STORYBOOK: THE TIME THEY TOLD ME I HAD ADD

Dear Reader,

I think I’ve always been lazy. I have the ability to overcome it and can be weirdly motivated for certain projects, but I think at my core, I’m a lazy person. And I think the worst thing you can tell a kid that’s lazy is that they’re gifted.

Because that almost condones it, right? Like, you’re allowed to be lazy because things are going to come easier to you and for some reason, maybe genetics, maybe the way you were raised, you’re just not going to have to work that hard to pass classes. Not like some other students.

And I look back, and I can see that. I see that school was easy for me. I guess. In the sense that I didn’t put in that much effort on projects I didn’t like and I still managed to pass. And, like I said, I am capable of working hard. I spent so much time writing stories and songs and poems and in my personal journals. I even spent a lot of time doing math problems for fun and counting my quarter collection and designing my biome for science class. It didn’t really matter to me if it was for school or not–if I enjoyed it, I would do it. If I didn’t, I would procrastinate. And maybe I would never even get around to doing it.

Trust me, I know how bad that is. It’s one of the things I hate about myself, but I think it’s who I am at my core, which is why it’s so hard for me to change. But it’s gotten me in trouble. It almost got me kicked out of the accelerated fourth grade class I was placed in. And it did get me kicked out of honors English.

But I always managed to stay afloat and get grades that pleased my father and score in the top percentages of all of the standardized tests I took growing up. And then high school came along, and classes got boring.

Really boring.

In eighth grade I took algebra and american history, both of which I loved. So I excelled. Freshman year I took AP government and biology and geometry. Proofs and labs and dry reading were what (should’ve) filled my days.

I couldn’t do it, though. I couldn’t force myself to learn–or to focus. I spent classes daydreaming and looking out windows. But I guess it didn’t really end there. I think it might’ve carried over into conversations and even onto the soccer field.

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“Sorry, I zoned out.”

But, come on, I was fourteen years old! Of course I’m not going to be interested in AP government or every time my mother lectures me about my room. And yeah, sometimes it’s bad if I miss the starting lineup because my mind is somewhere else, but that only happened a handful of times.

So I laughed when my two friends confronted me.

“Don’t take this the wrong way, but we think you might have ADD.”

I even laughed when I told my parents.

“You’ll never guess what Jaden and Lekha told me today!”

But instead of laughs, I got, “Alright, well we’ll schedule an appointment and go from there.”

What?

I still rolled my eyes on the way to the appointment. I mean, we were going to see a therapist. I didn’t need a therapist! (lol look at me now)

He was very nice, but I didn’t really get why we were doing all of this. I was in this closet-like room at first and had to click the mouse as soon as I saw the white letter X (I think) against the black screen. Don’t click for the other letters.

Eh, I think I was just trigger-happy.

Then he asked me a few riddles and basic math problems. I made sure not to fidget or shake my feet and I focused really hard. But, I mean, it was August. I was a little rusty.

I still remember a riddle about something with six strings on your back. I was stumped and I asked my mom about it in the car and she said, “guitar?”

Okay, so this guy’s going to tell me that I don’t have ADD, but I’m no longer gifted.

How did I not get guitar?

But, honestly, I thought I killed it. Yep, I was like, I know what ADD looks like and the way I presented myself was nothing of the sort. I’ve got nothing to worry about.

Later that day my brother drove me to soccer with his friend in the car and, laughing, I said, “Guess what I did today! Got tested for ADD!”

The awkward silence that followed told me that maybe I shouldn’t be joking about this quite yet.

Well, we went back awhile later and the guy told me that I could get a prescription for adderall. You know, for my ADD. Because my brain doesn’t work like others, he said. When most people have thoughts, basically, their brain can handle it. They can connect them quickly–he explained this as he moved his finger in a circle. But for me, I guess my thoughts go around that circle too quickly.

See? I’m too smart?

Just kidding.

