Until you have been in my brain you cannot tell me ADHD is not real.
Science says ADHD is real.
Why I have to on occasion argue this fact with people, is still very confusing to me. Although I guess it is the same reason people choose not to vaccinate their children and re-start outbreaks of diseases previously eradicated from the developed world—they choose to remain ignorant.

As I once said to Jess in Calgary, “Stupid people are not your problem”.

Sometimes stupid people make themselves our problems, though, which is unfortunate.

Other times, though, smart people affirm what you’re putting out there. (Thank God for smart people!)

Yesterday morning, I shared a video on Facebook about “pill shaming” people with mental health issues. You can see the video here.

And yes, ADHD very much falls into this category. After all, everyone is just popping Ritalin (or now, Adderall more accurately) as a study drug and nobody actually has ADHD, right? Wrong. Obviously.

I have a have a friend who recently started ADHD medication again, after we had a conversation about ADHD on a dark drive home from a friend’s party in the country (I have a half written post about this somewhere that I really need to get out into the world). He, like me, has found the of meds after not treating his ADHD for over a decade positively life altering.

Yet, when he posted this on Facebook, that he was starting meds, the doubters, the disbelievers came. And—thankfully—many of us fought them back with science. I’m not sure disbelievers enjoy PubMed links being thrown at them, but damn it, I went there. Because that is how we fight ignorance and misinformation.

With freaking science.

Yesterday, when I posted the link from Mental Health on The Mighty, I did so with the following text:

This.

I’ve had so many people ask me why I need ADHD medication.
Because there is an imbalance in my neurotransmitters, that’s why. No I can’t just “try harder”. I tried life on hard mode without a diagnosis for 21 years.
Maybe it doesn’t keep me alive like other meds do, but it does make my life so much better.

Six minutes later, my friend from above commented this:

I like how this publicly happened on my Facebook lol

I replied

Um, FACT.
And we SHUT DOWN those haters. 😉

Alongside this, as of the time I am writing this, 20 of my friends chose to “like” or “love” this post. Another friend commented “Yes! Well said.”

There is power in finding people who get it. People who understand.

Because we all spend enough time fighting misinformation. Fighting people who shame you for not trying hard enough, even if you’ve tried harder than just about everybody for decades to get by without medication—often without so much as a diagnosis to understand why your brain is differently wired.

It’s much better when we fight ignorance and misinformation together.

The only way we can stop stigma is to share our stories, and being fiercely proud of our stories—they make us who we are. ADHD is a piece of me that makes me who I am. I’m proud of that piece, proud of my quirky, neuroatypical brain. Of seeing life differently. I chose meds to be part of my journey, to help me harness the joys of my ADHD brain better. Vyvanse (or previously Concerta) doesn’t cure me. It doesn’t make me neurotypical. It just makes me better able to balance the joyful parts of my ADHD with the frustrating parts (and I still get endlessly frustrated with myself. But it’s so much better).

Sometimes medicine is a part of “trying harder”.

And I’m thankful that many of my friends seem to get that.

Hello there, remember me? The person who allegedly writes this blog except has not been here since day 7 of a 31 day challenge, in which she just disappeared into thin air?

Hi, it’s me. Not dead. (Clearly there are many other internet-y ways to determine that I am not dead, so I don’t think this was a concern).

Where have I been?

Writing. Toronto for a few days in October. Writing. Goalball. Coaching. Failing Nanowrimo even though I built my best-yet support group (I hope Jordan, John, Marie and Sara did better than I!). Archery—I get to use a compound bow now and it’s effing awesome. Zurich. Yes, as in Switzerland. Watching too much Lockup on Netflix and Supersize vs. Superskinny on YouTube, and in the last few days, Josh Sundquist’s channel. Mostly Lockup in a distracting from writing fashion. Reading books with my ears. Taking in podcasts on the weirdness of America. So, I have very much been places—and covered a lot of ground both geographically and inside my brain—but that is about it. 

Oh, thanks to Amazon I am done close to half my Christmas shopping and it’s only December second. I have previously ordered a few choice items online, but between this and some random items I’ve picked up in previous months, I am half done, which is still not as good as the done I wanted to be by the end of November but whatever. I blame jet lag. 

Now, I feel like I am going to just finish this post off right here, and hopefully come at you soon with another post that is on one topic and not just a jumble from an ADHD brain, as this one is.

