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Fighting with quills and ravens

Welcome to my pensieve

life and tests with adhd

(I wrote this ages ago and just found it buried in evernote.)

I was diagnosed with adhd when I was around 10 years old. I have a number of other neurological conditions and visited a lot of doctors as a kid. shrinks,speech therapists,etc. I don’t remember a lot of details. they put me on ritalin for a while, and it helped, but by the time I was in high school I wasn’t taking meds or going to the doctor anymore.

however, the administration at my school knew I was “special” so they cut me some slack.

in university I didn’t have such luck. not till near the end when one teacher sat me down and asked me. maybe I should’ve spoken up sooner. I don’t know,

anyway, while at uni I ended up going back to the doctor,this time for depression, and I was once again tested for adhd and given new meds. I also got an official diagnosis of autism, which I’d known for a while.

but all the meds in the world can’t always help so I’ve developed my own strategies for coping.

before the test starts:

  • wear comfortable clothes. ones that you like.
  • Have a workout before. go for a walk. climb up and down the stairs. jump and down,whatever. exercise helps. shed some nervous energy.
  • check your materials: do you have everything you need? pen,eraser,water,tissues,etc?
  • take your meds if you didnt that morning. have a cup of coffee if you can.

During:

  • Dont sit by a window: this should be obvious. windows have way too many distractions. adhd kids should sit near the front and away from windows.
  • Look at your test,not your surroundings.letting your eyes wander leads to distractions.(or teachers to think you’re cheating)
  • but do take breaks! just short ones.
  • ask about everything, clarify the questions, don’t assume anything
  • if possible,start by the end. the hardest questions tend to be there and at least my mind tended to feel tired when I got there,but starting with the hardest questions made everything after seem easier.
  • take your time: I have a tendency to hurry and not double check and that leads to mistakes. so I’d think of a traffic light. stop,think,check,go. I still find myself trying to apply this. to avoid panicking and making mistakes because I went too fast.  this part is also important cause adhd kids tend to have bad handwriting, and the only way I can make my handwriting somewhere near legible is by s l o w i n g    d o w  n. And often I had teachers give me bad grades cause they couldn’t understand my handwriting, or they’d have me rewrite everything or read it aloud to them.

and the most important one:

  • ask for help if you need it: I still have trouble with this.   you can ask for accomodations. I hardly ever did and I regret it a bit. I had to work harder and my grades were not as good as they could’ve been. my whole academic career has been like that. in some instances I really was the lazy genius stereotype, but a lot of other times I tried very,very hard and still had issues. and in the end , at uni, I was having issues with the whole ‘trying to act like a teacher’ thing and finally a teacher decided to help and I was allowed to graduate without having to do the final internship, but I wish I’d asked for help earlier and I probably would’ve had a better/easier time. things didn’t quite develop like I wanted them to.

 

the call of the sea

I live about 15km from the coast, but I don’t go anywhere near as often as I’d like. mainly cause the road is terrible, there’s traffic jams and I can’t ride bike there.

But on Wesdnesday, I did go.it was fairly empty and was pretty wonderful. the road nor the beach were crowned, it was warm but not hot, although a bit too cold to really jump in, I just played with the waves a bit.

Why do humans like to go to the sea? What is it that calls us? I don’t know but I do know how much I enjoy. I am a pisces. and when I’m there I wonder if I might be a daughter of Poseidon.

 

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if i were queen of the world…

i’d   have  very strict driving laws.

everyone would have to pass a psychological test in order to get a license. and if they’re found unfit, like cause theyre easily frustrated or prone to road rage, they’d be sent off to like anger management while driving classes. there’d be plenty of chances for self-improvement. but I wouldn’t allow angry people on the road. driver licenses would have to be swiped before driving and just in case there’d be a photo taken of the driver. if the driver had been in accidents or commited infractions they would not be allowed to drive. anyone using fraudulent means would get suspended for like 6 months at least. and in order to even get a license every able-bodied person would have to spend at least a week riding a bike. and provided raw footage as proof. which would then be reused, both to analyse traffic patterns and make short films about people’s behaviours or whatever.

those not able to ride a bike would probably have to pass some sort of empathy test, like see videos of behaviour and analyse it.

and this would be repeated every time someone needs to renew their license.

