vulnerability is strength- opening up, just a wee bit

So it’s been nearly a month since I last posted, apologies for that. But as I’ve said before, a blogger with barely controllable ADHD isn’t going to be the most frequent blogger.I’ve been planning posts and writing lots, but I just never got round to typing them up. It happens more than you’d imagine. I want to promise that I’ll post them eventually, but I can’t do that, simply because consistency is not in my nature, as much as I would like it to be.

If I’m totally honest with you (which I will be), my depression is back. It feels different to previous bouts, if we are to compare it to the different shades of the colour grey (I have tried so hard to think of other ways of describing it, because of the obvious sexual connotations of “shades of grey”, which is a bit awkward seeing as depression is one of the least sexiest things in the world), I feel as though a light grey is hazing over my life. It’s not the worst sort of depression, but it still not fun nonetheless.

I originally didn’t pick up on it, it was my mum who brought it up. Sometimes that happens though, with depression. You don’t notice it happening because the slide down is so gradual, it’s very hard to pinpoint exactly when you became “depressed”. Yes you can estimate when your mood started to go south, but you can never ever truly say when it first starts. With OCD, I can tell you when I had my first obsessive thought (possibly another post for another day, whilst I am a very open person, sometimes to the point where my innards fall out, I don’t feel too comfortable sharing those demons with the world just yet) but I can only give you a general idea of when the depressive cycle has come back.

I started to withdraw more, my sleeping pattern deteriorated further, my eating habits were all over the place, and I felt as though I had just lost ‘something’. I don’t quite know what, but I just didn’t feel ‘right’.What comes to mind is that ‘spark’ people sometimes talk about, like their spark was gone after something happened. I know my spark hasn’t gone completely, it just feels a bit muted right now. The tell tale sign for my mother was when. I started to lounge on the sofa that I only lounge on when my mental health is in a bad way. I don’t occupy that particular sofa consciously when I’m ill, it just happens.

What’s sometimes difficult with  depression, is feeling as though I’m letting people down with it. Letting down my nearest and dearest by having a brain that can’t handle serotonin as it should. Since I’ve opened up about my disabilities, I’ve had people talk to me about their mental illnesses and their struggles, even people who I thought didn’t think liked me have shared some of their best kept ‘secrets’. And I don’t want to let these people down. I feel sometimes that I have to be this solid pillar, I have done all my life. It’s not that I feel pressured to do so, I want to be there for people, I want to help as much as I can when they’re suffering because I know how fucking awful it is to be in that place. I was my mum’s carer from the age of 8 to 18, and I had to be strong for her, for the whole family. I had to keep up a front to the outside world because I didn’t want anyone knowing about my family life. I had to stay strong in school, because I didn’t want the down right horrible people to know how they made me feel, I didn’t want them to know how much they hurt me and made me dread every day of school.  And I certainly didn’t want them to know about my home life because I just know that they would try to use it against me. I had to keep up this front so most of my life, because I felt as though I had no where to be vulnerable, or to feel comfortable enough to do so. So I’ve been used to hiding things all my life, but when it comes to mental illnesses and disabilities, I feel guilty when I hide my struggles away. Maybe it’s pride, maybe that I have such trust issues that I hate being vulnerable in front of others, so instead I keep it all bottled up. I hate that I do this, it feels like I’m being dishonest, or that I’m burdening others with my problems. I’m stilling finding my footing I guess, as you can probably tell, being open isn’t exactly second nature to me.

Since the majority of my summer has been overshadowed by this bout of depression, I haven’t done anything too spectacular this year, like most years. I’ve done a shit ton of reading though, which I attribute to my fancy green dyslexia glasses. In July, I managed to read 20 books, more books than i’ve read for pleasure in years (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/57768976-leah this is my profile on goodreads if any of you would like to become friends on there 🙂 ) and I am ridiculously proud of myself for this achievement. I have been out and about with a few friends and my family, but nothing like I was hoping for. I see so many people on social media going off on adventures and having what seems to be a jam packed summer holiday of fun, whilst I’m doing barely anything because going out becomes ridiculously tiring for me. I know many of you will agree that social media, does not give anyone the full picture, if anything it gives a very warped idea of what the original picture was. It may seem like someone might be having the time of their lives on their snapchat or instagram, but they never ever reveal the whole story, and I, like many others, need to learn and remember that next time they’re on twitter, facebook etc.

So there we have it. I don’t quite know how to conclude this post, because I can’t tell you exactly how things will go. But I do know one thing for definite, is that things will get better, they always do. It has done before and there is nothing stopping it now. I know this won’t last forever, and unfortunately it will come around again when it fades this time, but again, it won’t last forever. I am caring for myself, and my loved ones are caring for me and supporting me the best they can.

Until next time,

Leah x

 

p.s I feel pretty anxious about posting this blog, as it feels much more personal and raw than my other posts. I will try my best not to delete it, because if I were to, it would just reinforce my issue of opening up.

A Dyslexic Lost Girl.

As some of you may know, I have been waiting for an assessment since I had my eyes tested for coloured lenses.

