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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Neurotypical is Overrated!



     My little guy made me feel like I was doing something right the other day. I was doing some homework on my computer and he came over to kiss me on the cheek.He pats my head and he says, " Doing homework? You're doing a good job, focusing and working hard, my adhd mama" I laugh and I say, "yep, trying to get it done" He starts to walk away, only to turn around and proudly proclaim "And! You gave me ADHD! 'cause, I got it from you." He smiles.
      Such innocence. Oblivious to the stigma that this label has. I hope he never has to feel the shame that most of us experience. Yes, I have adhd. No, it's not easy. But it's a fact and I'm figuring out how to make life work in alliance with my brain rather than against it. Learning about how I think and why I think the way I do has helped gain such a different perspective and adjust plan of attack. Every day is a struggle. Some days better than others.
      This past week (among many other stresses) was one of those struggles. I had completely forgotten about my insurance auto renewal. It was to be drafted this month. Despite all my preventative systems to not forget stuff-- I received the scary warning email from my bank and the cloud of dread rushed in. Trigger that crisis mode super power from that totallyadd article. lol Ignoring the rising panic, my brain in super fast mode is thinking of ideas, ruling them out, finding others, where's the solution? There's one somewhere.
I spent three hours taking pictures of these clothes I had been meaning to list and sell, name brand junk, etc, etc. I've had them for..ever. Just never had the motivation to take the time to get rid of them. Well, motivation struck and poof, its done. Brain moves on to another possible solution...
Being neurotypical is overrated. Life is crazy and fun; a little bit scary and a whole lot unpredictable. Just like me. And I wouldn't change my story for the world. <3

 this was the article I was referring to: http://totallyadd.com/5-superpowers-of-adhd/ 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Stop Bullying From Kids and Adults

I love my boys very much! They are amazing so smart, funny and loving. I will forever take a stand against anyone who tries to make them feel less than that. Schools talk so much against bullying from other students yet what are the adults doing in their lives? Adults need to understand kids are kids and if they have any issues such as adhd or any other mental health concerns they need extra help and extra love and concern. Parents should never judge another parent because of how their child acts because until you've walked in their shoes you don't understand what that child or parent has had to go through and teachers and school staff should come together to support kids more who need the extra support. Harsh discipline isn't. Always the answer in fact most of the time it's the opposite that truly help kids thrive. Focusing on the positive aspects and loving them and helping them overcome difficulties in life is what helps make kids grow into successful, good adults. Love my kids and I hope I can stand with other parents who love their kids too and have to deal with people who judge their kids behavior instead of understanding it.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Optimistically Depressed

I am one of those people who like to look at the bright side of every situation. I enjoy being optimistic and thinking about all the good in my life or the life of others. I think most people would agree that I am friendly, I like to smile, and I love to laugh. I may even be a little hyper at times!

 I am also suffering from depression. 

When I look back on my life I see myself having ups and downs which is common and normal with having babies, moving, jobs, and everyday life struggles. The recent ‘down’ as I like to call them has lasted longer than most though. So much though that I recently went to my doctor to look into options that may help.

How do you explain to someone that you are happy but yet not at the same time? You see the good and you feel the good but yet your mind and body have a hard time fully embracing that good.
I guess I have always thought of depression as someone who is gloomy, sad, and never is seen as happy or smiling. Someone pessimistic. 

The truth is the social butterflies in the world can also suffer from depression. The people ready to make you laugh may feel alone. Those handing out compliments may feel useless and worthless. Those encouraging you that everything is great may feel overwhelmed themselves.
If you are like me you may tell yourself;

“How can I be depressed? I have so much good in my life and so much to be grateful for!”

“I am just having a rough day, tomorrow will get better.”

We can even feel guilty because we see all the good but are still ‘stuck’ and there is still a ‘wall’.
I think that is why people like me have a hard time accepting that they may be struggling with depression or why they have a hard time even explaining it to others. 

 Don't forget to give that optimistic friend a smile, compliment, or encouraging word back. They may be fighting their own demons too.

"Sometimes when I say "I'm okay." I want someone to look me in the eyes, hug me tight, and say "I know you're not." 

Friday, March 6, 2015

"15 Things I Want You to Know About ADHD"

Guest Post by Sadie!

1. Not every person born with ADHD is the same. It’s a condition of the brain which means there are going to to be similar symptoms, but also big differences. Think of it this way. Not everyone gets sick with a cold in the same exact way, even though it might be the same cold virus which makes them sick. So just because your husband has ADHD doesn’t mean you know how I learn, think, or act. And just because you read this list, doesn’t mean you know every person with ADHD and everything that ADHD does.

2. ADHD doesn’t stop in the classroom for most people. It’s a lifelong condition for a lot of people, and it changes throughout life. It’s something which impacts every part of my life. I may have trouble holding up conversations. I may have trouble getting to places on time. I may have trouble with tasks which are incredibly simple. I may not be able to watch a movie fully.

