Study tips for someone with dyslexia and/or dysgraphia:

patrick-tomasso-71909-unsplash

I am dyslexic and I have dysgraphia, but I graduated in English Literature with a 3.4. I’ve talked about majoring in your learning disability before, though it’s been a while. I talked about how learning disabilities are often made out to be an end all be all and discourage people from pushing through them. I also comment on the fact that they are disabilities not differences, because they make it harder to do things and there is no need to sugar coat it. I say that there is no secret and that there isn’t a list of tips that will work for everyone.  It’s true, most of pushing through your learning disability is just working through sweat and tears, but I do have some study tips I’ve learned over the years and if you’re facing the same challenges as me you might find them helpful.

  • Listen to older literature: Especially Shakespeare, he was made to be listened to. Well, he was made to be watched, but many adaptions do different takes on his work, so if you’re looking to do it for an English class it’s best to listen to an audio book so you just get pure dialog. Audio books are amazing for older works. Old English is harder to comprehend, but it’s easier to understand when you hear it. Audio books also remove all the line breaks from works like the Odyssey and rely only on the periods for pauses, which is how it is meant to be read, even though some brains struggle with reading it that way.
  • Google is better than spellcheck: I could scream this one from the rooftops. I feel like spellcheck is sometimes concerned about me I’m such a poor speller. It just shrugs me off because it honestly doesn’t know what I’m trying to say. Take that jumbled mess of letters and put it into Google search. It can normally figure it out. I am strictly talking about the web search, though, Google Docs doesn’t always get it either.

Continue reading

Adding Good Habits vs. Removing Bad Habits

20180828_182936.jpg

Bad habits die hard, it’s universally known. I’ve never met someone who had an easy time getting rid of a habit, they become part of our wiring, and undoing that isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s one of the main reasons that people give up on getting rid of them. It can seem just too difficult, and I get that. I’ve given up on a few of mine as well. I’m not exactly proud of it, but they felt to hard to change.

Is there an easier way to get rid of them? It’s a question that a lot of people have asked, and nobody really has an answer too, but there is an argument for pushing your bad habits out simply by forming good habits, but that too can be complicated because good habits are also hard to form. It takes time and repetition to create the wiring that all our other habits have. It requires forcing yourself to act and getting down right angry with yourself when you don’t want to. It requires self-discipline.

But is it the better alternative? Is it even true that you can push your bad habits out by replacing them with better habits?

Continue reading

You’re allowed to be overwhelmed by good things.

IMG_20180301_105314_203.jpg

There’s a lot happening in my life. 85% of those things are wonderful things that I’m excited about, but every now and then I still find myself completely overwhelmed by it all. That’s okay. It doesn’t mean that I wish it wasn’t happening and it doesn’t mean that I wish it was happening differently. It just means that while I’ve been racing full steam ahead and my engine started overheating.

I think there can be a lot of shame when you feel overwhelmed by good things, but a lot of time it just means that you’re a little too busy and you’re feeling too much. You can be excited about progress and still fear change. You can be happy about a big investment and still be nervous about what it means for your saving account. You can be busy with amazing tasks and still feel overworked by them. Also? You can be excited about too many things and simply get burned out from the force of that single emotion. Emotions are a lot to bare and they can effect us not only mentally, but physically.

Continue reading

On social media and stalking people from our past:

rawpixel-604745-unsplash

I have a friend that checks her ex-boyfriend’s social media feeds semi-regularly. I check an ex-friend’s feed even more often.

We’re in a digital world, most of our generation shares their lives on social media, it’s easy to cyber stalk. It’s easy to learn details that you wouldn’t ever learn in person. It’s easy to dismiss your need to hash up the past on ‘oh I just thought about them and I was curious.’ But did you check their feed because you were curious or were you curious because you check their feed so often?

The longer you linger on a topic the more likely it is to circle back around later. The more frequently you indulge in a curiosity, the more likely you are to do it again. Somebody doesn’t have to be standing on the other side of the door to make their way in when you open it. Whether you are talking to these people or not, whether they are thinking of you or not, you’re asking them to come live in your head rent free.

