Category Archives: ADHD

These Scars are Not For Life

The Skies Alive – Remedy Drive)

 Note that this was composed from my phone as Mr. Lappy Pants was left behind last night…so there might be more typos then usual…or maybe less because I swipe to type on my phone so there is a lot lower chance of flipped around letters…

There has been a lot of hurt in my life, and sometimes it seems like no sooner does one wound heal but another cut comes deeper. I fight and fight and keep going through life…

Remember when I started a happy journal because of an idea in a book that sounded awesome…and wasn’t so awesome in real life? Well, the new awesome idea is that maybe I’ll make more friends if I don’t let anyone in on the pain and do a better job pretending everything is awesome…yeah…pretty sure that is not going to work very well. There are a few things that are legitimately signs that God is still present even if it doesn’t always *feel* that way.

Something I heard today is sorta related. “Disengagement is a refusal to risk any future loss.” I don’t think that is exactly what I do – a lot of my pretending is more related to my social prowess, or lack thereof. I do, however, stay super busy if I can as a way of warding off the pain. If I can manage to get engaged enough in other things the pain is much more dull and manageable.

But disengagement doesn’t completely take away the possibility of further hurt. Having no or low to negative expectations does decrease how much bad things hurt, but it isn’t fool proof. Some things are completely unexpected and just catch you really off guard. Like finding out today about someone I know in ICU trying to be stabilized enough to make it to a bigger trauma center. A few states away, I feel totally helpless, unable to do anything. I want to be able to help, but there is nothing I can do from a few states away, and even if I was closer, there’d be little to nothing I could do, because I am pretty sure at this point visitors would just be more bodies in the way.

It reminded me, though, about something someone said to me last winter about why he preferred pediatrics. His reasoning was that a lot of adult issues are at least partially self-inflicted and that it often seems like in adults we are sustaining life in circumstances in which living might not even be in the patient’s best interest because of what their quality of life will look like. I do agree for the most part on the second point with reservations regarding determining the patient’s opinion about what kind of life is worth it since I don’t think we as medical professionals can claim to know enough about any patient to make that decision for them. I don’t totally agree on the first point. Maybe it’s because I’m one of those look for the good in everyone and give lots of chances kind of people, but I really value treating people who brought their condition on themselves. I believe that for the most part people don’t wake up in the morning thinking about how they can harm themselves and ends up in the hospital, rather, it is more a breakdown of trying to do whatever it takes to get through life and not quite hitting the target. I really empathize with that struggle. I do strongly prefer treating children, but clearly it is not for exactly the same reason. And that is something really cool about this world. We all are totally different people who come from diverse backgrounds that shape us in such a way that even if we outwardly appear similar, our raison d’être can be utterly different.

So anyway, that wasn’t at all what I planned to write about and just became a kinda long tangent…but what else would you expect of me?!

So anyway, a few years ago when the word resilient was used to describe me, I was internally screaming “don’t you see what I am going through? Don’t you understand how hard this is? Do you think this is okay?” As the years have gone by, however, I have realized that I am resilient. I struggle, but I keep running towards the light. Although it seems to me like it I am just doing what I have to for survival, I guess I discounted that it is possible to stop doing even that. Recently, I have learned to be super proud of myself for how resilient I am. Resilience doesn’t mean not getting hurt; it means continuing to get up when you fall to the ground.

Y’know, I never thought I’d say this, but there are some jobs that I am kinda glad I didn’t get. I interviewed for a residency in Texas and it was one of my top choices at the time. I also applied for some jobs in Texas I didn’t get interviews for. And shortly after accepting the job I currently have, I was contacted by a recruiter from Texas to apply for some open positions. As enjoyable as those jobs may have been, I am so thankful I did not move to Texas and ends up losing everything. I may not be totally satisfied here, but I don’t think flooding is much of a threat…although I do live kinda at the bottom of a hill…so…who knows.

Yesterday I was driving to my parents’ house yet again and was thinking about the major contrast from the last time I’d driven up. Last time I was practically bouncing off the walls of my car with excitement. I could not sit still and literally more than once had to tell myself stuff like get your foot out of your face and watch where you’re going. I was thrilled to be about to get a call from my manager and reconnect and talk about scheduling and when I can come back (and see all my friends in person). This time the mood was much more sorrowful. I was still because the emotional exhaustion translates to physical exhaustion. I cried. But on the positive side, I did complete another life goal…taking a picture of this house…


 Yeah, the front of that house is painted “blessed us he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Aside from how that reminds me of the donut man, I think that is really awesome. I’d I were talented, I’d love to have that painted on my house someday.

Speaking of driving, I think I’ve driven more miles in the past two months than I usually drive in like a year…and I don’t even usually drive to work or really anywhere except back and forth from my parents house to my apartment. I walk to the grocery store and almost everywhere else…except the gas station. I almost did that one day before realizing I couldn’t fill a car with gas from across town…but you know what, I am thankful that I have a car that gets me from point a to point b. I was just thinking about how everyday life is very doable without a car, but I can’t even imagine in some extenuating circumstances how difficult not having a car could be…yet people do it. (Though, mostly people who are a lot bolder than I am and don’t worry so much about burdening people by asking for help when it could make things easier).

I am very sad about losing my pediatric job. That has been hard, but I am so glad that I am getting used to the hurt. I think it is a definite sign of some healing from the grief that I am back to eating pretty normally again already, and so far anyway, I haven’t yet cried today! Score! That is not to say it doesn’t so hurt, but just that God is good and had provided some of the healing relief I needed so badly.

Also, God can be funny sometimes. I love how he is always working in such weird ways. I have now met two people in non-threatening friendship-inviting ways that are planning on becoming some type of counselor type person. I guess God knew that I maybe never was going to break the skepticism of people in that field by my attempts at exposure. It was always going to be too much. Instead, God seems to be sending people to me in a lot more manageable way that feels almost positive rather than terrifying. That is such a blessing.

Also, I just looked out the window and I can see the moon even though it is still bright and sunny. And also, here are links to two blog posts that are super awesome and I can’t remember exactly why I copied them here…so there’s that… Pretty sure the first one is about how it is okay to be hurting and need help and the second one is about learning to let go.

 So yeah. I’m pretty sure there was a lot me that I wanted to say, but typing a blog post from a phone is a very long process so I’m signing off.

Love y’all.


Wiggle Worm


Here’s the key to my front door

(You’ve got a home – Christa Wells)

So this week on one of the bible study facebook groups I am in, Holley Gerth (yes, the same Holley Gerth to whom I have looked up for years because she is so incredible) challenged everyone to identify how we are wired.


