July 30 – my (dis)abilities make me special

6/365 – people to thank who’ve had an impact on me. To the doctors/specialists back when I was in grade 4, I thank you. For those of you who know me, this will make so much sense. I was that child in school and at home who could not sit still, would always be touching things/people, attention span was next to nothing. I was that child whose desk was always put in the hall as I could not focus and was a disruption to others. I was that child that would be kept after school to clean boards and erasers as I was not paying attention during class. I was that child that felt horrible because I couldn’t control myself as there was so much going on and my mind was running a mile a minute. I was that child that constantly had my mom coming in to the office and/or to my elementary classroom. I was that child that was scolded by mom as to why I couldn’t just listen to teachers and pay attention. I was that child that was made to go see doctors for some type of treatment to calm me down in grade 4. However, I was also that child that was not given the early precursor to Ritalin and continued on in elementary school and spent most of his time in the halls/getting detention. I was that teenager that had to figure the ropes of high school with a condition that most of my teachers had no clue about. I was that teenager that had this added burden to cope with in addition to not having a father around, being bullied about a number of things and now also called out by teachers constantly for my “disruptive behaviour”. BUT I was also that child that learned to figure out how to manage what is now called ADHD. I was that teenager who figured out how to manage his “condition”. I became that adult who was able to go to university because I was not given a diagnosis that could have made me feel that I was less than able to deal with what academia would throw my way. I thank the doctors/specialists for not prescribing drugs for me that my mom – a young, ethnic mother who would have administered them to me no questions asked. I thank the doctors/specialists for telling my mom that I would grow out of it (I didn’t but I was able to control my impulses as I aged – still a problem to this day but less so). I am that adult that is not against medication for managing conditions but I am also that adult that is just thankful that my doctors/specialists did not prescribe anything for me as I believe my “hyperness”, scatter-brained, all over the place, talking with my hands, walking out of conversations, unintentionally focusing on things that get my attention, flightiness, energetic, attention deficit, hyperactive, chaotic sense of me is what makes me special and makes me “ME”. I am also that adult that is glad that those of you who know me have come to grow to accept this part of me. Thank you doctors/specialists for letting me be “ME”!

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