Out of Sorts

“I hope you’re pleased with yourself,” Hermione Granger said to Harry Potter and Ron Weasley on page 162 of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. “We could all have been killed–or worse, expelled. Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to bed.”

Ron responds: “No, we don’t mind. You’d think we dragged her along, wouldn’t you?”

The movie plays differently: a slight inversion at the start and a spot of humor in the end.

“Now, if you two don’t mind,” Hermione begins, “I’m going to bed before either of you come up with another clever idea to get us killed–or worse, expelled.”

And Ron says, “She needs to sort out her priorities.”

Which is precisely why, dear reader, I’ve brought you here today.

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What would it mean?

I was on the phone with my therapist today, discussing the possibility of an ADHD diagnosis. About forty minutes in, he started asking, “It sounds like you’re…” and my brain finished for him, “hoping to be diagnosed with ADHD.” Part of me feared, for a split second, that he thought I was being selective with what I shared, painting a picture of what I want to see, not what’s really in front of me, but instead he said, “It sounds like you’re looking for a medical treatment,” so I just answered, “The thought I could take something to fix just things is very hopeful.”

And then, because I know rushing to medication immediately isn’t always the best answer (I was in counseling for depression two years before I began any prescriptions), when he asked if I would be open to continuing psychotherapy or adjusting the medications I’m already taking, I told him, of course, I’d be willing to give it all a shot. I am. In fact, waiting for a new medication is probably wiser, whether or not I feel impatient waiting for things to finally change.

When the call ended, he hadn’t given any diagnosis, but in addition to scheduling a second meeting, he also scheduled me with a psychiatrist in his practice whom he feels is especially good at teasing out what’s depression and what might be ADHD. That sounds a lot like what I need, and I’m hopeful for what’s to come, but now, hours later, that first impulse in my brain still lingers: What if he thinks I was being selective? Why do I feel such desire to be diagnosed?

What would it mean for him to say I actually have ADHD?

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Sometimes I want to write, and perhaps you do, too, but the words won’t come.

Sometimes I want to settle into the story, bask in the sunlight of another world, and witness as my characters walk across the page. But sometimes they don’t.

And sometimes, I want to write about myself, but all my words escape me.

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Not My Student

I have a student who speaks badly about women, swears when he shouldn’t, and reacts poorly to perceived criticism and the consequences of his actions.

I ask him casually in the hall how his day is going and he keeps walking without even looking in my direction. I sit down next to him in class to check in and I have to say his name half a dozen times before he begrudgingly acknowledges me. I try to have productive, relationship-building conversations, and he actively shuts me out.

Then he grabs some chalk and writes insulting messages on the chalk boards.

And then he gets pissed off and storms out when he gets in trouble.

But he’s still my student.

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The Burden of Blame

For the past few days I’ve felt a burning desire to spit fire and blame at my former fiance. I couldn’t explain it, and I was reeling against myself for wanting so badly to push all the blame on him. I shared these feelings with a close friend of mine, and while she could empathize, she assured me these urges were natural and that if I felt I should tell him something, then I should.

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You Mean What?

The year 2016 is my big Year of Re-creation, and the magnanimity of this statement only grows with the realization that I won’t be recreating myself as a husband, but as a single man again. And that’s okay. Perhaps painful at the outset, but all change can be.

In any case, it’s been a while since my last shot of stress, when I took that first step from Kelly McGonigal’s book The Upside of Stress to finally make stress my friend.

It should be obvious–as a three-year relationship ends and I set out to begin my summer teaching training–that stress is paramount right now. So it’s time to go on.

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This past Wednesday, things between my fiance and me ended. Part of me had expected it, and to be brutally honest, it wasn’t the first time this year when I had thought our relationship would end, but it still pierced my heart when it finally did.

I moved quickly from injury to recovery, having already prepared a path in my mind for where I would go next, what I would begin to do as a truly single man. One friend called me to ask how I was doing, and he told me I had already grieved the loss of our engagement, that the end of our relationship was not the start of my grief, but its conclusion. And in many, many ways, he was right.

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