First: energy setting. So the options are one on one, one on few, or one on many. So we started out with a hard one. If you want to actually get me to let you in, your best chance for success is one on one. If you can find the key to unlock the things that I hide away inside, it makes me feel a lot better about myself…so in that way, one on one is great for me. Then there is one on few. As long as they are all people that I feel safe with, this is probably my favorite for more hangout type settings. Because I will be the first to admit that conversation is not where I am gifted, putting me in a group of people who will include me lets me be part of the conversation without ever needing to contribute more than the introductory return of a hello upon joining the group, and even that can be substituted for a smile or just a glance in someone’s direction…and then there is one on many. While for the most part I would label this as very not me, I have to admit that I have an inner desire to be surrounded with the lots and lots of people I love – but I know that while in this fantasy I absolutely love it, in reality even with my sense of inclusion and not wanting to leave anyone out, I know that huge groups of people are something that doesn’t make me feel good. The energy setting is something where if you spend a lot of time in other settings you’ll need to replace your energy, so I think overall I’d have to pick one on few. As much as I absolutely adore and really probably NEED one on one, the fact that one on one necessitates eventually using my words means that eventually it will require a recharge, so one on few is probably my choice…


Second: Is your style leading, partnering, or serving? At first I was torn…but after some thought I realized while I do have some strong traits of leadership and some traits of partnering, the way in which I lead and the way in which I partner is by serving. Even when not leading or partnering, I am happiest when I can find a way to serve. If you offer me a chance to help out, you will win your way into my heart.


Third: sensing views. Are you external – first looking around and asking how things are going, or internal – first thinking and asking how people are feeling? I think my nickname of Specks makes it pretty clear that I am not external in the sense of looking around. I often miss very obvious things that are right in front of my face because if it isn’t what I am focusing on I am probably not seeing it at all. It is nothing about my vision itself, but is about the way I am wired. On the other hand, I am a very concrete thinker, and am not likely to ask how someone is feeling, rather I will observe and find out what is going on and use those puzzle pieces to identify emotion words. I do the same thing for myself sometimes. So I decided between the two of them that internal is probably dominant because I am using thinking to identify feelings even if I am not directly asking feeling questions…well, I suppose a few times in my life I have asked feeling questions, but I quickly figured out that if I wanted to fit in and be “normal” I couldn’t ask in casual conversation whether people had been mad at me…


Next, are you an introvert or an extravert? Another hard one. Behaviorally I fall more into the category of introvert, but I think emotionally I really am primarily an extravert. I do not do well in large groups, but I do a lot better in small groups than completely alone. I long to be with people. I crave community. While I will go hide in a bathroom if I have to in order to escape a very large group after a while, I would actually love if someone else came with me. I don’t REALLY want to be alone in those situations – I just need to be away from the chaos of the large group. I think that is why when I think about being in the hospital I actually associate it with positive things. Sure, the reason you get admitted to the hospital is never a good thing, but although I am always learning in school how awful it is to be in a room with someone always sitting right outside checking if you need anything, that actually sounds pretty awesome to me…not sayin’ just sayin’. Obviously the being sick part would be super un-fun and negate the positives of the situation, but being in the hospital itself wouldn’t be so bad from my perspective. Although it could totally be a problem for me if I were assigned someone whose personality was like having a crowd around. There are some people in the world who in a group of 3-4 make the group feel like it has like 50 people in it, and that is not good for me. Some people say they like something because they can be a part of something bigger…I prefer to be a part of something that might be big but feels small and intimate. Sure, there might be a very large number of people on the welcome team at my church at school, but I am only on a team of about seven-ish people at a time which is a very manageable group.


Okay, fifth and last but not least: your sphere of need, practical, emotional, intellectual, or relational. At first I went to emotional, because I do feel drawn to rejoicing with those who rejoice and weeping with those who weep, but after a minute or so more thought, I quickly realized that while this is true, the way in which I do it is more with presence than with mirroring emotion and using my words. So my answer for this one is relational. Presence means a lot to me, and is what I would like to be able to give to other people. Really, it isn’t so much about having the right words to say, but about being there. Me and my friends silently sitting next to each other or working alongside each other is meaningful to me. It doesn’t matter if no words have been exchanged. I want the presence.


Also, completely unrelated to Holley’s activity aside from that both are videos, I was watching How to ADHD this morning while making some oatmeal for breakfast. Side note that I do not have a diagnosis of ADHD despite the fact that I have been teased extensively in school about having it. IDK. Sometimes I agree that there is a possibility, but a lot of the time I am not so sure and think perhaps the attention side of it is a lot more related to my anxiety and abuse history than a pure deficit of attention. Anyway, there was something in this particular video that I really related with. The video commented on how people with ADHD (“brains” as How to ADHD refers to them) are often highly sensitive and have low self-confidence. Brains focus in on the negative. For example, a large crowd might be giving a standing ovation, but the brain is so focused in on the one person towards the back who appears to be scowling that he or she hardly notices the rest of the room, and labels the entire experience as a failure. Yes, I can be black and white and make that decision based solely on one detail that may not be indicative of the whole. If my attention is drawn towards the overall picture I may be able to see it, but as I have put it for years, I am a trees girl, so it is really hard for me to find the forest. Brains have an insight that seems to be different from other people. Brains see into people. This means they see the good stuff in people that others miss and that they can make connections that are not apparent to other people. I totally see this in myself, which I think is related to my strengthsquest top 5 strength of developer. I see the teeny tiny eensy weensy bits of good in people and want to help grow those bits of good that no one else sees. On the other side, brains also see the negative more easily and can therefore quickly sense rejection and even tiny bits of unwantedness or annoyance, so brains can be hurt rather easily and accidentally at times. I do sometimes sense that I am unwanted even when I cannot place a finger on exactly what someone did or said that clued me in on this feeling. Like most attributes of people, it is both a blessing and a curse…


Lol, and then stemming off from what is going on in Wiggle Worm’s mind…I almost always carry around some form of hand sanitizer with me. It functions a bit like a security blanket. OCD, in some ways, is unpredictable, and to avoid being caught unprepared, I keep hand sanitizer with me in case of crisis. When OCD was at its worst, even hand sanitizer didn’t really take away much fear, but it made life at least a bit more livable. So I continue to carry around hand sanitizer, which sometimes is rather convenient even without any OCD thoughts…but anyway, on occasion I have thoughts like today when I touched a public trash can and wanted to use hand sanitizer. I am not totally sure if this is something that everyone thinks or is a remnant of OCD, but in any case, it led me to thinking that it was probably a good thing that I was having thoughts like this. Being completely unaware or uncaring about germs at all is a possible sign that I am quite far gone emotionally. When my world is falling apart, germs are not likely to get a lot of mind-space. Clearly, getting as far as being upset about germs is not healthy and not something I strive for, but with the turmoil in my life, it seemed like a good sign to me that I was able to be just a bit worried and have something to think about yet not something that consumed my mind. Just knowing my hand sanitizer was right there is my pocket was enough for me to happily walk home and wait to wash my hands there.


