Jade Wright

@jwrig124 | contributor
Girl with an invisible disability seeking connection.
Jade Wright

10 Things Under $100 That Help With Functional Neurological Disorder

Living with a disability can be expensive and aids such as wheelchairs or bathroom renovations can really break the bank to make life livable. Here are ten of the most useful tools and services I use to make my life with functional neurological disorder, sensory issues, and a disorder of the corpus callosum easier to cope with. 1. Spotify and Audible Subscriptions These might seem like obvious answers to this question, but when my body refuses to co-operate and my fine motor skills go out the window? Spotify and Audible have saved the day, grounded me, and distracted me from the tics and grunts that fill my days. As an added bonus, living in regional Australia means I have to travel for specialist appointments quite often and these apps are an excellent companion on those long drives to the nearest big city. 2. Earplugs (and learning how to put them in properly) Earplugs made of either silicone or foam have been a disabled girl EDC staple for me for a long time. Cheap and effective, these earplugs cushion the blow of loud, overwhelming spaces and make trips to the grocery store possible. An important note though is that proper insertion of earplugs makes a world of difference! Check out the short clip below from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders for a step-by-step guide to getting a proper seal with your earplugs. 3. Laminated Emergency Card This one is essential for giving me the confidence to go out in public knowing I will be taken care of during a pseudo-seizure — and it’s practically free! I have written out a short set of need-to-know facts on a business card for strangers to read if I am unable to communicate with them properly. I used some clear sticky tape to cover the card completely and make it more durable. You could also laminate the card. This item gets tucked in my phone wallet or on a lanyard with sunflowers on it (a common signal at airports internationally that a person has additional needs when traveling.) Now, when I leave the house I know that my day won’t end with an unnecessary hospital visit! 4. Medical ID Band In this same vein, a Medical ID band gives me the confidence to leave the house, knowing that in a true emergency, paramedics will understand my health conditions and treat me in the most effective way possible. This one is especially important. Mostly though I wear this band to assure myself that even if the worst case scenario really does come to pass, I have the best chance of surviving it. 5. Medication Container for Keyring I have PRN. That stands for Pro Re Nata which is some medical Latin for “take as needed medication.” As another self-assuring measure, I like to have these medications on me at all times while in the stress-inducing environment which is the outside world. So I found a small metal container with an O-ring seal that attaches to my house keys. This small item keeps my pills dry while also being conveniently unforgettable when combined with my house keys. 6. Stuffed Toy Heat Pack Weighted soft toys that double as reusable heat packs? Yes, please! These toys come in a variety of sizes and species (including unicorns!). snuggly and comforting as well as soothing for sore joints or aching innards. This is an upgrade from your favorite teddy that is well worth the investment. Add a few drops of essential oils to the microwaveable pouch and you’re got a scrumptious sensory experience! 7. Pop-Up Flower Cards One of the benefits of connecting with disabled friends is that you meet a lot of people who are going through the same struggles as you. However, this also might also mean more visits to those friends in hospital wards. I like to have a stack of cards that I can send or hand-deliver to flower-free wards that open up and become a vase of sunflowers or a jacaranda tree. This gift takes up next to no space in your drawer and can really make someone’s day while they’re stuck in the hospital. As an added benefit? You’ll make friends with the nurses too who will appreciate not having to go find a vase for you during hand-over! 8. Harmonica This is a bit of an odd one, especially since I can’t actually play the harmonica, but hear me out. If you struggle to “focus on your breath” to ground yourself and have found that you never really seem to get much comfort from deep breathing? Try getting an inexpensive harmonica. Since harmonicas make a sound both on the in breath and the out breath, it’s a sensory cue of how your breath is going. I try to pucker my lips to include two or three notes, and breathe as quietly and consistently as I can. This auditory cue really helped me to distinguish between fast, shallow breaths and deeper ones. You can even get harmonica necklaces for a portable reminder to pause and open your lungs every once in a while. 9. Webster-Paks or Pill Organizer I used to go to the cheapest, franchise pharmacy I could find and resigned myself to the judgmental looks from clerks and customers. Why does such a young person have so many medications? I bet she is selling them. How sad… and on and on. That was until I swapped to a family-owned pharmacy with the added benefit of Webster packs. Now, every month, the pharmacist portions out my medication into one convenient sheet. This is especially useful for the tiny pills when my fine motor skills are being tested by FND. Rather than popping out four, tiny tablets, I know to just press open the bubble labeled “BEDTIME” and we are off to the races. Another benefit of this system is if you have carers dispensing your medication, you need not worry about getting the wrong doses! The transition to your local, family pharmacy, despite the increased cost, is extremely worth it in my opinion. 10. Flowers for Someone Who Helps My mum is an unpaid carer for me. She is an absolute saint who makes my life liveable in a very real sense. For this reason, when I learned that Mum really appreciates fresh flowers in the home, they became a must-have item for keeping the peace. Keeping Mum happy and letting her know I appreciate everything she does for me through flowers is my small way of giving back to a woman who gives me so much.