3. I outgrew my hyperactivity and I am lucky I did. Hyperactivity is a huge part of ADHD, but it isn’t mandatory for everyone to be that way. Just because I don’t have one of the symptoms of ADHD doesn’t mean I am not ADHD. Trust me, I’ve been tested and tested again. I am definitely ADHD. There are different kinds of ADHD though. Some people might be hyper, some people just simply can’t focus, and some people have a combination of both. See 1 if you have any more questions.

4. Sometimes my mouth moves before my brain fully knows what it’s going to say. I have been working on this my whole life, and I really struggle with it.  It is so important to look at the WHY I am saying something rather than the what I am saying. I usually have very good intentions, I just didn’t say it exactly how I wanted too.

5. I’m not stupid. I can’t say this enough. I am not stupid at all. Chances are, I am smarter than you. However, sometimes things don’t click immediately for me, or I miss key points in a conversation and I want clarification or to double check. Somethings I might have to review over again just to understand.

6. Remember Dory from Finding Nemo? I feel like her a lot. My Short Term Memory isn’t always the best. If you’re giving me a task, it’s best to break it down and to give me a list so I can see what I have to do. This will keep me from becoming overwhelmed. Oh, and it’s just my Short Term Memory really. I can remember other things perfectly, including conversations from years ago.

7. Sometimes I am going to be random when having a conversation. To me, it’s not random though, it makes perfect sense. While you are talking, I either am engaged in the conversation (rarely), trying to catch up with what I missed (usually), or making connections to what you are saying (all the time). For example, if we are talking about ADHD, and I bring up how I was bitten by a squirrel when I was 8, it actually makes sense to me. I am thinking about ADHD which then makes me think about the meme about ADHD and squirrels, and then about squirrels and previous experiences I had with them and how it’s funny. This is done in seconds. I’m not trying to change the conversation, I’m just trying to contribute.

8. I can be moody. It’s actually a part of ADHD. My brain doesn’t see it as moody though, it sees it as completely normal. I also don’t always realize I am being moody. Don’t be afraid to say something to me if you see this. I don’t mean to be that way.

9. I can be lazy, just like you. But most of the time I’m trying my hardest. If something is difficult for me, please try to help me. Sometimes it’s just something as silly as making a cue card for me to follow along. If I’m hesitant to start something, it’s usually not because I am being lazy, but rather I don’t know where to start, or I’m afraid I won’t do it correctly. Though not everyone may agree, I will take the help if it is simply offered.

10. I’m not good with time management. I really try, but it is hard to be at one place at a certain time. My brain doesn’t process time well at all. I can’t tell if a minute has passed or an hour. Personally, I thrive with schedules and timers. Some people can’t function if they are in a routine.

11. Please don’t tell me what causes my ADHD, or that it doesn’t exist. Some people may use their ADHD as an excuse, but I don’t. Also, ADHD does exist, and it does impact my life. I have tried the diets, I have changed my entire life around, I have tried every remedy in the book. Some helped, but only minutely. What does help are stimulants (at least for me). They calm me down, put the world to a speed which just makes sense. I don’t question it, but I know there is a difference when I take my medicine. This isn’t always the case from person to person though.

12. I can focus on video games and sit at the computer all day, but a book can take three weeks for me to read. Why? Some things just grab my brain. Other things don’t and I have to really try to focus. And it can be painful.

13. I’ve tried to be organized. I try my hardest at what I do. Sometimes my brain just forgets to organize or to completely finish something because I get distracted and completely forget what I am doing. And when I try to tell my brain to focus, it gets even more difficult for me to sit and finish what I am doing.

14. Sometimes simple tasks can be very overwhelming to me. There are times where I get anxious because I am overloaded by all the information which I am perceiving. Being at the supermarket when it is crowded is hard for me. Trying to focus in on one thing when people are having conversations around me is impossible. I just hear white noise.

15. I’m very impulsive. I have been working on my impulsivity my entire life. I have tried my hardest to change this, and it has gotten much better with time, but I still struggle with it. Unless you are going to offer me advice that I can actually apply, please don’t. I try to think before I do. Sometimes it doesn’t work that way. The whole think before you act advice does not work.

ADHD isn’t going to be the same in each person. Just because you met one person with ADHD doesn’t mean you know what it does or how it feels. Some people might have ADHD and think this list is not true at all. Others may be upset I didn’t put things which affect them. ADHD is more severe in some people than it is in others. I personally struggle socially. Some people don’t. I don’t have as much trouble with time management. Most people with ADHD do. Some people don’t have have any sensory issues. I do. When working with someone with ADHD, whether it be an employee, a co-worker, a student, or a friend, be understanding of their needs. Be firm and direct when giving direction. Be supportive and forgiving. And most importantly of all, get to know the people for who they are, don’t just label them as ADHD.

You can read more at sadienoelle.wordpress.com

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Our ADHD Story is a place where people can share their stories, thoughts, and feelings about ADHD. Get past the generic list of symptoms and see how it is affecting people in real life through personal stories. We are not here to inform you, we are here to engage you.