“My world is made up of tiny electric shocks. Every living things carries its own current, and this finds its earth through me. Every unexpected touch, every glance, has a charge. I am a lightning rod, laid out like the red-nosed patient in the game of Operation, eternally braced for the metal-on-metal jolt of contact.” •
In 2015, I set out to walk the 630-mile South West Coast Path. I wanted to understand why I had stopped coping with everyday life, why motherhood had been so overwhelming and isolating, and why the world felt so full of inundation and expectations I couldn’t quite meet. Setting my feet down on this rugged and difficult path by the sea, the answer began to unfold. Soon, a chance encounter with a voice on the radio sparked the realisation that I’m one of the growing number of women who realise they’re autistic late in life.
The Electricity of Every Living Thing tells the story of the year in which I came to terms with my diagnosis. It led to a re-evaluation of my life so far – a kinder one, which finally allowed me to be different, rather than awkward, arrogant or unfeeling. The physical and emotional journeys became inextricably entwined, and as I found my way along the untameable coast, I always found my way home.
This book is a life-affirming exploration of wild landscapes, what it means to be different, and, above all, how we can all learn to make peace within our own unquiet minds.
The Electricity of Every Living Thing is published by Trapeze Books.