Month: December 2022

Learning to Stop

By Yamila García

After an intense and exhausting semester, comes the difficult task of stopping. When we move at a significant speed, whether in a vehicle or running, we do not come to a complete stop in a second… Inertia makes us keep going beyond the goal, for a few meters until we come to a complete stop. Keeping up with the intensity of the classes is not easy, but neither is stopping. When we cross the finish line after running a race, our body is still active, alert and so it feels weird to be still. The same thing happens when we finish all our tests and assignments. It takes a little time to get the body and mind comfortable in the calm. Some, like me, perhaps fill up with activities to keep their minds busy, or we could even say silent. And so, stopping becomes a threat. So what should be the best or easiest part, turns out to be the opposite.

However, stopping does not have to be synonymous with disorganization or improvisation. We can also have an agenda for our leisure time. Many times during the year I find myself wishing I had time to do this or that. “I wish I have time to paint”, “I wish I have time to watch a tv series”, “I wish I have time to get a few coding projects done” and so many other “I wish”, but when I finally have the time, I can’t find a way to enjoy it. Sometimes because I don’t have a plan and the days just go by, and other times because I try to fulfill other things that I couldn’t do during the semester such as appointments, paperwork, etc. Therefore, this year I have decided to plan what I want to do during the winter break. Not in such a structured way, but more like a wish list. I deeply believe in the importance of nourishing our minds with things that make us laugh, enjoy and relax. I believe that we should all take care of our mental health with the same responsibility we put on our jobs and other commitments. I’m learning how to do it, I’m seeing the benefits while doing it and I want everyone to be able to work for their own joy.

Work for your enjoyment, commit yourself to taking care of yourself, value and be grateful for each day of your life, because although sometimes it is hard, we have overcome more than we ever imagined we could do and we will marvel at what awaits us.

A Little Fix it All

By Anonymous

Here’s a little pill, here’s a little fix-it-all, okay? It’s all okay.

Words from Madison Beers’ “Effortless.” It’s easy to believe that one little pill is the answer. The little
white pill, the little fix-it-all. 20 mg of Lexapro and your problems are over. It’ll help you, why not take
it? Everything will be fine.

Why, then, did it take me years to get an anxiety diagnosis in the first place? Why, then, do I feel like
taking the medicine is just the easy way out? I shouldn’t need it—I don’t need it—I don’t want it—I
can’t live without it.

Nothing with it, nothing without it.

Anyone who says it fixes anything is kidding themselves. Anyone who thinks they can survive without
is kidding themselves. It fixes everything, it fixes nothing, everything’s fine, everything’s not fine.

You’re in your head too much, don’t be afraid of medication, it’s just a tool to help you. Maybe
someday, you won’t need it anymore.

I don’t want it. I wish I didn’t need it. I don’t need it. I’m just fine. I’m doing fine. I’m perfectly fine.

I’m kidding myself, aren’t I?

Medication isn’t an easy subject. You can’t understand until you’ve experienced it—the shame, the
denial, the dependence, the stigma. It’s hard to explain why something that’s supposed to help you can
feel like the end of the world.

I don’t want it while I have it but if I lose it it’s game over.

I don’t feel like anyone. The world is mad, and they say I’m the crazy one?

I wish it really was a fix-it-all.

Unintentional Damage

By Yamila García

The lack of knowledge is a dangerous thing. Sometimes not knowing can be good, but other times it can cause a lot of damage.

Every time I’ve approached a professor for help, I’ve always been greeted with a lot of enthusiasm and appreciation for taking the plunge and showing interest. Never during the time that I have been studying in this institution, has a professor not given me the help that I needed. They always made me feel that they really care that we learn, that they take pride in their work, and that they want us to get the most out of their class. Considering these experiences, I can say that I am sure that they want the best for us and that they have a lot of goodwill. However, given the format of some of their classes, many of them have hurt me more than helped. But knowing their goodwill, I have to assume they just don’t know how we neurodivergents work. So all they do is random, it may or may not work for us. Not knowing what works for us is like wanting to guide us on a trail without knowing the way.

Many times, when I have found things in their classes that do not work for me, I have become frustrated. I know I shouldn’t because in reality there is no bad intention on their part, just a lack of knowledge on how to make the class accessible to different ways of thinking. It’s just that. They don’t know how we work. So this year I decided that at the end of the semester I will email my professors, telling them what worked and what didn’t work for me. They will be simple lists indicating what made my life easier and what was a great challenge for me and how it could be avoided. It won’t make a difference in my semester, but it can make them realize that we all don’t work in the same way. I believe that whenever we have the opportunity, we should make neurotypical people know our way of seeing the world. The hope is that one day “their world” will be friendlier to us. We have to give them the chance, we are the ones who have to tell them about ourselves.