there’d be specific carparks, no street parking and places, streets,neighbourhoods where car traffic would not be allowed. commercial neighbourhoods and the like. there’s be public parks, squares, with roofs for rain,stalls for street fairs,plenty of seats, etc.

if someone does need to drive a car there,like for a move or something they’d need to ask for a permit and plan it well.

basically, I just think there need to be less cars. cities should be for people. public transportation shouldn’t be a last resort for those that can’t afford anything else, but something comfortable, nice, to the point most people don’t wanna bother with private cars cause there are better options.

why am I even thinking about this? As a cyclist, it’s never far from my mind.

but also, today, I took my bike and did a bit of the road to Niebla, the seaside community about 15km from where I live.

I didn’t actually make it all the way there cause it’s such a shitty road.

for most of the road there’s literally no space for a bike. there’s the line demarking the road, some lights, and that’s it.

in other places there is but the space is tiny. like 0,5 meters maybe. in other places there is some space but it’s not paved, just uneven ground. so for most of the road you go wondering where could you escape to if necessary.

cause it’s a busy road. and people drive fast, specially bus drivers. there’s been a lot of accidents. people have gotten killed when ran over by a speeding driver.

I went now, end of the summer, at around 4pm when there’s not that much traffic, lunch-going crowd are already there and no one is planning to return usually till after 6, so the traffic was minimal but it was still very stressfull. and yet I saw a fair number of cyclists.

cause it’s the one way to get to the coast. so it’s a very touristic road. so I don’t really understand why it’s never been fixed. why is it so bad for cyclists and pedestrians.

it’s really dangerous, which is why I hardly ever use it. I’ve done it maybe two or three times.

Every hurt is a lesson… 

And over the  weekend I got a lot of lessons.

Continue reading “Every hurt is a lesson… “

Out for a wander. 

I keep trying to find the right words to describe my love of cycling and its many pleasures,but I can never get them right. 

Nevertheless,I persist. 

Today I am out for a night ride alongside the Costanera, a lovely riverside promenade in my town. It’s very touristic,specially in summer,so it’s lit up with lights,food trucks,stalls, and full of people. 

I’m not the only one wandering around in a bike. There’s many others. There are also runners and walkers. 

Other days I have been both. 

Today I felt like a ride.

( And I also have a slightly sore foot)

The thing about cycling is… I feel better on my bike. Freer. Happier. Like I could do anything. Whatever is plaguing me doesnt seem so dire. 

The world doesn’t seem so daunting. 

Night rides are particularly nice. Calming.inviting.inspiring. 

Romantic,even. 

I was thinking of this Postal Service lyric, ‘out on the street,there are many possibilities to not be alone’ 

And I keep coming back to perks,thinking of ,’the lights on the buildings and everything that makes you wonder’ 

And that’s how I feel,I guess. Full of wonder and possibilities. 

trying to dig myself out 

I’ve been on a slump lately,and not just cause I’ve been sick. So. I’m taking steps against it.

I went for a run on sunday. It has been a while. last time was sometime in early december, so it wasn’t my best. had to stop often. had forgotten my usual warm up and cool down routines. I did what I remembered and did a yoga video when I got back.

still, it was good to run. I went alongside the river, it was early so it wasn’t too full, the sun felt nice, it felt better to run there than to go into the woods as had been my first thought.

I don’t know, sometimes it’s pleasant to be around people even if you’re not being social. no pressure, you’re not talking or participating, it’s sort of passive I guess. I don’t think I’m making any sense.

I have been actively working to feel better. I’ve been meditating, practising mindfulness, and beginning to exercise again.

I’m also looking at mental health professionals and wondering who should I visit. (how do you choose one?)

I keep thinking I need a change. In my life. Things aren’t really working out here.

I’ve been trying to keep busy,which also helps, but I need something a little more permanent.

I’ve been working with my dad, which is a bit boring but at least it’s something to do plus dad is pretty disorganised so he could use the help. mostly it’s mean a lot of bank visits, and other small errands like it.at least I did get a lot done this week. that’s good. makes me feel less than useless.

I had to buy new underwear cause my dear mum threw mine out. They were kids’ boxer and did not meet her standards. If I had a list of ‘reasons I should move out’ that sort of thing would be on top.

