yourself. you need to push through your anxiety and do the thing that scares you. you need to get up and do things, even if you're so depressed it all seems pointless. it'll be easier and less scary next time. maybe.
a sick brain needs to be stretched towards health.
what about a neurodivergent brain?
well, just doing the hard thing doesn't work. a thousand empty promises to be better, to try harder, made to get out of the office of every head teacher I've had? nothing. I don't know how to be "better", I just know I'm not good enough.
acceptance works better. if I accept the way I am, I can tinker around the edges. I can stick to one bag, attach my keys, oyster card and pen to it. I'm no "better", but as long as I have that bag I can communicate in an emergency and don't have to stress about lost keys. if I can learn what foods are still likely to be edible when my senses go apeshit, I have an option that isn't Live On Coke And Hope You Don't Break for conferences.
but that doesn't fix the big things. the things I don't want to accept.
living alone & unemployed, I would literally starve to death because I'd forget to feed myself. I don't have an eating disorder, there isn't an underlying drive to gain control or lose weight, I just won't reliably eat without being prompted.
I can't imagine ever getting a job. so much of that process is outside my control, and there will always be someone better. every tiny step in the application process is terrifying. just fill out the form and send us your CV that has nothing on it. write a cover letter that convinces us you're the best person for the job when you've got literally nothing to offer.
just pushing through the fear doesn't fix it. I'm not just scared, I'm confused. I don't know how to be better, I just know I'm not good enough. but accepting it is too much. accepting that I'm never going to get a job, while accepting that it's not safe to move out unless I have a job, means never moving out of my parent's house. never having a life where I can shut the door on my mum's endless chatter on the latest thing I wish she'd shut up about. never spending more than 1 night with my girlfriend. never having kids.
I can almost see them. my babies. I've wanted them longer than I can remember and was prepared for their inevitably wonky brains since before puberty. they don't exist, they might never exist, but I love them anyway.
I don't want to die, but I don't see a way forward.