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writer + digital artist focused on disability, queerness, and culture | they/them

It’s not an entity living inside us, but sometimes it helps to imagine it as one.

Source: ADHDMemeTherapy

“That wasn’t me, it was my ADHD”— it’s a common theme I see echoing across the internet, and one I use in my own life, too. When I have a particularly scattered day, I say it’s my ADHD acting up, as if it’s a petulant child throwing tantrums inside my brain.

One essay I found recently made the argument that you should treat your ADHD like a bad pet, that you have to feed it and care for it. …

A lesson about presence from those stupid electric scooters.

Art by the author

“We’re going to have to take the scooters,” they groaned. Panic rattled through my insides. It was 2 AM, I was half-drunk, and we were standing on a sleepy side street lined with the cute brick rowhouses I love most about DC.

I hated the scooters.

Something about my body going at an unnatural speed while standing fully upright instilled sheer terror in me. But Uber was trying to charge $50 to go the 4 miles that stretched between this bar and home, and walking an hour and a half was…

It’s time to move beyond the disorder/superpower binary.

Art by the author

The ADHD Internet is full of bad science and self-deprecation. It’s so prevalent I had to stop going on TikTok, my frustration growing as every swipe offered more scientific explanations for why my brain “sucks”.

The broken brain narrative is everywhere on social media, but it’s not entirely the fault of ADHD creators when all the research and rhetoric we are fed about ADHD remains overwhelmingly rooted in a deficit model.

Funding goes toward researching neurobiology, medication, and genetics. What trickles down from the neighboring systems of medicine and education is a…

Her fans insist they care — but the wild conspiracies they invent to explain her posts make stigma against neurodivergent people worse.

Images sourced from Britney’s Instagram feed

“Am I the only one who thinks this is not Britney?” one commenter on Spears’ Instagram post asked, followed by over 300 replies speculating about clones.

“Whys her hair ALWAYS look like it hasn’t been brushed in days! her eye makeup is horrendous.”

“Can you dress her in something other than this Wet Seal shit?”

I am perplexed by Britney’s fans. They have created a highly publicized movement intent on ending the conservatorship she’s been under since 2008

A (somewhat) brief history of autism’s most controversial archetype

Jenny McCarthy, Leader of The Autism Moms

The Autism Mom is an infamous villain in the autistic community. We love to make fun of her, to write angry think pieces about her, to fight her on Twitter.

We are outraged that she wants to cure or fix her children, that she supports Autism Speaks, that she blames autism on vaccines and tells us how to refer to ourselves.

Some Autism Moms support abusive therapies and fringe, dangerous treatments. Some Autism Moms are murderers.

It’s upsetting, but I also understand that no Autism Mom is an island. So I…

You deserve to have a say in your own story.

Art by Jesse Meadows

Warning: Content addresses substance abuse.

“How do you not identify with the bipolar narrative?” a friend joked, responding to a meme I’d posted about my two moods.

Of course, this was a false binary for comedic effect. I have more than two moods, I just tend to feel everything intensely. I’ve been this way since I can remember. “Stop being so dramatic” and “you’re too sensitive” were the looped tracks in the album of my childhood.

I started drinking at 15 because “I felt too much” and I “didn’t want to feel it anymore” (basically direct quotes from my journal)…

CW: discussion of suicide

Art by Jesse Meadows

Sometimes it feels inevitable with a brain like mine, stuck on a loop of worry and terrified of everything. Standing in line at the grocery store and hearing it all at once. But I have always been a great problem solver. When I realized I could give this sensitive brain a liquid buffer, that it was as easy as pouring it over ice and choking it back, I thought I’d found quite a practical solution.

You call it “substance abuse”, I call it my best educated guess.

And it started tasting better, the more I drank…

The first time I went to a nightclub in Miami, I was fascinated.

Socialites on South Beach, 2009

Here was this entire underworld of debauchery set to heavy bass, the kind that gets up in your rib cage and rattles all your insides. The songs all flowed into each other, pulling along a room roiling with bodies, all beholden to the beat. The DJ conducted an entire crowd full of strangers in the dark by turning a few nobs and pressing the right buttons.

People were meeting, and flirting, and touching, and it looked like chaos but upon closer observation, there was a sort of…

Research keeps finding more similarities.

“How do you know if you’re ADHD or autistic?”

I get questions like this in my DM’s a lot. They are also questions I am trying to not worry about so much anymore, because I think the premise of these questions is flawed.

They are based on the assumption that these are concrete, biological conditions with a rigid set of symptoms that can be accurately differentiated, but they’re not.

Diagnosis is still completely based on observable behavior, which makes it more of a narrative process than a biological one. You don’t get diagnosed with a…

Art by Jesse Meadows

Why does ADHD have a heritability of 74%? Why would “disorders” like autism be inherited across generations if they didn’t somehow benefit our survival?

The human brain was not simply created; it developed over millions of years in a symphony of chaos. I try to view much of human nature through a wider evolutionary lens, and in reading about the genetic basis of things like ADHD and autism, I couldn’t help but wonder what evolutionary theory had to say.

Many people assume evolution to be a sentient kind of process, as in, giraffes needed to reach the leaves in tall…

Jesse Meadows

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