Life’s pressures build up, places become toxic and yet unavoidable and yet we don’t all have a place like the bar on Cheers to run to in times of need. What we have more of now than ever before are of online community spaces. From Twitch to Discord and multiple spaces in-between, online communities are a source of unique and priceless support for neurodivergent individuals.
When the world and other people seek to normalize gaslighting one another and increase the confusion in already difficult to navigate neurotypical spaces there’s a refuge for many in the digital sphere. Bits of admiration, advice on difficult or simple topics, mental health resources and much more can be found in these circles. Sometimes they’re found with pure luck or it just takes time till you’ve settled into a circle that makes sense for you.
I’ve found myself in online spaces that have blossomed and lifted me up while also challenging me. The variety of thought and interests are abundant in these circles of mine. They aren’t closed off either, that’s what I think progresses them forward. The door to join the party isn’t locked, but rather it’s warded against hateful rhetoric and harmful intentions. Never thought I’d be a Discord user, but it took joining a Patreon for a favorite podcast of mine to seal the deal. There I found something I didn’t realize I had been looking for.
Sharing recipes, showing off our adorable and odd pets, supporting each others work and much more provides a unique value to it all. Those comforts translate from space to space with a community like that. When misogyny, hate and the horrors of the world weigh on you it can be more meaningful than ever to have someone simply type “you’ve got this!” as you hang out in that space. Isolation can’t bury its way into the mind when the space has been filled by concern and care.
These spaces have mattered greatly to me, especially lately as I have grown my voice and explored what I love and care about. What’s important has been reinforced and my mental health has thrived because of it. Goals and accomplishments are shared in these circles more than they would be anywhere else which says something about our capitalist society. A joy comes from sharing good news instead of fear of “bragging” or anticipation that it won’t rise to an expectation instilled in the working mind. If there is a circle or space you refrain from sharing good news from, it says more about than space than it does about you.
Methods suggested through therapy of helping navigate my ADHD have been greatly used online and in streaming circles. Staying on task and supported online has been a weird yet incredible experience to grow accustomed to. The world changes everyday and if support and community begins or just thrives online that isn’t a signal the world is declining. Instead of the difficult and painful experiences of surviving a world like the one today without any stop to it, there’s grounding and reorienting your thoughts in these communities. It’s not an easy journey sometimes to find these people and spaces that support and grow with you but they are worth it in the end…trust me.