Tuesday, February 7, 2023
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Discovering And Embracing My Superpower

“Strug­gles to work qui­et­ly with­out dis­rupt­ing oth­ers.” (Grade 1)

“Gwen is sort of social in school. It usually direct­ly impacts her work. We have to redi­rect her focus. She does should be much less social & examine her work. Gwen is at all times in a hur­ry to get her work finished. She is going to usually write down any­factor simply to get finished. She is just not professional­duc­ing the work that she is capa­ble of doing. There’s a lack of effort.” (Grade 2)

“Gwen has had a prob­lem with late work and must preserve pri­or­i­ties straight. Additionally, she must work on lis­ten­ing a lit­tle guess­ter. Remaining­ly I would love for her to remem­ber to lift her hand and be referred to as on earlier than converse­ing at school.” (Grade 5)

gwen laughing

Develop­ing up was a con­stant strug­gle to maintain my des­ig­nat­ed areas picked up. I’d go away issues each­the place and my fam­i­ly was very bored with journey­ping over my stuff. Most of my allowances as a child went to replac­ing my misplaced library playing cards or home keys. I rou­tine­ly strug­gled to remem­ber to convey my work house, do the work, after which remem­ber to convey it again to highschool to be grad­ed. 5th and 6th grade had been par­tic­u­lar­ly dif­fi­cult on me as that was when my dis­trict begin­ed mov­ing stu­dents between class­rooms as an alternative of sit­ting in a single room all day. 

I strug­gled to slot in social­ly with my class­mates. I was dif­fer­ent. I appreciated to learn — and never simply YA fic­tion books. I’d learn the Learn­er’s Digest in school or massive books like Anna Karen­i­na. (The lat­ter was value 75 Accel­er­at­ed Learn­er factors. I did­n’t fin­ish the ebook however I did learn sufficient to do effectively on the quiz. I set data for AR factors in 5th and 6th grades that stood for sev­er­al years.) My class­mates thought I solely learn the start­ning, mid­dle, and ends of the books when in actual­i­ty I simply actual­ly appreciated learn­ing and skim tremendous quick. It appeared like I was at all times say­ing the fallacious factor on the fallacious time. I had zero fil­ter between mind and mouth. 

And but, regardless of all this, I did effectively at school. I beloved be taught­ing (and nonetheless do!). My grades had been within the A‑B vary with the occa­sion­al for­ay into C’s when it was some­factor I did­n’t like (corresponding to chem­istry or geom­e­strive). I have data from check­ing that was finished on me as a child. My outcomes ranged from above aver­age in Math­e­mat­ics to excessive in High-quality Arts on a low-below aver­age-aver­age-above aver­age-high scal­ing sys­tem. I was ready to make use of my intel­li­gence to masks my dif­fer­ences. I grad­u­at­ed highschool with a 3.5 GPA and a 28 on my ACT. I additionally had an exten­sive listing of extracur­ric­u­lar activ­i­ties like Nation­al Hon­or Soci­ety, library aide, workplace run­ner, swim crew, comfortable­ball crew, intra­mur­al sports activities, and Woman Scouts (includ­ing get­ting my Gold Award which is the equiv­a­lent of the Boy Scout Eagle Scout award). There have been days after I was on the college from 545a to 8p. All of those com­bined to get me my full-ride schol­ar­ship to col­lege, the place I grad­u­at­ed with hon­ors straight right into a good profession. 

room clean
My sis­ter assist­ing me clear my room cir­ca 2013

I discovered the Finan­cial Inde­pen­dence world and made it my purpose to retire at 35 whereas I joined the native quilt guild, performed recre­ation­al comfortable­ball and soc­cer, begin­ed this weblog, and begin­ed a num­ber of oth­er hobbies. 

Quick for­ward to 2020 when the glob­al pan­dem­ic hit. Life as we knew it screeched to a halt. Now not may I play week­ly comfortable­ball or hit up decide­up soc­cer within the park twice a week. We begin­ed work­ing from house. I may­n’t trav­el on the week­ends. All activ­i­ties had been over Zoom. 

I hit a wall and fell aside. The entire cop­ing strate­gies I’d devel­oped to maintain con­trol over my life fell aside and I was compelled to face information that I may­n’t masks the symp­toms anymore. 

In Mid-June of 2021, I was offi­cial­ly diag­nosed with mod­er­ate com­bined ADHD, which is hyper­ac­tive and inat­ten­tive. Essentially the most com­mon reac­tion after I inform peo­ple has been some­factor alongside the strains of “Duh. We knew this all alongside. Wait.….… you imply you had no thought?” And hon­est­ly, I had no thought till I begin­ed see­ing peo­ple speak­ing about their diag­no­sis on-line. There are a ton of nice con­tent cre­ators on Tik­Tok, Tum­blr, Pink­dit, and Twit­ter speak­ing about their ADHD and the way that impacts their view on life. It was­n’t till I discovered myself relat­ing to all their con­tent that I thought I might need ADHD too. 

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Def­i­nite­ly me, minus the meds so far.