Also, totally unrelated, but today I made 10 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and put them in the freezer. The original plan was the refrigerator but then I was wondering if I could put them in the freezer and remembered the ever popular uncrustables in elementary school and decided that although my sandwiches clearly had a crust that I would put them in the freezer. The real uncrustables might be a little fancier, but I bet the real ones don’t have blackberry jelly with extra crunchy peanut butter as an option.

No Way I Can Get This Start Finished

(Procrastinating–Stellar Kart)

Umm…lol…wanna know why I am laying on the couch watching a video that isn’t even that interesting?

Well, because I know I am no good at interviewing, but I haven’t figured out how to fix that. Being a second year armed with a list of the potential questions I got through it memorizing the answers to each of the questions…I also had months to write and memorize said answers. And cultural heritage was over so it wasn’t like I actually had much of anything to study…(yay for repeating a zillion classes…thanks school…not complaining…but…it’d be really nice to have graduated last year…yes, I do know that promises mean nothing if they are verbal rather than written–just hadn’t figured it out at 18 years old–…not that a written promise will necessarily be honored at school either)

As a sixth year faced with residency interviews there isn’t a list of questions…I mean, I can totally find questions on the internet or whatevs, but there is basically no limit to what I could be asked…and on top of that I have to be able to come up with my own questions to ask.

Wanna know how I tend to handle being overwhelmed? By not knowing where to start and giving up until it feels like an emergency. Luckily being a chronically early person, the idea of emergency starts appearing in enough time that I can totally still get things done…but basically, I am watching a video so I don’t have to figure out how to get ready for an interview…

On the positive side, I pretty much have been promised an interview at two places that I would really really like to be!! On the negative side, it will be happening very soon and have I mentioned that I have absolutely no idea how to interview?? And how in the world am I supposed to have questions when I’ve been friends with a very high percentage of the residents at those two programs and have therefore already had a venue for my questions starting like 6 years ago…hashtag one of the previous residents has also co-precepted me…she’s the one who I will never forget because of what happened the first day I met her…she’s hilarious.

I did have an online interview…which I’m pretty sure that the program that was for gives to every candidate…but umm…it was a good wake-up call that ignoring interviews doesn’t make them go away or make me any better at it. Let’s just say that the computer said the interview would take about 65-80 minutes…I pressed the pause button so many times that it took me around 4 hours…and I almost gave up and made my answer to what is one thing you’d change about yourself that I’d be done with this interview…I was just so done…oh yeah, I started preparing for that interview the morning before I filmed it which was two days before it was due…yep, procrastination is totally my M.O. for a coping mechanism.

And the last words you’ll hear tonight will be ‘I love you.’ Love takes us all of a lifetime to tell

(For he grants sleep to those he loves—Michael Card)

(written at church as an excuse to stay where I feel loved a little longer…posted at home after using the drive time to make sure I wasn’t posting something that was going to get me into trouble later)

I’m not as think as you dumb I am…lol

So last night I wrote on my to do list, “directions.” This morning I saw that and was like no problem, I totally know where I am going, I probably just was super tired and needed to remind myself to bring my directions notebook to my car in case I need it.

Lol, story of my life, as it turns out, I remembered why that was on my list about the same time that I noticed the “road closed” sign. Oh no…so yeah…and that is how I got lost…and how I ended up running down the sidewalks as I realized that I had parked a mile away from where I was currently sitting and could not apparate into the drivers seat…

Luckily, I miscalculated how long it took to get to church from where I was parked, and it worked out. All is well that ends well.

Except, now I should leave church, but leaving is hard because I have friends Tuesday and Thursday and Saturday, but Sunday and Monday and Wednesday and Friday I am alone. I know that changes starting tomorrow, but that is more stressful than a relief of stress, because I tried really hard to be an adventurous eater, but the most adventurous I got was mandarin oranges. And even that was still a challenge as of last week when I was eating them not to cringe each time one went in my mouth.

And then in a week I will be driving to another state where there aren’t any days that I have friends.

I get to have a million friends here at church, and I never want to leave, because I go home to no friends.

In the past, I was still going home alone but it was a needed break after having friend time all day 6 days of the week and I was totally ready to go home and have Sunday all to myself. But then I became a big girl who doesn’t spend all her time at school anymore. I don’t like the real world. Actually, I probably do like the real world—I don’t like moving every five weeks and therefore not having friends at the place I spend most of my time. I miss going to work in the morning and having a million friends there and stuff.

Finally, two quotes that have been sitting on my list of ideas for a while.

“It’s like being on the 100th floor of a building with only stairs and needing to sign an important document. The problem is, all the pens are on the first floor. You know you need a pen, and you know how to use one, but when you’re up at the top, it’s difficult for you the access the pen and therefore, the skill of using it.”

I love this quote. I can’t remember where I found it or to what it was originally referring. I love the analogy. It is so true that sometimes I have the skills and knowledge but not the ability to use them. There are a lot of directions I could go with this. I think the biggest one that I run into on an unfortunately somewhat regular basis is in the arena of communication. Because I was a little late to the game in learning these things, a lot of the time I am completely at a loss as to how to handle things that are in that arena. I studied really hard on the mechanistics of conversation, but studying for one, didn’t tell me the details that I really needed, and two, flies out the window when I am faced with a situation that feels over my head, because I can’t really take five minutes working on my “correct response” to a friend’s wave or conversational comment. A lot of the time once the instance of needing to respond right now is over, I know exactly what the right thing to do would have been, but in the moment I was on the 100th floor, and the pen was on the first floor. I didn’t know how to get myself there.

“Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.”

This quote was channeled from Kati Morton youtube’s best online therapist and just a really awesome and caring person whom I would love to meet in person some day…not in the context of therapy, but she is actually awesome enough that I could probably feel safe in therapy with her without a warm up period to make sure she wasn’t another one out to hurt me. She got the quote from Mark Suster who has adult ADHD. And probably child ADHD he just didn’t know about it yet.

