Question: What challenges have I overcome to arrive at this point?
Let me tell you about some of the challenges that I have overcome to arrive at this point. When I was a small child, in about grade 1, my mother was getting notes from my teachers complaining that I never sat at my desk and was always wandering around the classroom. I never caused trouble, broke any rules or became disrespectful but over the next several years my teachers aired similar concerns. I always felt like I was different from the other kids and not accepted by them. I struggled to fit in.
When I was 11 years old my mother’s co-worker’s son was diagnosed with something she’d never heard of before, ADHD. My mother promptly took me to a special psychiatrist in London and I was diagnosed with ADHD as well. What’s’ next? Why medication of course! Within 4 days of starting Ritalin I attempted suicide by swallowing a bottle of extra strength Tylenol. I ended up getting my stomach pumped and survived.
The stigma I carried from class to class, year to year, teacher to teacher, of being a “bad kid”, despite trying my absolute hardest to be good, took a toll on me. My best was never enough and teachers and students never had a problem letting me know that they didn’t like me. The kids started bullying me at school to the point that I had to leave the school. Moving forward my mother put me on a plethora of depression and anxiety medications as advised by my doctors.
My childhood was not an overly happy or easy one. I continue to battle anxiety and depression from time to time. But despite battling mental health most of my life I am still a wife of 16 years, a mother of 4 sons, a foster parent and a career woman.