Navigating My Neurodivergence

Navigating My Neurodivergence

The start of a new job, is an exciting and nerve-wracking time for almost everyone. While most people are excited to start their new line of work, it also comes with a lot of changes: new schedule, responsibilities, people, etc. For many, all these changes can be scary and cause lots of stress. At least that is the case for me. While anxiety is an everyday obstacle in my life, it is significantly worse before I start a new job. I have dealt with this in every job change I have had, and I have had a lot of job changes. It is an annoyance, but at this point in my life I know it will fade out as I get comfortable in my new position and with the people. What is most difficult about starting a new job to me is the interruption in my routine.
Recently, I got a new job. I was slightly anxious before starting, mostly because of my new coworkers, but overall, I was feeling pretty good. Starting it, however, was another story. Coming from being unemployed, with a plethora of free time, it felt like an atomic bomb had been thrown onto my life.
Before getting this job, my responsibilities were limited, ranging from 2-3 hours of things to do per day. The rest of the time was mine. I did not make productive use of this time, but it was mine. Then suddenly a new job is thrown in and that time disappears. I still have the other responsibilities, so the only time that is being interrupted is my own. And while this time is not the most productive, I do rely on having this personal time to get me through the day because without it I get scattered.
This is a sensation I have felt my entire life, one that is not new to me, but before recently I had no idea what could be causing it. In 2021, I was diagnosed with ADHD. After this diagnosis, things about myself began making sense to me. One of these things was that period of being scattered. I thought it felt amazing having an answer to why I felt these things, and to understand myself more completely. I thought having this diagnosis would help me through this time period in starting a new job, and it did at the first couple of jobs I got after.
This time felt different though. I do not know exactly what the cause of it was, maybe this job is less amenable to some of the consequences of my neurodivergence or maybe I am just in a different period of my life now than I was at the start of my previous job. What I do know is at the start of this job, my life felt as if it was going to fall apart. I could not remember anything or get anywhere on time, and every step I took just seemed to mess me up more. I still don’t know exactly how I get out of those periods, and quite frankly I am still more scattered and forgetful than usual, but I know I will adjust.

Jilly Wainer

About the Author

Jilly Wainer is a writer with her Bachelor’s in Political Science.  She received her diagnosis as an adult, but it was not a surprise as she always felt different from her peers. 

She has always been driven by her curiosity and empathy, so after her diagnosis working to make the world more inclusive and accepting seemed like a no-brainer.

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