Friday, July 17, 2015

Writing therapy

At the point I have about 5 months of backlog, but there's some things that I need to get off my chest and personally the best way for me to do this is through writing. I've already started to tackle some of these issues privately through close and trusted friends and will continue doing that with matters that need to or I prefer to be private. At the same time I'll be using this blog for things that I don't mind being public. I don't expect to get much feedback when I'm using my blog as "writing therapy" if at all but it still helps a lot more than keeping it to myself, and I've figured out solutions just by writing my thoughts.

I'm going to start with a problem that was a bigger problem growing up in the church, and problem affected my grades in school than it has been in any part of my life (but thinking about it, it has probably had some kind of negative affect on every part of my life). My topic for this post is giving up easily and ended up not finishing a task, especially when it's something that needs to be done in writing. It's discouraging to think about it but it's something I've been working on reversing for a few years. It's also definitely Hydrocephalus related but it's a state of mind that can be caused by other underlying problems. It's a personal topic, but it's something that I know it's something people can relate to, with or without Hydrocephalus, or even a learning disability. I also mean it as a warning, so whatever it is they would cause someone to not do as well, rather it's grades in school or something else that at least partially they can at least start to overcome the problem earlier than later. I don't mean to say that it's a problem that everyone who see's this has, but based on prior research I've done for my blog and communicating with others with Hydrocephalus during the last several years I can say it's pretty likely.

Thinking back to school it was probably the biggest problem in the classroom, when it came to note taking. I couldn't focus on writing what I heard very well unless the teacher was very persistent about it, which I hated back then but I'm very grateful for it now. I could have gotten a late start to it but I wouldn't because I felt like a failure from the start. I had the same problem when it came to keeping up with planners and similar things, especially when we had to fill them at a certain time altogether in class but the idea was dropped a few days or a few weeks into the school year. That didn't matter though because I remember actually thinking from the very start that it wasn't going to work out so I didn't even try it out. I should have tried to think of a solution or approach someone for help, but at that point (6th grade), I had already grown to hate school. The transition from Elementary to Middle School ended up being a bombshell, and I made a personal decision to not really try at all, which didn't change until the last year or two of High School. I'm not sure how I ended up only being one semester late to graduating or how I finished at all. The result of not taking notes or trying to keep up with a planner was constantly forgetting homework assignments especially after I decided to not really care in the first place. The result of both not taking notes and not doing homework assignments were failing tests. The obvious end result was failing half my classes and having to take some classes up to 3 times. If I knew then what I knew now, I definitely would have pushed myself harder to write notes even when it wasn't seen as necessary (as in when reading a text book) because just by writing something down helps me a lot when it comes to processing that information. Like at work I need to write a list to remember what needs to be put out next (I'm a Produce Clerk for a division of Kroger). If I don't do it my memory fails me and I usually don't remember anything. If I do write down a list however I usually can remember everything that needs to be put out without having to go back and check the list. If I had done this in school I might have passed a few tests.

I grew up in the Evangelical church, and except for a 2 year period when I first really start to get fed up with the way my life was going, and how that related to God and Church. I've dug deeper on this subject before and I intend to again in the near future. Something that really frustrating me for a long time which really frustrated me as a kid, and in a different way as a young adult until I left the church a 2nd time was the note taking issue. When I was a kid it was filling out a little form in Sunday School, where there was a part typed up already and then a place that needed to be filled out. I recall started it usually but then I would lose my focus, and give up as soon as I missed something. There was a 2nd assignment that we had to do during the week that I always managed to not do, so that didn't help to encourage me to push myself a little bit harder.  When I got old enough to be expected to pay attention to a sermon, which was made worse when I decided to switch churches and taking notes was sort of expected. I couldn't process information from the sermon well, and I still had the same mind set that I had when it came to taking notes when I was in High School. Also when I got older everything switched to a bible study format which caused a lot of different other problems which I'll touch on at another time. 

There might be (and probably is) a bigger solution but what I know now that I wished I would have known earlier is being encouraged to (which usually means encouraging myself) to just pick up where I left track because it would help a lot more to miss a few points than to miss the whole thing. It's a really simple concept but if it wasn't obvious to me, I can assume that it might not be obvious to other people as well. I hope that the most recent time that it was mentioned to me wasn't the first, but it was better timing than any other time since I'm in the process against a lot things where the underlying cause is Hydrocephalus. It also fits in well with one of the major things I've slowly been working on, persistence. It's a uphill battle and I'll probably never get my persistence to the point where it could be if my skull wasn't a fish bowl and if I didn't have medical tubing pushed through my brain. If you're not aware of what any kind of brain damage or neurological disorders can and will do to your brain, I'll probably get crap for doubting myself and talking about persistence at the same time but unfortunately it's the truth. 

For anyone that's in school, or has a kid with Hydrocephalus or a similar condition that results in a learning disability I want to close with a tip. I'm not professional at all unless you need someone to pick out a good avocado or watermelon for you, but I'm writing this from my own experiences and what I've learned through personal research and paying a little more attention the last few years. My advice is to write down as much as possible (or at least when possible). I assume taking notes in class can be rough, but it might really help when it comes to studying at home. With notes it's might help to reminded that it's okay to miss some points as long as you try to focus again after you realizing that you're missing those points.

When it comes to church just being aware that it's okay to miss points during childhood Sunday School would have helped a lot. Taking notes will stick suck rather, and I'm glad that it's something that I don't have to worry about. The church I've been attending on and off for four years consistently has forms that is somewhat like the ones I described having in Sunday School class as a kid. I make it a point to always to fill them out, and just by doing that helps a lot. This is also something I wish I would have known a lot. I know that people who read my blog has many different views on religion but if you do ever attend some kind of religious service I definitely recommend trying to take some kind of notes, even if there's no form provided.If you have a kid with Hydrocephalus or a similar condition or are a Sunday School teacher or have a similar position to a kid with some kind of intellectual disability, no matter how small of one it wouldn't hurt to use a reminder if you see someone struggling. Again, I realize that not everyone can relate to the church part but I write a lot about personal experience, and it was a really big part of my life when I was a kid, and it's starting to become a big idea again but from a different perspective. 

Thanks for reading, I really hope you the reader got something encouraging out of this.

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