It’s not good for you, not only because it makes you linger in the past, or in your anger, or in your broken heart, but also because you’re now in a relationship for one. No one-sided relationship is healthy simply because relationships are never meant to be one sided. It’s not a new phenomenon, people have lingered on those they shouldn’t for years, but social media is making it easier, and it’s giving us a front row seat to someones life we aren’t supposed to be a part of any longer.

Continue reading

Positive things my bipolar disorder has gifted me with:

IMG_20181207_220859_297.jpg

I wrote a post a long while ago about how it’s okay for people to call mental illness a gift. It’s one of my favorite posts. I can’t decide if it’s the bipolar jokes or the fact that it’s about Van Gogh, but regardless, it still stands. It’s is okay for people to call their mental illness a gift the same way it’s okay for them to call it a curse. Both can be true.

I spend a lot of time writing about ways to function with mental illness and to overcome some of it’s trickier parts, but I wanted to make a post about the good things my mental illness has given me. So here’s a list of positives that have come from my bipolar disorder:

  • Creativity: Bipolar and creativity have long been linked. For most the creative streaks come during the manic phases, for me it seems like my creativity hardly sleeps. I’ve been creative for as long as I can remember, which is fitting because I got diagnosed at age six. Over half of my hobbies are creative ones and I fully thrive in the environment they create. I love my hobbies and I love this skill set. There is nothing I would trade for it.
  • Healthy coping mechanisms: A lot of people have unhealthy coping mechanisms, in fact, I don’t feel like it would be a stretch to say that most people do. It’s hard to function with a mental illness without learning coping mechanisms, and unhealthy ones just don’t make the cut, they end up making us feel worse. So to function, I’ve learned healthy coping mechanisms, ones that work and can aid my medication to the point where I can handle most everything thrown at me. It took a lot of work to get them, but I’m so happy I have them and am able to fall back on them whenever I need them, whether those needs are triggered by bipolar disorder or just everyday life.

Continue reading

Romantic relationships are partnerships and should be treated like it.

phuoc-le-330455-unsplash.jpg

In Australia they don’t say ‘my significant other’ they say ‘my partner’ because that is what relationships really are, they’re a partnership.  I often see hear people talk about how you shouldn’t rely on your partner, and I agree with 50% of what they’re saying.

I agree that you need to be able to function without them, you need to be able to live if something were to happen to them or if something were to happen to the two of you. But not being able to function without someone and relying on someone are not the same thing. You should be able to rely on your partner. They should be carrying you when you can’t carry yourself. I know that there’s an idea out there that you should never be unable to do things alone, but it’s false, everyone needs help, and sometimes we need a lot of it. I touched on this in my relationships and mental illness post, but the same way they should carry you when you can’t, you should carry them. It’s a two-way street. It’s a partnership.

The whole premise of dating isn’t just for fun, though it’s turned into that over the years, it’s that you’ve got someone by your side to tackle life with. It’s a try out session for the partner that will last you a lifetime. And being a partner means a lot more than being in love with your best friend. It means that you ask each other for permission before making sizable decisions. It means that you seek each others advice on near everything. People hear you talk about these things and think that you’re in a controlling relationship, but that isn’t what its about. It’s about wanting the others opinions and wanting them to agree with you as you make choices that will effect both your lives.

Continue reading

Hate is addicting

IMG_20190111_184032_430.jpg

I think we have a skewed perception about what is addicting and what isn’t. There are a lot of substances that aren’t addictive physically but can be mentally. It’s very easy to get hooked on a feeling, hooked on emotions. We can crave the endorphins that something releases or the power we feel when we do a certain act. Are emotions technically addictive? No. Do you get emotional withdraws from them all the same? Yes. That makes them addictive enough in my book.

But it isn’t just the good emotions we get hooked on, it isn’t just things that numb our pain, sometimes we can get addicted to the things that fuel it. It’s an interesting thing really, but more and more people are becoming addicted to outrage, addicted to anger, addicted to hate.

Maybe it’s the way we take in our news, maybe it’s that the most outrageous, enraging headlines are the ones to grab our attention. Maybe it’s that social media has acted as a barrier from other people emotions, so we don’t realize when we are treading to far, maybe then we become desensitized to it to the point that we no longer care when we do. Maybe its the fact that we’re taking in so much hate all the time that we start to think of it as normal, and therefore needlessly dish it back out into the world.

Continue reading