Sarah’s Story

I have always known that there was something very different about me ever since I was a very small child. I mean, I know that every body has their differences but it seemed to me as if no matter where I was or who I was with, I always felt like a black sheep. I am fifteen-years-old and I am in my very first year of high school. I KNOW that I have ADD [without hyper activity]. I had been seeing a counsellor for about three and a half months because I started off having severe anxiety attacks at school that seemed to just come out of no where. I could be sitting quietly in my seat [as usual] and all of a sudden, I would feel an impending sense of terror and DOOM! Then, I would get the physical symptoms as well….it quickly began to affect my attendance and I found myself LOOKING for all kinds of accuses not to go to school in the morning. I don’t seem to be having them any more…I think that I found my own coping strategies.

Anyways, getting back to my childhood…I remember being an extremely quiet, perceptive, gentle and sensitive child and I was ALWAYS bullied by the other kids, day in day out…and worst of all, I never told my parents about it. I never had more than one friend before grade five. Even, then, I was always considered “the quiet, forgetful, dreamy one”. My teachers always called me “dumb”, “lazy” and “unmotivated”, and sure enough, after a while, I began to believe everything that they said about me. My report cards always said, ” Could be doing a lot better is she’d only learn to LISTEN when spoken to and when given instructions”, “Has a difficult time following directions”, “Seems very distracted most of the time” and/or, “Is lazy and unmotivated”.

T his worried my parents, especially my mom who always did well in school. When she finally had a meeting with my teachers, they suggested that I get tested for something called CAP. The first time I was tested, I was six-years-old. They thought that I may have had a little bit of it, but not that much. The next time I was tested was when I was nine-years-old. They said that they had no reason to believe that I had it. Shortly, I found out that it was ADD all along. I remember feeling VERY ANGRY after I found out that I had a learning disorder, even though I knew [vaguely] that there was something defective about me all along.


To do this day, I STILL sometimes have those thoughts [especially when I am having a tough time…which is quite often!]. I am UNBELIEVABLY forgetful. I loose things very easily, I forget to hand things in on time, I am VERY, VERY easily distracted, I tune out VERY quickly, I am almost ALWAYS LATE for EVERYTHING, I get side tracked EXTREMELY easily, I have a VERY low frustration tolerance, I always take thing EXTREMELY personally, I worry about the SIMPLEST things incessantly [i.e what I am going to wear in the morning, what I am going to eat for breakfast ect..], it takes VERY little for me to get depressed and I am VERY daydreamy.

There are a lot of times when I just feel downright INCAPABLE of dealing with life. I could easily wake up one morning out of the blue feeling anxious and depressed and say to myself, “I don’t feel like getting up this morning…I just want to drift off into a deep sleep and dream away for the whole day. What’s the point of even trying to get up anymore?”. There have been alot of days where I have felt this way and pretended hat I was sick so that I didn’t have to deal with any of the pressures in my life. People tend to take advantage of me because I am a total SOFTY at heart. I am actually a PUSH OVER!
I some how ALWAYS attract people who want to “dump their load on me”. When ever some one needs something, they ALWAYS come to me, and when I feel that I am incapable of helping them because I have my OWN issues to deal with, I feel depressed.

Then, when they can feel my sympathy, they begin to totally EXAGGERATE their problems even more and that makes it even harder for me to tell them to “just go away”. I find that I frequently need A LOT of time to myself in order to sort out my own emotional dilemmas, instead of tring to sort out everyone else’s for them. On the outside, I look as calm as a sailboat in still waters, but on the inside, I am frequently anxious, preoccupied, confused and depressed about myself and my life. I have tried turning to drugs and alcohol a few times, and it all felt wonderful at first, but then, it all back fired on me. My mom found out that I was taking a overdoses of anxiety meds a year ago, and she immediately took me to get help. I now realize that it wasn’t a very effective way of dealing with my problems, and I am still FIGHTING the temptation EVERY SINGLE DAY.

I am slowly trying to overcome my feelings of anger and depression over having a learning problem, and its not easy. I wake up every morning and go to school and see twenty-three other children [some of whom who seem no brighter than I] having a much easier time than I am. And a lot of the time, I feel very sorry for myself…so much so infact that it ALSO contributes to my attentional problems which frustrates me even more. I am so quiet and shy that most of the time, people just forget about me. I am not only quiet in class but I also have a soft tone of voice. Last year, when I was going up in front of the class to present my speech, the teacher said to me, “Sarah! Speak louder! You’ve got this INCREDIBLY soft voice and you talk under your breath all the time!” **I can’t help it**

:(. -Sarah