So I haven’t written in a while. My bad. But let’s skip ahead because big things are afoot.

Well actually we have to skip backward first technically–to January.

Over Christmas break I made a resolution: to start seeing our school counselor this semester. I recognized that my anxiety has been really limiting me and overall making life much harder than it needs to be. I further recognized that I wasn’t doing everything I could to deal with it. Here I am at college where counseling is offered for free by a super awesome support staff–and I wasn’t taking advantage. So I resolved to change that.

It’s one of the harder things I’ve ever done–definitely not something I was super comfortable with. Or am for that matter. But I got started and that was the hardest part. And I’m SO GRATEFUL I did.

See I went to get help for anxiety, but it turns out most of the symptoms I, my family, and other medical professionals have attributed to an anxiety disorder my whole life are not actually, well, anxiety. Not at the core at least. Actually I have ADHD.

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Like this but a child

Admittedly, when Dr. K first brought it up I was SUPER skeptical. All I knew about ADHD was encapsulated in the stereotypical image of a little boy bouncing off of walls, which is essentially the opposite of me in every way. But since then I have learned that there is a type of ADHD–predominantly inattentive type–that presents without hyperactivity (or at least any hyperactivity is internalized). The more I found out about this type of ADHD, sometimes called ADD, the more the lightbulbs went off. But still I was skeptical.

Finally last week I got started on medicine to treat ADHD and holy cow. I couldn’t believe it. I still almost can’t–I’ve never had a medicine work so well, so quickly and with so few bad side effects. From the very first day I’ve felt so much better! I feel much more calm–less anxious, less constantly overwhelmed; I’ve been sleeping better than I have since I was a little kid; I’ve felt more like interacting with people and less stuck in my own head; my migraines have been better; I can focus better and more consistently; I don’t have to fidget so much… I could go on, but you get the picture.

It’s like putting on glasses.

Or like the fire that’s been burning in my brain my whole life has finally been put out.

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My brain without medication

It’s so freeing.

It does so much more than just help me with my schoolwork. I finally feel like myself–like the me that I know has been inside somewhere but has always been locked away.

So I guess the moral of this story is, if you’re having a hard time with your mental/emotional health, suck it up and go get help. Yes, it’s hard and kinda scary. But it could change your life!