Jade Wright

Seeing My Sensitivity as a Strength Instead of Weakness With Anxiety

For many of us growing up we are told that we are “too sensitive” or “too emotional.” It was a common insult. As if being emotionally constipated and ignoring all your feelings could protect yourself from being hurt. It is easy to assume those of us with strong emotional responses are weaker, lesser or even broken because of these outbursts or tears. But what if your sensitivity was your greatest secret weapon against a world of apathy and distraction? Chef Gordon Ramsey of Hell’s Kitchen fame was asked in an interview what he looks for in a promising new chef. Now, I assumed the things he would look for in a top-quality chef would be things like stress-tolerance, knife skills, passion or maybe a good knowledge of spices. But no. Ramsey simply says that he looks for “good taste.” He says that if someone can’t taste the difference between bad and excellent food they will never be able to achieve the subtly needed to make an awe-inspiring dish. All the hard-work and stone cold dedication in the world won’t teach someone how to feel. This sounds pretty obvious. I want my Chinese takeaway to taste good so it would be nice if the chef knew what good chow mein tastes like. But, we are told anyone can be a master a skill in 10,000 hours or that gaining success is all about hustling and sacrifices. According to Ramsey though, the true tell tale sign of a good cook is how attune they are to the world around them? It’s game-changing! See, all my life, as a person who gets overwhelmed easily and tends to cry at the drop of a hat, I’ve been told to harden up. I’ve been told that emotionality is a weakness. I’ve been taught to be ashamed of my sensitivity and I’m sure I’m not the only one. But what if it is your unique sensitivity to the world around you that makes you valuable? In psychology, the very first step towards any kind of recovery or personal growth is acknowledgement. First, before you can work on yourself you have to know what ain’t broke and what needs fixin’. You need to develop an awareness of the things that set you off and the things that calm you down. The things that you’re passionate about and the rest you would rather ignore. Confronting what makes us afraid, angry or dispassionate is key to emotional growth over the long term. What would a song about love be if the singer had never experienced it? Can you imagine the Adam Sandler Hellscape we would be living in if all comedy movies were about farts instead of the human condition? How many tone-deaf preachers would it take to host a Zoom funeral? Emotions are so key to the human experience they evolved in the brain millennia; before we had a neocortex to suppress them with. Surely that tells us that they serve a significant purpose; not just in day to day life, but in our survival? Isaac Newton is rumored to have first conceived the idea of gravity while watching an apple fall from a tree in his aunt’s garden. It was Newton’s attention to the mundane that birthed a whole knew era of physics. In this way, the very human inability to focus on multiple things at once that is a blessing, not a curse. Countless books have been written on mindfulness and how to live in the moment. As humans, we are acutely aware of the world around us. It can be painful sometimes, that’s for sure. But we can really leverage our exceptionalism! So if science says our feelings are important? If Gordon Ramsey says ” good taste” is crucial to a good cook? Maybe it’s time to congratulate yourself on being so hyperaware of the things around and inside you. Yes, it gets overwhelming. Yes, kids in school saw it as a weakness that made you different. But what if it is precisely that difference that makes you so valuable? What if knowing really is half the battle and you don’t need to “toughen up, princess” but lean into it? What if you have been gifted this sixth sense? The ability to feel your feelings in a world dedicated to ignoring them. If this were a Marvel movie we wouldn’t need super strength or laser-powered super suits. Maybe it is lame to defeat the villain by listening to what she really wants and giving her a non-evil alternative? That probably doesn’t make an exciting movie. But it is definitely nicer than a kick to the face or an arrow in the butt!

