Friday, August 26, 2011

Determination and Self-Doubt

Thoughts on Determination and Self-Doubt

It seems strange, knowing that I've been out of high school for five years, out of college for four, out of dealer's school for three, and out of Job Corps for two, only to be starting college again next week.  When I graduated high school, I never thought I'd be where I am now.  I had always assumed that I would succeed as a translator and be working in my "dream job" by this point in my life.  It's amazing what reality does when it kicks one in the ass.
The only regret I have about the time between then and now is that I didn't stick to my guns about wanting to go into the military when I was younger.  Granted, I was in worse shape back then than I am now, but I'm willing to bet that I would have... No, I probably would have quit back then.  I needed the life experience I had over the course of the past five years to make me realize that I am just stubborn enough to stick with something, even if I don't like what I have to do.  Graduating from Job Corps with Honor Four as my final evaluation scores showed me that I am more than capable of doing anything I set my mind to.
I recently had a conversation with some friends (who shall remain nameless to protect their privacy, but I'm pretty sure they won't read this anyways.  If they do, that's their choice.), and someone gave me advice on how I shouldn't put all my hopes into the Air Force.  At the time, I got upset and basically clammed up.  I took it quite personally for a couple of days, because I, more than likely, mis-interpreted it as them trying to knock the wind out of my sails. 
When most of what you hear growing up is a comparison of how you aren't as good a student/athlete/whatever as your younger sibling who doesn't have ADHD, stuff like that tends to stick with you.  I know.  I live with that.  My younger brother has always been an A student, and is on the Dean's list at his college.  I always struggled in classes I didn't find interesting.  About the only thing I was good at sports-wise that he had trouble with was Archery, but that was only offered through Phys. Ed.  Archery, picking up languages, and the Arts.  That's all I had going for me throughout high school.
Even though I know I'll likely do well with anything that involves languages, all I can think about is, "Am I going to have this shoved into the shadows by whatever 'Great Thing' my brother does next?"  "Am I just setting myself up for more disappointment in the end?"
Doubting one's self starts in the home.  It takes a LOT to break that cycle.  And something as harmless as some sound advice can be taken the wrong way, sending the cycle into overdrive all over again. 

Posted at 8/16/2010 10:41:28 am by AutobotDen


Thoughts on Alcohol
As I write this, I am about four-fifths of the way through a tall rum and coke.  Any typos will be fixed once I am sober.  Alcohol, while it may be the source of a lot of the evils in the world, is not neccessarily a bad thing.  I can't think of any examples at the moment, besides it being used in cooking to add distinctive flavors to foods, but I'm sure there's something it is good for besides that.  On the flipside, there is a reason it is a bad thing. 
I have witnessed this first-hand with my father.  The man is an undiagnosed alcoholic.  On the "good" days, he's content to keep his mouth shut and pass out in his chair or on the couch.  These days are few and far between.  On his "bad" days, he's argumentative, verbally abusive, and incredibly ill-tempered.  Most of the time, he tends towards argumentative and ill-tempered.  This is steadily getting worse as time goes on...
I, myself, being of legal age to imbibe alcohol, do enjoy the occasional drink.  I have, on very few occasions, drank beyond my normal two or three drinks in one evening.  I do not drink every single day, and generally, when I do choose to drink, I have found that I become a lot less of a wallflower, and I am more apt to speak my mind on things. 
I tend to favor simpler drinks, like rum and coke, Midori (melon liqueur) on the rocks (over ice for those of you who don't know what "On the rocks" means), Kaluha and soymilk (can't drink cow milk anymore), or vodka and cranberry juice, though I do love a drink called "Captain Jack Sparrow", which is Captain Morgan spiced rum, Jack Daniel's, and cola.  I also like margaritas, and Guinness.  Irish Mimosas are another drink I've found I like.  I tend to try at least one new drink when I go someplace I haven't been before. 
One reason I try not to drink too much and not very often, is because of the earlier-stated things I've seen with my dad.  It's only a matter of time before he's pulled over or hits someone due to drunk driving...  I just pray that that will be the wake-up call he needs to get help for his addiction.  I also pray that I never end up like him.
Posted at 8/11/2010 8:43:03 pm by AutobotDen

Changes and New Beginnings

Thoughts on Changes and New Beginnings
As I stated in my first entry, I am going to be starting school on the 25th of this month. As I sit and write this, I have fifteen days till my first day of classes, and only nine days till Orientation, where I will be getting the tools to access my school stuff online, as well as learning where everything is on the campus.  This will be the first time in four years that I start at a school. I am a mix of excited and nervous.  Already this year, I have taken huge steps towards making changes in my life, hopefully for the better.  

