(¸.•Hello. My name is Isabelle (or Iza), I’m 19 years old.
I have ADHD.
I fight anxiety and depression daily.
I do tic-ish things.
So, you could call me mental. But, maybe I’m just different.
Dyscalculia, according to Wikipedia is difficulty in learning or comprehending arithmetic, such as difficulty in understanding numbers, learning how to manipulate numbers, and learning facts in mathematics, along with difficulties with time, measurement, and spatial reasoning. This is a very little known learning disability, especially in the USA. Sometimes called ‘math dyslexia,’ but in reality, it’s much more than that. Dyscalculia goes beyond the classroom. I struggle to do basic mental math, such as calculating the tax on an item in the store, or paying the waiter a 10% tip. I lose track of time easily. It’s hard for me to know what time I need to leave my house to arrive at my destination on time. Even after driving the same route hundreds of times, I still struggle to know which turns to make or what lane to be in. I still don’t know my left from my right. Yes, it’s embarrassing to struggle with things that for the majority of people are no big deal.
Most people are familiar with ADHD. I lose track of what I’m saying mid-sentence, I interrupt myself and my mind is always overactive. If you tell me an oral command, most likely, I’ll forget what you told me. My thoughts are like butterflies, flitty and erratic, but beautiful if you’re able to catch one up close. If I put my mind to it, I am capable of concentration, but I work best in short bursts of 15-20 minutes.
My struggle against anxiety and depression is a fight that I will have to fight until I die. There is a history of mental illness in my family, so genetics are a factor, but these struggles are also inherent to my melancholy temperament. People don’t understand how much work it takes to constantly calm myself down, and tell myself that it’s okay. On some days, I feel overwhelmed by a vague sadness, like a gray fog. When this happens, I regroup, and continue fighting.
Is it exhausting? Absolutely.
My fears are irrational, but they feel very real. This creates a fight or flight response, though the ‘danger’ isn’t actually life-threatening. I’ve missed out on experiences because of this and it robs me of peace. In addition, I suffer from stress-induced physical symptoms. Anxiety and depression are lonely struggles. You are judged. You are constantly given ‘constructive criticism’ about how you can be less nervous, and more cheerful, etc., as if this is simply a mild problem that can be easily solved by a few small changes.
Anxiety and depression are part of who I am. It’s not a glamourous part, and it breeds feelings of shame, worthlessness, and a very low self-image. But it is part of me that can’t be removed, though it can be managed. It’s my fight.
In addition, I seem to have symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder and Auditory Processing Disorder. I struggle to comprehend what I’ve been told, or to follow an oral direction. I become overwhelmed easily. My brain struggles to process all input, whether it’s big or small, positive or negative. When I receive too much stimulus, even if the stimulus appears small, such as watching a TV show or talking to a friend, my brain gets bogged down, like a computer with too many tabs open.
The world can be a harsh to people like me. People tend to define everyone by their flaws and don’t take the time to see their different kind of beautiful. Though I have a unique, even valuable perspective, I think in pictures rather than words, so it is a struggle to transfer these images into articulate words. Because of this, it’s hard to communicate with others what I really think, and if I do, they will likely misunderstand me. It’s lonely. It’s tiring. When I interact with people, I often feel like a foreigner. There is a language barrier between us. They speak left-brain, I speak right-brain. Or maybe I speak learning disability and they speak ‘normal.’
I have good days and bad days.. On the good days, I’m grateful and try to use them well. On the bad ones, I try to simply manage. On those days, existing is an accomplishment.
This blog is my personal journey of living with these struggles and accepting my unique, messy mind.I wish you the best in your journey of understanding and managing your mind.
Life behind the tapestry….. tapestries are beautiful, but the back is ugly and messy. I feel like I am on the ugly side of the tapestry most of the time, but sometimes, I see a glimpse of the beautiful side.
(¸.•´I’d love to hear from you!
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