In 2018, I plan to try to drop by at least once a month. I don’t think that’s a stretch… But well, we’ll see. 😉

Doing a Recap Saturday is kind of weird as I am a Monday-to-Sunday week type of girl, in rebellion from the calendar (it pleases me that a Monday-to-Sunday week is an option in the Calendars 5 app), but hey, whatever. 
Also my laptop is at 10% and my charger is at home so that is not conducive to getting any blog posts up on time. Whoops.

Here are some pictures and stories from my week, most of which have nothing to do with ADHD (and also probably everything to do with ADHD?)

Sunday – October 1st.

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I love Fall. The cabin in the Fall is even lovelier than both Fall and the cabin normally are.

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The spare tire for the trailer makes a good cup holder for day-old Starbucks, apparently.

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And then as we were just packing up to go home, it began to rain. So, good timing minus the fact that I stood in the rain awhile before I gave up and got in the car as my mom and aunt were trying to fix the shed door. 

Monday, October 2.

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I made a cardboard aquarium for the kids at work today. Except only the 3 year old was interested at all—as usual! I commented to the kids mom that I was sure I’d randomly find a tube of glitter in my pocket later in the day. Sure enough, it was during a Government Relations conference call… Yes, I am a professional clearly.

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Getting back in coaching mode, doing a free Coaches Week National Coaching Certification Program module. And, um, excuse me for wanting to make the Learning to Train phase for 8-12 year old kids fun.

Tuesday, October 3

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Went to my aunt and uncle’s for my uncle’s birthday. Or his birthday cake, as his birthday was Sunday. Almost two-year-old Mila was sharing toys with all of us. I got this beaver, which was appropriately Canadian.

Wednesday, October 4

Snapseed.jpg

Remember that time I went for a flu shot and a Slurpee? Yeah, that day.

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And then my mom was not answering either of her phones and I had academic type questions, so I sent her tis meme of Mr. Y U NO.

Thursday, October 5

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I’ve been watching far too much Lockup, not gonna lie. As soon as Lockup: Disturbing the Peace was on Netflix binge watching ensued.

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C-Pen video? Check. Finally.

Friday, October 6

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When you accidentally take a photo instead of hitting the record button—and it’s not actually terrible.

Saturday, October 7

Fascinating things found at Safeway:

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And left unpurchased.

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This milk is very safe. And hard to open.

There are three subtypes of ADHD:

  • Primarily inattentive (ADHD-PI)
  • Primarily hyperactive (ADHD-PH)
  • Combined (ADHD-C)

When people picture ADHD they don’t picture the type that I have, which is ADHD-PI. I exhibit some symptoms of restlessness and impulsivity that fall into the hyperactivity category, but not frequently or disruptively enough for me to fall into the combined subtype.

The mental image of a “second grade boy”, to quote one of my friends, bouncing around, climbing trees inappropriately and doing headstands in class, is not at all accurate when it comes to majority of us with ADHD, including women and girls who are more likely to have the inattentive subtype, as well as men as they grow. This causes issues with late diagnosis, as many of us are able to mask our inattentive symptoms by developing compensatory strategies we don’t even know we are doing because we know no different! (For instance, I had multiple sets of house keys from the time I was letting myself in because I’d always forget or misplace my keys! To this day, my mom has an extra set of house keys in her purse for me! Losing, misplacing, forgetting things? One of the biggest struggles faced by ADHDers!)

Some other symptoms related to inattention include frequent careless mistakes, not seeming to listen when spoken to, struggles to follow through on instructions (as I tell my mom, if it’s not on a post-it note it doesn’t get done!), having trouble getting organized for or starting tasks, and forgetfulness. 

And yes, everyone forgets things. Everyone gets restless. The difference with ADHD is that it is constant: every day, multiple times a day, at work, home, school. 

What do you want to learn about ADHD or learning disabilities this month? Let me know!

This thing is cool.

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Awhile back, I learned of the C-Pen Reader from the Learning Disabilities Association of Manitoba. After learning more about it, I felt like the C-Pen would be a tool that would help me as a person with a learning disability who learns best through listening rather than seeing—as I’ve written before, I primarily now read audiobooks, and frequently use text-to-speech or VoiceOver on my MacBook, iPhone and iPad when reading longer texts. This switch has greatly enhanced my retention of what I read. But what about actual paper documents? It becomes a hassle to scan dozens of pages to have them convert. 

Enter the C-Pen.

In video, because it probably makes more sense that way. 

Disclosure: I contacted Scanning Pens in the UK requesting to review the C-Pen Reader. They got back in touch quickly sent me one out via a Canadian distributor. I am in no way obligated to provide a favourable review.