I do have an opportunity  but it is quite a big change and I’m honestly not sure I’m ready for it. But I keep thinking it might be a good idea. I’m terrified but it could also be really exciting.

I keep having this feeling, this thought going around my head that I’m wasting my time, that I should be doing something but I don’t know what.

I did finish a video this week which was great cause it’s good to have something to occupy my time and mind, and it’s good to feel like I’ve done something productive.

I started sending out resumes again. I sent one to this really interesting company working on helping people be more informed when it comes to politics and the state of the country. would’ve been great. sadly,they wanted someone with more experience.

I did get asked for an interview but couldn’t go. read it late at night and it was for the next day in another city.

I’ve gotten a few like that which do make me thing I should move. I’ve been thinking about it a lot.

I’d have more employment opportunities, my insurance has a big mental health center and I could take some classes on film production.

the bad part is I’ve never lived away from home and I’m scared, it’s a really big city, and very polluted. makes me worried for my health. and my safety.

I’d have to invest in a really good anti-pollution mask, for one.

and I’m pretty much guaranteed to get at least some anxiety attacks. fun prospect.

but I can’t shake this feeling that I’m not living up to my potential.

I’m not kidding myself that moving would fix all my problems, it’d just create new ones, but it would shake me off my comfort zone and present new challenges.

I’d have new landscapes to shoot and places to explore

I can always go hide in the library. I visited last time, it was so wonderful I wanted to stay there forever.

 I just know I need to do something. Change the status quo or I’ll go mad. 

Watching adventure films

Since I’ve been sick for a few weeks, and then travelled,there’s a lot of things I left undone or half finished. I did one whole thing today, go me. 

It’s so hot it doesn’t exactly encourage me to do stuff. But I also haven’t been sitting at home so that’s progress. 

I went to the pool yesterday with my cousin. A friend asked me to go to the beach today and I wanted to go but there, were two film events I wanted to attend which cut beach-time short. Dad took me to the beach but we weren’t there for long. Maybe an hour and a half? I tried calling my friend to meet but he didnt answer. 

I did go to both film events but I was late to the first one,sadly. Only got to the end. But I did learn the filmmaker’s names to google them. It was a small selection of local shorts. 

Second one was the Banff Mountain Festival,on World Tour and on my city. 

I had like 20 minutes in between to eat a sandwich, and rush over. It was very necessary. I was starving when the event ended.. 

I’m really pleased I at least tried to go to both. Sometimes I get too anxious,too worried,too lazy and I end up not going to stuff I want to go. 

But I did go,all by myself and made some small talk.that’s another thing I’ve been trying. My one errand today was  toask  about glassess and I talked to a boy there, a trainee. At the festival there were stands and I chatted with people there. 

The festival was great. It started with a film about Douglas Tompkin, a wonderful memorial. Remembered how people here in Chile were paranoid about his true intentions. Some gringo buying half the country? What’s he planning? But I believed in him. He always seemed like a decent guy. I was very sad to learn about his passing. 

There were films about climbing,boulders and rock, summer and winter attempts at torres del paine, there was this cool short about three brothers climbing together which I thought was great. The film had this homemade quality I liked. And it made me smile that they used music from bensound since it’s a site I often use as well. Others had higher production values,clearly. Most were about mountains, though one was about kayaking and one about surfing. The one where they went kayaking also showed how the salmon industry has been polluting the country and killing artisanal fishermen. (the profession,not the people) 

The films were all very different, just sharing the spirit of adventure. They were definitely inspiring. 

All in all, a very enjoyable evening. I also took out my bike which I hadn’t done in a long time (for me) and it was enjoyable. 

I woke up in a good mood and felt little trace of anxiety today. Mild worry at best. 

A good day. 

A pointless entry 

I used to journal a lot. Then I started blogging. Kept it up for years and years. 

I think between twitter and tumblr they killed it. 

But I do miss it,cause those are not the same. Theyre both fun,useful,but not journals. Not good for long thoughts. And sometimes you need to sit down and think,and I often process my feelings through writing. I still have a paper journal but I dont write in it that often. 

It’s kinda like meditating,which I also should do more of. 

