Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Breaking the mold: A lovely story about a journey to health and emotional freedom

Have I ever talked about my A.D.D.? I joke about being affected by it pretty often, "there are 3 of us in our marriage, me, Chad and my ADD.!" It always gets a laugh. I have been medicated on and off since I was 22. I was working in a private autism school, and one afternoon my boss got tired of me running our office like a monkey and urged that I get tested. Not, only did I test positive for ADD-I tested on the high end; on a 1-10 scale, I got a 9.5. –no joke!

But before the jokes, came the coping and before the coping came the issues! After first being diagnosed I had major issues with it. I always stand out in a crowd, and I know, I know, all the lame clich├ęs, about standing out in a crowd. But seriously when you stand out your entire life, and you just got diagnosed with ADD, ya kinda crave just being normal. As if being born with a birth defect wasn't enough, ya gotta throw in dyslexia, chronic headaches, migraines, and now A.D.D.! I remember so vividly laying in bed after just been diagnosed and just got my prescription of ritilian filled. I was still living at home with my parents, and my mom walked into my room. I was almost in tears, staring at the pill bottle-willing the issue to disappear. "This is a good thing-Krissy-lee!" My mom said in a voice only a mother has. Not making eye contact with her, "how do you figure? This will never go away mom. I am stuck like this forever." "Your right, but thank God we know, thank God you were diagnosed, thank God for medication, this is the answer we have been looking for. You are a smart girl Kristin, but the reasons your grades do not reflect it is b/c you simply can not concentrate. Simple as that, with 1 pill it will slow your brain down long enough to retain information."

So with a mom-required pep talk I began taking the medication. Let me tell you how it changed my life. I could listen to a song in full on the radio; I could slow my mind down long enough to focus during a conversation. I made sense. For once in my life I made sense. Try living a life where you know you're smart, but you can't prove it. This ADD closed the gap into what I knew about myself and what others could see.

I know all too well what it is like to fight. I have fought for my life when I was born, my education both in public school and college, and now when my life is finally good-no GREAT! I turn full circle and I have to once again fight for a better life.

Another gap in my life was my activity level. I love soccer, I love to run, I love to be on the go, and I love to be busy. It matches my personality. But I had trouble keeping up with my peers while playing soccer. My mother told me, "I wasn't a competitive person." Believing her, I quit. I had trouble running a mile under 8minutes-I figured I was more of a yoga person that a running person. I slowly started to turn inward, friendships grew apart, and I spent more and more time on the couch.

Then I met Chad (again) and he started to notice a pattern in my behavior. "Something isn't right" he told me over and over until I listened. Ha! Not exactly the 3 little words a girl craves to hear. It took me about 2 years and countless arguments for me to really hear what he was saying. In the end, however he was right. My heart is displaced, sitting on my lung and my breast bone and spine are about an inch apart. When exercise intolerance and fatigue are your main symptoms you think, "ha-shit Kristin, suck it up and go run!" Or you get angry with yourself for your own "disruptive behavior."

Once again there was a gap in my life. A gap from what I knew was true and what I could actually show people.

I am 72 hours away from having my chest cracked open like a walnut, cartilage removed from my chest, and bones shaved down, and a metal bar placed into my chest where it will remain for 1-2years. It will be a long and slow healing process. But emotionally I am thrilled, I am thrilled that a big-giant chunk of my life is starting to make more sense.

It's like my entire life people have told me, "Kristin, you are an A. No matter what you say or what you do, you are an A. There is no point in fighting this is set in STONE!!" But in a secret world… that nobody knows about not even me, or believes in not even me, it's really real-I have a private membership to world B. So my entire life I try so hard and fight and so hard to live in A, but something doesn't seem right. People keep reminding me I am an A, so I push through and fight more. I believe all the things people tell me about living in A, I believe I am not competitive, I believe I hate running, I believe it all. But in the world of B I love to play sports, and I love running. Damn it! Things don't make sense and I struggle living between the 2 worlds. I try to work out, but end up quitting, then get mad at myself. I try to get invested in yoga, but quit. Then, one magical day a Saint tells me 3 little words, "something is wrong." Slowly I start getting glimpses of a world I had citizenship my entire life, but never knew it.


I hate the restrictions of world B, but I love the view. I have broken the stone and look forward to the months, even years ahead of me!!

Thanks for following me on this journey


  1. Thanks Mrs. Guru, it took me a few days to construct it. It required some soul searching!

    Sorry we couldn't get together for menchies, I was just so busy this past week!

  2. This was beautiful to read, Kristin. I had no idea how much you've overcome in the last few years and I'm incredibly proud of you and inspired by your story. I know things will continue to change for the better in your life and you will continue to break barriers and push forward.

    Love you!! <3