Reflections on sticking around, three years later.

It’s been three years.

Back then, I was an overworked and overcommitted college student, balancing a full-time course load with a full-time job as a freelance writer. An agency I wrote for was telling their clients I was a “senior writer,” and said I had to present myself as such. The margin for error was virtually nonexistent. Finances were tight. I was living in a disgusting basement in a town that smells like cow shit. I’d always struggled with depression, but never before had I felt so smothered.

I just wanted to breathe for a second.

Just one second to stop everything: work, school…

Every neurodivergent voice needs to be heard.

It’s official: I’m neurodivergent.

I finally got the medical seal of approval when my therapist agreed to walk through the diagnostic screening for ADHD. I was not surprised when I got a perfect score for “inattentive type.”

My diagnosis may be new, but I’ve known I wasn’t neurotypical for a long time. Before we even had the word “neurotypical.” Back when the word was “normal” and I knew I was anything but.

Entering neurodivergent spaces felt like home. I grew up in an alcoholic household, so “home” was a double-edged sword of comfort and discomfort. Welcoming and unwelcoming. …

Even if it feels too small to be trauma, it could be.

“Have you ever experienced any trauma?”

I was meeting with a new psychiatrist for the first time when she dropped that question on me.

I thought for a second. Well, I’ve never been raped or sexually assaulted. For some reason, that was the first thing that came to mind.

I’ve also never been in war. I’ve never lived through a natural disaster. I’ve never witnessed any horrific crimes or accidents or anything.

“Nope,” I replied confidently. “No trauma.”

Then she started asking about my upbringing. I told her about growing up with an alcoholic father, that it was tough but hey, whatcha gonna do. She pried…

We lied to a nonprofit, and boy, do we feel guilty.

We adopted a 7-year-old Phillipino boy named Steven.

It was our eighth date (but who’s counting?) and we decided to wander around 16th Street Mall in Denver, which is just a few city blocks of shops and restaurants.

On a few street corners, I spotted guys in vests who were almost certainly trying to sell us something.

“Let’s cross the street so we don’t have to talk to them,” I told my date.

Well, he didn’t. And we walked right past one of the men in vests.

And so it began.

“Do y’all have a minute to talk about helping children?”

I smiled politely. My date also smiled politely. …

Short answer: No.

“My childhood wounds haven’t impacted me at all because I don’t let them.”

But they did. This woman was talking about how she was always left out as a kid. Everyone would get invited except for her. No one wanted to play with her on the playground or be her partner in class.

“If you get left out, suck it up,”

She didn’t believe her childhood wounds stuck with her but I watched how she spoke about kids who were now outcasts. “Kids these days are so soft,” she said. “Not my problem if your little feelings are hurt. Get over it. Life is hard.” She didn’t teach…

I don’t feel like I deserve to take a break. But is it okay if I do anyway?

I don’t know if the condition has a name, but I’ve been calling it “fake sleep.”

The first four hours of my sleep are great. That deep, yummy sleep where you wake up and go “Ah, I slept. Nice.”

The second four hours are nonsense. I swear I wasn’t conscious but somehow I wake up more tired than when I went to bed, and always with a headache. It’s a vicious cycle — I sleep poorly so I have to take a nap the next day, which causes me to sleep poorly.

I had big plans for this weekend.

My apartment is in shambles so I was…

AKA, every clickbait post ever.

I went to a car dealership when I was 12 years old to buy like seven Lamborghinis.

The dealer treated me like I was 12 — which I was.

“You can’t afford these cars,” he told me. He insisted upon taking me through the whole financing process even though I had enough money in the bank to buy 10 Lamborghinis (but I was being conservative by only getting 7 — rule one of being wealthy is to never spend more than you have to). He even asked me to call my mom because he didn’t believe that someone who is 12 could afford their own Lamborghini.

“This is outrageous!” I exclaimed, kicking over his trash can and…

Don’t play it safe. You’re worth more than that.

I wanted to date men I wasn’t attracted to.

When asked I insisted it was because I “gave everyone a chance” and because “looks don’t matter” and because I “might find a gem.”

The truth is, I didn’t deserve the guys I liked.

I knew it. I knew it by the semi-faded acne scars on my face and the way my tummy sticks out over my jeans and the jokes I make, how when I say something other people sort of cock their heads and wonder where the hell did I get that from?

I’d spend hours on dating apps swiping yes on guys I felt I deserved and…

I can’t promise they’ll accept it, but this is a start.

Apologies are tough.

Managing uncomfortable emotions, reckoning with your ego, and resisting the urge to say literally anything you can to make the bad feelings go away make giving a good apology a challenge.

But apologizing well is critical to being well-liked and well-respected. We all make mistakes. It’s how we own up to them and what we do about them that counts.

What’s In A Good Apology?

“Never ruin an apology with an excuse.”―Benjamin Franklin

A good apology has a few main parts:

  1. Accepting responsibility
  2. Acknowledging impact
  3. Promising change

Here’s what each of those parts can look like.

1. Accepting Responsibility

Start with the facts of the situation. What happened…

Sorry, I’m not eating that.

Hi, I’m Jordan. I’m 21 years old and I’m a picky eater.

Cue tomato-throwing.

I’ve always felt I should be ashamed of it. People say I should be starved for a few weeks until I learn to appreciate food. They say my mom should’ve force-fed me anything I hated until I learned to like it. They say I’m spoiled. Entitled. That clearly I haven’t suffered enough because if I had, there’s no way I would be picky.

You can imagine, then, that I don’t like talking about it.

But I know I’m not alone. I wonder how many other people…

Jordan Yates

Mental Health Advocate | Writer | Aspiring Cat Lady |

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