September Means School’s Starting

It’s been an extremely busy summer for my family and, while we’ve had an absolute blast, I’m ready to send my kid back to school! Even if she might not realize just how much she grows when she’s around other kids, her father and I definitely do. She was a preemie and has experienced some delays so seeing her bloom has been incredible. Since she started attending, though, I’ve struggled with working through my feelings about my own time in school.

To be brief, it’s a work in progress. I want my daughter to have a childhood unmarred by my own baggage so I’m trying to focus on how I can enhance her experience and foster a love of learning that will be able to withstand the turbulence of growing up. That includes addressing medical issues that may crop up as she ages.

School Pix
Most of these are the results from school Picture Days

My Baggage in School and Beyond

This is something I’ve thought long and hard about writing, but I think I’m finally ready to commit to sharing it. I take psychiatric medications.

That statement can be a loaded admission in some circles, and I know other readers who don’t agree with the idea. The anti-anxiety and anti-depressants have literally kept me going more times than I can count and aren’t even a question if I want to keep being alive. In early 2022, however, I added a new ingredient to my cocktail—Ritalin. The idea of my having ADD or ADHD wasn’t a new one, it was just difficult to discern which symptoms belonged to which diagnosis.

Lack of focus/concentration (not just in school!) is a frustratingly common symptom. Has it been 2 years since I’ve finished a non-fiction book because I’m depressed or is there another culprit? (See also: diagnosing ADHD in a dreamy girl in the 1990’s)

Happily, the last 18-24 months have shown a marked improvement in my anxiety and depression. The problem was I wasn’t finding sitting still or finishing things I’d started any easier to do. My husband has complained for years about my constantly moving hands; my sister would tell me to just watch a movie, but I retained more of it if I was also playing The Sims on my laptop; I had always felt like there was background noise in my mind.

Whenever I would broach the idea of an attention disorder with doctors or therapists as an adult (24-31), I was told I would have been diagnosed by now. Again, getting this kind of diagnosis at school without hyperactivity as a girl in the ‘90s was an enormous task, and the addition of my pronounced anxiety, depression, dysthymia, and borderline personality disorder (BPD) with overlapping symptoms in my adolescence made getting diagnosed for ADHD not only harder but less pressing. There doesn’t seem to be much point to helping a to helping a depressed anxious girl focus on a class if the anxiety keeps her from going to school or the overwhelming negative thoughts make her want to harm herself.

There I was in early 2022, anxiety at bay and depression under control but still not able to complete tasks or achieve goals (ironically encapsulated in an abandoned vision board from December 2021 whose last bullet pointed affirmation was “I have the focus to complete tasks I’ve committed to tackling”) so I scheduled an appointment with my GP to talk about an assessment. Long story slightly shorter, I “tested very high” for ADHD and we were going to start me on a low dose of Ritalin to see its effects.

When I say Ritalin has changed my life, I’m not exaggerating. I’ve also been receiving a nerve block to treat a chronic headache issue and these two additions to my healthcare routine have me feeling like a new person! I always hated being told I had so much potential that I was falling short of, and it always felt like there was an intentional reason, even if it was subconscious, so I was to blame. I feel like I can access my own potential with medications handling the hurdles. You’ll still never see me using the word in a shaming way because I know how much it can hurt!

In the context of my tarot readings, though, I have seen a difference. I’m able to hear and feel my intuition more clearly with the static in my mind turned down. Articulating my thoughts and perceptions comes more easily. There’s still stumbling over my tongue though I’m fairly certain that’s more a result of my brain working faster than my mouth and being a fast speaker.

I guess what I’m wanting to achieve with this post is twofold. Firstly, it lets people who take issue with a tarot reader being on psychiatric medications a heads up that I’m possibly not the right reader for them. Secondly, and more importantly, to be true to myself by not pretending to be something I’m not and by owning that my psychiatric medications—a positive one!

Me at school circa 2008

Moving Forward

My incredible daughter continuing to love school is so important to me. Her grades and achievements are secondary if she’s miserable when she has to attend or wants to harm herself because she can’t live up to others’ expectations. I owe it to her to not have my pain overshadow the benefits she gets from the school environment.

Your Turn?

If you feel like you want insight into past experiences (that don’t need to be handled by doctors, legal professionals, or the like) and you can relate to this post, reach out to me! They don’t have to pertain to school, but I do see September as its own new year with its own new year.

%d bloggers like this: