Archive for the ‘stubbornness’ Tag

About being “strong.” (October 4, 2012, Tumblr)   Leave a comment

From this post:

I want to talk about how I’m a “strong person.” I lived for 28 years without knowing I had ADHD, and even though I couldn’t figure out how to adult, I somehow managed to achieve “success.”

I want to talk about how I don’t feel strong a lot of the time, and how I spit out the phrase like it’s poison, because it’s something I feel I have to be, not something I want to be or even really am.

I want to talk about how I’m a “successful person.” I have a university degree and completed the coursework for a second, and I worked full-time (or something resembling it) for nearly a decade.

I want to talk about how I have never really felt successful, and how I never feel like I deserve the praise I receive from people for the things I do, even though I know that I do those things well and worked hard to do a good job.

I am not “strong”; I am determined. There is a difference.

I am determined to achieve my kind of success. I want to prove – to everyone, but particularly to myself – that I can do that. I want to make my life what I want and what I need. I want to be happy. And I am determined to make that happen.

Also, I am not “strong”; I am stubborn. There is a difference.

I refuse to give up on something because it’s hard. I return to things like moderating the Reference Desk and being an ML for NaNoWriMo every single year because I’m stubborn.

Being determined and stubborn are probably the two character traits that led to the “success” that I have.

I remember once a friend told me I was successful. I was flabbergasted.

How could I be successful when my house was a disaster?

How could I be successful when I was always broke?

How could I be successful when I had so much trouble paying my bills?

How could I be successful when I was always late for nearly everything?

How could I be successful when I still hadn’t achieved my primary goal, which was to be a published author?

How could I be successful? How?

…because I had a Bachelor of Music and had completed the coursework for a BA in Psychology.

Education makes a person “successful,” apparently. The fact that I was barely managing to adult “properly,” barely keeping a roof over my head, and – really – barely getting by… had no impact on whether or not I was perceived as being “successful.” And this friend knew all of my struggles.

It took me a really long time to stop explaining away compliments people gave me. It’s something I’ve done all my life. I finally learned to just say “thank you” and leave it at that. People don’t want to know (and don’t care about) the reasons why whatever it is isn’t really as good as they think it is. And that’s okay.

Another quote from my other post:

I want to talk about how changing my environment and my life situation to better suit my brain hasn’t cured my ADHD. About how all those “experts” who say that ADHDers find it easier to focus on things they enjoy and things they’re interested in are full of shit. About how hard I’m working to get my house in order, because I want it to be comfortable and I want to be able to redecorate and I want to be able to finally organize our books and things like that. About how much I hate my medication right now because it’s making me miserable physically due to indigestion, but I can’t stop taking it or I’ll eat everything in the house and regain all the weight I’ve worked so hard to lose over the last few years.

I work so very hard, every day, at making my life bend to my brain. I have established routines, because it is easier to get shit done if there’s a natural flow to the activities, to the tasks, to the chores, whatever you want to call them. And I still don’t get things done the way I want to.

I used to read constantly. I fell out of the habit and I’m slowly building it back into my life, a little at a time. I love writing and creating in general, whether it’s drawing or painting or working with clay or yarn. Making these things happen is extremely difficult. These are preferred activities, things I want to do. But they are not things I do, they are not things I hyperfocus on easily anymore, they are not things that happen the way I want them to happen.

In 2008, I weighed 255 lbs. When I got married, in 2010, I was about 245 lbs. Since taking up running last spring, I’ve lost 20-25 lbs and plateaued. I still run. I am still hopeful that I will lose more weight and manage to get back below 200 lbs someday soon. I am beginning to wonder if that will ever happen. I’m pretty sure that eating too little due to Adderall-induced indigestion is not going to help matters.

I’m very tired, you know.

I’m tired of trying so very hard. I’m tired of working so very hard. I’m tired of expending so much effort in order to meet expectations. Not just others’ expectations, either; I’m tired of my own expectations, too.

I’m not “strong.” Never tell me that I am.

I am a broken person. Not because I have ADHD, though it is obviously a disability and some people would say that it means my brain is broken. But because everyone is broken in some way. Because other people have broken me. Because I have broken myself.

Yet on I plod, pushing myself to keep going, to be successful, to figure out what success means for me so I’ll know when I’ve achieved it.

I’m not “strong.” Strength left me a long time ago; it was beaten out of me years back. I’m determined. I’m stubborn. And determination and stubbornness will get me where I want to be, where strength never could.