Peter Pickering - A different kind of brilliant.

The Unstoppable Odyssey: Riding the Rollercoaster of a Neurodiverse Life

I've always envisioned my life as a dynamic journey, marked by a mix of chaotic and brilliant phases, mirroring the unique contours of a neurodiverse mind. From the outside, observers might note a sequence of remarkable triumphs and dramatic setbacks, yet each phase of this journey reveals a saga of resilience, profound lows, and a relentless pursuit of the extraordinary.

In the expansive canyons of my mind, carved by the powerful currents of hypermania, I discovered myself surpassing ordinary boundaries. It was not merely an act of dreaming; it was a profound belief in the boundless scope of my abilities. Could I play the piano? Dance like a master? These weren't questions but convictions.

During these episodes of hypermania, a whirlwind of possibilities swirled around me. I could have become a flamenco dancer, my feet striking the boards with rhythmic precision, each tap echoing through the grand halls of my aspirations. Olé! The sound was not just music; it was the pulse of my untamed potential.

Similarly, as a concert pianist, my fingers danced over the keys, each press releasing a cascade of melodious notes that formed a symphony of the possible. With every piece I played, I was not just performing; I was creating, shaping the music of the cosmos into my personal anthem of triumph.

Spanish Flamenco Dancer, painting
Spanish Flamenco Dancer, painting

Like Nureyev, I could pirouette with an ease that belied the complexity of life’s challenges. My spins were not merely physical movements but rotations through the very fabric of existence, each turn peeling back layers of the mundane to reveal the extraordinary beneath. And you should have seen my ronde de jambe en l’air; poetry in motion!

And yes, amidst the exhilarating peaks of my vision, I seriously considered becoming Prime Minister of Australia. My plan was in an advanced stage. In this role, I steered the ship of state through choppy waters with the confidence of a seasoned captain. Governance, to me, was another stage, another performance in which I was not only a participant but a director, orchestrating policies and initiatives with the flair of a maestro.

In these moments of sublime elevation, I felt nothing less than omnipotent—a deity in my own universe, moulding reality with the sheer force of my will. My hypermania was not a condition; it was a gateway to experiencing life in its most exhilarating form, where every dream was within reach and every belief was an imminent reality.

In the expansive tableau of my business ventures, the opportunities before me were not figments of imagination; they were real, concrete proposals, as vivid and substantial as if placed directly in my hands. Each opportunity was more grandiose than the last, showcasing the limitless potential that my hypermanic episodes brought into sharp focus.

Envision the grandeur of the Langley Hotel, each suite a pinnacle of comfort and luxury. In my mind’s eye, I was already the proprietor, wandering its esteemed corridors and welcoming distinguished guests with the grace of an experienced host. It was not a distant dream; the hotel was a real deal within reach, the $25M available, an opportunity I consciously chose to let go as I pursued other ventures.

Then, imagine the thrill of helming The Daily News, my hands at the controls of a major media outlet, shaping public discourse with every editorial decision. The power of the press was mine for the taking, but I relinquished it, my thoughts already flitting to the next grand plan.

A 210-foot superyacht, 'Captain's Lady', slicing through the cerulean depths was another gem in my crown of deals. I could almost feel the spray of the sea and hear the call of distant shores, beckoning me to adventures unknown. Yet, I stepped back, leaving the yacht to cut through the ocean's blue without me.

A 210' Superyacht in Monte Carlo
A 210' Superyacht in Monte Carlo

In each of these unfulfilled courses, the potential to make them reality was tangible. I didn’t walk away out of necessity or failure but because my hypermanic mind was a cauldron of ceaseless ideas, each more enticing than the last. I was convinced that I could possess them all, if only I so desired. Yet, in the end, the true adventure was always the next one, just out of sight, forever urging me forward.

This whirlwind of activity, where nothing was impossible, and every horizon was attainable, was exhilarating. If a venture didn’t immediately pan out as planned, it was swiftly destroyed, discarded like the toys of my childhood—broken pieces of a game I no longer wished to play. It was the thrill of the chase, the ecstasy of the potential that fuelled me. Success or failure, it hardly mattered; the true joy lay in the relentless pursuit, the perpetual motion from one grand idea to the next.

But with dizzying highs come crushing lows. The plummet into depression was always abrupt, a freefall from divine heights to a stark, harsh reality. These descents were not gentle, each landing a brutal reminder of the fragility beneath my seemingly indestructible facade. The rollercoaster of my life, marked by these extreme oscillations, has been both a curse and a profound teacher.

Living with this neurodiversity has profoundly shaped my life and impacted those close to me. Each peak of joy and success often came with moments where friends and family must have faced confusion or concern, sharing the turbulent journey of my highs and lows, sometimes without fully grasping the reasons behind my actions. My parents consistently offered guidance gently, supporting my choices even when I deviated from their advice. In hindsight, their insights were usually spot on, and I would have benefitted from listening more.

Reflecting on this journey, I see now how my neurodiverse traits have shaped every facet of my existence, driving me toward a life less ordinary, a life where the spectacular is not only envisioned but pursued with relentless passion. And through it all, this rollercoaster has taught me resilience, the value of self-awareness, and, most importantly, the profound strength found in accepting yourself, complexities and all.

Rollercoaster to hell
Rollercoaster to hell