Sud­den­ly.… each­factor made sense. I don’t suf­fer from a lack of atten­tion — I strug­gle to concentrate on the precise issues. I’m over­whelmed by each­factor and my mind does­n’t know what the impor­tant issues to concentrate on are. This makes issues like clear­ing the home terrible since I’ll begin in a single room, transfer some­factor to anoth­er room and begin clear­ing there, after which I have 3 hours of labor and a home that naked­ly appears like I did any­factor. As a child I strug­gled to maintain my room clear. I appreciated the messy piles. I knew actual­ly the place each­factor was. My fam­i­ly cleaned my room a few occasions and it was like I had betrayed. Each­factor regarded nice however I may­n’t discover a rattling factor. ADHD additionally helped me underneath­stand why I need com­pa­ny for each­factor and strug­gle to do any­factor on my own. There’s a con­cept referred to as “physique dou­bling” that actual­ly rea­sonat­ed with me. As a child, I’d professional­cras­ti­nate and moan and com­plain about hav­ing to wash my room on my own, but when my sis­ter was within the room I may do it. Not even hav­ing them assist, simply hav­ing one in every of them sit on the mattress.  Some peo­ple have posit­ed this serves as an anchor for the mind and offers it a rea­son to do what­ev­er chore of the day is on the listing. 

Now that I am an grownup, I discover I nonetheless want a physique dou­ble or a useless­line to get issues finished. At work, I can do tons of duties if my cowork­er is close to­by work­ing on their very own duties. Put me in my dice on my own or at my very own desk at house and I strug­gle to get issues finished. For­tu­nate­ly at house I have my half­ner to be close to­by after I do issues, in order that’s actual­ly helped issues like doing the dish­es or mak­ing meals. 

(I lit­er­al­ly wrote a complete submit on how arduous dish­es are to do.….)

However most­ly, my whole life it’s been a strug­gle to get me to begin some­factor. As soon as I’m in it, I’m positive, however I should con­vince my mind to simply do the rattling factor. I did­n’t actual­ize each­one did­n’t should struggle their mind to do issues. Neu­rotyp­i­cal peo­ple say hey, I have to do the factor, after which they do it. *Thoughts blown* This caus­es prob­lems after I crew up with peo­ple on initiatives. I’m nice at being the peo­ple per­son and doing the “face work” however I absolute­ly despise pret­ty a lot all element ori­ent­ed duties. It caus­es me phys­i­cal ache to get issues per­fect — which is unfor­tu­nate since “ok” is just not the place the mon­ey is made. (That is additionally one in every of many rea­sons why being employed by a com­pa­ny is in my finest inter­est. I’m the worst pos­si­ble boss I may have.) This has led to peo­ple name­ing me lazy previously and I thought it was true.…. however I’m def­i­nite­ly not lazy. I’m over­whelmed and might’t concentrate on the minute particulars except I get right into a hyper­fo­cus state. 

Take writ­ing a weblog submit, for examination­ple. I’ll kick an thought round in my head for a very long time, after which I’ll in the future discover a spark of moti­va­tion to begin the submit. If I don’t write the entire thing in a single shot and pub­lish it, it’s going to sit down there till my subsequent wave of inspi­ra­tion. This submit is cur­lease­ly on its third ses­sion. I’ll return and scan it to ensure it’s cohe­sive, is smart, and has no main gram­mat­i­cal errors however I very not often rewrite posts. My mind says “Hey, no, we already did this. We don’t like redo­ing work. The primary spherical took a lot effort and now I should do extra work on this? No.” I should be per­fect and if it’s not per­fect, why each­er? This dri­ve for per­fec­tion­ism means issues not often get all the best way fin­ished. I’ve made a con­cen­trat­ed effort to vary that nar­ra­tive in my head. Issues will occai­sion­al­ly want contact­ing up or redo­ing. I can­not do issues per­fect­ly on a regular basis. If it’s value doing, it’s value doing poor­ly. And hon­est­ly, my stan­dards for myself are so excessive that even issues I assume are finished poor­ly are simply positive. If it means I don’t have website positioning phras­es within the alt textual content on pho­tos, cus­tom social media pho­tos for every web site, or a focus key­phrase within the con­tent, so be it. I have launched myself from all these issues as a result of oth­er­smart I’d get absolute­ly noth­ing finished. I don’t care about mak­ing tons of mon­ey from this weblog any­extra. I don’t want it to be an alter­na­tive supply of revenue to retire at 35 any­extra. I’m not capa­ble of con­sis­tent­ly professional­duc­ing that lev­el of labor.….….. and I am per­fect­ly comfortable with that now. That’s not who I am. 

gwen egg
Let your true self out, my mates!

The very best factor I can do for myself is embrace all of the issues that ADHD provides to my life. I discover so many small issues in regards to the world round me, which lends itself to appre­ci­a­tion in regards to the world I stay in. I discover nuances in pal’s behav­ior and might examine in with them after they appear off. I then imme­di­ate­ly for­get the huge main­i­ty of particulars which is nice for issues peo­ple don’t need to inform any­one else. I could make peo­ple snicker by say­ing the issues that pop into my head that some oth­er peo­ple are assume­ing however don’t need to say out loud (fil­tered for the work envi­ron­ment, after all). I’m nice at assume­ing of concepts for peo­ple and dif­fer­ent sce­nar­ios. I’m not afraid to face up in entrance of a bunch of peo­ple and be the cen­ter of atten­tion. I’ll stroll as much as any­one and begin speak­ing as if we’re previous mates. (When you’ve sung sil­ly camp songs and finished pud­ding races in entrance of fifty 8–13 12 months previous women you are able to do any­factor.) If I can design my life to take advan­tage of those strengths, I’ll stay a wealthy and ful­fill­ing life. 


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