I have been cleaning out my files and reorganizing my office for about a month. I came across these affirmations which I wrote a few years ago.
I am a competent woman.
I can make competent decisions.
I am able to take risks
I am ready for something better in my life
I can make it happen!
It is February and I spent my lunch outside enjoying the sun and warmth. This is why I love living here in the south. I have this little porch on the side of my house and there have been few times in the past years where I have actually been able to sit and just enjoy it. Looking out I am going to have to prune the nasty Bartlett pear tree as some of the wires going into the house tangled up in the branches. I hate that tree, when it blooms it smells like rotten fish. I wish I was making that up, but it is true. It is the only tree in my yard which I dislike. The warmth of the sun is luring me into a nap mode, I love being warm like this. Maybe tomorrow I will sit out in the backyard by the fire pit.
I am adult who is ADD. Many people want to know what it is like for me on a daily basis. Basically a person who is ADD is much like a person who is diabetic. Careful monitoring of one’s lifestyle is a daily must. I have lived with being ADD all my life. The irony is that my diagnosis did not occur until I was nearly 31. People ask me: “What made you decide to seek professional help with your ADD? ” My answer is that, while filling out a form for a student that I was referring for testing it hit me that many of the questions I was answering sounded a lot like me. I did a lot of research before I made my decision to see a Psychiatrist. One of the first things I did was to read Driven to Distraction, a must for anyone who has an ADD or ADHD child. In reading the book, I learned that yes indeed, adults could be ADD and that it was genetic, as well. Seeking help was easy; my insurance covers mental health so I was able to see a counselor and then a psychiatrist who was able to prescribe medication to help me focus on my daily tasks.
Another question I get is why did it take so long to get a diagnosis. The answer to that question is complex. When I was growing up in the 70’s girls were not considered “hyper” or ADHD, the term they used then. Also, a quiet child is not a disruptive child so why mess with a non-disruptive child? Although, I was not quiet. I think many teachers gave up on me because they just did not know what to do. If a girl was quiet and possibly unfocused, they were just undisciplined and needed extra attention. The theory was also that you grew out of it. By the time I was in HS when someone may have been able to diagnose it by my behavior it was too late, because I was supposed to have grown out of it by then. In college, it was the same. I was of course struggling with schoolwork this whole time trying my hardest to stay focused and keep on track. I occasionally wonder what it might have been like for me if I had been diagnosed when I was younger. Also, during this time I did learn to cope with my abilities and either hide them or overcompensate for them in other ways. I still hate making mistakes, because in my mind people with out a disability like mine do not make mistakes. It is not a need to be perfect, just to look “normal”. Having the diagnosis now has not changed who I am; it just helps to explain why I have a harder time with things than someone. I don’t blame my teachers they didn’t know any different.
So, this is what it is like to be ADD and live in the real world. I have a friend who thinks I am enigmatic, because she can never read me. I am a calculated risk taker, I just can’t pick up and do something I have to consider the pros and cons, I think I can thank my sixth grade teacher for that lesson. Even though I am a risk taker, I also do not like being in public, too much stimulation. Malls, crowded parks, and large groups of people make me nervous. I am a talented person who often questions life. I also can be heard to ask what is normal? More on that later, I think.
This is an old blog from my website
Why is it so hard???
Having just returned from my somewhat annual pilgrimage to the polling place, I have a few thoughts. They may apply to where you live, however they generally apply to Charlotte. I am sure, though, that others can think of things that are just as befuddling. How many of you get to tour your community on an annual basis? Well, I do. Every year our polling place is changed. This year we voted in a school. Last year we voted at the Native American Center, which I liked because it was a way to expose people to another culture. The year before I didn’t vote because I couldn’t even find the place where I was supposed to go (there was a lack of signs which said VOTE HERE!). I lived in Seattle before this and voted in the same place nearly every year. Okay so polling places change, I can live with that. What really bothered me this evening is the way they check you in. You fill out a piece of paper with your name and signature and apparantly your address, although when I asked why I needed to put that down since I hadn’t moved they said, because. I went from the place where I fill out this piece of paper to stand in line so they could find my name in the BIG BOOK. My last name begins with a T although, for some reason the gentleman felt my last name should begin with a P, he kept trying to send me to another line to check in. Then I got in big trouble because I didn’t fill out my address, I kept saying that I hadn’t moved and the way the form had it phrased it looked like I was supposed to tell them if my address had changed, there was a warning in red directly above the address which stated if you had moved and it had been more than 30 days you were violating the law. Nowhere on the form did it say you must fill this out completely, I argued that fact with the gentleman who insisted my last name began with a P.
IF you have moved and it has been more than 30 days you are violating the laws and can not vote. (this is my paraphrase)
I now live at ___________________
Printed Name __________________
After stating repeatedly that I hadn’t moved and didn’t understand why I needed to fill in my address, the Voting Judge as she was called just told the gentleman to write in that I refused to fill out my address. Then he looked in the book, again asked me if I was sure my last name started with a T. Since I have had the same last name since birth I don’t understand why he didn’t believe me. He proceeded to check me off and send me on my way. Now my problem isn’t the silly address issue, it is the fact that he didn’t look at my picture ID or my voter’s registration card or anything with a signature besides the one I had given him on the sheet of paper. As a citizen of the US I think this is not the proper way to do things. Anyone could have come in signed my name and voted for me, as long as she was a white female. This procedure reminds me of the old days when people used to stuff ballot boxes with the names of dead people. I don’t know if North Carolina or Charlotte has had any dead people vote in the past decade, but it could be possible. I know it has happened elsewhere in the US.
Moving along. so I go to stand in another line to wait to actually vote. I am not terribly pleased with how things are going, because voting should be a fairly painless process. I don’t mind lines but I do mind feeling like my rights have been taken away from me. Moving on over to the voting booth, which I only have 3 minutes to spend time in. The nice lady, probably a retired nurse or teacher gives me complete directions on how to vote, okay that is fine, but it would be nice if she asked me if I need help. Then she moves away to allow me to vote, and hovers behind me while I push the buttons for my choices. I love the new systems, because it means less paper and a quicker process all together. However, having someone watch me vote is a violation of my rights as a US citizen and this made me terribly cross. So why is it that voting is so difficult? We are all adults here. Voting is the basis of the US and yet in some places they still have rather archaic forms of getting the process done. All I want is some change and I certainly do not think hovering behind a voter is appropriate.