Category Archives: ADHD

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

(Loud’n’Clear—TobyMac)

 

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)…

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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: http://www.today.com/parents/university-president-blasts-students-being-too-sensitive-not-daycare-t58811 . 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:

Dead.

No longer living.

Passed to the other side.

Void of life.

Why?

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.

Looking back at where you have been

(How You Live—Point of Grace)

So I wanted to write about the alphabet soup of labels that have been used on me over the past few years and my thoughts on each…as always, it is more about thinking things through for myself that for anyone else to read, but I am always happy to share my thoughts to whomever may enjoy them or benefit from them 🙂

So, I started with SI, self-injury…It was a way to grasp onto some small piece of control in a world that I was drowning in. When it had gotten the worst and I finally realized it needed to stop, I had recently stopped swimming, and while everyone thought of me as a swimmer still, to me I had lost that identity and I missed both the water and struggled with the loss of the identity. People at school still thought I was a “smart kid” but my grades weren’t the greatest and I had never fully latched onto the identity of being smart, but it felt that what little bit I had held onto was being ripped away from me…although looking back, the grades were probably at least partially a result of the other things going on in life, although it definitely was partly because I was reaching the point where trying harder and longer was no longer enough to make up for my low reading comprehension level—when reading comprehension only required knowing what the words meant, I excelled, but when it began requiring actually understanding written material I was a little lost. I had made up for it by working harder and longer, but there was more work and it was going farther and farther over my head…and then on top of the school thing, on August 10, 2008, I attended a new church. Taking me away from my old church completely changed what I saw as the course of my life and took away the things I had been looking forward to in the years to come. That was one more thing that was taking away my view of my identity and taking away my sense of control…I was struggling and the SI gave me a way to put the control back into my hands. It could cover up the pain in my life…I mean, yes, it hurt, but it felt better to be the one in control of my pain instead of feeling totally helpless needing to just endure the pain. I never WANTED to hurt; that was NOT the intent…it happens when the pain seems like the only way to feel okay. It isn’t to control other people. It is a way to feel control over myself. I let myself get walked all over, and hurting myself let me feel like I still had control over myself…is it fun to bruise my knuckles on occasion when I bit them too hard, certainly not, nor was it fun to feel the need to pinch myself to control pain, but it felt like a solution to my pain. I knew it was wrong, but knowing and being able to act on that knowledge were certainly different things.

I still refuse to label myself whatsoever with anorexia nervosa…yet…I was headed that direction my senior year of high school, and had I not noticed it and stubbornly known I was definitely not letting myself going there and forced myself to turn around, my life could have taken a very different path. It was NEVER about food, and NEVER about weight…it was simply another way to try to reach for control. I was losing my old church the rest of the way, and I was hurting…I wasn’t going to go back to self-injury, and I guess this was the next best thing I could reach for. It only lasted a couple months, but when I realized it, it was definitely scary to see where it could have gone…At the point I realized it and turned things around, I was NOT at dangerous weight, and was still eating three meals per day and snacks—I was not starving…did I lose weight, yes, but my BMI remained just barely within the healthy range, so it doesn’t feel like I really deserve the label of an eating issues kid, although I definitely know that people don’t usually feel like they deserve a label of AN even when they do…but I feel like for me it never went far enough to really label me that way…

I was going to go in chronological order of when things were suggested to me, and/or became problems, but it is hard to determine exactly what comes next…

