Thursday, March 7, 2013

New Digs

Well I have finally faced up to my fear of exposure and started a blog that isn't anonymous. You can now find me at Hope you'll join me there!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Who Let That Child In My House?

As I sit down to write something for what feels like the 15th time in the last few weeks, one more thing (probably) destined to never be published*, Cha-Cha starts yelling at me from downstairs. Again. And if I weren't already in a crappola mood I'd be laughing because it's such a great example of the quagmire I currently find myself attempting to wade through.

It's back. That deep restlessness that creeps up on me randomly. Where 'randomly' means 'like clockwork'. And where 'creeps up' actually means 'finally got louder than everything else making all that noise in my head'.

Getting my ADHD diagnosis about 2 years ago was a huge game changer for me. I finally started to feel like a grown up. I finally understood why the simplest tasks that everyone else seemed to manage just fine were so impossible for me (even though I was often told I was too smart for my own good, which I assumed meant I was ahead of the game). I finally had the necessary lens to bring into focus my battle with depression. Most importantly, it helped me make sense of a life that felt like it had no center keeping it together.

It was all rainbows! And unicorns! And glitter! And dozens of really bad metaphors for what it feels like to be inside my crazy little brain!

Where 'rainbows and unicorns and glitter' means 'life pretty much went on as usuall'. And all the bad metaphors... well, actually those did happen, and if you were one of the people forced to listen to me ramble on about them - I am so sorry.

It turns out having a diagnosis, and even medicating, didn't magically make my troubles disappear (documented here, here, and here) - who could have guessed?! Of course I realized it wouldn't be that easy - no really, I knew it would be work. I just didn't realize it wouldn't be such hard work. So, you know, pity party at my house...

I sometimes feel like I only have 2 options: 1. ADHD isn't real and your life is a mess because you're just a fuck-up, and 2. ADHD is real and super cool and if you can't make the most of your difference, you're just a fuck up.

Surprisingly neither of these is terribly helpful. But they are both really depressing.

I did manage to find a fantastic site late last night while somewhat hopelessly skimming through websites looking for something that might offer me a bit of relief from the giant overwhelm (aka, every day life). Jeff Siegel at Jeff's A.D.D. Mind has the great tag line, "If ADD is a gift...can I return it for something else?" Which is totally how I'm feeling at the moment.

I plan on spending all that time-when-I-really-should-be-doing-something-else, reading through his entire website. So you can expect me to discuss what he's got going on over there in, say, a year or two?

It just occurred to me that I started this post talking about my youngest son. I guess it won't surprise you that despite how quickly you've read through this, that was a really long time ago for me.

I intended to make the point (wait - am I allowed to do that or should I just keep going with the random thing?) that things have been especially hard for me lately because on top of my own brain jumping around like a crazed monkey on crack, my attention is constantly being jerked around by outside influences. Like the 4 year old who apparently lives in this house too and insists on calling me mommy. 

*Oh, oh, oh! I'm publishing!

PS After writing my first draft of this post, I went back to Jeff's A.D.D. Mind for some more fortification and found this post, describing, much more eloquently than I managed, how I'm feeling.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Linkety Link Link Love

Yeah, yeah, I know. Way too long away and you're bored with reading about how sorry I am blah, blah, blah and yadda, yadda, yadda. So just to get myself back in the swing of things, here's just a taste of some of the things I've found on the Internet lately...

  1. Flank Biting and the Hate Read at helenjane got me thinking about self-harm. I never realized animals did this. Or rather I knew that some animals hurt themselves in certain situations but never thought about it being the same thing as say, cutting. Duh.
  2. Pinterest, Tumblr, and the Trouble With 'Curation' by Carina Chocano over at the NY Times (found via Gala Darling) got me all worked up and pissed off at the world for a few days. It's all about how putting together a coherent or inspirational visual collection is something better left to the 'real' artists and professionals. We plebeians are just creating an unrequitable* aching for something we'll never get. Note to all those who agree with Ms. Chocano: that yearning for something we can't quite define, that you claim is creating despair - its name is 'the human condition'. For examples please see the entire history of human civilization.
  3. Completely fell in love with the tag-line at the top of Tamarisk Saunders-Davies website (found via Hannah's Harvest). "When Life Hands You Lemons, Go Back And Ask For The Tequila & Salt," might be my new motto! At least until I start taking swigs out of the bottle, and Monkey Man says it's time to go home...
  4. Justine Musk once again finds a way through the chatter in my mind to the soft, painful stuff I waste so much time trying to avoid, in her article, the most badass thing you can do as a creative. Oh, I see much work to be done here before I can find the hope at the bottom of my own Pandora's box.
  5. I am a night owl in a house full of early risers so Writing In the Dark by Kathryn Schulz for New York Magazine was a bit like peeking into my own dark(ness) desires. I may have to stay up until the wee hours soon. But don't worry, I won't be going running.
*not a word but totally should be

Monday, July 30, 2012

What Do You Suck At? Burning Question Series

Because that's not in any way a loaded question for someone with severe depressive tendencies and self-talk so negative it could make a demon weep...