Oh yeah. I hate the term damaged people. I just think it sounds kind of derogatory. Damaged things get discounted because they aren’t worth as much—no one will pay full price for damaged goods. The pain in my life doesn’t make me worth any less than anyone else. Being hurt deeply by someone doesn’t mean that I deserved it or was less than in any way. Fighting my way out of severe OCD, and social anxiety that bordered on selective mutism means that I do some things a little differently in life, but different isn’t wrong. Experiencing how people responded to the girl who was often on the sidelines but not often by choice gave me a lot of opportunity to learn how to do the same for others. I might not reach everyone, but I can reach someone. Like that starfish story, I might not be able to make a difference for each of the millions of people who need someone, each one counts. “It made a difference for that one.”

So anyway, the point is, at first I looked at that and was like, what?! As I thought about it, it is true. I totally do know that I can survive. I can’t be destroyed by hurtful words and actions or other adversity because I know I have made it through some pretty tough stuff (things way worse than anxiety disorders). I know I can survive. Bravery isn’t not being scared, it is doing it, scared. Because I know I can, I have developed tenacity and resilience. I still see more trees than forests, but I know when I see the tree that a forest is out there. Lol, speaking of forests and trees, I can recognize first that my rows of straightened chairs have a little zig and zag in them, but I can also recognize that when I walk into church I absolutely do not notice the chairs that aren’t quite straight until I see someone straightening them, because I don’t come to church for the chairs, I come to church for the people and to worship my wonderful Father. Doesn’t mean the church should look like a tornado came through, because in the eyes of a visitor that would probably be super confusing, but also doesn’t mean that I am a failure of a volunteer because I can’t make the chairs look perfect like everyone else does.

Whatever Comes Our Way

(Walking Like Giants–Stars Go Dim)

Pre-tip: if you actually hit post, the whole blogging thing works better…not that I wrote this around lunch time and never hit post or anything…

Also, September 7th was my best day for likes. Yay! It’s the little things.

Here are some tips for life…taken and/or modified from a video on how to use a journal that I just watched. I have no intention of actually using those directions on how to use a journal, because that would probably last all of about 3 days before I quit…cross that out…make that about 18 hours at the most. I tried really hard to use a planner for a long time. It worked really well for a few years. It pretty much stopped working somewhere in the past year and a half-ish when putting things in the calendar kept getting put off too many times to the point I was putting the event or assignment in the calendar right about the time I was supposed to be turning it in and/or getting myself to the event…and because things weren’t necessarily in the planner I stopped really looking at the planner…which meant I was even less likely to put things in it…which led to not getting things into the calendar until they were over…maybe even over for weeks…at which point I eventually gave up and am now 99% calendar free. Calendar free seemed really awesome until I realize I have very little concept of time and something four days away can feel like forever away so I forget about it and suddenly forever away is “I need to be ready in 42.3 seconds!” Or maybe I should have been ready last week. On the other hand, next month feels like 10 minutes from now and I might have next month planned right now…although by the time the time comes the plans will likely either no longer be practical or be completely forgotten. So yeah…giving me ideas on how to use a journal that requires I actually know where it is every day AND open it up to write stuff is probably not that practical…but I do really love the pretend friendship of the person who made the video so I watch it. (See, I am able to differentiate people I don’t know in real life from people who are real life friends…I just choose to think about online people as just as much my friends as the ones I do know in real life. I love having friends, and the more there are the merrier!)

So anyway…

  1. If you force yourself to use a single page for every to-do list for a month you won’t have much space. STOP. You don’t need a bigger page or to write smaller. Your space is limited, because you know what else is limited? Your time! (I thought this was super profound…because on the rare occasions on which I actually make a to do list like I should, I definitely am a culprit of the million-ty item long to do list that there is no way I could possibly complete).
  2. Something that works super awesome when you are hyperfocusing on it (which isn’t really focusing, it is really an inability to effectively switch one’s focus) is not something that is likely to work in every day life. So I have deleted a lot of pictures of my car…that were pretty much a waste of time. See, I had this great idea to take a picture of my car when I got out so I could look at it when I’m ready to leave to find my car again. On the surface this sounds like a rocking awesome idea…in reality, it was an epic fail. See, this relies on a lot of remembering. First, one must remember to take a picture of the car. For this step to work, one must also remember to leave enough time to take said picture, know where one’s phone is, and have remembered an umbrella to protect the phone if it is raining. Next, one must remember that the goal of this picture is not to remember what color the car is or that the car has wheels. That is, the picture must actually identify where the car is. Third, one must remember upon wanting to leave that the picture exists. This tends to be more useful when one remembers prior to getting off the parking garage elevator on four different floors and wandering around for a while on each or before walking three blocks one direction only to remember that the car is parked in the complete opposite direction. Side note that it is actually a time saver sometimes to park where no one else wants to, because you can park in the exact same spot every time and not have to wonder where you may have misplaced your car. On the other hand, if you are already running late, parking in the first available spot that everyone else wants is usually faster in the short term…soo…you might have to pick your battles.
  3. And then something silly that was also in the video: then put your contact information and a promise of a reward on it in case you lose it…but not your address unless you really want it returned. In person. At 3am. Lol…that wouldn’t bother me, but I also do not tend to have the best “safety skills.” Online safety, check, offline safety, umm nahh.

And ADD’s been chasing me all day, wait what did you just say?

(With you—Jamie Grace)

Yeah…although a lot of people have asked me if I have ADHD, or otherwise hinted at it, I still either don’t have it or am living in blissful ignorance. As far as I know, I do not have it…but I do admit that I have attention issues…attention issues does not equal ADHD in a 1:1 ratio in my opinion…but I did watch a video on ADHD and laughed super hard on Saturday…”if you interrupt people, give yourself a point, if you interrupt yourself, give yourself 3 points, if you don’t interrupt people but you don’t wait until they finish talking to say what you are thinking before you forget, give yourself 10 points” “If you have over 100 points and are still watching this video, give yourself 500 points”…I also watched a video on why fidgeting is good…and I was obvi fidgeting while watching the video…and over the course of a 3-minute video, I fell off of my chair twice…and therefore determined that actually fidgeting is bad…on the positive side, I didn’t knock the desk over on top of myself, so there is that…yeah…I did decide that after the last student left my tutoring session I could watch videos until the time was up because I was too tired to study…

Oh my…I have had issues with numbers for as long as I can remember, but I have always been able to hide it because I worked hard enough that I got enough right answers that my issues weren’t obvious based on sheer numbers of wrong answers. My parents often checked my work, which meant that the teachers never had to know that 256 became 526 halfway through my problem on the first attempt because I did all the work in my head and didn’t stop to check what number was supposed to be there instead relying on my memory and making my best guess if I didn’t remember with certainty. That is also how I almost ended up in special ed math in middle school because I did so poorly on the math part of fifth grade standardized testing. See, there was a choice for none of these, and I picked that one too much…hand-scoring picked up on that and proved I needed to slow down when I was working, not slow down the material…I was also the girl who refused to sit down and read until my parents found me with a book a few levels ahead of the one I was supposed to be reading…I wasn’t disinterested, I was just bored out of my mind and didn’t yet have the discipline to sit still and do what I was asked when I was so bored.

