To be honest, I never thought I would do it. I am not a fantastic writer, I have Dyslexia (had to try to spell that 5 times to get the word right, why name a disability something so complex (yes it is actually categorized as one) for people unable to spell or read correctly… this is astonishing too me. In addition, I have my whole life been an introvert at heart, yet in social settings I tend to blabber away, and often make at least what I think are funny remarks. I have worked as a Leadership Development Consultant, standing infront of mostly men 30 years my senior teaching then to be better leaders. So people do often think I am a super extrovert. This is incorrect, I get energy spending time with myself, and I get over stimulated by being to social. For instance after the leadership seminars, my head was buzzing and I needed at leas 2 days to get some energy back, mostly reading, or watching super easy, outrageous. reality shows like Tiger King or Here Comes Honey Bo Bo.
Mental and physical disabilities – that I want to overcome or at least be more at ease with
In addition, I have had anxiety and problems with insomnia from the day I was born. It was later diagnosed as Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), that at times are so heavy that I am not able to leave my flat, noises to loud and my body in a constant flight mode. The panic attacks are there too, and they are hard to describe but let me try: the world around you disappears and your body takes over, you feel you cannot get enough air and are chocking, you sweats and my whole body trembles, for me most attacks also lead to 15-30 min of constantly trowing up. The cycle will often repeat it self several times per day. Panic Attacks are not the same as feeling nervous, there is a reason for the nervousness, however the attacks often do not have a specific reason. For me at least, I found that if I am tired or over stimulated they are more likely to come.
Getting help has also been difficult for me, and believe me I have asked for help because during the worst periods you almost feel like you are going to loose your mind. However, I have always been deemed as “to well functioning” to get intensive treatment… As I have graduated with a degree that is difficult, have a job in the corporate that is complex and a salary that if you compare it is in the top 5% (as a woman that is not to common). I have tried many medications, and some do work but loose their effect after some time, some make it worse and side effects can be brutal. I pay and go to a private clinic and have a very good psychiatrist. And last year, after our first meeting, he kindly suggested that maybe it was not GAD that I was suffering from but ADHD. I was actually speechless for a while… But then a lot of things suddenly made sense, specially when he started describing some of the characteristic of ADHD. We went though an extensive assessment, my family, friends and I myself where all involved.
Turns out I am both have Attention Deficit (ADD, more common for females) and Hyperactive Disorder so full blown ADHD. However, it had never occurred to anyone to test me for this as again i was a “well functioning individual” and the Anxiety and Insomnia were always the main focus to treat. But what I learned was that these two, often are a side-effect of ADHD. In addition, as a child, ADHD was a new concept and is still today a biological deficit mostly related to boys. And yes ADHD is a biological deficit, not a mental disorder. deficit in that way that the production and firing of neurotransmitters are often called chemical messengers misfire. They are a central part of the communication system between the brain and the rest of the body. Neurotransmitters carry messages between nerve cells (or neurons) in the brain and the rest of the central nervous system. Individuals with ADHD seem to have an excessively efficient dopamine-removal system. They have a higher concentration of dopamine transporters called re-uptake inhibitors. When dopamine is removed too quickly, it doesn’t have sufficient time to exert its effect. Moreover, ADHD symptoms may also be caused by the reduction of two other neurotransmitters: norepinephrine and serotonin. The most affective treatment to date is medication such as Ritalin, Aderall etc (Amfetamine) which is a stimulant medication that blocks dopamine transporters. Therefore, it slows the removal of dopamine after it is released. IOk enough about the biological deficit. The reason for being diagnosed so late in life is that I am and many women to do not show the normal behaviors of ADHD, and has been vastly under diagnosed for girls, but now for the past year more adult women do get the diagnosis. I for example, have a very hard time to sit still, I will move a around a lot, bit my nails, done many atypical extreme sports, have had many injuries for example broken 14 bones, always have many projects going on, a mind that wonders and sometimes feels it has 100 thoughts at once. I am horrible at packing, I get nervous just by thinking about packing to go away for a while… my thoughts run in all different directions…from, what if there is a cyclone and I need real rain cloths, I need a medical kit in case i injure my self, enough books to keep me occupied too the most difficult what cloths to bring…. huh… I know it is stange, but I start packing three days before I leave, often lay all items out on the table and then constantly remove or ad new items, until the moment I have to leave. Quite stressful! And I have travelled a lot! If you happen to read this and it may resonate with you I would highly recommend you to read this book.