Long story short – I am dyslexic.

I went to the Dyslexia Action centre in Cardiff on Tuesday. I had left my questionnaire til the last minute, so I spent most of the morning trying to work out what the questionnaire was asking. MY parents were very helpful, and I don’t often like to ask for help from other people when it comes to reading and writing, I worry that they’ll doubt my intelligence, which I know is nonsense, but it still bothers me.
The assessment itself was long and tiring, which is understandable, as they need to test you on all sorts of issues. It actually wasn’t until this assessment that I realised that I do have a big problem reading out loud, maths, and my memory. I know my memory has always been poor, but this was just ridiculous. Whilst it was long, it didn’t feel that long, it actually flew by.

Having all my conditions diagnosed in my very late teens/very early 20s is a weird thing. I know that there are people who get diagnosed when they’re a lot older, but that doesn’t change how it feels to be diagnosed. It’s not that I never saw myself as someone with Dyslexia, it was more that I just didn’t know what was wrong with me, and it was easier to say that I’m stupid rather than I have a disability.
The way I feel with this diagnosis is very different to how I felt after my ADHD diagnosis. I don’t feel upset, angry, or bitter about it. I guess I just feel surprised at it all really, in under a month I’ve gone from not suspecting it at all, to being diagnosed as Dyslexic. Maybe the way I’m feeling about this whole thing is to do with personal growth and maturity, or maybe its not, I really don’t know. The way I feel may change as it sinks in and I have to deal with the aftermath of the whole thing, but still, I do feel as though it is much better than I know what’s going on in my head than to ignore it and just suffer in silence.

As with my other conditions, I am glad to finally know what’s been going no with me. I now know that my issues are not because I am incompetent, it is down to the fact that my brain works differently to most peoples. I now can move forward and get the (little) help that is available, and try to do the best I can.

The Psychologist said she’s not surprised that it wasn’t picked up earlier. She was surprised that my ADHD wasn’t recognised sooner (like most people who know about it), but she said it’s because I probably learnt maladaptive skills over the years to compensate for the issues I have. I mean, to get into the University of Edinburgh with all the issues I have, that were undiagnosed at the time, is actually one hell of an accomplishment.

I’m sorry I’ve been AWOL for the last few weeks. I know I never promised that I would be able to post on a schedule, but I did feel guilty for not updating you guys on whats happening. I really need to be more organised.

Mad Girl


As my new glasses have been helping me in ways I never thought it could be possible, I managed to finished Bryony Gordon’s memoir “Mad Girl”. She talks about her OCD, Depression, Bulimia and Cocaine addiction, and it is by far one of the best books I have ever read. I’m goig to write a long post on how much I love this book, and what it’s shown and taught me as someone with OCD, Depression, and bulimia. I just wanted to post a wee something about it now as a reminder to myself, and to show you readers what I’m up to! 

I’m so sad that I’ve finished this book, as she is just so upfront and honest about her struggles. There’s so much to talk about, so I’ll save it for another post 🙂

(I’m also back in Edinburgh for a few days without my computer, so this has all been done on my phone, so you probably understand why I don’t want to write a long post on it just yet)

here come dat gurl o shit whaddap

I finally have my coloured lenses! I am so happy with them. They have made a huge difference already – and they look great, if I do say so myself 😉

I’m looking forward to seeing exactlyhow  much they’ll be able to help me – now onto the question of whether I have Irlen Syndrome or Dyslexia!

Mental Illness Tag/Questions

CW: Mental Illness, therapy, relapsing, ableism

  1. What mental illness(es) do you have?
    In regards to mental illness, I have Depression, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), and GAD (Generalise Anxiety Disorder). In regards to ‘mental disorders’/neurological conditions – I have ADHD (which is pretty bad). I also deal with Bulimia, and I have had episodes of psychosis.
  2. Who knows about it?
    A lot of people, I’m not shy about it. For a long time I did what I could to hide my conditions, and if anyone found out I tried to avoid them as much as possible. But now, I talk about it openly and I have no issue with people asking me about it (otherwise it would be weird if I had an issue about it when I’m putting my life up on the internet..) The only people who don’t know are certain family members, that’s mainly because of their backward thinking. I’m all about educating folk, but they’re in their 80s now and I doubt I could properly change their minds.
  3. Do you receive treatment for it?
    I do! All sorts of meds. I’ve been to therapy/counselling/and psychology sessions. I go to support groups, and I have a psychiatrist that I see every month. I also have a mental health mentor at uni, but I’ve not started that properly because it’s the summer holidays and I’m waiting to be cleared by student finance.
  4. Has your mental illness stopped you from doing anything?
    Does a bear shit in the woods? Of course it has. From making new friends, pursuing certain interests, feeling comfortable in certain situations, leaving the house, etc etc. (if folk are interested, I might write a blog post solely on this!)
  5. Is there anything in particular that has helped you?
    Wanting to live. That has been my biggest motivator in recovery and looking after myself.
  6. Can you describe what it feels like to have your mental illness?
    I don’t think I have the ability to do so. Because with depression, you end up not feeling – and how can you describe numbness? Anxiety can be a described as playing a boss level of a game, hearing the boss music but never actually seeing the boss music, as there is no boss and it’s all in your head.
  7. What is a common misconception about your mental health issue?
    Where do I start?
    OCD – that I must be tidy – if you know me in person, you know that I am incredibly messy (oh hi there ADHD). So for people to think that my OCD symptoms must be beneficial and all about the stereotype is ridiculously annoying.
    Depression – that I choose when to be depressed, that it’s because of something in particular, and that it’s just sadness. Depression doesn’t give a shit, it’ll return whenever it feels like it, and it can be for no apparent reason at all. It just happens.
    I won’t go into all the others, simply because I’d be here all night, and I don’t know how to summarise efficiently so I’ll just move on while I can.
  8. What do you find the most difficult to deal with?
    Self doubt – as my OCD got worse, it went meta, which then made me doubt absolutely everything that I have. Whist I went through CBT to cope with it, those thoughts of being an imposter and not actually being ill are hard to deal with because it.
    Relapses – they’re so hard difficult to deal with, because it feels as though all your progress has gone down the toilet and you’re back to the oh-so familiar place of square one.
    Another issue that drives me up the wall is the way that mental illnesses are thrown about the place, which then completely erases the actual severity of these conditions.
  9. Do you have anything else you’d like to say?
    There is no shame in being mentally ill. If someone has a problem with your illness, then they are not worth your time. Surround yourself with loving and supportive people, and remember that recovery takes time 🙂