Until the past few years, however, I cannot remember ever having any issues with letters. Now, it seems that if I am not concentrating, letters end up backwards and/or upside down…it is super frustrating with d, b, p, q, and g, which when going fast, can all look identical if they face the wrong way…it is also super frustrating when you are trying to doodle out a word art and realize that the nice bold black letter you just finished coloring in is backwards. I know it is an attention issue and not an intelligence issue, because I definitely know what direction the letters go, and I definitely can write my letters the right direction. They only end up wrong when I am tired or stressed out or otherwise just not paying enough attention to what my hands are doing.

I kind of wonder if it has to do with my infancy…I know, that sounds super weird…but I was reading an article yesterday about how there is a material in medical tubing that allows the tubing to be flexible. That material is found in very high concentration in children in the hospital, particularly those children with indwelling devices. The levels quickly fall back to normal once all devices are removed, but this study found that when those children grew up they at some point had more attention problems as compared to their peers who had not spent time in the hospital even after attempts at correcting for any attention issues that may have been caused by the illness. I am fairly certain I had some hospital time as an infant…

Yesterday, over the course of more hours than I would like to admit, I got about two slides of like 10 words each read…see, I would decide I was going to read over the powerpoint, so I would get it open and find my place. Right about that time, I would decide I really should be studying EBM so I would close out of powerpoint and spend too much time deciding which part of EBM to study. About the time I chose and opened up my selection I would decide I really should be studying econ and open that up…only to realize that therapeutics is probably more important because my grade is so low in that class, but maybe I should check my email first, and then there was this one thing I wanted to read…and then it cycles over and over again and nothing gets done…well, except for the hour I spent reading about when children with spina bifida should be taught to self-cath rather than having mom or dad do it…yeah, super productive, but really random research topics like that draw me in and I can easily be lost in the web for hours without realizing the passage of time (see…I can pay attention…just not to anything of value)…the only reason I was pulled out sooner this time was because it was getting to be dinner time and my stomach was reminding me to stop what I was doing and eat…and I just happened to only have one tab open at that point so it wasn’t SO hard to tell myself ONE more thing then you are done, because by the time I finished eating I wasn’t hooked anymore because there were once again a million other things competing for my attention.

Also, last night I almost drove off the road, because I notice that my school had lit it up blue like that one building in new york and I was looking at it and really excited and forgot I was driving. Yep…attention is a little bit important when in the drivers seat of a big iron thing…and Saturday night I almost ran into another car because I put the car in reverse instead of drive…oops…

And sometimes I annoy even myself with all the sound effects that I add to my life…which probably has very little to do with attention but a lot to do with that there are a lot of things besides my goldfish-like attention span that annoy me…like how people will stand in front of a no-smoking sign sucking on a cancer stick. Gross. Don’t pollute my breathing air. If you wanna suck butt then go to your car or residence and close the doors and windows so you are only polluting the air that you have to continue to smell and don’t pollute the entire world…also, I hate when there are assigned seats for a test and the person next to me smells so strongly of smoke and BO that I can’t breathe…word to the wise, please shower and put on clean clothing before showing up to school, particularly on exam days…Kthxbai…

All that to say, sometimes I wonder if my friends are right about this whole ADHD thing and meds could fix my problems…but mostly I don’t want to know if that is the case, because I feel like I have enough things to worry about without adding a disorder on top. That might just be the last straw that broke Wiggle Worm’s back. …but anyway, computers solve most of my problems in the real world (Except for driving) so it doesn’t really matter…and I believe someday technology will produce self-driving cars so all I have to do is be physically present…and showing up is one of my strengths. 🙂 There aren’t a lot of things I am good at, but showing up is one of them.

You Won’t Know Until You Try

(Never ever ever give up—Thomas & Friends)

I thought I was ready to focus in class Tuesday. Then a stupid truck with a flashy light on top decided to park in front of the window for the entirety of the class. The truck won. Amount of antibiotic resistance material Wiggle Worm learned: minimal…Amount of time spent looking out the window and watching the light go on and off: umm, well, a lot? I tried really hard to focus, but even if I turned so it wasn’t even in my peripheral vision, I still knew it was there and besides, everyone knows I can’t sit still in class, so it wasn’t that long before I was once again facing the window and therefore was drawn into watching the lights again. Someone please explain to me why anyone thought a building with windows in pretty much every room was a good idea for a school. Also, please explain why the blinds for the windows are 100% see through—what is even the point of that?!?!? Also, people should recognize that I am trying really hard to learn and not do distracting things like have a flashy light right outside the window…sorry, but this is a school, and there are certain things that just aren’t okay at schools…kinda like how some schools send girls home if they forgot that they were supposed to wear clothes they didn’t outgrow ten years ago…

I thought I was totally 100% recovered from an incident last week…until I wasn’t wearing my headphones…It probably isn’t a good idea right now to go into details, but basically last week Tuesday ensured that my week would be from my nightmares. I thought that I was doing totally fine aside from a little frustration from the academic setbacks resulting from the fallout. And, I mean, I was doing REALLY well, but really well does not equal 100% recovery. I thought I was rocking it—I could see BPG* and it was annoying but didn’t really hugely negatively impact my day, and I didn’t feel all my muscles tighten to make me as small as possible (as if this girl who likes vibrant colors could really shrink down and be unseen…lol…literally). Yay! Progress! Until I was not wearing my headphones and heard The Voice…without even the visual I was once again hiding. Luckily, I was doing well enough that it wasn’t a major setback, but it definitely was not comfortable…so I guess we’ll go with that I am 96% recovered from that particular incident. Still, I am thankful for how much better baseline is than it was a year ago, because a year ago I might not have been doing this well even without an incident.

*no, I will not tell you what BPG stands for…trust me, you don’t really want to know…I will throw out there that the B definitely does not stand for the B-word though…I might not always be nice inside my head, but I definitely don’t use swear words to refer to things, because I have a vocabulary of real words.