Jade Wright

Seeing My Sensitivity as a Strength Instead of Weakness With Anxiety

For many of us growing up we are told that we are “too sensitive” or “too emotional.” It was a common insult. As if being emotionally constipated and ignoring all your feelings could protect yourself from being hurt. It is easy to assume those of us with strong emotional responses are weaker, lesser or even broken because of these outbursts or tears. But what if your sensitivity was your greatest secret weapon against a world of apathy and distraction? Chef Gordon Ramsey of Hell’s Kitchen fame was asked in an interview what he looks for in a promising new chef. Now, I assumed the things he would look for in a top-quality chef would be things like stress-tolerance, knife skills, passion or maybe a good knowledge of spices. But no. Ramsey simply says that he looks for “good taste.” He says that if someone can’t taste the difference between bad and excellent food they will never be able to achieve the subtly needed to make an awe-inspiring dish. All the hard-work and stone cold dedication in the world won’t teach someone how to feel. This sounds pretty obvious. I want my Chinese takeaway to taste good so it would be nice if the chef knew what good chow mein tastes like. But, we are told anyone can be a master a skill in 10,000 hours or that gaining success is all about hustling and sacrifices. According to Ramsey though, the true tell tale sign of a good cook is how attune they are to the world around them? It’s game-changing! See, all my life, as a person who gets overwhelmed easily and tends to cry at the drop of a hat, I’ve been told to harden up. I’ve been told that emotionality is a weakness. I’ve been taught to be ashamed of my sensitivity and I’m sure I’m not the only one. But what if it is your unique sensitivity to the world around you that makes you valuable? In psychology, the very first step towards any kind of recovery or personal growth is acknowledgement. First, before you can work on yourself you have to know what ain’t broke and what needs fixin’. You need to develop an awareness of the things that set you off and the things that calm you down. The things that you’re passionate about and the rest you would rather ignore. Confronting what makes us afraid, angry or dispassionate is key to emotional growth over the long term. What would a song about love be if the singer had never experienced it? Can you imagine the Adam Sandler Hellscape we would be living in if all comedy movies were about farts instead of the human condition? How many tone-deaf preachers would it take to host a Zoom funeral? Emotions are so key to the human experience they evolved in the brain millennia; before we had a neocortex to suppress them with. Surely that tells us that they serve a significant purpose; not just in day to day life, but in our survival? Isaac Newton is rumored to have first conceived the idea of gravity while watching an apple fall from a tree in his aunt’s garden. It was Newton’s attention to the mundane that birthed a whole knew era of physics. In this way, the very human inability to focus on multiple things at once that is a blessing, not a curse. Countless books have been written on mindfulness and how to live in the moment. As humans, we are acutely aware of the world around us. It can be painful sometimes, that’s for sure. But we can really leverage our exceptionalism! So if science says our feelings are important? If Gordon Ramsey says ” good taste” is crucial to a good cook? Maybe it’s time to congratulate yourself on being so hyperaware of the things around and inside you. Yes, it gets overwhelming. Yes, kids in school saw it as a weakness that made you different. But what if it is precisely that difference that makes you so valuable? What if knowing really is half the battle and you don’t need to “toughen up, princess” but lean into it? What if you have been gifted this sixth sense? The ability to feel your feelings in a world dedicated to ignoring them. If this were a Marvel movie we wouldn’t need super strength or laser-powered super suits. Maybe it is lame to defeat the villain by listening to what she really wants and giving her a non-evil alternative? That probably doesn’t make an exciting movie. But it is definitely nicer than a kick to the face or an arrow in the butt!

