Hurrah! Thank you for deciding to read WHP (Words Have Power!) Newsletter. First off, I want to explain what this is and well I write a lot of articles that are definitely peer support based as much as it leaves room for personal opinions, I always want to draw the line on what is truth or fact, what is peer support and what is professional medical advice. And also not sure if anyone is interested in my actual ranting – but if you are, that’s what this is about. But also I want to have space to talk about personal narrative and how much power my words can have whether it be in a place of healing by getting them out of my head and put somewhere else, – or someone else reads them and finds them useful, validating, empowering and gives them language to share that is how they would describe their narrative too.
So hi! Thanks for getting this far! What else I wanted to say was a small introductory of who I actually am and why you would want to read anything I have to say on mental health, ADHD, and literally anything else I have opinions about. Firstly, my name is Jenn and I have ADHD – or rather I am ADHD or, personally I am just Jenn. It gets confusing when you start talking about self and what is also a disability in psychiatric terms. Something I hope to remedy by writing more and more about my lived experiences through this website, my blogs, memes, videos, articles, comments, however I can make a difference in advocating for Adult ADHD and what it’s actually about and what life with ADHD is like. It’s not only for myself but hoping that again by sharing we generate common words for all ADHD people to use.
Jenn has ADHD is almost a play on this whole thing, as much as I have ADHD or it has me or I am it – because of this dilemma, it’s becoming increasingly important that the general public acknowledge that. And it’s not just ADHD of course, but my focus is issues like that and the stigma attached to medicine. How poorly named ADHD actually is regarding it’s description of what life with ADHD is really like. It’s pretty complicated stuff and it’s not mine alone to talk on but this site and these articles and memes and everything I am doing I am pouring my wealth of work experience in community mental health and knowledge of my own lived experience in ADHD to hopefully make the the positive changes we need around that, doing my bit to help push those ideas forward what ever we decide they are.
I also think with that being said a timely disclosure that also everything I say is my opinion, it is not a substitute for professional mental advice. If you have an emergency mental health situation please seek your GP to access the care and advice you deserve for your well-being.
What the Covid
Well if you know anything about me, I live in Auckland, New Zealand. And last Wednesday my city went into lvl 3 lock down. That means several things: No one can leave or enter the city without special circumstances. Everything is shut like schools, most public venues, restaurants etc. Unless they are able to operate safely, so pick up and delivery, take away collections etc. People have to work from home if they can. Being a tourist country and on an island, a lot of hospitality have been hit the most. Majority of those places being shut since first lock down and more likely to not recover than ever. So things are up in the air. As you can imagine, there is probably not much anyone doesn’t already know about this – so what do I bring to this conversation.
Well this is my second lock down now. This one was swift without warning, within 24hours my life was different. The things I said I wouldn’t take for granted starred at me as I realized I took them for granted and I was astonished how easily I fell back into some kind of ‘normal’. Here in New Zealand we really live in a bubble of sorts. The rest of the world if you choose not to look doesn’t directly impact you on a day to day basis, it’s more like a slow crawl unless something huge happens. Because covid is everywhere, you don’t hear those small stories that we heard at the beginning almost everyone has one now. It’s only when some major develops that you get a fresh reminder from your new normal, that yes this is still dystopia and yes we are still living in a global pandemic, very much right in the middle of it still.
It’s amazing how well I adjusted actually, better than I thought, or easier than I remember – have I just buried it, is this all trauma response – I don’t actually know yet – how this all impacts me I do not know until it is really having impact. Or is it? It is the strangest place to be in, to contemplate especially as future planning, foresight is really out of my control. So what do I have control over? That is what is keeping me feeling a sense of normal, those immediate needs and wants that I control is where my focus gets the best rewards. So I learned at least that much, for this time.
There is also a sense of, well this is already my life anyway, I was already a ‘housebound’ person in the way I am not currently employed full time. I had no up coming work. I administrate this website and my other social media accounts during the day. I exercise, cook, clean. Cuddle my cat.
There is something about this that still I feel as left behind and unconsidered as usual because I hadn’t lost much or had nothing to gain. Again slipping through the gaps of social equality and equity. No further or closer to my dreams. The kind of unlucky normal that is very much an average day gives me less to work with in so many ways – but I do have this space to dump these thoughts..
I feel like I already brain dumped above but this area is going to be a monthly reoccurring section where I just let all the blah out. I do have something I wanted to say too and it’s mostly about life and social media. Reflecting on my experiences and what it has been like so far.
Firstly, wtf! Every day is wtf! I have no other words but I have no idea how or where or why this happened, but my sudden rise in popularity for my page and have a community of fellow ADHDers who rally behind me is just amazing! And the comments and positive feedback I get every day. Some literally bringing me to tears. People are telling me how I helped them in various ways from getting a diagnosis to learning more about their own ADHD or things that they simply didn’t know other ADHD people do. It’s been only been 7 months since I started! And I am almost at 30 thousands followers on Facebook! It’s been really an amazing experience in my professional life specially regarding my advocacy and mental health support – the amount of people I can actually help somehow! Just really great – I have so many plans and ideas and things I want to do. I’m really excited for it, and it has helped my mental health so much too – just truly the most validating months of my life. Having other people every day saying “me too!” – a gift that I feel like I could never repay how much that actually means to me.
So yea a little bit of tooting my own horn or patting myself on the back too – I am super proud of myself for being brave and sharing my ADHD journey online and opening up about something as important and personal as my own mental health. But if it can help someone else find it easier, as I have when I read other peoples words, then it’s all worth it I think. I have really had a hard time in many ways that I will talk about one day and just having an opportunity to have some kind of self-worth with my work accomplishments is nice to add to a list – A lot of things that have failed and hurt my ADHD instead of helping me list was getting much too long. Wherever this social media ride takes me, as long as it helps with my mental health and makes a difference for other ADHD people then it would had been worth it.
Well that’s all for this months WHP Newsletter!
Thanks for reading and wishing you an easy day.