On Intelligence and overachievers

January 12, 2008 at 7:50 PM (Uncategorized)

Item one: So, I’m intelligent.

Item two: Before I quit unconsciously ‘passing’ for able and got some insight into how my impairments had been/are now affecting me, I was heading for academia and met up with a lot of smart funny overachievers.

Thankfully, three of them are still my friends.

We’re fine. I’m not mad at them or bitter that they do sixty things an hour and think it’s not enough.

But I get a twist of shame in my stomach every time I get a window into their lives. Intellectually I know that’s bull, so I manage it away in about twenty seconds….

How to convince oneself and eventually the world that a sparse schedule A. is what you can handle.

And, B. It doesn’t make you a lesser life form.


  1. bridgett said,

    Here’s something key, I think, at least to the self-love bit. You call us “over-achievers,” like there’s a set amount of normal achievements that everyone ought to hit and we’re doing above and beyond that and you beat up on yourself because you’re not reaching that mark you’ve got in your head (and that probably, you’re right, others carry around in there’s as a way to evaluate professional/material career success.)

    However, I don’t consider myself an overachiever. I just do stuff and I fill up the hours in the day and I try to be happy. I think I need more stuff going on to keep me occupied than the average person because my lows are so very low that I have to keep busy to keep from slipping off the cliff. Think of it as a form of self-medication, where I have learned the key to sanity for me is what for many would be frantic activity. I think that’s probably the case with a lot of the driven people — some combo of fear of being found inadequate and the need not to slow down for their own mental reasons — and so if it helps to think of this as just one more (albeit socially acceptable) disability and way to manage it, I think that’s probably a good way to think about it.

  2. imfunny2 said,

    Ah, so….

    That does make (intellectually) sense. I can understand the need to do something (or many somethings or in my case, distract oneself with something to push away from a low.

    Also, even if I had *no* physical or emotional difference I have no children and even from the outside I’m perfectly clear that they fill up the clock in amazing ways.

  3. bridgett said,

    Yes, it’s the “work myself to death” work-around. We all got ’em.

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