Jade Wright

Seeing My Sensitivity as a Strength Instead of Weakness With Anxiety

For many of us growing up we are told that we are “too sensitive” or “too emotional.” It was a common insult. As if being emotionally constipated and ignoring all your feelings could protect yourself from being hurt. It is easy to assume those of us with strong emotional responses are weaker, lesser or even broken because of these outbursts or tears. But what if your sensitivity was your greatest secret weapon against a world of apathy and distraction? Chef Gordon Ramsey of Hell’s Kitchen fame was asked in an interview what he looks for in a promising new chef. Now, I assumed the things he would look for in a top-quality chef would be things like stress-tolerance, knife skills, passion or maybe a good knowledge of spices. But no. Ramsey simply says that he looks for “good taste.” He says that if someone can’t taste the difference between bad and excellent food they will never be able to achieve the subtly needed to make an awe-inspiring dish. All the hard-work and stone cold dedication in the world won’t teach someone how to feel. This sounds pretty obvious. I want my Chinese takeaway to taste good so it would be nice if the chef knew what good chow mein tastes like. But, we are told anyone can be a master a skill in 10,000 hours or that gaining success is all about hustling and sacrifices. According to Ramsey though, the true tell tale sign of a good cook is how attune they are to the world around them? It’s game-changing! See, all my life, as a person who gets overwhelmed easily and tends to cry at the drop of a hat, I’ve been told to harden up. I’ve been told that emotionality is a weakness. I’ve been taught to be ashamed of my sensitivity and I’m sure I’m not the only one. But what if it is your unique sensitivity to the world around you that makes you valuable? In psychology, the very first step towards any kind of recovery or personal growth is acknowledgement. First, before you can work on yourself you have to know what ain’t broke and what needs fixin’. You need to develop an awareness of the things that set you off and the things that calm you down. The things that you’re passionate about and the rest you would rather ignore. Confronting what makes us afraid, angry or dispassionate is key to emotional growth over the long term. What would a song about love be if the singer had never experienced it? Can you imagine the Adam Sandler Hellscape we would be living in if all comedy movies were about farts instead of the human condition? How many tone-deaf preachers would it take to host a Zoom funeral? Emotions are so key to the human experience they evolved in the brain millennia; before we had a neocortex to suppress them with. Surely that tells us that they serve a significant purpose; not just in day to day life, but in our survival? Isaac Newton is rumored to have first conceived the idea of gravity while watching an apple fall from a tree in his aunt’s garden. It was Newton’s attention to the mundane that birthed a whole knew era of physics. In this way, the very human inability to focus on multiple things at once that is a blessing, not a curse. Countless books have been written on mindfulness and how to live in the moment. As humans, we are acutely aware of the world around us. It can be painful sometimes, that’s for sure. But we can really leverage our exceptionalism! So if science says our feelings are important? If Gordon Ramsey says ” good taste” is crucial to a good cook? Maybe it’s time to congratulate yourself on being so hyperaware of the things around and inside you. Yes, it gets overwhelming. Yes, kids in school saw it as a weakness that made you different. But what if it is precisely that difference that makes you so valuable? What if knowing really is half the battle and you don’t need to “toughen up, princess” but lean into it? What if you have been gifted this sixth sense? The ability to feel your feelings in a world dedicated to ignoring them. If this were a Marvel movie we wouldn’t need super strength or laser-powered super suits. Maybe it is lame to defeat the villain by listening to what she really wants and giving her a non-evil alternative? That probably doesn’t make an exciting movie. But it is definitely nicer than a kick to the face or an arrow in the butt!

Jade Wright

Seeing My Sensitivity as a Strength Instead of Weakness With Anxiety

For many of us growing up we are told that we are “too sensitive” or “too emotional.” It was a common insult. As if being emotionally constipated and ignoring all your feelings could protect yourself from being hurt. It is easy to assume those of us with strong emotional responses are weaker, lesser or even broken because of these outbursts or tears. But what if your sensitivity was your greatest secret weapon against a world of apathy and distraction? Chef Gordon Ramsey of Hell’s Kitchen fame was asked in an interview what he looks for in a promising new chef. Now, I assumed the things he would look for in a top-quality chef would be things like stress-tolerance, knife skills, passion or maybe a good knowledge of spices. But no. Ramsey simply says that he looks for “good taste.” He says that if someone can’t taste the difference between bad and excellent food they will never be able to achieve the subtly needed to make an awe-inspiring dish. All the hard-work and stone cold dedication in the world won’t teach someone how to feel. This sounds pretty obvious. I want my Chinese takeaway to taste good so it would be nice if the chef knew what good chow mein tastes like. But, we are told anyone can be a master a skill in 10,000 hours or that gaining success is all about hustling and sacrifices. According to Ramsey though, the true tell tale sign of a good cook is how attune they are to the world around them? It’s game-changing! See, all my life, as a person who gets overwhelmed easily and tends to cry at the drop of a hat, I’ve been told to harden up. I’ve been told that emotionality is a weakness. I’ve been taught to be ashamed of my sensitivity and I’m sure I’m not the only one. But what if it is your unique sensitivity to the world around you that makes you valuable? In psychology, the very first step towards any kind of recovery or personal growth is acknowledgement. First, before you can work on yourself you have to know what ain’t broke and what needs fixin’. You need to develop an awareness of the things that set you off and the things that calm you down. The things that you’re passionate about and the rest you would rather ignore. Confronting what makes us afraid, angry or dispassionate is key to emotional growth over the long term. What would a song about love be if the singer had never experienced it? Can you imagine the Adam Sandler Hellscape we would be living in if all comedy movies were about farts instead of the human condition? How many tone-deaf preachers would it take to host a Zoom funeral? Emotions are so key to the human experience they evolved in the brain millennia; before we had a neocortex to suppress them with. Surely that tells us that they serve a significant purpose; not just in day to day life, but in our survival? Isaac Newton is rumored to have first conceived the idea of gravity while watching an apple fall from a tree in his aunt’s garden. It was Newton’s attention to the mundane that birthed a whole knew era of physics. In this way, the very human inability to focus on multiple things at once that is a blessing, not a curse. Countless books have been written on mindfulness and how to live in the moment. As humans, we are acutely aware of the world around us. It can be painful sometimes, that’s for sure. But we can really leverage our exceptionalism! So if science says our feelings are important? If Gordon Ramsey says ” good taste” is crucial to a good cook? Maybe it’s time to congratulate yourself on being so hyperaware of the things around and inside you. Yes, it gets overwhelming. Yes, kids in school saw it as a weakness that made you different. But what if it is precisely that difference that makes you so valuable? What if knowing really is half the battle and you don’t need to “toughen up, princess” but lean into it? What if you have been gifted this sixth sense? The ability to feel your feelings in a world dedicated to ignoring them. If this were a Marvel movie we wouldn’t need super strength or laser-powered super suits. Maybe it is lame to defeat the villain by listening to what she really wants and giving her a non-evil alternative? That probably doesn’t make an exciting movie. But it is definitely nicer than a kick to the face or an arrow in the butt!

