Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hungover and Fortunate

I started a new history class last night. After much sitting still, there was 2 hours of heated discussion about politics. I LOVED it. It was a stimulant rush for brain. I came home at 10:30pm just humming with mental energy. I had so much to do, say, think and feel!

In fact, so many possibilities were in my energized reach that I made a mental to-do list, completely forgetting there would be other people at home. That single factor sent me spinning out of control. I was all revved up with no place to go and felt very surly. My husband helped with some of the chores but I eventually had to settle on reading by myself, lest I say something snarky (and undeserved).

Then I did a nose dive at 11:30. I crashed hard. It was difficult for me to pull the pieces together long enough to get my pajamas on and get into bed. The world seemed dull and slightly fuzzy

I woke up this morning feeling hung over. I wasn't hungry for breakfast (rare) and I had a very difficult time getting myself up and dressed (very rare). I'm fortunate in that my husband helped get our son the door without asking any questions.

I need one book for this class so I spent an hour wandering around Barns and Noble. I found the text without problem but couldn't really figure out what I was supposed to do next. A second fortune presented itself when I meandered into the psychology section: The ADD Nutrition Solution.

The ADD Nutrition Solution delves deep into the science of ADHD, brain function, and nutrition. There was discussion of the molecular make up of healthy and unhealthy fats, something I appreciated, but there were also tidbits anyone could easily apply to their life.
Example: saturated fats are bad. How we know? They're solid in our arteries. They're also solid at room temperature.

Serving suggestions based on age and sex and health (ie. pregnant, nursing) also seemed incredibly helpful. Daily meal plans and recipes made it into the the last chapters (ostensibly to make them easier to find).

I didn't buy the book but it's on my library list. In the mean time, I'm still going to see a neurologist next week. Food will help but I can't imagine getting to a place where I could manage my grocery budget (we've just switched to the envelope system), strict grocery lists, new recipes/menus and life without some kind of assistance. Maybe meds will help make the short term more manageable so I can get going on long term life changes like diet.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Class Participation

I don't just like to hear myself talk.

I need to discuss, read aloud, ask questions, debate....

Because I can't pay attention if I'm not doing!

Amazing, I know.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Fear of Success

I'm almost finished with my first class at the new university. Tomorrow night will leave me with an A--I did the math after class last week. The next day I looked at the single assignment left to do and I had an anxiety attack over it.

A counselor talked about stress techniques at our first class so I shared my fear of success. They were all shocked. It sounds loony, right? But there it is: Everyone else in my class discussed their fears of failure, the counselor in empathy and offering bits of wisdom. But fear of success? No one has anything to say to that.

But what is there to say? I tell myself it will be over soon and then there will be another class next week. I also make sure to laugh with my family

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ups and Downs

My learning team was 35 minutes to prepare an impromptu 5-10 minute presentation tonight. We ROCKED it.

My teammates are relatively easy going women but I asked them to jump up and take risks with me. A powerpoint wasn't required but we decided to go for it. It was beautiful. We had several resources and examples for each of our degrees (as opposed to the 1 required for the grade).

We strolled up to the front of the room amongst friendly accusations of being over achievers, I opened up the USB drive and the document wasn't there.

We ended up doing the presentation off the cuff. We still rocked it but I was very disappointed in myself. I was so sure I'd saved it! I was left with the very familiar adrenaline rush. The less desirable but still familiar heart pounding and let down than an unnecessary risk leaves when it doesn't bring a reward dampened things for me.

More than anything, I was upset with myself for dragging my teammates through all of this. I've been through it a million times but they trusted me to guide them to success and I didn't come through.

I realize now what I've been putting myself through. I say I've become comfortable with the adrenaline highs and the disappointments over the last 20+ years but disappointment is disappointment. Maybe they've just become part of the regular routine.

If this is the case, I've got a lot of changes to make in myself as a student, a professional, and as a friend and family member.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Here and There

As I walked to the restroom ahead of the rest of my class tonight, it occurred to me that I was lookin' good. Not just that, I was feelin' good, too. I made it to class, dressed well, on time, and with all required materials. Plus I was wearing my sexy dress, a hot little number that is fashionable yet appropriately conservative in a work/school environment. Hell, my hair was even done!

As I mulled these things over, I walked into the men's room. I realized my mistake in time to catch the door as it shut, turned on my heel, and managed to laugh at whatever a classmate was saying about the incident before we were in our respective--and appropriate--bathrooms.

What strikes me most about this scenario is not my distractedness but how in tune I was. I didn't see a thing in the men's room--I was hardly in before I left again. And still some part of me said "WHOA!" and stuck my arm out to keep the door from closing. Some part of me was paying attention, it just had to be heard above my distracted self.

I made an appointment with a neurologist for the end of this month. Maybe I'll be seeing more of myself soon.

Monday, August 2, 2010


"All of us are guinea pigs in the laboratory of God. Humanity is just a work in progress."

~Tennessee Williams

We are all, as individuals, works in progress. Or that's what I believe, anyway. It's certainly true for me.

I first encountered the term “work in progress” (or WIP) when I started following knitting blogs. Knitters categorize their projects as WIPs, finished, or frogged (gave it up, ripped it out, it was eaten by the cat, etc. It is an ex-project). I have many knitting or crochet works in progress. Many, many, WIPs.

In fact, my life has always been full of works in progress. The scrapbook with all but 3 pages filled, 10 diaries, each with 3 pages filled, the first 2/3 of a quilt measured, cut and sewn together, the dry ingredients for my favorite lemon scented pancakes measured, sifted, and in an airtight container as they wait for their wet counterparts... Of course these are all examples of projects started as an adult. My WIP history started years before I knew how to measure or craft.

One of my favorite games as a child was Reporter. My sister and I would taste tic-tacs and then write a news article extolling the many dangers of Tic Tac Addiction. Day after day, I would sit at our very large computer and edit, edit, edit the article. Sometimes I would even start with a completely fresh document. I can't remember finishing one.

This is not to be confused with Perfectionism. I'm sloppy, disorderly, impulsive. I enjoy mistakes. I'm just a lover of Beginnings. The first chapter of a book is my favorite. The first stitches cast onto knitting needles are the most interesting. The ideas and anticipation of writing is most fulfilling for me. I'm more excited in those first miles of a road trip than I am when I get to my destination.

So I love throwing myself into growth and progress as an individual. Few things are better than finding a piece of myself previously undiscovered and cultivating it. A certain level of self-awareness helps, of course; but this love of beginnings— this passion for the new— lives next to my avoidance of the end. I now wonder: What happens to the last 3rd of the project?

I'm not talking about death— I'm talking about making use of my growth. It's easy to set aside a lace shawl, to throw out unused ingredients for a new cooking recipe. I choose not to ignore things I learn about myself. My most recent self discovery sounds just as easy to finish as my other projects were to lay aside: my AD/HD has become unmanageable. I need to finish my degree. I need to take medication.

There's the idea. My journey has started. The path is laid before me.

But how do I continue?