He basically gave two examples. One, he said that’s why sometimes I say things without explaining how I got to that thought. I assume my thought process is the same as everyone else’s, but really, it can be kind of hard to follow along unless I articulate. And I guess that’s because of the speedy circles in my brain.

(I wish I knew something about neurology so I could explain this better)

(I should have at least tried to pay attention in biology)

Two, he said that if a teacher says, “don’t pay attention to the car honking outside,” and then a car honks outside, I’ll basically have to look. It’ll be an instinct that I can’t stop, or once my brain thinks “don’t look outside,” I’ll already be looking.

Yeah, I don’t know either. But every time a car honks outside, I look and I don’t know if it’s because he told me this years ago, or if it’s actually something I would do anyway.

That’s the thing–I feel like anyone who went to this guy could be diagnosed with ADD. I don’t know exactly what his evidence was, but I had a hard time buying it for a while. I’ve been on and off my meds (because I was an angsty teenager who was terrified of permanent, irreversible effects–actually, I am still very much both of those things). And then this year, I had to go months without them at all, and I felt absolutely hopeless. I felt broken. And dependent.

So that sucked.

And the worst thing is that I always see the pictures of how different brains look in regards to depression and ADHD and bipolar disorder, but there’s never ADD. The guy made a point that I didn’t have ADHD (the difference being hyperactive), but I never see anything regarding the struggles of people with ADD. And that sometimes makes me think it’s made up to sell performance-enhancing drugs (I would consider adderall and ritalin to be in this category) to motivationless kids.

Which brings me back to the reminder that I’m lazy.

So I don’t know what to think, but that’s the story of the time they told me I had ADD. And maybe one day I’ll write a story about the day I decided I was over it. Or maybe I’ll go back to that doctor and confront him and make him show me the notes he took on me and why he gave me this diagnosis.

I feel like it wasn’t supposed to screw me up so much, but it did. I feel like it was just supposed to explain some things–answer some questions I always had about myself. But I’ve been more confused than ever.

Sometimes I wish I could just have a full brain scan and they could tell me exactly what’s wrong with me.

But other times I think maybe I don’t want to know.

Sincerely,

Sammy

EVERYONE HAS A SECRET BLOG

Dear Reader,

So. It’s 2015 and it seems like everyone who’s anyone has a blog. Or, actually, just everyone has one.

Seriously, everyone.

And I’ve realized this more and more because the phrase “I have a blog,” is no longer followed with “what?! what do you even write about??” but instead, “where is it? I have one too!”

And really, I’m okay with more and more people finding out my blog… to some extent. I still don’t see a day where I tell my parents or a time where I share my posts on my Facebook. And yeah my heart still speeds up a bit when someone says they “found” me–but that’s mostly because I’m on YouTube now (which is still terrifying).

Here’s the thing: I love this blog. I am incredibly self conscious and can be truly introverted at times, but on here, I can still share myself with others while hiding behind a screen. I can edit whatever I say and not have to worry about tripping over the words as they tumble out of my mouth. I don’t have to be self-conscious of my ever-reddening face when the attention turns to me in a group of people.

I get to put out this version of myself on the internet–to a bunch of strangers–that can actually convey thoughts I’m having in the most public way I’d choose to display them. And I can go as personal as I choose, but still save plenty for my own private journal.

Still, though, I’m scared. I already feel like I’ve had to censor myself a lot last year because I didn’t want people like my sister or my roommate worrying about me–especially when I was so certain that there was nothing to worry about in the first place.

That was back when 4 people I knew in real life read my blog. Now there are possibly ten others (maybe more) with the url. Oh, and apparently it’s possible to find me from a simple Google search of who even knows what keywords.

But I just want to make a disclaimer, and an explanation for what I even do on this blog. Because, yes, there are truly interesting people out there who have fantastic blogs. There are people dealing with very real problems who blog about them. And there are people who are living crazy lives or have amazing stories that they share with their followers.