Annoying is a snow day when I can look and even go outside and see that people are still speeding way too fast outside on the roads and don’t appear to be having any difficulty stopping and turning…well, aside from the fact that about 50% of people seem to have difficulty understanding what those big red octagonal signs are for regardless of the weather…

Speaking of idiotic drivers, yesterday someone WATCHED me make a three point turn so that I could park behind them…and then got back in her car and scooted back so that there was a space precisely the size of my car behind her (which obviously means I wasn’t going to be able to get into it), and a space just slightly smaller than my car in front of her. Oh my…if I hadn’t been busy turning around to look again for a place to leave my big iron thing, I would have given her a piece of my mind…so it is good that I was busy, because my mind is valuable, so I shouldn’t be giving it away to undeserving people 🙂

Also, I really appreciate that school no longer waits until everyone is seated in class to cancel classes for the day—that is super obnoxious and something they did repeatedly a few years ago…but it would be nice if they could cancel it before I pack my back pack and lunch box and walk out the door. I did check my email as soon as I got up AND before I finished packing up…luckily, my mom saw the email immediately when it was sent and texted me so I got the memo prior to arriving at school and potentially discovering a half-full water bottle without any way to fill it up on my own…which meant a detour to the lobby to turn in homework, send emails, and finish this post before throwing everything from my backpack onto my bed to have a do-over on today’s plans…frustrated, but All Things…

10-year V-v-v-v-v-veterans serving up the medicine



I got an email a couple days ago with the subject line of: silence kills so we speak. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. The actual email wasn’t so exciting, but I so agree with the sentiment in the subject line. Silence is the worstest thing ever. There are two reasons. 1. Like the video I have pinned on pinterest elucidates, being excluded hurts just as much as being physically and verbally bullied if not more because no one can really see how you are being mistreated. 2. Shame breeds in silence and silence drives away connection. The very worst thing for someone who has experienced something difficult is to be unable to talk about it. Words are powerful and by association, lack of words is similarly powerful.


Thank you guys! I reached 50 likes this week! IDK if that is a current prevalence estimate or an incidence (that is, whether it includes people who clicked like and then unliked a post, or if it only includes people who actually currently like one of my posts), but either way that was kind of exciting! My stats stopped being useful back in June/July 2014 when a bunch of views was really more likely to mean one particular group of people were looking for anything they could twist than that there were really people liking what I was writing, but I feel that likes are a more reliable way of measuring if I am having an impact, because I read a LOT of blog posts, but I click like on very few of them. (although I also don’t go looking for posts I won’t like…unless you count the germ stories I compulsively read when struggling)…


I am really proud of this ice cream cup. It turned out so pretty (well at least until I dropped the plastic bag I was carrying it in a few times on the way out the door this morning). It still wasn’t too messed up at lunch time though as you can see…haha, not pictured: the mess of drips on my kitchen counter involved in creating this particular bowl of ice cream with pretzel flavored magic shell on top…magic shell does not harden on the kitchen counter…


Today (Tuesday) I took a field trip to stupid new building to get my quizzes both to find out what my score was and to make sure I was doing the problems in such a way as to earn points…I came back without a quiz, but I wouldn’t say it was completely a failure, because I did come back with cake with Christmas tree sprinkles on it in my stomach…right after I re-listened to the video about how sugar and carbohydrates are the enemies of concentration…but how could I possibly say no to cake?! Someday I’ll get my quizzes…and even if I get a D in all my classes I’ll still eventually become a pharmacist even if I can’t get my ideal job, I still have my whole life ahead of me and can work my way up to where I really wanna be…


It’s one of those weeks where I really don’t have time for a bunch of extra things even like my favorite Bible study…which basically means that I really need to make the time, because if I am going to lose study time, I’d rather lose it to something that makes me happy than to an OCD flare.


One of my aunts called with a medicine question. I really like playing pharmacist…except, I am one of those people who prefer not to hurt anyone’s feelings…which makes it hard when someone wants to argue over whether a particular disease actually exists…Do I believe it is real? Yes. Do I believe that it is often over-medicated or over-diagnosed? Yes. But do I want to tell you that I disagree with your opinion that this is a made-up disorder? No way…the drug-info I am very happy to impart, but I’ll leave you to make your own decision on whether or not the disorder exists…


This rocks my socks: . True that! Are there some things that are true injustices on college campuses? Yes, but do people freak out at things that are completely fine? Also, definitely yes. Like the blog I wrote for a project first year said, blessed are the flexible for they will not be broken in two. I can’t remember what the point of that statement was in the project, but I know that it fits here pretty well…listening to the video I was outraged. Every person deserves respect. Students were screaming at reporters in the video. To the reporters credit, they remained calm and either dusted it off their shoulders and ignored it or calmly responded to the students, but that is completely unacceptable behavior on the part of the students. Another part of the video showed students screaming in the hall of what appears to be an academic building. Also, completely 100% unacceptable. There are acceptable ways to show your positive and negative emotions and screaming is not one of them…unless your child is about to walk into traffic and you need to immediately get their attention…


I have a final tomorrow. I hate finals. I really do know stuff right now…but I know that when I am there it is really a roll of the dice whether or not I’ll know it…Story of my life…which is why I try really hard to study to the point that I know my notes inside and out to minimize the chance of forgetting everything…yeah, when I say I know nothing, sometimes that might be true, but more often it means I know the material but not yet to the point I will still know it and be able to recall it fast enough when faced with a big scary exam that makes the downstairs brain kick out the upstairs brain (yes, this is an analogy I learned when I totally wasn’t on pinterest this morning…)

Every Tear I Cry, You Hold in Your Hands

(Praise You in The Storm—Casting Crowns)

I love this image. It shows such an all-knowing, all-loving God. I think I know myself pretty well, but how much more well must God know me? You gotta know someone pretty well and be pretty attentive to them to be able to hold their tears in your hand. Even an infants who cannot wipe away his or her own tears will usually have tears falling onto the blankets and clothes before their earthly caregiver can attend to their needs…and clearly if every single tear I cry matters enough to God to be cherished then he must love me quite a lot. He holds my pain knowing that it is not something to be taken lightly, that it matters. He knows he didn’t create me to be too much or not enough even though the world may make me feel that way.

As the notecard I wrote (with poor grammer…oops…proofreading would have been smart) in high school says, “I am a girl that God created that turned out exactly how he wanted, and whom he loves and has a plan for. I am not a mess-up or failure, and God is not disappointed in the way I turned out. God does not want a redo. He is not ashamed of me.”

It seems like a contradiction, but I often feel like both too much and not enough. Either way, I don’t feel adequate.