I guess I’ll write about OCD next…when I told my friend about the food restriction when I got scared and was turning things around, she mentioned that I should look into OCD…I had no reason at that point to believe I had OCD and I didn’t really understand—I was attempting to research how OCD treatment is connected to anorexia nervosa treatment…and was not overly successful…I never really bought into the whole OCD thing and 99% forgot about it…until first year when I was hanging out with my friend and she said to bring up OCD with my counselor and I agreed to try…a few weeks later I successfully tried…however…when the obvious follow-up question of “why” was asked it was met with an “I don’t know” and the conversation was dropped and never retrieved…I attempted to elicit help later that year when I was terrified because my roommate had gotten sick, but my attempt was completely unnoticed as far as I can tell…which probably isn’t that surprising seeing as how my counselor at this point had not yet given me a way to communicate, and via email I had simply put it as a statement that I was coming unless I got sick because my roommate was sick, so without any way to know how I communicate and without any way for me to get help without drawing attention to myself, it is not that surprising that no one really knew what happened…I think it was that summer that someone else suggested OCD to me, which was what brought it to the forefront again, and when I went back to school in the fall using handwashing as a distraction technique and stuff I was finally ready to actually admit that there was a problem here…It was only the control the people mentioning it had seen at this point—the germ issues were pretty well hidden…If you wanna read more about my struggle with OCD I have written quite a few things about that…but yeah, there is no question that OCD was a problem for me…there isn’t much other explanation for my bloody hands, my refusal to eat and drink, my sanitization of my environment, my holding my breath in dirty spaces, and so much more, and I am SO thankful that I no longer have to deal with that. I thought last year that just not having compulsions would be enough to make me happy…After everything I had been through I had lost hope that freedom was possible. My counselor had told me so many times that it was hopeless and I was never going to be good enough that I started to believe it and lower my aims…but she was wrong. It took some time once I was recovered to really believe this was for real and not just a break or something, but I am so glad that I don’t have to worry about that stuff anymore. The way it feels when you accidentally touch the oven when it is hot is how your brain feels when you have OCD. But rather than just a brief localized ouch, the whole brain starts to hurt like that. And you can’t just remove your brain from the heat like instinctively happens with your hand…so you do compulsions. Washing and avoidance are like a tiny trickle of cold water…it feels just a tiny bit less hot in just a small point, but that feels SO good you just keep doing it…yeah, the washing is annoying but necessary but it also feels like if you could just stop washing it would feel awesome because that is taking up so much time and energy…and while the OCD isn’t really about the compulsions, it feels like that is all there is, because the compulsions and avoidance seem like the entirety of the OCD—the reason behind the compulsions and avoidance becomes hidden under the compulsions and avoidance…so yeah…I am so glad to have turned off the oven and no longer have to deal with the OCD…no compulsions/avoidance, nor any desire for them 🙂

Completely unrelated side note…I should probably be careful with what I repeat…my radio stopped working like a year or so ago so sometimes I listen to my ipod when I ride my bike…and that was what I was doing a few days ago…sometimes when I am listening to something and I like it I repeat it…so I said “You’re gonna get mean. You’re gonna get tough. You’re gonna get physical. You’re gonna get out there and KILL!”…yep, I said that out loud…haha yeah…anyone who really knows me knows that although I love self-defense, I am not very sure that I could actually intentionally hurt someone even if they were attempting to kill me…but random people on the street don’t know that…

Back to what I was talking about, looking back at where I have been…before my second year, someone suggested that perhaps my reaction to going to the new church had become PTSD. I am not really sure I agree with that, primarily because there was no threat to my life, or anyone else’s…like yes, it was a huge deal to me, but part of the lasting effects I think I kind of brought on myself…I could see that I was being torn away and desperately desired for that not to happen, so I was taping over the weak spots holding it together which meant that when it finally was completely torn away, instead of one straight line taking off a piece of my heart, the was a jagged line that seemed as if nothing could ever match up enough to fill in the gaps…it was my holding on so tightly that I think probably ultimately made it so hard…but when you have built your life around a certain situation, and especially when this is where you have been “studying” social skills for so long but not well enough to have any transferable skills, it is really hard to be forced to leave and completely start over. This year I finally found peace with the situation. Yes, there are things that were hard and things I missed out on through the change, but there are also some good things that would never have happened (okay fine…and some bad things…I would never have gotten into counseling if it weren’t for people I met at the new church…so I would have been protected from some stuff)…but I have absolutely loved doing VBS, and have been the head teacher for the 0 to 2 year olds for the past few years, and that is something I never could have experienced, and while I am sure there are plenty of other activities I could have done instead, this one is not bad and is a highlight of my summer…unfortunately, this year I am unsure if I will be able to do it because of when it falls with my rotation, but I am hopeful that I will be able to at least volunteer a night or two even if I can’t lead (and chances are while I am there I will lead anyway if I make it—it wasn’t until last year that I was even aware that I WAS the head teacher…I naturally am inclined toward leadership so in the past I had taken on that role to some extent, but never knew that I was officially assigned that position…I just thought I was another volunteer in the room…but anyway, I love VBS and am glad I have gotten that experience…and actually, after reading this article , I am more willing to define the experience in the same way as the person who suggested it had defined it.

