Since coming off these drugs, I feel a bit pressured to take more control of my life, to make my own happiness, to live up to my potential. To not let my brain take me down again.
I don’t talk about this terribly much, partially because I’ve never gone and gotten a real, live diagnosis for it….I hear everyone say that they think they have ADD which is kind of offensive to me. I am CERTAIN I have it.
How do I know? Well I’ve had professionals tell me, I have almost all of the symptoms…not like every once in a while but on a minute to minute basis. I also found online one of the diagnostic tests they use and I had everyone I know take it. The lower the # the less likely you have ADD. My husband got 8, my mom and one sister got 13, my stepdad got 30….I got 175. Maybe there’s a problem?
I also began bawling my eyes out after reading the first page of You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy? An amazing book that was written for people just like me. I’ve had a hard time finishing it though.
Of course I grew up with teachers being frustrated with me, telling my mom they think I have ADD. Always having the “Leah needs to apply herself more” or the “Leah needs to stay on task” written in the comment section of my report cards.
A lot of people people think that we’re over-diagnosing ADD, autism too. Seems like everyone has it.
Maybe the fact that all these people aren’t succeeding in school might show that there is something very backwards about how we are teaching our kids.
I’m 28 now. Stick me in a desk and try to have me learn something and you’re going to get the 12-year-old Leah. You’ll lose me in less than 10 minutes and have a hard time getting me back.
This just isn’t how I learn. I am not capable of focusing on a teacher for a very long time unless I am incredibly interested in what they have to say. I completely focused during the Autism Biennial….but….I was being spoken to by many of the greats. Some did lose my attention…I was exhausted from being so darn attentive. But autism is my thing.
This quote I came across recently has struck me in a VERY large way.
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
I am smart, but if you’re going to grade me after making me sit in a desk all day, we’re both going to think I am stupid. In fact I still believe I can’t succeed at school. I still believe I’m not smart enough to do a math class. I still believe that I am lazy. I still believe that I’m not a good person because I don’t live up to the same standards as everyone else.
This fish can’t climb trees…I’m sorry.
Part of me wants to go get a degree in education, buy one of the many schools around here that have been shut down by our fantastic government and start a school for the Lazy, Stupid and Crazy people. 🙂
If I had only had a school like the one in my head, where the teacher understood that they would first need to tackle my massive sensory issues happening inside my body before they could get me to do anything else. A school that is one with nature. A school where we learn by using what we are interested in. I would have learned math was easier if I was taught using real, live baby chickens :).
Lets put a big dirt pile in the school yard and have a bunch of buckets and shovels. Let me hold a bunny while you teach me my fractions, see how much better I relax and focus. Make things hands on. Teach me something that I find applicable to my life NOW, people have a hard time learning things that aren’t relevant to them.
Lets recognize the kids that fail miserably when they have a big project to do, lets break it down in to little steps for them so they see it as something they can accomplish rather than a big mountain to climb. maybe if I was taught that I wouldn’t see mountains in front of me everywhere I go.
I have really no idea what I am going on about.
I struggle….every day. It’s not something where you can say to me “if you just DID it, you’d see” or “why don’t you just…”. It’s easy to say that. NEVER say that to a child. “why can’t you just….?”. I think that phrase ruined me.
Why couldn’t I anyway? I couldn’t ever answer you….I was obviously broken.
It’s one of those self-fulfilling prophesies. You tell me I’m something as a child, I’m going to believe you to a point where I make it true.
Ah, that was a rant…anyway…
Beyond that, I do feel like there is a way that I can manage and cope better. I KNOW what to do…I just need to do it. I think most of my depression issues stem from how my brain works and how I feel about myself when I’m constantly running in to brick walls.
Brick walls are what I call the things in the brain, the things that stop me from doing the things that would make my life a hell of a lot easier. Like…you know…keeping the kitchen clean. Maybe that’s just my interpretation of my brain trying to make connections and then failing at it. I hit brick walls all the time.
My husband and a friend were once describing how they access information in their brains. They have it all filed away in a systematic way where they would actually go looking for the file, open it and know what the heck they wanted to know. Perhaps not that perfect but close.
Mine is more like a whirlpool….a big whirlpool full of slush, debris, scrambled eggs and spaghetti. I have to will whatever information I want to come to the surface and snatch it out of there before it gets sucked back down. In other words…mayhem, disorder, anarchy. Leah’s brain.
That’s only a small part of it though, I kinda really adore the way I think. I just don’t adore how I get my thoughts to actions. My maelstrom in my brain helps me to think clearly where a lot of others don’t.
So what I’m really getting at….is that I’m feeling pressure to get to action. Action is an overwhelming thing for me. It means getting up and doing what I don’t feel like doing. Guess how many times I do something I don’t feel like doing? Not often…hardly ever. Course that’s outside of like…feeding and caring for my children…
I remember my mom, red in the face, stricken with absolute frustration saying to me “YOU JUST NEVER DO ANYTHING YOU DONT FEEL LIKE DOING!”.
It’s true. It’s SO true. She was right. I don’t feel like doing anything else than what I am doing right now. I don’t care about the end result. No matter how many times I do my dishes and say to myself “I like doing dishes” or “wow this was so much faster and easier than I thought it would be”….I don’t learn. It’s always something I don’t feel like doing…so I don’t.
I read somewhere that said something along these lines:
It is 100 times harder for someone with ADD to complete an undesirable task than someone with a neurotypical brain. It is like climbing a mountain every single time.
It’s a good way to describe it…I don’t get how you people get all that stuff done. I really don’t get it. I wish I did. I wish with all my heart that I was like all you people out there. I know all of you can somehow relate to me…we all have our good days and bad days. I’d give a million bucks for someone to come and smash down my brick walls.
I don’t like thinking that I hide behind having a self diagnosed perhaps total not mental…mental condition. I hardly ever think about it. I just view myself as a Leah who hasn’t figured it all out yet. I need to figure it out soon though.
I feel like there are big things out there for me. I can see myself doing many many many great things with my life. I see a Leah inside of me that hasn’t come out yet. If I didn’t hit a brick wall every time I had to put my thoughts to action then I would be a mighty force to be reckoned with. So watch out!!!
I need to come up with a plan, though. Gretchen Rubin beat me to an idea…I really have been wanting to start a blog to journal my active search to find what makes me happy. I was going to then put it all in a book and go be on Oprah…but whatever Gretchen…you can have it for now. The difference between us is that she kinda had it all to begin with…she wasn’t depressed…she just enhanced her life. I’m still reading her book for inspiration though. I’d like to have my own website on my own happiness project. At first I didn’t want to get to the 20 year mark of living with depression but now that has come and gone…maybe I can be happy by age 30? I have two years to become happy Leah. It might just work.
Anyway, I have NO idea my intention behind this blog today. Could have just been that I’m enjoying my time with my bird and my dog on the couch and it’s warm and I don’t want it to stop. Sitting just so happens to be my very favourite activity.
blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. I just responded to an email and it just seems as though I’m just blathering on about stuff today. I’ll stop now.
I love this.
Can I say that again?
I love this. LOVE this.
I want to say so much more but the words are failing me. We should have coffee, sister. Do you still have info on that checklist you took?
I love this.
Keep on writing. I’ll keep on reading. Love it.
I really like this. I wish we could learn to value all different types of intelligence, and all different ways of thinking. I love Einstein, and am planning to write about him soon too. He was a genius in many ways.
Following interests, holding chickies and bunnies, playing in dirt, non-desk sitting and breaking down big projects = homeschooling.