Sometimes I am not enough. I can’t handle the cavernous, mall-like-minus-the-decoration-lights-and-stores, ambiance of the stupid new building. Aside from the fact that some idiot put the career fair at a time when every single fifth year student had at most a 70 minute break between classes for lunch, but more likely had only 10 minute breaks between classes and meetings, there was no way that I was going to get there. Should I attend the career fair, well, probably, but did I, no. Sometimes it is better to cut my losses. I had to walk through it to get from point A to point B and the activity and crowdedness (umm we have a lot of large rooms, even rooms with doors that close so you aren’t distracting people in classes trying to actually maybe learn something at school, so why are you having an event in the hallway…) just accentuated the awful ambiance of the new building and even just walking down the hall to get to the stairs I wanted to figure out whose bright idea this was and impolitely give them a piece of my mind…however, I am more mature than that, so I just kept walking and minded my own business..

Sometimes I am too much. I am an extravert (wrapped in a shell of introversion for protection) so I LOVE communicating and people wanting to talk to me is pretty awesome…but I can’t end the conversation very well, because I just want to keep talking forever, and so what started as just a hi can become an hour or more conversation if the other person doesn’t have anywhere to be. It is great at first, however, when it is the end of the day and I am realizing how little I have gotten done and you are like the tenth or so person to stop to talk to me, as much as I appreciate it, it starts getting a little frustrating, because clearly another hour talking could have some serious implications for my grades…and my grades are still important to me…

Sometimes I am both too much and not enough simultaneously. That last person who talked to me Wednesday started talking about how he thinks I probably have ADHD. I suppose I should be grateful for the concern. I should be happy he felt safe enough to share that with me, but what I am hearing is that I am too much; too much energy, too much noise, too much talking and laughing, too much joy, too much everything…and not enough; not enough focus, not enough points in my grade, not enough patience, not enough sitting still, not enough of anything…I am still happily living in ignorance/denial. Sure, the questionnaire I filled out last year placed me with a high likelihood in that category, but I am still content to pretend that it isn’t real…sometimes I might not really be that interested in your opinion that I have ADHD. Maybe I do, maybe I don’t, but I am not interested in pursuing that possibility. I am not interested in medication, not only because like you pointed I am already bouncing off the walls without a stimulant, but also because although caffeine is a different class of stimulants, it is still a stimulant, and it makes me sick so I am kind of scared that a narcotic stimulant would be even worse. I’d much rather be a distractible ball of energy than be exhausted and nauseous. (This is what pt-ctrd care means to me–not putting me automatically on a stimulant just ’cause it is first line). Yeah, there are other possible directions for treatment, but even then, we are missing the other problem that ain’t nobody got time to go diagnosis-seeking and then attend f/u meetings. Plus, I am not interested in the kind of accommodations people usually get for ADHD, so there doesn’t seem to be a lot of benefit in a diagnosis. I would prefer to take my exams in the room with teachers in it, not proctors who know nothing about the exam content. It feels safer that way. It is also not all that often that timing on exams is a problem. Most of my problems come in with remembering to do and turn in my homework, and actually studying rather than sitting with notes in front of me while thinking about something completely different…someone to sit next to me to keep me on track would be super helpful, but is not a very practical solution.

A few times I have scraped ice from my car in a t-shirt and shorts and sandals. I am not responsible enough. My umbrella remains at home and it pours rain later. I am not prepared enough. My laundry is piling up while I desperately attempt to shove info in my head. I am not smart enough. I paste on a smile over my hurt and loneliness and frustration. Not happy enough. Not real enough.

But I will never be not loved enough. I have the amazingest friends ever who love me more than I deserve, and I have God who loves me more than I could ever imagine. To God, I will never be not enough or too much. To God I am perfectly just me.

…and when I can see my value I can think more logically…so maybe I can’t access everything that I set my heart on, but that doesn’t mean I have to stay stuck at a standstill. I know exactly what the trigger was when I had the last OCD flare. My research topic for an entire semester was on treatment of OCD…pretty sure I have some idea what I need to do even if I don’t wanna follow my treatment algorithm (which I thought was a novel approach I came up with through my research but apparently according to my teacher’s comments it is pretty similar to Canada’s treatment model…great minds think alike…not so great minds also think alike…everybody thinks alike…see, the action potential goes down the axon, which activates the calcium channels and the calcium influx causes neurotransmitter release which stimulates or inhibits dendrites or whatever else to which the axon connects).

The part where I am not so sure that self-treatment is going to work is that a lot of the time even things that should be triggers don’t bother me. Case in point: Monday is the next therapeutics exam, so stress is definitely on board. Wanna know what I saw walking in to school: someone had metaphorically tossed their cookies on the sidewalk. Wanna know what I did: walked around it. Wanna know what I didn’t do: freak out or do any extra washing or researching or anything I wouldn’t have done otherwise. Yeah, I did spray 409 over the table I was going to be working at, but that’s because some people still haven’t figured out that their mommies and daddies didn’t come to college with them and so they’re going to need to wipe up their own spills. Someone left the entire table super sticky, and my homework papers already get sticky enough from my own spills so I don’t need them stuck to the table from someone else’s. I don’t understand why people can’t grab a Kleenex or a paper towel and wipe up their spills. I also don’t get how it is that a couple weeks ago I could get stuck over touching toilet paper whereas today arguably with more stress I didn’t get stuck over V…not that I ever want to give back my recovery, but in some ways it was easier when life was predictable and I pretty much knew upon waking in the morning that it was going to be a day like any other, fighting the obsessions and compulsions all day rather than how it is now where most days I am totally fine and then BAM flare…actually, last year when I didn’t have any flares was bliss and I just didn’t know how lucky I was to not even have to wonder whether the next day might be a problem day…I mean, I suppose I kind of did with other life circumstances, but in terms of OCD it was golden.

Wait what did you just say? Okay, okay, see I misplaced my masterplan courtesy of my attention span, but Imma be okay.