Jade Wright

Seeing My Sensitivity as a Strength Instead of Weakness With Anxiety

For many of us growing up we are told that we are “too sensitive” or “too emotional.” It was a common insult. As if being emotionally constipated and ignoring all your feelings could protect yourself from being hurt. It is easy to assume those of us with strong emotional responses are weaker, lesser or even broken because of these outbursts or tears. But what if your sensitivity was your greatest secret weapon against a world of apathy and distraction? Chef Gordon Ramsey of Hell’s Kitchen fame was asked in an interview what he looks for in a promising new chef. Now, I assumed the things he would look for in a top-quality chef would be things like stress-tolerance, knife skills, passion or maybe a good knowledge of spices. But no. Ramsey simply says that he looks for “good taste.” He says that if someone can’t taste the difference between bad and excellent food they will never be able to achieve the subtly needed to make an awe-inspiring dish. All the hard-work and stone cold dedication in the world won’t teach someone how to feel. This sounds pretty obvious. I want my Chinese takeaway to taste good so it would be nice if the chef knew what good chow mein tastes like. But, we are told anyone can be a master a skill in 10,000 hours or that gaining success is all about hustling and sacrifices. According to Ramsey though, the true tell tale sign of a good cook is how attune they are to the world around them? It’s game-changing! See, all my life, as a person who gets overwhelmed easily and tends to cry at the drop of a hat, I’ve been told to harden up. I’ve been told that emotionality is a weakness. I’ve been taught to be ashamed of my sensitivity and I’m sure I’m not the only one. But what if it is your unique sensitivity to the world around you that makes you valuable? In psychology, the very first step towards any kind of recovery or personal growth is acknowledgement. First, before you can work on yourself you have to know what ain’t broke and what needs fixin’. You need to develop an awareness of the things that set you off and the things that calm you down. The things that you’re passionate about and the rest you would rather ignore. Confronting what makes us afraid, angry or dispassionate is key to emotional growth over the long term. What would a song about love be if the singer had never experienced it? Can you imagine the Adam Sandler Hellscape we would be living in if all comedy movies were about farts instead of the human condition? How many tone-deaf preachers would it take to host a Zoom funeral? Emotions are so key to the human experience they evolved in the brain millennia; before we had a neocortex to suppress them with. Surely that tells us that they serve a significant purpose; not just in day to day life, but in our survival? Isaac Newton is rumored to have first conceived the idea of gravity while watching an apple fall from a tree in his aunt’s garden. It was Newton’s attention to the mundane that birthed a whole knew era of physics. In this way, the very human inability to focus on multiple things at once that is a blessing, not a curse. Countless books have been written on mindfulness and how to live in the moment. As humans, we are acutely aware of the world around us. It can be painful sometimes, that’s for sure. But we can really leverage our exceptionalism! So if science says our feelings are important? If Gordon Ramsey says ” good taste” is crucial to a good cook? Maybe it’s time to congratulate yourself on being so hyperaware of the things around and inside you. Yes, it gets overwhelming. Yes, kids in school saw it as a weakness that made you different. But what if it is precisely that difference that makes you so valuable? What if knowing really is half the battle and you don’t need to “toughen up, princess” but lean into it? What if you have been gifted this sixth sense? The ability to feel your feelings in a world dedicated to ignoring them. If this were a Marvel movie we wouldn’t need super strength or laser-powered super suits. Maybe it is lame to defeat the villain by listening to what she really wants and giving her a non-evil alternative? That probably doesn’t make an exciting movie. But it is definitely nicer than a kick to the face or an arrow in the butt!

