Writing 101, April 2015: Day 4

Scrambled Brains & Coffee

Prompt: Serially Lost. Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t any more.

Twist: Make today’s post the first in a three-post series.

This is fiction.

I remember that day. I sit quietly and smile softly as I let the memory take me where it will…

I was 17 and it was the Summer I finally finished High School. I felt elated and FREE! I would never have to return to that hell hole again. The hot sand had stretched on for miles while the sun beat down on me from the cerulean sky above. The salty ocean beside me gently lapped at the shore, moving closer and closer as the tide meandered in, preparing to again stake its claim.

I took a deep breath and started to jog down the beach. My auburn ponytail bounced back and forth as I gained a steady…

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Advice every parent of a new college student with ADHD needs to know

ADHD Coaching: Edge Foundation

Advice every parent of a new college student with ADHD needs to know

There is a big shift in the relationship between parents and children when a child head off to college.  There are new worries for parents students who have ADHD when they live away at home and aren’t able to comfort their child in person. Even when your child is at home attending community college, she’ll need your support in moving into young adult level of self management.

We asked our coaches for advice to share with parents of new college students. Here are 6 ideas every parent of a new college student with ADHD should know.

  1. Maturity Levels: Teenagers and young adults have a chronological age, an intellectual age, and a social maturity age. These three are rarely the same.  With ADHD teens, often their intellectual age is years ahead of their chronological age, with the…

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Why Do I Care?

When I was growing up, I never viewed my ADHD as any “disorder” at all. I enjoyed what made me different – my friends and parents all told me that I just brought a different kind of energy to the table. The only people that seemed to complain at all were my teachers, usually in the form of all those phrases ADD’ers are so familiar with. “Why don’t you just try paying attention?” “Can’t you sit still?” But the truth is that even they attested that I was a really creative kid. I was always coming up with some new business idea, or starting a new art project. Of course I never finished any of them (as usual), but my friends, family could see I had talent.

Unfortunately, school never truly explored any of these things for me. Of course I always did well in classes such as Art and English, but it was all by the books. School was structured, procedural; my teachers abided strictly to a preconceived curriculum. In our society, you either adapt or you get left behind. I chose to adapt.

The beginning years of my education were perfectly manageable. As soon I got home from school it was straight to the computer. It was online that I explored all of my interests and found new hobbies! I learned digital art and discovered my love for reading and writing. Exploring the web was kind of like exploring myself. I would bounce from topic to topic all the time. I let the ADD in me run wild, and looking back, it must’ve felt great. The best part? I was learning. I loved learning, but I hated school. No one understood that.

By the time I got to high school, I was forced to spend less time building this creativity, and far more time on school. I spent some time doing personal art projects and things, but regardless I lost touch. It was around this time in my life that I encountered my first academic difficulties. But the support of my family pushed me to seek tutoring and to study as hard as I could. That helped, but for the first time I began to rely on my medication.

If it weren’t for the side effects, I would’ve happily taken whatever the doctors pushed my way. But this wasn’t the case. I experienced an array of side effects that affected every facet of my life. I was in and out of the doctors office constantly switching medicines searching for some kind of relief. I have vivid memories of migraines, depression, weight loss just to name a few. Some people experience these side effects worse than others, I was one of them. But in high school, it seemed like I could learn to deal or I could fail my classes. I’ve spent most of my life between this rock and a hard place.

When I entered college a year ago, I was too preoccupied with school to explore anything but the inside of a Math textbook. I had to be able to focus 24/7, inside and outside the classroom. And even though I hated taking it, the amount of medication I was taking skyrocketed. My life revolved around doing something I hated, and the pressure to do great was everywhere around me. It always felt like my life was just hanging on the line. Mental symptoms like depression or anxiety quickly developed physical symptoms. Even though I tried explaining my situation to my family time and time again, they just kept pushing. It hurt. Every day felt like walking a tightrope.

The constant uncertainty surrounding my future and subsequent feelings of inadequacy have generated degrees of depression, anxiety and panic attacks that have persisted most of my life. I have learned how to view my life in a positive light, despite being surrounded by negativity. I’ve developed personal techniques that I know work. I’ve spent hours and hours researching the condition in hopes of finding some relief for my side effects. During this process I learned alot about myself, and what works for me.

So why am I writing? To help others. I don’t want anyone to experience what I have.
My message is this: Your education will never be as important as your health and wellbeing.

Have you ever experienced a rock and a hard place, or felt trapped? Why or why not? Feel free to share in the comments below!

The Pleasantries

In a society where almost a quarter of your life is spent on education, being diagnosed with a learning disability can feel like a death sentence. I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder at age 9. My journey has brought me to places mentally that I could have never imagined going. I’ve been carefree, manic, triumphant. I’ve been frustrated, hopeless, depressed.

For those struggling with ADHD/ADD, I understand what you’re going through. I’ve been there myself, and over the years I’ve found ways to embrace my ADD. I started Mind of ADHD because I genuinely care and want to help.  It took a long time to figure out what made my life work for me, and I’m writing to share that message with you.

This blog will discuss topics such as academics, medicine management, depression/anxiety and the importance of family – just to name a few. My vision is that this website is one day recognized as an excellent knowledge resource for those who are struggling. I’m looking forward to blogging, and meeting each and every one of you.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to share!