Ella’s Story

I stumbled across this web page today because I am in one of my moods where I want to find out more about my ADD. I was diagnosed with ADD when I was 7 and I am now 18. I was put on Ritalin and am still taking it today. I wanted to share with you a passage I wrote at school one day. I get inspired to write and so I get on the computer and tap away, expressing all my inner feelings. This passage was written about 6 months ago and it explains how I was feeling at the time. It was when we started to look at careers and I had no idea what I wanted to do. It was a requirement of an assignment to research a job I was interested in but instead I handed this in……..

I have always had trouble answering the question of what I want to accomplish and achieve in my life when I finish school. I can remember when I was little I wanted to be a fireman (Note: I didn’t want to be a fire woman!!), and then I wanted to be an Air Hostess and a Policewoman. Then I found that I liked Drama and dance so I moved towards wanting to be famous. But I have never kept it the same. I think that is because I am a very indecisive person, and I have trouble with the fact that I have to make a life changing decision at the age of 17.

Doing the INSTEP course this year has made my decision both easier and harder. It is easier because I have been able to experience what a real work place is like but it has made it harder because I know that office work is not the kind of job I want. I guess it makes me worry that I am not going to find a career that will satisfy my fussiness and my tendency to constantly change my mind. When I actually sit down and try to decide what I want in life I remind myself of the television advertisement with the girl sitting at a bar, contemplating her own life with the song ‘stop your messing around…better think of your future…’ That ad is totally me – because I have a habit of procrastinating when it comes to making a decision as big as making a career choice.

At the moment I am half way through year 12 and I DO intend to finish even though I know that I am not a good student. I know that I have lots of trouble focusing myself to do class assignments and I am the kind of person that learns more when I do hands on work rather than learning from books and worksheets. This has always got me into trouble at school because teachers tend to think that I am being lazy, but I know that it is just because writing isn’t one of my strong points. A good example of this is when I was in year 10. I was a really good English student. We would read books and watch movies and I could verbally analyze what the themes and issues were in both mediums but when it came down to writing it all in an essay all my knowledge went out the window. I hated the fact that I know what I was talking about I just couldn’t prove myself in writing, and that was even more so during my exams where I ended up with a 23% score overall for English – an F. This made me feel…I guess stupid? Because I knew that I had the knowledge of it I just couldn’t understand why it was so hard for me to prove myself.

Another example was Dance. I loved going to dance class and we learnt how to dance the Cha Cha, the Rumba, Waltz, The Jive – and I could do them all – and I quote ‘with great skill’ But my problems yet again started when we were given written assignments. I just couldn’t do them, but luckily we didn’t get many so my grade didn’t drop too much and I ended up with a B-.

Getting back to my career choice I know that I want to do something that is always changing. I hate things that are the same day after day after day. I used to want to be a photographer but I have never had any experience in taking pictures but I have been thinking about working in a photography studio – even if that would consist of handing the photographer a new film when the roll is finished!! I want creativity, and fame and fashion built into my career choice. I think another thing that scares me is the fact that I am a very outgoing person and I know that I can be highly annoying at certain times. I am always told from my work experience placements that I bring a new light to their workplace because I have a very individual personality and people can be quite surprised at my honesty and sense of humor. I tend to be a very ‘in your face’ kind of person once I become relaxed and comfortable with my colleagues.

I have never been the kind of person who had the urge to go to Uni or TAFE because I figure that would just expose me to more assignments that I couldn’t do and I don’t want to keep disappointing my family by failing out of Uni or TAFE because I have already done that too much in my life. I sometimes find myself thinking that my life is just going to fall into my lap when I have finished year 12 but I then realize it is me that has to go out and make it for myself. But that again poses the question – ‘What do I want???’ I know that I want to travel but I need access to money for that and I don’t have any so I have had to push that wish away. I have looked at exchange programs but they cost a lot and I know that my family can’t afford that kind of money.

Mum has said to me that if I cant decide by end of year 12 what I want to do I should just go to business collage for 6 months because it would be a good thing to have on my resume and it would guarantee me a job but I know that business collage isn’t the kind of thing that I would enjoy. I know that mum just wants me to have something to fall back on but I know through my sister doing business collage that it is a lot of typing work and you are pretty likely to get a job as a receptionists or secretary and I would get bored doing something like that!!

Well that is generally how I feel about having to make a career choice and I think I have said why I tend to procrastinate.

I would like to point out that I did finish school but I have not yet found a job. I guess the idea of looking scares the hell out of me! Since leaving school I have faced alot of problems. I am now living back with my parents after being at boarding school for 2 years. This is a big change again for me getting used to living back at home because I settled in well at boarding school. I also miss my friend’s alot. My self-esteem has dropped and I am depressed. I am also having huge blowups with my parents over little things because I snap quickly (being unable to control my temper without my medication which runs out late at night so that’s when the fights take place) and I abuse them and my brother and sister verbally and sometimes physically. I cannot control what I do when imp like this. I lose control and I don’t realize what imp doing. It has really grated on the family as a whole so mum decided that my self esteem problem (which is very noticeable with me because I am usually a very outgoing and happy person) and my depression and short fuse really needed professional help. She contacted a guy and I saw him for the first time 2 days ago. I have another appointment with him and I hope all goes well.

Please feel free to email me about my ADD. I shall also mention that I am from Western Australia and I would like a e-pal to talk to that also has ADD so maybe we can talk out our problems with each other

Thank you for reading my story