What is “normal”, anyway?

I am on a verge of a mental breakdown. It has been 2 months since I moved into my apartment. During my first week here, I assumed that cats lived above me because it was quiet enough to hear a pin drop and there were no signs of obnoxious behavior. At least, not yet. This was before Godzilla moved in a few days later, prior to the start of winter semester. I am writing this post because I want my voice to be heard. I feel like the people around me don’t care or have the time of day to listen to me complain, and they don’t sympathize with me at all.

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Perhaps the downside of being extremely intelligent? 🙆

I am a 20-something female who you would call introverted, a girl who keeps to herself, a girl who suffers from social anxiety and to make matters worse, a girl who has Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) to an extent. Although my mother had me tested as a child, I do not think that the doctors were actually testing me for ADD, more so, they were looking for a learning disability. Isn’t that what ADD is, a learning disability? However, they didn’t confirm that I have ADD. It takes me significantly longer to complete assignments and tests compared to the average person, and I do not get any special treatment. People treat me like any normal person because like I said before, my ADD was never diagnosed or confirmed, and therefore, it must not exist. The world is very linear but my world is much more complex. Even though I wasn’t diagnosed with hypersensitivity, I know for a fact that I am a chronic sufferer of this condition along with social anxiety, thus, making apartment living unbearable.

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My 8-month-old daughter at the time

Apartment living is a nightmare for me, especially at night when I need to sleep for my 8am classes and 9-hour campus days. What one would call normal noise threshold, I would call loud. I cannot tolerate noise whatsoever. The noise threshold of a concert or DJ playing music at a wedding is too much for me. My ears do not shut out loud noises like normal people and yes, the doctor confirmed that I was born this way. I have autistic tendencies, but I wouldn’t say that these are necessarily bad qualities. For example, we did not have a dance at our wedding and I have no regrets whatsoever. We had a day wedding so we decided that a dance, which usually occurs at night, was not necessary. My 15-month old daughter did not inherit my genes because she can sleep through booming noises with ease. She must have inherited these superpowers from her daddy.

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Sheldon’s struggle is real

My hypersensitivity is really starting to negatively affect my life. I started wearing earplugs all the time in the apartment, on the bus, while walking to campus etc. and I hardly ever remove them from my ears, thus exacerbating the issue of mysophobia – a sensitively/hatred to sound which has been found to be common in people with hypersensitivity. Godzilla, my neighbor upstairs, enjoys being obnoxious especially when I am trying to study or sleep and it has started to take a negative toll on my life. I still fail to get quality sleep despite the industrial earplugs, white noise machine, and fan blasting in my bedroom. As a result, my grades will pay the ultimate price due to lack of focus and concentration. Thanks, insomnia! Surprisingly, my essay writing skills have improved but writing takes significantly less brain power vs. studying. When I write essays, my mind is on autopilot while I blast Tokyo Ghoul instrumental music to drown out the elephant, er, I mean…. gorilla stomps above me. I have tried studying on campus, but at night I cannot sleep because of Godzilla’s annoying tendencies. I don’t want to complain or continue to aggressively bang on the ceiling since these temporary solutions are not long-term answers. I already requested transferring to the top floor but my request could not be accommodated for various reasons. Today I cried my little heart out. I felt defeated and mentally drained. I have even considered behavioral therapy but who has the time for that?

I’m desperate for solutions, so if you are reading my blog post and can relate to my struggle, please leave your suggestions in the comment section below ↓ I am desperate for your help.

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Library Boredom

A LIST OF THINGS TO DO💡

1) Hide in the aisles and surprise people by jumping out at them – and then run away!

2) Take an elevator ride up to the top level and back down again. Repeat.

3) Climb the stairs carrying a virtual flag and pretend to stab the floor when you reach the 6th floor!

4) Order every item on the Williams menu.

5) Try to take out $1 from the ATM machine.

6) Go to the front desk and ask someone to exchange $1 for 100 pennies.

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This list was inspired by my friend Grace* while we were bored at the McLaughlin Library. Name has been changed for confidentiality. 

 

 

Less Is More

Ever notice that you have more abundance when you stop trying so hard? This is a phenomenon I have been experiencing lately. In a nutshell, if you have less expectations, you’ll naturally attract more opportunities into your life. Here are a few examples: 

Example 1 A month ago I flirted with minimalism and started decluttering my house, thanks to Frugalwoods. To this day, I am still living by these new frugal standards and believe I am starting to form a lasting habit. Even though it’s only been a month, I am feeling significantly happier. New items seem to welcome themselves into our home without my warm embrace, so I am constantly looking for old items to purge. It’s not any less cluttered in our small apartment dwelling than it was before, but I now have a grip on the stuff that naturally has a tendency to cling. And this is VERY freeing.

Example 2 I thought that it would be fun to try selling my unwanted items locally. These days, there are various apps that can assist in such a task such as Letgo and VarageSale. In theory, this concept seems pretty straight forward. 1. Post your items 2. Write a bad-ass advertisement 3. Pray that someone messages you 4. Profit $$$. What they don’t tell you is that small town dwellers will have a difficult time selling on these sites. The reality is that you probably won’t get the messages that you’ve been hoping for and you may end up wondering if your stuff actually does suck despite the great ad you poured your heart and soul into.

I have some good news for you. There is hope and it doesn’t have to be this difficult. Do yourself a huge favor and ditch the apps. Sell within marketplace garage sale groups where people actually congregate. Think Facebook garage sales. Post your ad there and walk away. It’s that simple. People will actually flock to you because Facebook is the place where most people spend their free time and likely stumble upon your stuff.

Example 3 A month ago, I also made the commitment to cut my spending habits which meant no more junk food purchases except for the occasional treat. I am very bad at keeping track of my spending habits so I write everything down. This method helped me see where I was spending money and made me conscious of the junk food I was treating myself to on a weekly basis daily basis. In reality, my “occasional treat” was really my every-other-day treat or days-when-I’m-stressed treat or I’m-freezing-I-need-a-fancy-hot-beverage treat. By slashing my spending habits in half, I also managed to lose a few post-partum pounds with minimal effort.

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Christmas came early this year 😀

Example 4 Opposites attract. Literally. After I stopped buying junk food, we still seemed to welcome a lot of treats into our house from external sources. Mall trick or treating, candy given to me parents, the in laws etc. I mean, look at this candy! This is candy I accumulated without spending a cent. I believe that if treats are given to you, then it is perfectly acceptable to eat and enjoy them without guilt. Savor the moment and all of the good that comes from giving (and receiving). Both sides can be sweet.