In the space of eight months, I have gone from having no idea what I was going to do with my life, to deciding that I wanted to go after my dream of being an interpretur/translator.  I realized around February that I wanted to do this through one of the branches of the military.  I spent the next several weeks trying to find out as much as I could about each branch's Linguistics program, and eventually decided on the Air Force. 

In March, I started walking to the post office and back, which is roughly two miles round-trip.  I decided to do this, not only because I wanted to lose weight, but also because going to the post office each day to check for mail gave me a reason to get out of the house.  I went from just over 220 lbs to my current weight of 204.5 in a matter of weeks.  I am still working on getting down to 180, but given the heat and humidity, I have found it hard to motivate myself to get out of the house as of late.  Despite how icky August weather is, I'm still going to walk to and from school each day.

Another big change I've recently gone through is that I got my hair cut in a bob style.  I have never had my hair in that style, and it's been four years since I had short hair.  I have a friend, who I will hopefully be visiting soon, who has said she will cry when she sees me, since she has seen me with both short and long hair, and prefers longer hair on me.  Part of the reason I did such a drastic change was because of my cousin's wedding in July, part of it was so I wouldn't be as reluctant to cut it short when I went into the Air Force, and part of it was the need to jump-start a major change.

I figure, since the best way to get positive things is to make the effort to make positive changes in one's life, I might as well do major changes and see what comes of those changes.  So far, I've found that since I am making the effort to make positive changes, I have been rewarded with positive things happening.  Granted, I have had my share of difficulties, some of which I will more than likely speculate on at a later date, but so far, things have been going pretty well in the positive things department.
Posted at 8/10/2010 2:50:15 am by AutobotDen

Presenting Myself to Others

Thoughts About How I Present Myself to Others
I've noticed that I tend to behave in what is likely a bit of a self-destructive way.  When I am with my best friend or talking to someone I count as a dear friend, if I start to get upset about something to the point that I'm willing to talk or cry about it, I will start apologizing for getting upset.  I will do my damndest to try and come across as someone who is happy with her life, or I will apologize for being such a downer or bringing the mood down. 

I feel like I don't have the right to be complaining or getting upset about stuff when a lot of my friends don't have as "cozy" a life as I do.  That, or I act as though it doesn't matter that I'm upset about something, in favor of being the "cheery one"...  I feel like I don't deserve to be upset or to be unhappy with my situation, or that I'll be told to shut up for complaining so much about pointless stuff. 

I remember, when I was in Job Corps, I was once told I was "preppy" because I grew up in a middle class home.  I did not have days where I didn't know when my next meal would be, and I always had a roof over my head.  I never had to deal with the "hardships" that a lot of the people in the Job Corps program in my area had to deal with.  It made me feel like I didn't have any right to be miserable.  

Didn't help any that I would hear, on an almost daily basis, stories from the girls on my dorm or the other girl's dorm, about some of the things they went through before they came to Job Corps.  A lot of them came from broken homes, the streets, drug convictions...  They literally had no place else to turn... Then I came along, having been job-hunting since October of the previous year, with only one year of college to my name, and only two jobs under my belt, one of which had only lasted six months.  What did I, the "preppy" white girl, know about hardships?  What did I know about misery?  What right did I have to complain about my life, when there was so much more going for me?

I don't even rant and rave on my livejournal anymore, because I don't want to be told to "Quit complaining about pointless stuff.  You've got a home, you've got food to eat, you've got your family.  Your life is perfect. STFU."   Even though I know I have every right to complain and to get upset about things, I'm too quick to apologize for doing so.  I feel like my friends don't need to hear me or see me get upset about things...  And I don't know how to stop this behavior. 
Posted at 8/9/2010 12:48:33 am by AutobotDen

About Suicide (Read at your own risk.)

