Living Outside The Box

Hello everyone!

Sorry I’ve been so quiet recently; I’ve been writing my ADHD-related children’s book and this has taken up most of my free time!

Last night I was thinking about boxes. It isn’t strange for someone with ADHD to think of random things, but for me, there was definitely a reason for this particular series of interconnected cerebral images.

Note on the ‘box’: The box here is purely metaphorical – I am not suggesting anybody actually lives in a box!

I know I have a box. I was born with one like everybody is. Most people know their boxes very well and enjoy spending time inside. They’re comfortable and familiar, with everything needed to sustain life. Of course, people can climb out of their boxes, but for many, the human desire is to stay inside, living a wonderful life nurtured by the familiarity of existing in a largely neuro-typical world.

I’ve never seen my box. I probably caught sight of it once when I was in the perplexing state of heightened awareness between being awake and asleep, but I have never climbed inside. My box is just as comfortable as anybody else’s and it is also filled with everything needed to sustain a living, breathing human, however, my brain doesn’t want to live inside its box and she fights against the concept everyday. Outside the box, it is dangerous. The unprotected extremity is a confusing place and the enigma of reality weaves its inconceivable threads through a fascinating, yet terrifying universe. When not in the comfort of that box, thoughts quickly become reality and illusions become the tangible which stitches life into the tapestry of the universe.

Inside their boxes, people live happy lives, sustained by dopamine and fuelled by the desire to be human. They are wonderfully joyful, beautifully content and largely unaware of what exists outside. Some may venture out to watch the star cascades leap in vivid rainbows across the sky, but life, love and humanity always encourages them back inside.

My mind is different. Watching the universe unfolding its blanket of stars across a fiery ochre sunset sustains my hungry brain. The supernova of ideas which is formed in the embryo of a new thought releases the sustenance of life and keeps me outside, leaping through grassy meadows which smell like perfect petrichor, watching the ribbon like galaxies snake through the velvety blackness. My eyes are quasars of mystery, never fully comprehending, but always asking. Never-ending, the chain of chaotic connection glues together the implausible, yet tangible, universe.

Every morning, I wake up with a million questions, held on my extroverted tongue like popping candy, ready to explode with the hyperactive energy that characterises my mind. The patterns outside the box keep me enthralled, forever creating and always ready to explore any new mysteries which pop up in my mind like pearlescent bubbles of wonder.

Those who have their boxes are content and, even though they may not be able to see what’s outside, are blessed to be able to survive inside. I often wonder about my box and go searching for it, but, so far, I have been unsuccessful.

Some days I watch the universe with those around me, catching magic in outstretched palms, fuelled only by laughter and linked ideas which skydive from multicoloured minds and, occasionally, light a hot air balloon of inspiration to float up in the supernova sky. Our minds link and our ideas are a chain of creativity, spreading round the universe like a ribbon of imagination. Together, we speak of forgotten mysteries and peculiar paradoxes and our minds create the lightning bolts of inspiration which paint golden glitter on the blanket sky.

Other days, people open their boxes and watch the universe with us. Their minds are filled with the same colours we see everyday and we witness wonder on their perplexed faces. However, when they return to their lives, we continue to watch the world outside, enthralled by the magic and fuelled by the unpredictable world which terrifies us, yet sustains us.

Published by Chestnut ADHD

Hello, I’m Annabel and my mind is like a galaxy. Diagnosed with ADHD during lockdown, since then I have made it my mission to inspire other ADHDers to see the positives of living with a ‘galaxy brain’ and educate people about what it is like living with ADHD. I run my own tutoring and coaching business, helping many children with ADHD and dyslexia, and have always been an avid amateur writer and artist. Recently, I have written a children’s book which highlights the positives of ADHD: ‘Hadie & Adah’ and I will continue to promote my drawings and blog posts – focusing on positivity and creativity – in future. I truly am proud of my galaxy mind!

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