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Dealing with who you are

Alex Drish, Opinion Writer

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The thoughts, the hundreds of thoughts I have at every second of the day. Distractions are everywhere; anything and everything catches my attention from a text on my phone to someone tapping their pencil. Most days, it overwhelms me and I don’t know what to do.

That’s what it’s like for someone like me who has ADD, dysnomia and a disorder of the written language. All of these things are otherwise referred to as learning disabilities, impairments or deficits.

I’ve had to deal with these challenges since I was young. I’ve always been very open about it and never felt like I was different than anyone else, but I can remember nights where I would just break down into tears because I felt I wasn’t smart enough to do anything. Then it hit me: if I keep doubting myself and getting frustrated, it won’t get better. After that moment, I told myself I have to be willing to accept that I won’t ever be the smartest, most studious person. I’ve gotten better, but some days are still hard. There are days where I would walk into my classes and try as hard as I could to focus, but my mind just didn’t seem to want it to happen. I don’t remember any of the class or understand what was just taught. To my teachers and friends who say I need to apply myself more or not to have my headphones in, those Apple headphones are the reason I can pay attention. It’s not as simple for me to just turn it on and be able to focus because, at that point, I have gotten so frustrated with myself I shut down.

Even though I still do have those challenging days, I have also grown so much since I was little. I no longer have to take medication to assist me because I’ve taught myself various ways to cope and adapt as needed. I sometimes need to just breathe and close my eyes for a second or to get up and walk around and come back to it later.

To those who know how I feel and teachers who understand that I need that extra bathroom break or that my headphones keep me grounded, thank you. To those who don’t understand, it’s okay if you don’t, but just hear me out and try to understand my side. Finally, to those who feel like me, you’re not alone and you are a lot smarter than you may want to believe.

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Dealing with who you are