Jade Wright

Seeing My Sensitivity as a Strength Instead of Weakness With Anxiety

For many of us growing up we are told that we are “too sensitive” or “too emotional.” It was a common insult. As if being emotionally constipated and ignoring all your feelings could protect yourself from being hurt. It is easy to assume those of us with strong emotional responses are weaker, lesser or even broken because of these outbursts or tears. But what if your sensitivity was your greatest secret weapon against a world of apathy and distraction? Chef Gordon Ramsey of Hell’s Kitchen fame was asked in an interview what he looks for in a promising new chef. Now, I assumed the things he would look for in a top-quality chef would be things like stress-tolerance, knife skills, passion or maybe a good knowledge of spices. But no. Ramsey simply says that he looks for “good taste.” He says that if someone can’t taste the difference between bad and excellent food they will never be able to achieve the subtly needed to make an awe-inspiring dish. All the hard-work and stone cold dedication in the world won’t teach someone how to feel. This sounds pretty obvious. I want my Chinese takeaway to taste good so it would be nice if the chef knew what good chow mein tastes like. But, we are told anyone can be a master a skill in 10,000 hours or that gaining success is all about hustling and sacrifices. According to Ramsey though, the true tell tale sign of a good cook is how attune they are to the world around them? It’s game-changing! See, all my life, as a person who gets overwhelmed easily and tends to cry at the drop of a hat, I’ve been told to harden up. I’ve been told that emotionality is a weakness. I’ve been taught to be ashamed of my sensitivity and I’m sure I’m not the only one. But what if it is your unique sensitivity to the world around you that makes you valuable? In psychology, the very first step towards any kind of recovery or personal growth is acknowledgement. First, before you can work on yourself you have to know what ain’t broke and what needs fixin’. You need to develop an awareness of the things that set you off and the things that calm you down. The things that you’re passionate about and the rest you would rather ignore. Confronting what makes us afraid, angry or dispassionate is key to emotional growth over the long term. What would a song about love be if the singer had never experienced it? Can you imagine the Adam Sandler Hellscape we would be living in if all comedy movies were about farts instead of the human condition? How many tone-deaf preachers would it take to host a Zoom funeral? Emotions are so key to the human experience they evolved in the brain millennia; before we had a neocortex to suppress them with. Surely that tells us that they serve a significant purpose; not just in day to day life, but in our survival? Isaac Newton is rumored to have first conceived the idea of gravity while watching an apple fall from a tree in his aunt’s garden. It was Newton’s attention to the mundane that birthed a whole knew era of physics. In this way, the very human inability to focus on multiple things at once that is a blessing, not a curse. Countless books have been written on mindfulness and how to live in the moment. As humans, we are acutely aware of the world around us. It can be painful sometimes, that’s for sure. But we can really leverage our exceptionalism! So if science says our feelings are important? If Gordon Ramsey says ” good taste” is crucial to a good cook? Maybe it’s time to congratulate yourself on being so hyperaware of the things around and inside you. Yes, it gets overwhelming. Yes, kids in school saw it as a weakness that made you different. But what if it is precisely that difference that makes you so valuable? What if knowing really is half the battle and you don’t need to “toughen up, princess” but lean into it? What if you have been gifted this sixth sense? The ability to feel your feelings in a world dedicated to ignoring them. If this were a Marvel movie we wouldn’t need super strength or laser-powered super suits. Maybe it is lame to defeat the villain by listening to what she really wants and giving her a non-evil alternative? That probably doesn’t make an exciting movie. But it is definitely nicer than a kick to the face or an arrow in the butt!

