My story is a complicated one. As I have mentioned in previous posts I struggle with ADHD; the predominantly inattentive kind. This means that in my school days I was not so much a hyper, bouncing off the walls kid, I was more of the stare out the window for hours, daydreaming kid. My senior year in high school (10 years ago) I fell into a depression for many reasons. Having ADHD causes many other issues; I had incredibly low self esteem because no matter how hard I tried I could not get good grades even if my life depended on it. The bad grades caused friction at home between myself and my parents which spiraled out of control as I got older. The friction with my parents made me feel unlovable, not good enough, and just plain stupid and worthless.
Let me be clear here; I am not inviting you to my pity party. My pity party is long over and I am happy with myself now. In fact, I treasure my struggle. This is what I tell myself: “Hey, if Eminem didn’t go through what he went through he wouldn’t be Eminem, would he?”… until last week when I realized that instead of being Eminem he would be Macklemore which is different, but pretty equal in my book. But let’s not get hung up on that.
Moving on – in high school I had bad grades and was depressed. I went to my guidance counselor for the first time in four years and looked her in the eye and said “If I don’t get the fuck out of this hell hole right now, I am going to die. Literally.” She was shocked, as were my teachers, to find out that I was so miserable and depressed… you see, it’s my face, I am always smiling and I am told I look innocent. So, people are always a little surprised once they get to know me, or once I start talking and they hear the frequency in which I effortlessly drop F-bombs. I wish I was a classy lady, but at the same time – fuck that. I’m much cooler this way. So, the guidance counselor sets me up with a night school type situation and I graduate high school.
This is a quick summary of my educational career from high school to today. Graduated high school in 2003. Went to college the following year as a business major, couldn’t even finish the year. Moved home, and went to cosmetology school with a little coercing from my parents (my gut feeling told me I didn’t want to do this but I didn’t know what I wanted, anyway). Got diagnosed with ADHD, graduated cosmetology school and started working in the field. Hated it. Started taking classes at community college and found an interest in psychology. Graduated from community college in 2010 with an Associates in Science, Liberal Studies. In January of 2013 I began to pursue a bachelors degree. Today I graduated with a degree in psychology… not bad for someone who never thought they would graduate college at all. I took an extremely long and hard road… but I think that the fact that I did this while working full time has boosted my self worth, which I needed.
My random thoughts (I have been doing a lot of self reflecting and thinking lately):
When you do something great for yourself, when you accomplish something meaningful, you tend to look around and think about the people who helped you get to where you are today. These are the people who helped me, whether they realize it or not…
- My best friends from high school and my sister. These 4 women are beautiful, smart, and unique and have been the best role models for me. They have taught me to overcome my obstacles and have helped me find myself. They have always loved me unconditionally no matter how many times a messed up or how crazy I was. They are the people who truly loved me when I was at my worst and have helped me become a MUCH better person.
- My parents. I am not thanking my parents they way people normally would. I am thankful to my parents for what they didn’t give me because it has made me an enduring person (to a point that its probably more of a flaw than an asset). I am capable and crave independence and stability. Also, I am thankful that they raised me to be an accepting person (as opposed to being judgmental of people who are different from me). Most of all, they have made me brave, I do not fear life or challenges, I welcome them.
- I am also thankful to the new friends I have made along this journey that have helped me finally see myself in a positive light and have helped me get to know myself in a way that I never even knew was possible. They have helped me more than they will ever know. Their support and kind words mean more to me than I will ever be able to express.
- Lastly, I feel that it is necessary to say that I am also thankful to my husband… it is hard for me at this point to see things clearly when if come to my him and our relationship. I know that he did pick up my slack around the house as I did hours and hours of homework and I am thankful to him for that. He was not always supportive and when he was it seemed insincere… in his defense this could possibly just be my interpretation.
As I have been deeply considering what my next steps should be I have realized something. When I look back at what I consider my mistakes I feel that in most instances I did not “go with my gut”. I have become a very open person and I’ve noticed that when I listen to other people’s opinions I push my own opinion out of the way and disregard it. I have realized that only I know my whole story, inside and out, other people have only heard or seen small pieces of it. I am the most capable person to judge my situation and choose what comes next. I know what my gut is telling me to do and it coincides with what I think is best for me… I have doubts but I honestly think that the doubts are my memories of other people’s opinions; their voices lingering in my mind.