Okay, okay! Enough already! I’ve been tagged multiple times on Facebook for the “25 Things About Me” meme (as if there could possibly be anything left to know about me). I ignored it at first, but the tagging continued, so I finally dealt with my fate and googled “meme” because I’m a real dummy about these things and didn’t even know how to pronounce the word. My instinct told me it rhymed with “dream” (and I was right), but then I started wondering if it might possibly be pronounced “me-me”, which would make a lot of sense since it’s, um, to put it politely, a literary navel-gazing endeavor. And then it occurred to me: What, pray tell, is this blog?
Thus, I will commence to write my Me-Me List. If you read this, and if you are following me (by that I’m not talking about comprehending me, but rather the blogspot gadget dubbed “Following”, of which I have thirteen dear hearts), consider yourself tagged. (And if you’re not one of my followers and still want to play, then I’m tagging you, too. See, aren’t I being nice—so inclusive and all?)
1. I had a pacifier when I was little, and then I became a thumb-thucker.
2. I always wanted my parents to become foster parents, but they said no. However, when I went off to college, what did they do but go ahead and get themselves certified, and subsequently take in several children. Then my brother and his wife did emergency foster care for a number of years (doing foster care seemed to be becoming a family project). And, Mr. Handsome and I did foster care for the typical two-year stint (starting when The Baby N was two months old) before we crashed and burned and told the agency to close our file. Then I went on anti-depressants.
3. While in the 7th grade I participated in a spelling bee. My word was “auction” and I spelled it a-c-t-i-o-n. I still can’t spell worth a hoot.
4. Mr. Handsome has ADHD. Yo-Yo Boy has ADHD. I’m pretty sure that Miss Becca Boo and Sweetsie have ADHD (just kidding . . . mostly), but we’re trying not to think about that yet. This statement appears to be about the other people in my family and not about me (whom this meme is about) but if you know anything at all about ADHD, you’ll know that I’m revealing an awful lot about myself by telling you this: I live with people who have ADHD and I love them dearly. I deserve medals. But, truth be told, they deserve the medals even more than I do. NO! Not because they live with me, but because they have to live with themselves… Oh, never mind.
5. I never did not know how babies were made, thanks to my progressive, open-minded, wise parents.
6. I was salutatorian of my high school class of about 170 people. My mother coached me to say “I got As” rather than “I got straight As” when people inquired after my report card—she said it sounded less cocky. (She also kept reminding me to smile because otherwise I appeared snobby.) There’s not much worth to all those As though, because the truth is that I memorized depressingly much and learned depressingly little. Mr. Handsome is frequently amazed at how little common knowledge I have in my possession.
7. Three out of four of my births have been natural deliveries, and I’ve also had surgery with three out of four of those births. Figure that one out.
8. One time when I was in my early teenage years and was sick with bronchitis, my little brother was feeding me food with a fork and decided to, just for fun, jerk the fork as it was going into my mouth. The three little puss-filled prong marks in the back of my throat just served to enhance my general feeling of ill-health.
9. I’ve never had braces, and I didn’t even have a filling until I was in college. I had reading glasses for a few years in high school and college, but then my eyesight improved enough that I didn’t need to wear them anymore.
10. I got my period when I was ten, and my father brought me a single red rose to mark the milestone.
11. For ten years of my life I struggled with a mild form of an eating disorder that I’ve dubbed “Pre-Anorexia”. At one point I weighed 118 pounds (I’m nearly 5′ 9″) and I lost my period for several months. What cured me was living in Nicaragua away from all the media and models and having a baby.
12. I’ve never been drunk, never done drugs, never smoked (minus a cigar that I puffed on), and the only man I ever kissed was Mr. Handsome.
13. I was in a hurricane that killed thousands of people.
14. My high school friends called me “The Oatmeal Child” because of my rosy complexion and healthy packed lunches. I was also called “The Reporter” because I asked so many questions. Once my chemistry teacher threw a piece of chalk at me because I was grilling him too hard and he got frustrated.
15. I majored in Congregational Ministries and minored in Spanish and ESL (English as a Second Language). If I were to eventually go back to school to learn a profession, you know, one that paid, education and counseling are two that I might consider. I’d also love to travel to Europe to learn how to make artisan breads. Maybe I’ll have a little café some day. Then again, the café would probably end up running my life and I don’t like anything to run my life besides myself, so scratch that idea.
16. I always sleep with my back to Mr. Handsome, ever hopeful for a back rub. Our night-time routine starts with me saying, “Will you give me a back rub?” Mr. H, “No.” Me, wheedling, “Pleeeease?” Mr. Handsome, “No!” So then I say nothing and hold my breath. After a few seconds, he sighs deeply, rolls over on his side with a defeated groan, and starts rubbing my neck. I purr.
17. I was thrown from a horse when I was fifteen years old and got knocked out, briefly, which I thought was really cool. I got to have an ambulance ride, get my shirt cut off me, and then spent the night in the hospital. When I came home, I went up to my room to rest and mom brought me buttered bread with applesauce on top.
18. I reached the 100-pound mark when I was ten years old. I was a big kid.
19. I’ve been a camp counselor, a Voluntary Service worker (for one summer), an MCCer (Mennonite Central Committee) for three years in Nicaragua, ESL teacher, and a tutor at the university I attended. While in high school I worked at the lunch counter of a dinner named The Royal, collecting ten-cent tips and a couple unwanted smacks on the butt. Other, less significant money-making endeavors: moving lawns, babysitting, selling homemade cakes and pie crusts and breads, and raising white mice to sell for scientific research. I’ve never had a real job, ie. a full-time job with benefits.
20. I have never seen actual footage of the World Trade Towers collapsing; the photographs were traumatic enough for me.
21. I admire these characteristics in other people (and work at them in myself): open-mindedness, the willingness to be vulnerable, generosity, and good listening skills.
22. I am a Christian and a Mennonite. I was baptized (by my grandfather) when I was fifteen (or was it sixteen?). I felt like I was too young to be making church decisions and asked the pastor if I could be baptized without becoming a church member but my request was denied. I figured I could just abstain from the church voting, so I went ahead and got baptized anyway.
23. Question to Self: If I could choose to do one skill and know that I would do it well, what would I choose? Answer to Self: I would love to act. It’s the dramatic, artistic side of me coming out, I think. That, plus the desire to be articulate and coherent around crowds of people. The wow factor (applause, yay!) would be pretty fun, too.
24. I was in a minor earthquake in Guatemala. It scared me senseless. The ground was not supposed to move under my feet like that! It didn’t help that I had been sleeping buck-naked alongside my likewise buck-naked husband and he couldn’t find his glasses and we were locked into our concrete tomb and couldn’t find the keys because the power went out and it was pitch black. All we could do, and we (at least Mr. Handsome) did this calmly, was to wrap a blanket around ourselves and huddle in the bathroom doorway.
25. I can’t handle scary movies.
Whew, what a relief to no longer be “It”. Give me some You-You’s to read, please. My feet are propped up and the (figurative cup of) coffee is by my side. Your turn. Strut your stuff. Treat me. Me.
That’s an excellent question with a really long answer. A book that explains it very well is “Driven to Distraction”. And then there is the sequel called “Delivered from Distraction”.
I’ll just say here that it has been a freqently misunderstood illness, resulting in lots of over-diagnosing, as well as lots of mis-diagnosing and self-medicating (alcohol and cocaine are the drugs of choice). Not only that, but it’s called a “moral illness”, too. It’s a whammy, for sure.
jj, how do the experts differentiate between learned behavior vs a diagnosis of ADD or ADHD?