ABOUT THE BLOG
Whitepaper - [wʌɪtpeɪpə] - (noun) a report or guide that informs readers concisely about a complex issue and presents the issuing body's philosophy on the matter. Designed to help readers understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision.
Journal - [ˈdʒəːn(ə)l] – (noun) a daily record of news and events of a personal nature; a diary.
I have always kept a book nearby. I wouldn't really call them diaries because that would imply a sense of structure or a daily routine that I have just never had. But I do like to have something to hand that I can throw my mind at. And I do mean throw. The books are an unsystematic and impulsive reflection of my perception of the world around me. I have always hoped that seeing my thoughts written down might one day help me make sense of them.
Over the years, I must have started over a hundred books like this or more. But I have never finished one and only a handful have survived the onslaught of time. Most of them have been lost, scattered to the wind, or fed into a fire. The ones I have kept hold more blank pages than clever insights. But they do serve a purpose. They function like a scrapbook, a sort of mental scrapyard where I have left pieces of myself in the hope I might one day come back and remember. Where I might try to understand.
The books have been nagging at me for a while now. Over the years they have followed me from house to house. I have dragged them from country to country where they have sat on countless shelves, seen the insides of many a rucksack and cardboard boxes. But recently they have become quite noisy, collectively daring me to pull them down off their shelves and open them up. Something I have never done before. They have been dead weights, silent memories. Until now.
Opening up these diaries has felt like reaching into a world where I can actually see my past. It has been painful, awkward, sometimes embarrassing, enlightening, intriguing, and often surprising. Sometimes reading them has felt like having a conversation with myself. Other times I'm a complete stranger. Then I'll read someone who is so focused on a subject it was almost frightening. By coincidence, pulling these books off the shelves where they have been hiding in plain sight for years coincided with my adult diagnosis for AS, AD&HD, ODD, PDA, ABD, EFD & Bi Polarity at the age of 42. More on the acronyms later, but in short, I'm Neuro Diverse. In fact, I'm so on the spectrum I'm nearly falling off the edge of it.
I am not typical of someone on the spectrum. I don't fit many of the stereotypes, and the ones I do fit I'm particularly good at hiding. And unlike a lot of Neuro Divergents, I am not very good with routines (which may explain the chaotic nature of my journals). In fact, these diaries work like a metaphor, a physical analogy, for the abstract and fragmented way in which my mind works. Inside my head, things are incoherent. And in these books, there are lines written over lines over lines and words on top of words which is how it sounds in my ever reverberating skull. There's so much happening at any one time it's hard to make any sense of it, or at least it's harder, really hard, to find a beginning or an ending.
My diaries put a kind of magnifying glass on this way of thinking. They are a reflection of the fragmentation and hyper-focus I live with as well as a look at my tendencies towards defiance and deviation. The actual books are intense for me to even look at. The writing is sometimes carved into the pages highlighting my frustrations, anger, and frequent bouts of drink and drug abuse I have endured over the years. Sometimes sentences, even whole verses are boldly and repeatedly screamed over a page just one word at a time. The next page will they will be succinctly stabbed into the paper, each letter tiny, precise, and accurate. They can be as delicate as they can be aggressive.
The writing trades mostly in highly detailed snapshots and seemingly random observations of moments in my life. The books span decades, often with years missing between entries. In them, I cover all five continents as I walk through dozens of countries trying to understand why I was experiencing the world differently from those I met along the way.
There is plenty in them that is incomprehensible to me now, the causes of my frustrations and the expression have subsided over time. But it's not all anger and confusion. There are some moments of real enlightenment. It might just be a few lines but they can portray a deft amount of detail and focus. Sometimes what I read feels too profound or insightful to be my own words. This is particularly noticeable when a book covers moments in my life that centred around my passions or times in which I found myself surrounded by people that I loved and admired.
Each book I pulled off the shelves reflected and pre- told my diagnosis in some small way. They have been portals in which I can see my past through new eyes and with new understanding. I wish I had written more and I hope one day I will find a secret cache of journals hidden in another attic. For now, I will have to make do with what I've got. The White Paper Journal is a diary of my readings and realisations and a place where my past gets to meet my present. A place where my new, diagnosed adult mind can reach out and talk to my previously undiagnosed self and thoughts. And maybe even a place where I can talk to others who might be going through a similar thing.
If you would like to know more about how someone like me sees the world, please scroll back to the top of this page and click on the word BLOG. Scroll to the bottom of that page and read from the bottom up, turn the paragraphs inside out and read them in reverse. There is no real order here. Thats just how it is. Good luck.
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