Jade Wright

Harm OCD: I Thought I Could Murder My Mother

I sat in my GP’s windowless office, wracked with sobs, gripping the denim of my pants and bracing myself against the truth. “Either you call an ambulance to lock me away in a ward or you call the cops and take me to prison before I murder my mother.” I have obsessive-compulsive disorder ( OCD ), but not the “classic” hand-washing kind; something referred to as moral scrupulosity OCD . It’s a subset of intrusive thoughts fixated on moral judgment. I agonize over whether a decision of mine is morally right or which option is fairest, which on the surface sounds like quite a good thing to do. To be sure that each action I take is morally justifiable. However, this obsession with being scrupulous quickly turns sour. I often visualize these thought spirals like a tangled ball of yarn. A moral conundrum such as “should I eat meat?” quickly becomes a tangential argument for pet ownership or land rights or even genetic manipulation. This simple question becomes impossible to tease out from the grey, moral dubiousness of daily living. After a few hours of this recurring tangle, my mind says, “If you can’t beat em? Join ’em.” And it’s as if I am taken over by a whole new personality; my very own Mr. Hyde and I become euphoric at the idea of committing heinous homicides and gruesome crimes. It’s as if a switch in my brain flips and if I can’t be this perfectly moral soul, I must become the dramatic opposite and crave the blood of my family and friends. I have images of murdering the people I love flash before my mind’s eye. But, that’s not the most disturbing part. The most fearsome part, for me, is that I genuinely feel the “urge” to act this out. I thought I felt gleeful at the idea of hurting the people I love. “I knew myself, at the first breath of this new life, to be more wicked, tenfold more wicked, sold a slave to my original evil; and the thought, in that moment, braced and delighted me like wine.” — Robert Louis Stevenson, “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” So, taking the leap and telling my GP that I not only thought about murdering the people I love, but that I found those thoughts enjoyable felt world-endingly frightening. I genuinely thought I was going to be escorted from this small room that smelt of antiseptic and placed into prison. I thought I was going to be left to rot. Hell, it’s what I thought I deserved. I was Mr. Hyde and I had smothered out Dr. Jekyll with my bare hands. A major caveat here is that I have never actually hurt someone while having these thoughts. Not once. But the mind often struggles to differentiate between what we imagine and our actions, so when I was in the grips of my disorder I was convinced I was the scum of the Earth. Worse than Hitler. So when my GP, eyes full of concern, told me that I wasn’t in fact a murderer but was experiencing obsessive-compulsive disorder and should see a psychiatrist because recovery is possible? I ugly cried. Several years later after intensive therapy and some medication, I can happily say I have made a total recovery from OCD . Now, it’s important to note that everyone experiences these “Mr. Hyde” thoughts from time to time. Like when you’re standing at the top of a tall building and a little voice in your head says, “jump!” But, importantly, a healthy mind is able to dismiss this information as unhelpful and move on to another topic of thought. It knows not to dwell on whether this urge to jump makes them a horrible person. I still get these thoughts from time to time because I am nothing but a fallible human trying her best. But, so is everyone else. But the horrible “urges” to enact torture really have gone. I could try and find a lesson in the pain, but really? I’m just relieved that I don’t think that way anymore, and that’s enough for me.

Jade Wright

Harm OCD: I Thought I Could Murder My Mother

I sat in my GP’s windowless office, wracked with sobs, gripping the denim of my pants and bracing myself against the truth. “Either you call an ambulance to lock me away in a ward or you call the cops and take me to prison before I murder my mother.” I have obsessive-compulsive disorder ( OCD ), but not the “classic” hand-washing kind; something referred to as moral scrupulosity OCD . It’s a subset of intrusive thoughts fixated on moral judgment. I agonize over whether a decision of mine is morally right or which option is fairest, which on the surface sounds like quite a good thing to do. To be sure that each action I take is morally justifiable. However, this obsession with being scrupulous quickly turns sour. I often visualize these thought spirals like a tangled ball of yarn. A moral conundrum such as “should I eat meat?” quickly becomes a tangential argument for pet ownership or land rights or even genetic manipulation. This simple question becomes impossible to tease out from the grey, moral dubiousness of daily living. After a few hours of this recurring tangle, my mind says, “If you can’t beat em? Join ’em.” And it’s as if I am taken over by a whole new personality; my very own Mr. Hyde and I become euphoric at the idea of committing heinous homicides and gruesome crimes. It’s as if a switch in my brain flips and if I can’t be this perfectly moral soul, I must become the dramatic opposite and crave the blood of my family and friends. I have images of murdering the people I love flash before my mind’s eye. But, that’s not the most disturbing part. The most fearsome part, for me, is that I genuinely feel the “urge” to act this out. I thought I felt gleeful at the idea of hurting the people I love. “I knew myself, at the first breath of this new life, to be more wicked, tenfold more wicked, sold a slave to my original evil; and the thought, in that moment, braced and delighted me like wine.” — Robert Louis Stevenson, “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” So, taking the leap and telling my GP that I not only thought about murdering the people I love, but that I found those thoughts enjoyable felt world-endingly frightening. I genuinely thought I was going to be escorted from this small room that smelt of antiseptic and placed into prison. I thought I was going to be left to rot. Hell, it’s what I thought I deserved. I was Mr. Hyde and I had smothered out Dr. Jekyll with my bare hands. A major caveat here is that I have never actually hurt someone while having these thoughts. Not once. But the mind often struggles to differentiate between what we imagine and our actions, so when I was in the grips of my disorder I was convinced I was the scum of the Earth. Worse than Hitler. So when my GP, eyes full of concern, told me that I wasn’t in fact a murderer but was experiencing obsessive-compulsive disorder and should see a psychiatrist because recovery is possible? I ugly cried. Several years later after intensive therapy and some medication, I can happily say I have made a total recovery from OCD . Now, it’s important to note that everyone experiences these “Mr. Hyde” thoughts from time to time. Like when you’re standing at the top of a tall building and a little voice in your head says, “jump!” But, importantly, a healthy mind is able to dismiss this information as unhelpful and move on to another topic of thought. It knows not to dwell on whether this urge to jump makes them a horrible person. I still get these thoughts from time to time because I am nothing but a fallible human trying her best. But, so is everyone else. But the horrible “urges” to enact torture really have gone. I could try and find a lesson in the pain, but really? I’m just relieved that I don’t think that way anymore, and that’s enough for me.