(Jamie Grace–With You)

In one of the books I have to read for one of my classes it mentioned that the character recognized the problem, remained calm, and solved the problem…I am not consistently good at a single part of that sequence…well, maybe recognizing the problem, I suppose in some ways I am good at that, but at the same time there is a reason my nickname in high school was “specs”…and it had absolutely nothing to do with whether or not I wore glasses…and when there is a problem I frequently react first and ask questions later…and if I do recognize a problem and remain calm that doesn’t mean I have any semblance of resolution to the problem…I am your ‘yes’ girl. I am hilariously bad at saying no. Twice this week people have asked me if I ever say no and one of them was like let’s practice…she said “I want a cookie” I said “I want a cookie” She said “you’re not getting it, tell me no” and I said “but you want a cookie and I have two cookies left in my lunch box.” (etc)…I somehow managed to agree to drive someone to the store whom I had met about an hour or so earlier…as it turned out he went to his room to grab his wallet and came back and had determined he actually didn’t need anything, but yeah, this is probably why I yell at myself wondering what I was thinking third year when I seemingly chose to stay when it seems like why didn’t I RUN…I (and probably some of the people who know me well) know when my yes is really a yes and when it is more like I just can’t say no…there’s the hesitation, the determination, and then the people-pleasing (but possibly wishy-washy if I still think I might be able to change it later) yes…although I suppose some of the accidental yeses are actually because I will respond and say yes if I think that is what is expected of me even if I didn’t really hear or understand what it was that I was being asked. That sounds really bad, but if I am having a for real conversation I’ll usually actually get clarification if I don’t know what we’re talking about, but when someone asks me something as they walk by or other situations like that I figure if it is really important and/or if my response doesn’t make sense then they’ll stop long enough that I’ll know I need to revise my answer…

So anyway…that was not at all what I thought I was going to write about…also, I discovered that while I complain about other people being way off topic in group discussions that I am not always the best role model for group dynamics either, because I start talking about one thing, get halfway through the discussion then forget we are talking about that and start asking about something else sometimes completely unrelated…I try to stick to one thing, but sometimes people are going so slow on that one thing that I can’t help but move on to the next thing, but that isn’t very helpful…

Yesterday I had the thought “all I did is go eat a cupcake and now someone is dead. What did I do wrong?” Clearly, children dying of brain cancer is not my fault, but that wasn’t exactly what I wanted to see immediately upon opening my computer to resume studying…and so I didn’t (Resume studying immediately that is…). Instead I wrote this:


No longer living.

Passed to the other side.

Void of life.


I know that working in pediatric healthcare and even just being a living human being I will encounter death; particularly death of children. You never get used to the news, the grief, the finality. It doesn’t get easier. Each death is just as hard as the last.

Death happens every day. I know that; but when it strikes in someone who already was facing so many challenges in life it is hard to comprehend.

This one was a vibrant, full of life, elementary aged non-verbal boy with retinoblastoma. The seizures perhaps were painful, and I know from personal experience that living with communication differences can be really hard, but he isn’t supposed to be dead. He is supposed to be playing Hot Wheels Criss Cross Crash and going to school.

This would be an example of me not staying calm…although perhaps it is reasonable to be a little upset as long as it is for a confined period of time after someone dies…also, I am not 100% sure that Criss Cross Crash still exists, but I really want to play that right now…I am kind of craving the sound of the whirring motors and the cars falling off the track…I usually lost at that game because I generally picked the pretty cars which usually aren’t the most balanced cars and therefore mine were a lot more likely to fall off the track in someone else’s zone, but when I played all by myself and therefore on all four teams I had a lot of fun…

Some of my problems are easily solvable on my own if I actually cared enough to solve them…for example…I was whining at myself that it is uncomfortable to wear shorts under my pants to keep them from falling down, but it is also annoying when they are falling down or when I am trying to keep my shirt pulled down over the top to keep them up…umm…easily solved by taking the time to find pants that fit if I care that much…I outgrew an awesome pair of pants in like middle school that had an elastic waistband, and have never since found such a comfortable and convenient pair of black dress pants…if it were up to me, all pants would have either elastic or draw string waistbands because zippers and buttons are annoying and people don’t come in exact sizes so pants shouldn’t either.

Also, I did think there was too much stuff in my pencil bag…but I intended to solve that problem by cleaning out the junk that accumulated in there rather than by leaving my whiteboard markers at (school I do not attend but had to go to for a field trip 😦 )…

Someone posted criteria that they suggested that young adults meet before being allowed to go to college…I am thankful that no one applied that list to me, ’cause I would still not be “ready” for college with those criteria, nor do I believe I would ever be ready. I understand that the criteria were designed to minimize the threat of lack of emotional maturity or mental health disorders impinging on the college experience, so things like understanding that calories from alcohol do not count towards nutritional eating and having an ability to tolerate anxiety makes sense to me, but I am very much not a fan of the criteria of using ketchup/mayo/salad dressing comfortably. I do understand that the intent behind that criterion is for students who may be leaning towards/already experiencing an eating disorder to get help for that before being released onto their own and potentially spiraling downward when no longer supervised, but using that criterion I will never be ready for college, because this girl is a picky eater who refuses ketchup, mayo, and salad dressing (among many other things). Just because I wipe the salad dressing off the vegetables before eating them (if I eat them at all after they have been adulterated with the dressing) and just because I peel off the bread that touched the mayo doesn’t mean I am eating disordered any more than you would consider your Similac fed infant to have an eating disorder because she refuses Enfamil. I think the concept is good, but some of the criteria need refinement before it is a practical list. I also believe that while it is a nice idea to think that it would be best for students to be emotionally mature and at very low risk of mental illness before going to college, I think that college is a time for students to learn more about who they are apart from the constant supervision of grade school, and having or being at risk for having a mental illness shouldn’t preclude a student from attending college as long as they are controlled well enough to be aware of their own needs (as in someone who is currently completely psychotic and delusional probably isn’t ready for college, nor is the student who is severely underweight yet refuses to eat and has no desire to change that behavior). Our brains don’t fully mature until our twenties—that’s something that car insurance people know and capitalize on—so yes, many students will make bad choices, but that doesn’t mean that they failed at the college experience. Unless their bad choice caused them to die, chances are it allowed them to learn to make better choices in the future and boosted their maturity…and let’s be honest, there are full-grown adults who make bad choices—that’s why we have conflict in our lives and in severe cases what we have a legal system for—if people can’t go to college until they meet all these criteria then what are we going to do with the ginormous cohort that will eventually be 90 years old and have never attended college? How will we maintain our society when we have maybe only like one or two people ready for college directly after graduation and we thus have a significantly reduced work force to take care of a growing number of people? Just sayin’ It is also kind of like red-shirting. Sure, you can keep your kid out of kindergarten for an extra year so he or she is more likely to be at the top of his or her class and has more time to mature before entering kindergarten, but at the end of the day, eventually you are legally required to enroll your child in kindergarten and the teachers are trained to help 5 year olds learn how to function in a school environment, because they know that a lot of kids are coming to them not knowing yet how to sit in their assigned chair all morning (or afternoon as the case may be) and to raise their hands before speaking. They don’t expect the kids to know that yet…and let’s be honest if some of those kids are like me, they become comfortable with the school setting and still don’t always wait before talking, and nothing bad happened except for occasionally being told to be quiet, but most teachers appreciate the participation even if it isn’t preceded by a hand in the air.