As for me? Well, I’m going to be a teacher so I’m always subconsciously censoring myself and refraining from using profanity or discussing certain topics. And I try to reflect on the good as much as possible, but sometimes the bad leaks through and I need to vent to a place with an audience, rather than my private journal. But my writing isn’t beautiful, my life isn’t an adventure, and, well, at this point in my life I’m deeply unfulfilled.

Yet, I have a blog.tumblr_n9giboRP9Y1tflwrzo1_400.gif

And a YouTube channel, for that matter.

I don’t know. It’s late and I felt like making a disclaimer for being a typical Generation Y yuppie who was raised to believe I was special and have something to say (or at least a beautiful way to say it), when in fact, I’m just… not. I guess.

But WordPress at least makes me want to be. Or makes me want to try harder, I suppose. So every once in a while I’ll try writing something or try being creative. Or I’ll take more pictures than I usually do because, well, I have a corner of the internet where I can share them.

So I think I’m going to make a new introduction soon. A new explanation of why this blog is here and a “welcome” to all those out here who haven’t been with me from the beginning. And to those who know me in real life. Because, God, I feel like this is a disappointment to them more than anyone. 

But maybe that’s just because it’s 1AM and instead of sleeping, I’m overanalyzing every aspect of my life.

You know, as one does.

Sincerely,

Sammy

{ESC} BOOK FOURTEEN: MORE HAPPY THAN NOT

Dear Reader,

This isn’t the fourteenth book I’ve read this year, but I’ve been really slacking on book reviews. So I’m getting back into the swing of things with–I kid you not–the best book I’ve read this year.

If you’re not familiar with the way that I do most of my reviews, I hate spoilers. So, I try to give as little information as possible, while still recommending the good books that I stumble upon. The reason is because I absolutely love indulging in a story with absolutely no idea where it will take me.

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So here’s what I will say: I am in a class this year that is helping us future teachers be able to implement different reading material into the curriculum in order to relate to more diverse audiences. All I knew of this book was that it is about a guy who is coping with his father’s suicide with the help of his girlfriend, but he starts becoming confused when he starts talking to this new guy.

Sounds kind of interesting, right? Eh, maybe not. I even thought it wasn’t the most gripping story before I read it. But I honestly couldn’t put it down and started gasping and making exclamations when things happened–which is how you really know I was lost in the story. I even cried in the suite (discreetly, I might add) because I couldn’t hold back. Who knows how many tears would’ve come out if I were alone.

But I really, really don’t want to say more–not that there’s not more to say, but because everyone gets one chance to read this book for the first time. And I have a problem with over-promoting my recent obsessions to the point where they can’t possibly meet the expectations of those I recommend them to, but I don’t think that’s the case with this. I truly think this is a story that will stick with any reader for a long time. I think it’s shocking and touching, but also heart-breaking as well as eye-opening.

Basically, I’m just really excited to use this in my future classrooms and I can’t wait for the conversation it’s sure to provoke. And I understand that this book deserves a much better review, so I’ve made one. It doesn’t have spoilers necessarily (don’t worry, I won’t give away the ending), but if you don’t want to read a book with such little information, then you can go ahead and check it out here, using the password: esc (I hope this works… I’ve never done this before) 

Anyway, I really, really hope you read this. And I hope you love it as much as I do because I certainly played it up enough.

Sincerely,

Sammy

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO

Dear Reader,

I uploaded a new video on Friday, and then the next day I found a new song that I am absolutely, utterly obsessed with. So I guess you can go ahead and watch this first video to see the eleven songs I’ve been loving since mid-September

and then watch this one here to watch my current favorite.

Yay for new music just in time for long road trips to family gatherings!

Sincerely,

Sammy

WHY I TAKE WALKS IN THE RAIN

Dear Reader,

If you know me as well as I sometimes like to think you do, you’ll know that I love the rain, as most people do. I mean, who doesn’t love the sound of rain on tin roofs? Or watching droplets race down the sides of windows?