Ok enough about the disorders or disabilities I have and back to topic. Why expose my thoughts, opinions and personal stories on a blog. Well it relates to ADHD. I have over the past year realized that the better I am at writing down things, my mind becomes calmer. The thought is no longer some mix, defuse thing, intruding at weird hours of the day and inside my head but in text, that is structured, readable and no longer taking so much space within my mind. The truth is, I have a lot of thoughts, ideas and stories and by writing, they become a less tangled mess in my head. My hope is also that this blog will inspire, maybe answer some questions for you, make your day a bit better, put a smile on your face. And of course I hope your current and future love life will be better as a result. That is why I write, I have a messy head full of thoughts and because I truly believe that by sharing it may be of help. More on that later in the post.
Why not just have a diary – but full exposure on the world wide web
You may also wonder, why do you want to expose yourself on the internet, where everyone can read your post. Well this is a question, I have asked myself many many times also before starting this blog. I could have written everything on a word document and securely stored it on my computer. However, my anxiety, and also that of being and introvert has always been an obstacle. I gues it has also in many ways impacted my self-esteem, where I do not feel that I am enough, that something is wrong with me. In romantic relationships specially it has been an issue, I have been in some relationships that where abusive, both physically and mentally, heard that you will never become a good psychologist because you are so crazy. Or why can you not be more social, go out with my friends, or give me more attention. the fact is I just do not have the energy, and specally meeting new people not related to work is always highly anxiety provoking. I have used alcohol for example do numb myself or cancelled at the last minute because I get a Panic Attack.
I want to overcome that, I want my self-esteem to be higher, and just be me and be okay with all my flaws. So exposing myself on the world wide web, was one of the ideas I came up with to both write down my thoughts but also and be okay with being me. Guess what it has helped, a lot. It is not just seeing that people actually read what I write, follow the blog that gives me the boost, but also that I am able to write post that do make sense to me personally. I feel a sense of achievement. Not too mention, I love too develop and design and quite nerdy so being able to build a blog with HTML and PHP coding, and learning more and more feels good.
Most importantly, having a blog that may write about things that may be “tabu” or dating stories that where not perfect at all. May give you readers some help too. I hope so at least, it is my intention. We are not perfect, and we should not be! There are so many blogs out there that describe the perfect life, instagrams with perfectly taken pictures from babies, to bikini shots to the perfectly cooked meal… You know what it is too much. Just think about it, on your Facebook account, how many of your friends have ever posted: today was a shitty day, look at my ugly baby and my holiday was crap. And really, we do all have shitty days, holidays that may not be perfect…but we choose not to share that, because the society has shown us that, perfect is the norm and we should be positive.. There is a massive overload of “perfection” around us… and I don’t want to be part of that anymore. It is not real, at least not in my world.
Why do I want to stay Anonymous?
This blog, is not to promote myself and my biggest con of stating a blog was that people in social circle would read so much about my life was quite frightening. My closes friends, mostly do all know of my disastrous love life, and I am not scared to share with them. But people that I just know a little, or individuals I work with would start to comment on my personal life would be too overwhelming at this point. I know how easy it to google and find information about people, my name for example is unique (to my knowledge, I am the only person in the world with my name, thanks parents). To tell you the truth, my mom actually found the blog, after she somehow stumbled upon my instagram account. She was honest enough to tell me she read it, but I somehow wished she would not have told me. It put me back a lot, I felt exposed, humiliated and super vulnerable. Please do watch this Ted Talk by Brené Brown about The Power of Vulnerability .
My mom and I are very close and I do really love her, we talk almost everyday and she knows a lot about me, I would say our relationship is more open than many. Yet, the intrusion I felt knowing she knows I write, write about sex, love, being single etc… made me freeze. I was one click away to delete the whole blog. But it has happened and I cannot rewind time, even if I wish I had Hermione Granger time turner (from Harry Potter). I need more time to be comfortable being me on the world wide web. I hope with time it does feel more okay. I wish I did not get so affected by my own emotions, and feeling of being exposed. I need to feel that I have a sense of worthiness, the feeling of belonging and love. Just like in the post were I write about just accepting that a guy is not that into you, will spare yourself time, overanalyzing and feeling rejected describe that a man t But I hope with time, and practice, just like becoming more creative I will feel more at ease. So for now I want to stay the Imperfect Woman.
Thank you for reading this long and personal post, It has taken me a whole day to write. Please feel free to ask questions if you do want to know more about Anxiety, ADHD or anything else, I am open as this blog is. Truly I appreciate you all.
The pictures are by Cartoonist Maureen “Marzi” Wilson from her book, Kind of Coping: An Illustrated Look at Life With Anxiety