Today started bad . I woke up feeling awful. Stomach pain got me out of bed at 830 in the morning. I felt so bad. I made some food,but could quite eat it. I had to go to the bathroom to throw up,burp,rid myself of all the gas in my stomach. Eventually it felt a bit better. I ate my food. Slowly. I still didnt feel good. I started looking at options to just head home or possibly a hospital. I walked around hoping it’d improve. My sister and her boyfriend woke up. We had breakfast. I had a camomille tea. Walked around some more. It started calming down. Then I went for a shower,washed my disgusting hair and found out mum had arrived. I was pleased. Relieved. We sat down and talked for a bit. I was still worried cause I’d nearly run out of pills for my stomach. Envisioned hurried trips to the ER or maybe sobbing tales to a pharmacist. In the end,I walked in,showed the box and said I needed some more. That was it. I’d gone so far as to ask my brother to send me a photo of the prescription but it was unnecessary. The internet said they might ask and I didnt wanna make two trips. 

But after that it looked up. My stomach calmed down. I finished my book,felt a bit mad at the end. I wanted more. I read the newspaper slowly. Sat in the shadow for a bit,after some work putting up the um,umbrella? Is there a particular word for the big umbrella-like thing you get to protect you from the sun? 

I jumped in the pool,relaxed. Didnt wanna start another book.. Had some more food,and it went ok. Later me and mum had to relocate again,to my great aunt’s.  We went for a long walk. Talked a bit. Mum’s not happy here,she’s tired and wants to go home but we gotta wait till Tuesday. It’s hot and she’s stuck with two old ladies. It’s good I am here. I’ll probably have to sleep on a couch though. Probably not a great night. I have to wait till they all go to bed. 

Maybe it’s time to start a new book. Plenty on my TBR. Maybe tomorrow I can get a new one. 

I know there were some thoughts around in my head but they escape me now. 

I dont even know how mass goes anymore and more important concerns. 

I went to a funeral today.it was weird. Forgot how mass goes. Just had to get up and down when everyone else did. 

A great aunt died. She was nice,though I only saw her a few times. One of my cousins got up to talk about what a wonderful grandma she was. 

I travelled with mum and grandma,she asked me to come at the last minute. I agreed cause I figured she could use some help and support. 

So far what I’ve done is carry stuff mostly. 

But I sat at the funeral today,some people talked,and I wondered how I’d feel if it were my grandma. Sad,but mostly okay,I think. She’s old,she’s senile,even gotten kinda mean. But I’d be worried for my mum. 

And what about if it were my mum. ? We werent seated together,she was in the first row with grandma and another great aunt. I sat further back with a cousin. 

my health has been not-great lately, not life-threatening but worrying enough to leave me weak and vulnerable. So I’ve been really anxious and rather emotionally needy. 

So thinking about losing my parents made me very sad. I wanted to go and hug my mum,but with all the people around I couldnt. I shouldve tried. 

Cause then mum left to go to the cemetery. I was supposed to go but my uncle didnt take us in the end. So then mum went off somewhere else, her cousin’s house i’m guessing, and I was left at another aunt’s. 

So I texted my sister about coming over to my older sister’s  housecause  it’s hot and she has a pool. 

On the way here I was feeling okay. I had to travel via public transport so I had some pressing concerns. 

But after getting here, I started worrying. Was mum coming? I thought she was. Was she okay? Would I see her soon?? Why wasnt she texting me? Should I just head home early? But what if she needs help? Am I giving up by heading home early?? And a thousand more I can’t articulate. You know how worries multiply. And it just left me with a horrible feeling in my stomach or my chest I dont know where my anxiety lives exactly. 

I took a pill,but all I had was a simple natural over-the-counter one. 

It wasnt working. 

But headspace did. Ten minutes meditation and I felt better. The worries are still there but more distant. Like theyve been caged. Or its like putting memories in the pensieve. You can examine them without reliving them. I really gotta do it more often. I’m such a mess. 

So now I know I was feeling worried about being separated, I guess just wanted some comfort after the funeral. Maybe I should’ve gone with mum to the cementery. Or at least hug her after the funeral. 

I’m trying to be better about sharing. My feelings,my needs. 

Trying not to get choked by everything I don’t say. It’s not that I try to be closed off and private. I just don’t know how else to be. 

I see and hear some people talk about their feeling and worries so openly and I don’t know how they do it. 

But I’d like to learn. To talk about my feelings. To ask for help. 

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