I'm pretty sure if you've seen this blog, you've seen my instagram, which also means you've probably seen my bullet journal. It's like a notebook/planner that I carry everywhere with me but also try to keep it hidden at all times. You see, people lose their minds over things organised neatly, hell, there's even a very successful tumblr and subsequent book with images of just that. Everyone gushes about how they wished they could be so organised, they wished they had the time or the patience, but what they don't know is it's actually a key piece to my survival. Anyone who has seen my room, or my desk, or the inside of my bag, knows that I am probably as far from organised as humanly possible.
This is the contents of my bag with about two weeks worth of shit
A couple of years ago I went to the doctor to discuss inattentive ADHD, formerly known as ADD. She asked me if I would take the medication, I said no. Then she asked me why I wanted the diagnosis, and I couldn't really answer that question. She said I probably had it, but it probably wasn't worth the resources to test for it, considering I had successfully completed my degree. I left somewhat bewildered, but motivated to find some of my own answers. I've never really been able to put into words what it's like being me, but thankfully the internet provided me access to a thousand others who had already done so eloquently. My personal favourite has to be the feeling of "having too many tabs open in my brain".
Unfortunately for me, it went under the radar for my entire schooling career. In primary school and intermediate, I was labelled "gifted", whatever that means. Basically, they encouraged me to learn in my own ways, choosing my own topics, in an attempt to keep me engaged with the content. Thankfully, in a family full of teachers, musicians, artists and librarians, my education was enriched at home, leaving my inability to focus in class less visible. My year 3 report states "Chanelle has a lot of opinions, however, she is still learning when is the right time to share them" - if only there was Squarespace in 1999! Each year the reports get more repetitive, with complaints of "distracting others" and "not applying herself", to which my parents always replied with something that was encouraging of my ability to socialise with almost anybody. As I progressed into high school, the missed classes began to skyrocket, alongside my portfolio of detentions. I had a separate desk set up outside my maths class for when I was kicked out and I was the first person to need a mediated meeting with the Dean's secretary. I was struggling to cope, but nobody was noticing.
Fast forward to now, I live my life like most people did when they were in primary school, I have a strict bed time, I have a star chart and I have to be told at least three times every night to put my pyjamas on. Simple things like washing my hair and putting my shoes away frequently make my list of tasks for the day. I'm slowly learning the power of routine and the freedom, rather than constraint, that it provides. It isn't easy and some days I get absolutely nothing ticked off my list, and some days, like today, I forget the whole damn notebook (another common symptom of ADHD). I'm sharing my experience in case there is anyone else out there who is struggling, either with ADHD-like symptoms or struggling with someone who has it. Lets be real here, it's not just a problem for me, it can be a problem for everyone in my life. Shout out to anyone who has waded through my room when it looks like an actual episode of hoarders, or been left at a cafe when I forgot to meet you, or even just had to finish a task for me that I promised to do myself. You the real MVP(s).
That's it for me this week.