Jade Wright

Harm OCD: I Thought I Could Murder My Mother

I sat in my GP’s windowless office, wracked with sobs, gripping the denim of my pants and bracing myself against the truth. “Either you call an ambulance to lock me away in a ward or you call the cops and take me to prison before I murder my mother.” I have obsessive-compulsive disorder ( OCD ), but not the “classic” hand-washing kind; something referred to as moral scrupulosity OCD . It’s a subset of intrusive thoughts fixated on moral judgment. I agonize over whether a decision of mine is morally right or which option is fairest, which on the surface sounds like quite a good thing to do. To be sure that each action I take is morally justifiable. However, this obsession with being scrupulous quickly turns sour. I often visualize these thought spirals like a tangled ball of yarn. A moral conundrum such as “should I eat meat?” quickly becomes a tangential argument for pet ownership or land rights or even genetic manipulation. This simple question becomes impossible to tease out from the grey, moral dubiousness of daily living. After a few hours of this recurring tangle, my mind says, “If you can’t beat em? Join ’em.” And it’s as if I am taken over by a whole new personality; my very own Mr. Hyde and I become euphoric at the idea of committing heinous homicides and gruesome crimes. It’s as if a switch in my brain flips and if I can’t be this perfectly moral soul, I must become the dramatic opposite and crave the blood of my family and friends. I have images of murdering the people I love flash before my mind’s eye. But, that’s not the most disturbing part. The most fearsome part, for me, is that I genuinely feel the “urge” to act this out. I thought I felt gleeful at the idea of hurting the people I love. “I knew myself, at the first breath of this new life, to be more wicked, tenfold more wicked, sold a slave to my original evil; and the thought, in that moment, braced and delighted me like wine.” — Robert Louis Stevenson, “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” So, taking the leap and telling my GP that I not only thought about murdering the people I love, but that I found those thoughts enjoyable felt world-endingly frightening. I genuinely thought I was going to be escorted from this small room that smelt of antiseptic and placed into prison. I thought I was going to be left to rot. Hell, it’s what I thought I deserved. I was Mr. Hyde and I had smothered out Dr. Jekyll with my bare hands. A major caveat here is that I have never actually hurt someone while having these thoughts. Not once. But the mind often struggles to differentiate between what we imagine and our actions, so when I was in the grips of my disorder I was convinced I was the scum of the Earth. Worse than Hitler. So when my GP, eyes full of concern, told me that I wasn’t in fact a murderer but was experiencing obsessive-compulsive disorder and should see a psychiatrist because recovery is possible? I ugly cried. Several years later after intensive therapy and some medication, I can happily say I have made a total recovery from OCD . Now, it’s important to note that everyone experiences these “Mr. Hyde” thoughts from time to time. Like when you’re standing at the top of a tall building and a little voice in your head says, “jump!” But, importantly, a healthy mind is able to dismiss this information as unhelpful and move on to another topic of thought. It knows not to dwell on whether this urge to jump makes them a horrible person. I still get these thoughts from time to time because I am nothing but a fallible human trying her best. But, so is everyone else. But the horrible “urges” to enact torture really have gone. I could try and find a lesson in the pain, but really? I’m just relieved that I don’t think that way anymore, and that’s enough for me.