Thank you for reading my post! Please give my blog a follow for more posts like this in the future! 🙂

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Twitter: @siilvertongue

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Subjects to be discussed.

CW: subjects of mental illness, mental disabilities, and ableism

So in order to keep myself on track, I think it would be a good idea for me to list the topics that I would like to discuss in my blog posts. As I’ve said before, I’ll split them into categories, and then go from there. This list will then be updated every now and again so you can go looking for a special post if you would like 🙂

ADHD

Diagnosis
ADHD and friendships
The issue of gender and diagnosis
Does ADHD exist? Of course it fucking does
Too little Too Late? The aftermath of diagnosis in your 20s
School and Uni
Dealing with ADHD symptoms
Misconceptions

Anxiety/OCD

Diagnosis
Misconceptions
Mental Illness is not an Adjective
The Diverse Nature of OCD
How OCD/Anxiety affects those around me

Depression

Diagnosis
Misconceptions
Mental Illness is not an Adjective
The unpredictable nature of Depression
What I learn about myself through Depressive episodes

Miscellaneous

Relationships and Dating
What it means to be disabled
Why I decided to discuss my disabilities openly on the internet
Disability in the Media
The “emergence” of invisible disabilities
Spoon theory and what it means to me
Medication
Music playlist to help you (a bit)
The Policing of Disabilities and how it needs to stop

Dyslexia or Irlen Syndrome (tbc)
Eating Disorders (tbc)

 

“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.” Blog update and name change

So you may have noticed that I have changed the title of the blog from ‘littlemissadhd’ to ‘thechroniclesofalostgirl’. Some of you may not have picked up on this, and for others it may have pricked their curiosity, so I thought I would create a blog entry to explain why I changed the name and what this means for the future of this blog.

The name comes from an article “Decades of failing to recognize ADHD in girls has created a “lost generation” of women” featured on the Quartz some time ago (the link is below for those interested in reading it). After reading it, and thinking of other women who are on the same side of diagnosis as I, it made me think of the Lost Boys in Peter Pan, which is where the ‘the lost girl’ comes from. As for the ‘chronicle’, I preferred it to similar titles like ‘the story of /life and times of / etc. etc’. An image that popped up in my head whenever I hear  the word chronicle is the Fall Out Boy album “Save Rock and Roll”, as they named their videos “the Young Blood Chronicles”, so the title of this blog is now linked to my own interests me.

Now for the ADHD aspect, I have decided to open this blog to talk about all of my disabilities. Yesterday at my appointment with an optometrist to get coloured lenses for my glasses, the Optometrist recommended that I have an assessment for Dyslexia, as I appear to have some symptoms that are associated with Dyslexia. After that, when I decided to do some writing, it opened up a whole new can of worms on my identity as a disabled woman, and as I was going to use the ‘littlemissadhd’ title to discuss my ADHD, to deal with the emotions and thoughts I have on the matter, I thought I might as well open that up to talking about all my issues.

I’m also in the middle of writing my first proper piece for this blog! It should be up in a few days time, so keep an eye out for that. In future, this blog will be split in 5 ( or 6, depending on the Dyslexia assessment) categories – ADHD, Depression, OCD/Anxiety, Eating Disorders and Miscellaneous – and the relevant blog posts will be sorted into those categories, making it easier for readers to find what they’re looking for.

So that’s all for now! I’m looking forward to getting something properly done for you guys 🙂

Quartz Article – http://qz.com/592364/decades-of-failing-to-recognize-adhd-in-girls-has-created-a-lost-generation-of-women/