So yeah…social anxiety…this is another one I am super proud of where I have come. For as long as I can remember, I have been pretty avoidant of social situations. If I really had to do it, I usually could, but if it was reasonably avoidable, it was avoided…which is probably why I had the same group of friends through most of middle school and still didn’t know their names by the end of middle school…and why the new kids were usually my friends until they got in with the cool kids and left me behind…like, it feels good for you to thank me for being your first friend, but it detracts from the thanks when you have no longer been interested in being with me ever since the cool kids accepted you a few weeks ago…You would probably be amazed at how much of life I was able to navigate without speaking out loud and with minimal written communication…At some point first year I was talking to my at home friend and she was shocked to hear that I talked to my counselor even less than I talked to her, because I barely spoke to her…but she was my best friend so I was a lot more comfortable with her, and thus was much more able to speak even if I couldn’t say much…and plus my friend was so encouraging. Some of my favorite memories with her are of how enthusiastically she praised me when I spoke out loud, especially when I said something besides “yes” no” or “I don’t know.” In my records from third year I saw the diagnosis of selective mutism…at first I thought that was stupid because I always could get through the amount of speaking I deemed important enough to push through, but after more reflection, I suppose that I probably was at least on the bubble between JUST social anxiety and having SM…There was SO much more in my head that I really wanted to say that I couldn’t push through my mouth…It was painstaking at times to get words out that I really wanted to say. I would try so hard and not be able to say anything…It was as if my mouth and vocal cords were glued in place, and my feet were glued to the floor…If you imagine that you wanted to do cartwheels in the grass, but were wrapped up like a mummy and tied in place unable to move a muscle without great difficulty, that is what it feels like…it is not fun…I do prefer the older term, elective mutism, to the new term though…selective mutism to me feels more as if there is a choice involved in when to speak and when to be silent, whereas elective mutism doesn’t feel like a choice, rather it feels to me as if it describes more something out of my control that just happens in some settings…I say in some settings, because I have never had a large amount of difficulty in the classroom—that is the one setting in which I could usually speak whenever I needed to…which, unfortunately, means that now that I speak freely to everyone, the amount of talking I do in the classroom is kind of a problem because I start talking to the people sitting next to me, and I talk to myself, and I just say whatever is on my mind as soon as it pops into my head without thinking first about whether it is actually overly important or relevant at the moment…which means I get yelled at occasionally by teachers because I can’t keep my mouth shut and be quiet…but considering I came from being too quiet and getting yelled at by a counselor last year for not speaking enough, I will accept being yelled at for being too loud and obnoxious…although it hurts my heart when my friends tell me to shut up because I am being really distracting, because I try really hard to be quiet and not bother anyone, but it is like I can’t find the turn off switch and my mouth is constantly powered on, meowing like a cat and saying whatever is on my mind, and it bothers them, but I can’t shut up…I don’t WANT to bother anyone…I just want to make everyone happy, and I can’t. Sometimes I feel like I will never be good enough.

I guess next is the last one in my blog title…ASD…There is only one person who ever truly suggested that I had autism. Sure, one person suggested previously that I didn’t really seem to recognize or express emotions, but I believe that I couldn’t recognize them as well as other girls because I had spent so much of my life isolated, and didn’t express much, because expressing emotion tends to bring attention to yourself—attention that I preferred to avoid at all costs. Aside from that, the statement was a completely new proposition…I still do not really know what she saw in me to label me that way…I asked in writing the next week but she refused to tell me, because it is her clinical judgement and that is not my business and not up for negotiation. I was a compliant and respectful girl…okay fine…I was also passive and didn’t know how to stand up for myself…but not knowing is still really hard, because how can I argue against it if I don’t even know your point of view?!…yeah, I do still crave control, which means I want to know everything…I want to know why people have done or said things. I want to know what people are thinking…I get frustrated with books and news articles and movies, because they leave out what I consider the ending…to anyone else all the information needed is there, but I want to know more…One of the times she kicked me out (and then “apologized” and allowed me back) she connected the “autism” to my taking a little time to speak my thoughts…I think anyone with half a brain would realize that if speaking is terrifying then words will not come quickly…without fear I can now hold a conversation just fine…but with the fear, it was hard…The fear clouded my ability to process the words being spoken to me…it was hard to find words to reply, to shorten those words into something I could realistically convey, to force those words out of my mouth…clearly a conversation with me was going to require at least a little waiting if you were going to want spoken responses from me and do not accept written responses, especially if you ask questions that not only require more than a yes or a no, but also requires a significant amount of knowledge that I might not have or thoughtfulness that you are not allowing me enough time to procure…even without fear, I certainly cannot come up with a 10-page case presentation without stopping to think about my response first…in the real world, they call this successfully avoiding impulsivity…yeah, sometimes I start immediately, but I tend to pay for that in stupid things falling out of my mouth or coming out my fingers that I wouldn’t have said/written if I’d stopped to THINK for a minute…So, my opinion currently is that if you are not willing to give me a reason when directly asked why you think I may have autism, then I doubt that your assessment is based on anything about me. If someone I trusted thought there was a possibility I would be more than willing to look into it and collaboratively assess the possibility, working together as a TEAM, but unless/until someone trustworthy objects, I am closing the book on any possibility of autism.

