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Regardless of what our brains want to do, we can work around it

Regardless of what our brains want to do, we can work around it. You know that saying, when there is a will, there is a way. There really is.

There is not a day that goes by that my brain works against me. I just find another way.

When I was in school, I was not able to understand the teacher. There were too many distractions and all I really heard was blah, blah, blah. I hear about every third or fifth word. I would always look down in school because I did not want to be called on. I know it looked like I wasn’t trying or paying attention, but I really was.

When I was in 10th grade, a teacher called me after class. She asked me why I was not taking notes in the class like the other kids. Guess what my response was?

I DON’T KNOW.

I really didn’t know why I was not able to understand her enough to take notes. I saw the other kids writing like crazy, but I was back on her first sentence and I did not know how to tell her that.

I started taking a tape recorder in class. I started taping myself reading out loud when I was studying at home. I would play it back. I would reverse and reverse and reverse until I heard it. I would then write it down in a way that I could understand it. That is what I studied for tests.

It took me about five hours to do the homework when my friends were done in one, but I was determined to get that grade. That grade was not an A. It wasn’t a B.

I generally worked that hard for a C.

I got that C because I turned in my work and I made a valiant effort to do the work.

I was not able to retain it for very long, but I would try to remember it long enough to take a test.

I found a way around my brain.

Today, I still have problems. That does not go away. I ask people to talk slower. I ask them to repeat all the time. I try to get every word and I ask what does that mean a lot.

When I watch a show with family, I simply ask them to pause to explain so I can be where they are in the story.

You have to get past being embarrassed. You have to get passed needing to be where everyone else is. You have to be willing to be okay with who you are and not be ashamed.

I know. I still struggle with wanting to be like everybody else in the room. I still want to understand and communicate like the average person.

I had a roommate in college. She did not even study and got A’s. I studied around the clock for the C that I deserved! I was happy when I saw that C on that paper because to me it said A. I had earned it. It was all mine. I was proud.

Living beyond our limitations

I had the amazing opportunity to write for Jeff Noble with FASDForever website. He asked me to write a blog from an adults perspective. This is what I wrote. http://fasdforever.com/?p=506

Because of the response I received and the amount of people I can that it helped, I want to continue to write about FASD. I want to continue to offer hope that are living with this dreadful disability. Key word: LIVING.

It is possible to LIVE with FASD. It is not a social death sentence. We absolutely can live beyond our limitations! We are so much more than what the doctors say. They only see where the brain is malfunctioning. What they don’t see is our determination to make it beyond all that. No matter how many times we are told we cannot do something, we will try that much harder to make it happen.

For a long time, I thought I was autistic. I actually had an easier time accepting that fact. When I heard that what was actually wrong with me was I was FASD, I lost my breath. I’m not sure why it affected me so much deeper, but it hit me to the core of who I am.

It actually made sense to me. I knew my biological mother had issues and had drug and alcohol problems, in those days, but I never linked that with the day to day struggles that I have. It was hard for me to realize, no matter how hard I worked, I would still have these disabilities. I am an overcomer.

The hope came in when I realized all my life I had been compensating for my disabilities. I learned how to learn. If a thousand ways did not work, I found one that did. I would not give up until I made it happen. I might spill everything along the way. I might not understand 80% of what goes on around me, but I am still going to be the best I can be, regardless of these disabilities.

I had two choices when I realized I was living with FASD. Number one, roll over and let it beat me. Number two, LIVE and no matter what, never let it beat me.

I am very anxious to do things on my own. I find external brains to go with me or I go a path I have always gone.

I have passions that are so deep that it bleeds through in everything I do. I decided to take those passions and see if I could make money from them.

We might not be able to do what everyone else can do, but they cannot do everything we can do. Many of them do not see the beauty in the world, like we do.

I stop to smell the roses.
I look up to watch a plane.
I sit in the dirt and still play.
I watch the beauty of nature with the eyes of a child.

I wouldn’t want to change these things at all.

Today, with FASD, I LIVE. I offer hope to those who think they will never be able to make it to tomorrow. I offer strength as one who has already gone before and proven that no matter how hard it is, you can do it.

If I can get a masters degree when they told me I would not even get a high school education, anyone can. I did not let my disability rule me. I had to be more creative.

I could still keep my dreams and aspirations. How I got there had to change a little, but I still got there. One frustration at a time…lol. Yea, I’m still working on that one.

I didn’t say it would be easy, but it is possible.