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Neuro-Spicy, Present
Stuff ‘N Nonsense 8-9-23
Kim Van Meter

Creative people are often seen as different, and science has discovered this is true. According to an article in Psychology Today, neurodivergent people often excel in creative pursuits because their brains process information in a completely different manner than those who are neuro-typical.

Dopamine, am I right?

Those with ADHD, such as myself, have a more intuitive cognitive style when it comes to decision-making and absorbing information.

Subconsciously, that “gut feeling” is the driving force behind many decisions and often, is hard to explain when pressed to put into words why we feel the way we do.

Because of that special ability, neuro-spicy people seem to have an intuitive edge when it comes to people and situations. So much so that some speculative sciences have studied the possibility that ADHD and psychic ability are linked in the brain, simply because neuro-spicy people often “know” things before they know.

An article in the Harvard Business Review encouraged embracing ADHD and neurodivergence as neurodiversity offers a competitive edge in business — and seeing as up to a whopping 60 percent of self-made millionaires have ADHD, that theory seems to hold water.

Before neurodivergences were understood, it was seen as a deficit instead of simply, an alternative way to process information.

I grew up in the ‘80s. There was no place for a kid like me to flourish. I struggled in school, with friends, with my sense of self.

There was no one to explain to me executive dysfunction, rejection sensitive dysphoria (RSD), hyper-focus/inattentive swings, depression, anxiety, object permanence, the power of body-doubling … and the list goes on.

And without knowledge, that feeling of isolation grows until you curl inward as a protection measure, which only intensifies the feeling of loneliness, and the vicious cycle of self-loathing never ends.

I was late diagnosed with ADHD, and I’ve since had to unlearn many of the unhealthy coping mechanisms that helped me survive a childhood ill-equipped for a neuro-spicy kid.

Even though I still struggle with many ADHD-related issues (hello, where did I put my phone this time?) I no longer see myself as damaged, broken, or just plain weird.

My neuro-divergent brain enables me to think outside of the box, to see solutions where others see only obstacles, and because of my special brain, I can create whole worlds out of nothing to entertain readers around the world.

Even though, I will always struggle with finding things, staying focused, tuning out the noise that’s constantly in my head, and bumping into nearly every corner and stationary object, I’ve come to realize my neurodivergence is a superpower.

And with great power comes great responsibility — and the need for many apps, lists, and loving friends and family.

My point being, if you or someone you love has been recently diagnosed, don’t despair. Embrace your neuro-spiciness — we are the much-needed splashes of brilliant color in an otherwise monotone world — and we’re awesome.


Kim Van Meter is a former full-time reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Escalon Times and The Riverbank News; she continues to provide a monthly column. She can be reached at