So that leaves ADHD…This one is the newest and therefore the one I have had the least time to reflect on…At first I was a bit offended when it was suggested to me…Although it was someone who likely intended no harm, I guess it just wasn’t coming at a good time and my interpretation of the thought was that of someone looking for something wrong with me to discount my interpretation of how things were going…I thought I was having trouble concentrating because my life was kind of turbulent, and pathologizing that feeling felt to me as if she were telling me that I didn’t deserve to feel hurt after being abused and having my life and livelihood taken away from me…I doubt she intended it that way, but I was already hurting, and upset and this just made me feel blown off, and as if I didn’t matter…I don’t value myself very highly and therefore do not expect that much from other people, but I do deeply crave feeling accepted for who I am…not just tolerated based on what I can do for you, but accepted…the turning point in really believing it was in filling out a questionnaire about ADHD…it was intended as more of a survey than a diagnostic tool, but it kind of opened my eyes to the possibility that I really did have ADHD…every one of my responses fell within the category of possible ADHD…and many of the questions pointed directly at things that really bothered me about myself…I get really frustrated with myself sometimes when teachers yell at me for talking too much in class when I really wasn’t trying to be disruptive…I squirm and am always in motion instead of sitting still facing forward like a mature person…I am impulsive (there is a broken key on my keychain as a reminder from an event in which I acted impulsively…it is supposed to serve as a reminder, but the thing is that when I am about to act impulsively, it is not like I get a little signal or anything to look down at my keychain, see the broken key, and remember to reflect on whether or not what I am about to do is a good idea…but just if you were wondering, cutting your nice (expensive) lock off your bike because you played with and broke one of the keys is not such a good idea, especially when you actually do have four more keys that you could use to unlock it—they just aren’t currently hung on a keychain around your neck…)…and, well, I am distractible (there are a lot of examples I could use here, but a very recent example: I interrupted the sales person at the car place while she was talking about something to which I probably should have been listening to ask what the red button on her computer did—I really wasn’t intentionally tuning her out, but sometimes the background track gets so loud I forget about the foreground…haha…yeah…this is one of the areas in which the social anxiety actually was helpful…when it was harder to talk, I didn’t interrupt my friends or people providing me with information…I may still have been distracted thinking about that bright red button, but my mouth was shut so I at least wasn’t being rude and interrupting them…so yeah…after that long aside…my (former) counselor suggested I either give medication a chance or keep working with a counselor to try to learn to focus better (or do both), but my opinion is that if I have made it this far without official help, that if I set my mind to it I will continue to be able to work around this on my own…obviously if something changes and I discover that the frustration with myself has become too intense or the distraction and impulsivity start causing greater problems in my life then I am all for solving that problem, but I don’t really want to fix something that isn’t really broken…plus, in much of my experience, people are being medicated for ADHD because they are driving the people AROUND them crazy rather than because the symptoms are bothering them, and in my opinion, I am who I am. If you don’t like my unmedicated crazy self then don’t be friends with me, and if you are willing to accept it with open arms I would love to be good friends with you…I have nothing against people that do use medication whether they use it the way I would or not (as long as they are using it legally), but I just think that medication is not really right for me right now…besides how crazy expensive it can be…

…haha yeah…just wondering if anyone actually made it all the way to the end of this post…also, I decided I am tired of being a responsible adult…I kind of want to go back to elementary school where the most important decision I had to make was whether I would draw attention to myself by allowing the teachers to re-assign field trip groups after the groups had been announced when they realized I had accidentally been placed with the bullies, or if I would remain in the group for the end of the year field trip and just assume things would be okay (I selected staying in the group, and it wasn’t really that bad…not perfect, but certainly could have been much worse)…