Unfogging the Mind

The past couple of months have been busy and a lot of life has happened.  The biggest thing that has happened was that I was diagnosed with ADD (Attention Deficient Disorder) and was placed on medication.  I’ve been doing a lot of processing, and making connections with my past.  I had always suspected that I may be ADD, but actually having an official diagnosis was really freeing.  It’s nice knowing that there can be answers to how and why my brain works the way it does.

I have struggled for years with a mind that would always go 100 miles an hour and bounce from thought to thought.  I love people, but would have a hard time going into large social situations because there would be so much stimulation, I would shut down, or start feeling agitated.  Staying focused, especially on mundane things, was an incredible challenge.  I would zone out in conversations, and not feel fully present or engaged.  My mind would start wandering, or I would be trying to focus on one aspect of the conversation, I would miss the big picture.  Instead of thinking through what I was saying, I would blurt out what was on my mind, and end up doing a lot of damage control.

When I was younger, the school had wanted me to be placed on medication for ADHD because when I would get bored in class, I would get up and wander around the classroom.  I was a socially awkward child (and still am sometimes), but a lot of it was attributed to the fact that I was “gifted” and really smart.  I ended up developing different coping mechanisms to control the symptoms.  For example, I try adhere to a schedule and always have a calendar on me because I would get distracted easily and forget things if I didn’t have reminders.  I write lists so I can keep track of stuff.   My Blackberry is my memory.

And because I was gifted, and a girl, ADD was never really brought up after the first suggestion by the school when I was younger.  I always wondered, but was encouraged by some friends to seek out help because the symptoms were inhibiting my relationships.  To figure out why I did the things I did.

Even though I have been on medication for about a month, it has been life-changing.  I never knew that my mind could stay in one place.  I’m able to stay focused, and I feel more engaged and present when I’m with my friends.  There still are things to work on, but being able to think clearly, I’ve been able to pinpoint things and make connections much easier.  I’m able to see the big picture better and have been enjoying my time with my friends more completely.

There are still things I am working on, but having a big piece of the puzzle figured out helps a lot.  I had been feeling like I had been running on a treadmill and not getting anywhere, and it’s been freeing to move forward.


Turning 30

In less than a week I turn 30, and have been doing a lot of thinking about what I have done with my life and where I am going.  There are a lot of things that I thought would happen before I turned 30.  Things like getting married, starting a family, being in a career that uses my college degree, and maybe owning a home.  In physical and societal terms such as those, I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished that much.  But there are things that I have accomplished, such as moving away from the state I grew up in, learning to take care of myself and make decisions on my own.  Having my own convictions and values, and really learning who I am and what makes me tick.

On many occasions, I would plan out certain things in my life, and God would laugh and then promptly change them.  Looking back, I see how God changed things that were for the better.  Not getting into medical school, living in Wyoming longer so I could learn to grow deeper in relationships.  Moving me out to Seattle and getting plugged into a church and community group that has been incredibly supportive.

I’ve learned a lot being single and having the time to develop deep relationships.  Some days have been rough, with pain, confusion, and sadness.  Even with having a strong desire to be married, I know that I need to be healthier with myself and those around me.  Balancing and understanding my needs, yet not being so inwardly focused and having the ability to pour out the love and grace of God on those around me.

Then there are the innumerable mistakes I have made, trying to figure life out.  Poor relationship choices, not listening to God, not heeding the advice of wise friends and family.  Fortunately, I’ve learned a lot from my mistakes, even though some days I feel like I’ve failed miserably.  I ran across this quote the other day from one of my favorite bloggers, Jon Acuff, and it reminded me how my mistakes can be used to minister to other people:

“In God’s hands, your mistakes aren’t open cuts, they are healed scars that tell stories of hope other people need to hear.”

I’m still trying to figure out where I am going, but I know that God will be with me every step of the way.  I’m excited to move forward, but scared shitless of not knowing what will happen next.  Praying for grace and guidance as I proceed with this crazy adventure called life.

1. Why start a blog? or Vulnerability is scary!

I’ve been toying with the idea for quite a while to start a blog.  The past few months I have been learning the importance and value of writing stuff down.  As a verbal processor, this has been a challenge.  I usually have to spit something out, talk about it, process it loudly before I come to a conclusion (my poor roommate and my friends…it’s a good thing that they love me).   I hope that having a public forum such as a blog will help me keep accountable in that area of my life.  I tend to shy away from sharing a lot with those I don’t know very well.  Being vulnerable is very scary.  The definition of vulnerable is: “capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt, as by a weapon”.  Why would I want to be vulnerable if I was open to attack?  But I’ve discovered that when you are open to attack, you are also open to receiving the good things that God wants you to receive.  It can be incredibly freeing if you aren’t constantly hiding behind a mask.  No matter how much I repeat this mantra though, some days I still want to hide behind that mask.  I don’t want others to see my messiness and I don’t want to be wounded.  But I do want to be free.  Free to receive love and grace.  Free to be known fully and completely.  You can’t be known fully unless you are vulnerable.  Scariness, here I come!