Getting Through the Day Is Far From Routine
By Vivian Hirschfield Hello readers! I’m back for a third week. Writing these pieces has started to feel like a routine. When I realized that, I knew what I’d be writing this one about.
Routines are something I’ve struggled with because I have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). I like to think I’ve come a long way with it, considering that last year I never would have revealed that in a piece anyone could read. Now I know it’s not some big secret, because people everywhere and of every age struggle with it just like me.
Vivian Hirschfield A brief history: I was diagnosed in first grade when my teacher noticed I had issues paying attention like the other kids. Teachers had said this before, but I got the official diagnosis when I was 6. ADHD falls under a category of neuro-developmental disabilities and is also considered a learning disability. Luckily my parents had experience with this, because prior to my diagnosis my little brother was also diagnosed with autism.
While ADHD is different for everyone, the most common and well-known presentations include fidgeting or inability to sit still, inability to concentrate, excessive talking, and impulsivity. I struggle with all of these, and I also find myself facing sensory overload a lot. In one piece I wrote, I described sensory overload like a pool party. Loud, busy, every noise and light magnified times 10.
It affects the way I learn the most. I often zone out during lessons or have trouble retaining what I learn at Lake Forest High School. Fortunately, many of my teachers throughout the years have been extremely understanding and accommodating. They have played a huge role in helping me grow, and I could not be more grateful.
I won’t sugarcoat it; ADHD definitely makes my life harder. There are tools that help, like medications and management strategies, but when it comes down to it, there will always be a part of my brain that does the opposite of what I want it to. Sometimes when I’m trying to write, I freeze up and lose my train of thought. It gets frustrating, but I find that management strategies help me a lot. For example, listening to fast-paced music tends to get my creative juices flowing and so does taking breaks in between assignments.
Beyond this, I use it to my advantage. While sometimes I have trouble concentrating, other times I find myself hyper-focused, only able to think about one thing. Many times, if I’m in the right mood, I can write a whole piece in one sitting because I’m just that fixed on it. See you next time :)
-Vivi (or Viv) Vivian Hirschfield is a junior at Lake Forest High School.