People love the rain. It’s a perfect excuse to get out of leaving your house, and it’s kind of nice to sit inside, all bundled up with a blanket. Maybe a book. Maybe a loved one. And you just sit and watch as the rest of the world gets clean.

It’s romantic, right? Showing up on someone’s doorstep means so much more if you’re out of breath and drenched in rainwater. Even if the flowers you’re holding are ruined, it’s even more of a grand gesture. Because you went out in the rain.

But I love going out in the rain. Not to dance and splash in puddles, necessarily, or run to the houses of those I’ve deeply wronged. I just like walking. Being alone with my thoughts. Maybe a good playlist. Not having to worry about seeing another soul because everyone else is hiding inside where it’s nice and dry.

It may seem lonely, but I don’t really think it is.

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I think it’s much more lonely walking around campus and not seeing a single familiar face that will greet you with a smile. It is lonelier sitting in a room and hearing roars of laughter outside. It is lonelier noticing that life is going on around you, but you are experiencing none of it for yourself.

And I guess none of that stops when rain starts to fall. People are still laughing and loving and being together. I guess it’s just that they’re not in your face as much. They’re all inside, keeping to themselves for the day.

Though I don’t know why, really. I mean, a little rain never hurt anybody.

It’s never hurt me.

So I guess I’ll just keep walking in the rain until it does.

Sincerely,

Sammy

 

SO I TRIED VLOGGING

Dear Reader,

I tried out the YouTube thing again. This time it was in the form of a vlog.

The verdict is still out on whether or not my life is interesting enough to try this again.

Sincerely,

Sammy

FINDING THE HAPPY

Dear Reader,

I’ve been reading a blog lately, and I think it’s bad for me.

It is a blog of someone I went to high school with–someone who is going through some very real things right now. He doesn’t know that I read his blog, and I probably won’t ever tell him because I feel like I’m invading his privacy in a way. Plus I’m going to try to stop.

He uses his blog as a journal. As therapy. Which is great! But it’s also very real. Uncut. Raw. Dramatic, but also serious. And just downright depressing. But I read it and I relate so. Much. Not with the cutting or the psych ward or the anorexia. No, he has very real problems that I am not about to sit here and pretend like I understand. But I relate to the social anxiety and the self loathing and the depressing thoughts and the overwhelming feeling like you’re drowning and you don’t know whether to stay or go and all you want is someone you can turn to.

And often I find myself inspired to vent my own feelings after reading posts from him. I just finished reading about his awful birthday this year, and I almost made a blog post about my own. About how I cried so much on my birthday this year. How I walked in the rain because it was so fitting somehow. And how I told everyone who asked that “yeah my birthday was good! Uneventful, but good.”

And then the next day I got blackout drunk.

But I began thinking about this blog post and I realized the turn that my blog has taken. I went from writing “Motivational Mondays” at 8 in the morning to “Late Night Thoughts” at 3am.

But I don’t want that. I have my journal for that. I want this blog to be something different. My latest post was a “thank you for 300” and I sincerely mean that. I like sharing cool things with people on the internet. I like it when people follow me and like my posts and comment and relate. And while I can still use is as this therapy and this creative outlet, I don’t want it to turn into this mess of depression.

Here’s the bottom line. Whenever my blog thrives and is filled with happy posts, I do okay. Not every minute of every day, but it generally means that I’m in a happy period of my life. But when I wallow in self pity, things go bad.

So I’m making a change. I’m going to make a conscious effort to notice the good in my life. I’m even thinking of taking part in #100HappyDays. tumblr_m6yho4FApm1ralymko1_500It’s not about ignoring the bad days, it’s about finding the the singular positive moments in each day.

And, hopefully soon enough, it won’t even seem like I’m looking.

Sincerely,

Sammy