Yes, it's true, my first instinct is to answer with -


Yes, I know that's not true.


I've been thinking a lot lately about Danielle LaPorte's assertion that accepting our weaknesses allows us to move more fully into our strengths. This has echoed through some of my other recent reading about living with ADHD and in Barbara Sher's Refuse to Choose.

Serendipity, you say? What's that word mean again?
So What Do I Suck At?

Routines and schedules. Which totally explains why the school year can be physically draining for me even without the kids around. Anything that requires me to regularly pay attention to a clock sucks out my life force.

Doing what I'm told to do even when (or especially when?) I'm telling myself what to do. I really think my life would be easier if there weren't so many personalities inside my head vying for control.

Follow through. This is something I've talked about before. More than once.

I'm also terrible at not getting lost, keeping track of details, cleaning, being in large groups, being quiet, and doing pretty much anything if I don't get plenty of down time (or sleep).

Now if I can learn to accept these things, be OK with these things, maybe I can find the energy and courage to focus on developing the things I'm really quite good at.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Learning Optimism Skillz

One of my favorite sites, Brain Pickings, recently posted a review of the self-help classic, Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life by Dr. Martin Seligman, founder of Positive Psychology (the review is right here). I read Dr. Seligman's Authentic Happiness years ago - I even registered at Seligman's University of Pennsylvania website where you can get access to a ton of awesome (and helpful) questionnaires. But I may need to add this book to my (ever growing) list.

I was especially attracted to the excerpt where Seligman outlines the differences between a Pleasant Life, an Engaged Life, and a Meaningful Life. All I wanted for the longest time was to have a Pleasant Life. Because, you know, like, depression sucks?

But I just realized I've managed to get that Pleasant Life, and I didn't even notice when it happened. Which is all kinds of fan-tab-u-lous. No complacency though, this is a war of creeping changes that can be easy to overlook until they've taken over. Not that I know that from experience.


In fact, things may even be better than that. I suspect I am already swimming in the shallow end of an Engaged Life.

Which is a terrible metaphor given that I am not a very good swimmer.

And I'd actually like to get to the Meaningful Life bit.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Quanta of Letting Go

I was visited again recently with dreams of the dead. Once a rare thing, it's becoming more common for me. A result of getting older and facing my own mortality perhaps. Or maybe just a result of getting older and knowing more people who are dead, my own small army of ghost friends and family.

I always imagined Letting Go was one big moment when you were finally done with 'it' (whatever 'it' might be). You let go of the plate, the glass, the vase, and it falls to the floor to shatter. You let go of the horse's reins, and the horse gets to decide what to do, where to go. You let go of a love, a relationship, and it's still hovering about like it needs something else from you, like it hasn't already taken all that you have.

You Let Go, and you Let Go, you and Let Go in a never ending series of small movements toward the future, forever drifting outward but still somehow always within reach. Like Grief, it's never something that's complete, finished, over with. The intensity just fades into the background of the pressing needs of your current life.

Until it decides to punch you in the gut long after you thought it no longer had that kind of power.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Some Link Love

Some of these are a little old by Internet standards (cuz I am constitutionally unable to be less than a week behind which is about a decade in Internet years), but that doesn't mean they aren't still totally awesome.

Creative badass, Justine Musk, shares Lessons from Chernobyl (Dear Justine, I think the people who thought you were crazy for wanting to take the trip are crazy - I've wanted to visit Chernobyl for years!).

I just discovered popperfont, which seems like a major oversight on my part. If you only read one thing on the site, make it An Introduction to the Scientific Method, by way of Chewbacca. Brilliant, funny science - just as it should be.

Check out How to Be an A-List Blogger: One Simple Step over at Unbridled Existence. Yes, even if you're not a blogger. It's a good reminder for everyone to make sure you know what success means for you.