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A Thousand Ways to Pay Attention
“From the opening lines of this unique memoir, Rebecca Schiller drops us into a visceral reality so much more gripping than I'm used to memoir being. Her story of a year's--and a lifetime's--journey toward a diagnosis of severe ADHD at age 36 is all the more moving to hear in her own voice. Rebecca's coming home to herself as a neurodivergent person is inseparable from her coming home to one beloved place, her small homestead in the English countryside, and inseparable from her confrontation with the tangled history of land clearances, settler colonialism, eugenics, and natural devastation that we all live inside of. Rebecca's voice is tender and raw, and is the perfect way to experience her personal story and her personal rallying cry that human neurodiversity is key to the abundant diversity of nature itself.”Elisabeth,
It should have been Rebecca Schiller's dream come true: moving her young family to the English countryside to raise goats and coax their own fruit and vegetables from the land. But, as she writes: The summer of striding out toward a life of open fields and sacks of corn, I brought a confused black hole of something pernicious but not yet acknowledged along for the ride.
Rebecca's health begins to crumble, with bewildering symptoms: frequent falls, uncontrollable rages, and mysterious lapses in memory. As she fights to be seen by specialists, her fledgling homestead—and her family—hang by increasingly tenuous threads. And when her diagnosis finally comes, it is utterly unexpected: severe ADHD.
In her scramble for answers, Rebecca's consciousness alternately sears with pinpoint focus and spirals with connections. Childhood memories resurface with new meaning, and her daily life entwines with the history of women who tended this land before her. Her family weathers their growing pains where generations of acorns have fallen to rise again as trees, where ancient wolves and lynx once stalked the shadows. Written in unsparing, luminous prose, this is an all-absorbing memoir of one woman's newfound neurodivergence—and a clarion call to overturn the narrative that says minds are either normal and good or different and broken.