Thoughts on Suicide
On one of the forums I participate on, the subject of suicide has come up in recent days.  I do not like discussing the matter, but not because I'm some insensitive b$#^@.  I don't like discussing it because of things in my past, both distant and recent, that I have never shared with anyone, or have only briefly mentioned.
Something that most of my friends and those that know me do not know about, that I'm admitting to for the first time, is that when I was 11, I wanted to take my own life.  I was miserable, I felt I had nobody I could turn to, and that I was not worth anything.  I do not know why I felt that way, but if I had to hedge a guess, I suspect that it may have had something to do with the fact that I was among the first of my peers to start having "ladies days".  I know it sounds like a bit of a cop-out, but as I said, I do not know exactly why I felt the way I did at the time.  I also do not know why I decided not to go ahead with taking my life. 
In high school, I began to feel that way again after several years of not feeling that way.  Though this time, it was more because I felt I would never be "good enough" for people, since my younger brother was the better student, and I felt nobody understood that I am just as smart as he is, but in a very different way.  What stopped me from going through with things this time was the knowledge that I had several friends who I cared deeply for and the knowledge that they would be not only devastated, but disappointed in me.
I have had moments since high school where I have mused about doing the deed, but I've come to realize, I like living too much, and there's so much out there that I haven't seen yet.  I'm not yet ready to go to the great beyond, and most definitely not by my own hand.  I have so much that I want to do yet, and I do not intend to screw myself out of doing what I want to do. 
That is only part of the reason why I do not like to talk about suicide.  The other part, one that is a bit more well-known, is that I lost someone I had only recently begun to think of as a dear friend, because he could not see any other way out.  He was someone I graduated high school with, and like me, he hit a rough patch of life and was a bit stagnant for awhile.  He had started to turn his life around when he ended his life back in 2008. 
It's only been a little over two years, but I still find it hard to talk about.  He and I may not have gotten along when we were younger, but I wanted to reach out and help him, not because I wanted anything in return, but because I cared.  If I had known that he was going down the path he was on, I would have offered help, even if all I could do was be available on the phone and give him someone who would listen.  I had planned on talking to him while I was on summer break from Job Corps, but never made the time to actually look up his number, and call him.  This is something I will have to live with for the rest of my life. 
I do not like talking about suicide, not because I am an insensitive b$^#@, but because it hurts to dig into old wounds and to think about things that could have been, but aren't because someone chose to end their journey prematurely.
Posted at 8/8/2010 2:50:43 pm by AutobotDen

First post transfer

The first several entries on this blog are transfers from my other ADHD Thoughts blog, so if the date seems wonky on 'em, that's why.

First post, and a bit about me
My name, here, at least, is Den.  I'm 23, soon to be 24, and I will be starting college at a community college on the 25th of August.  I will be attending for two years, graduating with an Associate of Arts in Business Management, and then going into the United States Air Force in Linguistics.  I will be in the Linguistics program, and will be initially learning Russian and Arabic, though I do intend to learn more languages while I am on active duty.  I am a female, and I live in a town of about 6,000 people. 

I have several other blogs, but most of them are for roleplaying games with other people, aside from what has become my catch-all journal for silly things and random musings that don't really seem to show who I really am. Granted, I know I still haven't figured that out, but that's why I created this blog, to serve as a record of my journey and to give me something to look back on when I am older and hopefully a bit wiser.  

I have many beliefs about the world I live in, and the way I interpret things, as well as the goings-on around me. I have a unique way of seeing things, given that I have Attention Deficit Disorder, which is more commonly known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder. The way I process things is different from most people, and I tend to react to things a bit differently than some. If I say or do something that doesn't make sense to someone, it likely makes perfect sense to me at the time. 

A lot of the time, I will likely not make sense, and I will likely jump from subject to subject many times in one post. I apologize in advance. This is one aspect of my ADD/ADHD. The closest I can describe what goes on in my head at any one given moment is a million different radio stations playing all at once, at various volumes. Sometimes, they work together to make a symphony of wondrous proportions, and others, it's just useless and distracting noise. I am not the best at gathering my thoughts, but I will do the best I can to try and make this blog make sense.

One last item to be noted: While I may seem eloquent and well-versed in printed text, I am a lousy conversationalist in person, especially during first meetings. I either ramble like crazy about stuff, or I try not to be noticed. I'm working on not doing either one of those when I meet new people.
Posted at 8/8/2010 1:55:50 am by AutobotDen