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From Birth to Now: My Life with ADHD
“Experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn. My God, do you learn.” -C.S. Lewis
I thought of all the experiences that I could write about. I finally choose ADHD. My life has been a roller coaster of experiences, most of which were associated with it. I guess my journey started when I was born, as I was a bit violent towards other like biting and hitting people, as most infants would do. The impulsiveness started when I was about 2, I poured dish soap all over the carpet and furniture, I know “amazing” a 2 year-old could and would do that.
My parents told me I was always an active child; in fact they had to take me to the park 2 or 3 times a day. They always though it was just part of my personality. Then in preschool, I had a couple of friends, but I did get in trouble for not taking naps, and for hitting kids. In fact I even got suspended once for hitting someone. But during that time I was a fast learner, and was one of the oldest, and I graduated first out of the class. I also found out that I was very creative.
When I got into kindergarten and first grade, that’s when the learning troubles began. I could read short chapter books and tried to read a grade level or two ahead, but I had troubles with math and reading out loud, but I don’t remember having many, if any behavioral problems.
Then during 2nd grade I still had problems in math and understanding the concepts and how to multiple and divide, but also discovered that I was talented in music. Then during the last couple weeks of school, I threw a chair, but don’t remember why I did. 3rd grade is when the behavior really started to show. At first, I don’t remember have much behavioral problem, just more of learning, but for some reason I was being teased and made fun of by my fellow classmates, and me not having many friends to start with, I tried to isolate myself from them, and became antisocial. It was back and forth of me being the offender and the class the victims, but I was and will always be the victim, and the class the offender, but I had problems with my anger and because I couldn’t control my impulses, I stared hitting and teasing, and that’s when I started going to the principal’s office several times a month, and soon got suspended several times. My parents had no idea what to do, and took me to a child physiatrist. I thought “Why am I here. I don’t need to be here. I am not crazy” and “This doesn’t help anything.”
Then they final came to the conclusion that I had ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder because I met the criteria of showing Six or more of the symptoms of inattention and Six or more of symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity. They never told me until a week or 2 later, but I overheard my mom and dad having a conversations “We may have to put her on medication., because I am getting fed up with her.” when I asked about it my Mom said “You have ADHD and we may have to put you on medication, but I don’t want to.” And I answered back “and if I refuse?” “You don’t have a choice; I will tie you down and shove it down your throat if I have to.” My mom was right, I wasn’t 18, meaning I had no legal rights, and I wasn’t medically emancipated. So I just replied back “Then I’ll throw it up” she replied back “Then fine.” Thank god I never did try to throw it up because now knowing girls with ADHD are 3.6 times more likely to have eating disorder.
When I finally was put on medication, they had to go through trial and error to find the right dosage, but doing so also had side effects on me which were; Trouble sleeping, weight loss, rapid pulse rate, paranoia, and hallucinations, most of which affect me to this day. When I first was on it I went on vacation, and so, me being a picky eater, made it difficult going out to eat, but not feeling hungry mad it worst. In 4 weeks I went from 80 pounds to 50 pounds. This was also the first year I tried to kill myself and tried 3 other times.
Also during this time was one of the best moments in my life. I got to see a Space shuttle get launched in Florida.
When I went back to school, people noticed how much weight I lost and they started calling me new names like twig, skin and bones, and anorexia, some still do today, but remember the saying “sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me” I always tried to tell myself that every day. My behavior somewhat improved, but still was a bit physical and verbal with kids, just as they were with me. My learning problems started to disappear and were understanding more and more of what the teachers were talking about. The teachers discovered that I had natural talent for writing and was put me on the newspaper committee.
In 5th grade I didn’t have any major problems, with a few minor incidents, but I saw my behavior changed, but when an incident happened, my mom was so “smart” and got me to apply to a private school. I passed the test with flying color, but when I had to be interviewed with the principal I told him straight up “I don’t want to go to this school.” And thank god my mom let me stay. I started thinking “My mom is weak. Trying to make me run away from my problems, wait scratch that HER problems.” I didn’t tell her that but I told her this “I don’t want to change schools, where I have to change classrooms, be with people I don’t know, have new teachers and new schedule, and all these other factors. I rather die than to change schools. I would make sure I get in trouble and do anything to get kicked out.” My mom just said “Fine, but you know this would be better for you.” Another problem that arose was my weight. Both my mom and doctor were saying “If you don’t start gaining weight, then we’ll take you off the medication.” That still terrifies me.
In 6th grade at first my mom was 98% sure I wasn’t going to outdoor school. She didn’t trust any of the kids, and what they would do to me there, but after some convincing I went. That year was also a new experience. I learned to ignore what kids were saying, but, after sometime, I would “erupt like a volcano” as I never had an outlet for all the anger and rage that boiled inside of me, and be violent every now and then, but nothing too serious.
Now 7th grade was one of the next turning points in my life. School, family, and health issues never mix well. I knew that this was a point in my life that I had to be careful, because I knew all the percentages and probability of me having other disorders, problems, and addictions that can happen with teen that have ADHD. Just as I thought “my life is great,” I get diagnosed with scoliosis and have to wear back brace. I said “Fine” and just accepted it. Then here goes my big mouth and using “freedom of speech”, I swear, when you speak my mind, people start calling you racist blank, and other words you can’t say at school and cyber bullying you, really doesn’t help you. I will admit because of this and all the mounting stress, i did start too do drugs ie pain medication, cough syrup, and take higher dosages of my medication. I also abused alcohol, chocked myself to get high, cut myself, hit myself, and attempted suicide for the 4th time. To this day my parents have no freaking clue. Just as that happens I find out my aunt had a rare form of leukemia. That was just it; I can’t keep on handling it. Just as I think this can’t get any worse, I start having headaches, and then face a chance of having a brain tumor. That’s a lot of baggage for a 6 month period.
At this point I wanted to stop time and look back and ask “Why me? Why do they do this to me? Would life be better without me?” I was just done at that point. I just though life could be better without me, but I was convinced that I was put on this planet for a reason, and I know I have potential to do great things. But in the end, a few good things happened, I don’t have a tumor, and my aunt went into remission.
8th grade came. Finally!!!!!!! AT LAST!!!!!!!!!!!! MY LAST YEAR WITH THESE FOOLS. I really didn't get into any trouble for once. All was well, but what really gets me ticking is when every one says we are a family, and we all are really close. Our class quote is Ohana means family and family means no one gets left behind. WE are not a family, or really close. These are the people who threatened to kill me, wished i was dead, hope i would kill myself, and other things. I was sooooo happy on Friday June 1st, 2012. We graduated. My last day with all of them. I got a scholarship, and like 5 awards. All of my friends are going to the same HS as me. This was the first year I was actually happy. Now onto HS. I can't wait.
"In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate."-Isaac Asimov