I feel like once every few years, this blog gets a “we have a new identity!” post. But such is life, and such is ADHD. We’re always changing, always growing, always looking for which blog content will give us that sweet sweet dopamine hit and let us continue publishing on some kind of schedule. But, more importantly, which blog makes us feel the most connected to the current conversations that are happening around us.
…and by us I mean me. I’m the only one writing this. That’s why you only get posts every few months.
Anyway, I wanted to give a quick summary of what old visitors can expect from the revamp, and what new people have to… look forward to?
First, a bit of history. I started this blog back in 2013. I was working as an adjunct, after graduating with my masters in English, and trying/failing to get into an English PhD program. I was stuck in a holding pattern, and deeply unhappy. I was also learning exactly how tough it was to be an adjunct, especially one with a disability. I was working with a pretty great school, honestly. They paid pretty well and if the contingent faculty weren’t sought out, we were treated with respect. But it was still a rough point in my personal and professional life. I started doing some reading about the adjunct pool, and started noticing, among many other things, that there was very, very little conversation around working in academia with a disability. We were *just* starting to explore the idea of working with mental health issues, but other disabilities weren’t even really on the radar. I wanted a platform to help change that, and also to tell the seriously ridiculous stories that teaching gave me daily. And thus, this blog was born. I was kind of sunk into a depressive spiral, so the posting was eratic at best, but it was a lovely outlet.
Fast forward a few years,. I eventually did get into a PhD program, and so became a graduate assistant in the dark. I was still underpaid, under-represented, and overworked, but at least I was in a slightly better place. I hit on a few major issues during teaching that sparked renewed interest in the blog, and those are the last few posts you’ll see on the page. And then my mental health kicked my ass again. I got out of coursework, got serious about my dissertation, and started boiling away in a pot of unhappy, like the oblivious frog I am. Then 2020 hit, and the pot boiled over. I won’t give the whole breakdown of events, because a lot of it was slow and subtle, and happening to everyone around the globe. But, at the end of it, I had a therapist, a resolution to leave academia because I finally let myself realize how miserable I was, and most interesting of all, a diagnosis of ADHD.
Given how many previous posts on this blog have centered around “I’m sorry I fell off the face of the earth!” or “I’m so behind in grading!” or “Oh my god my house and my life are all falling apart and I’m a total disaster!” I feel like this should not be a giant surprise to anyone here, really. Inattentive ADHD for the win.
Anyway. This explained a *lot* of the struggles I’d had my entire life, even things I’d attributed to my anxiety. But it also gave me some interesting opportunities. I was very used to navigating the world as a blind woman; walking through as someone with ADHD, who was actually diagnosed, was a lot different. For one thing, you can see blindness. Doesn’t make it any easier for me, but it isn’t quite as hard to explain to the world around you that you’re blind. They just… believe you, for the good and the bad that that brings. ADHD, for so many, is much harder. While it’s a relief to know why your brain randomly goes off on vacation or why you’ve lost the ability to clean the counter, the world around is rarely as accommodating as it should be, and folks with ADHD are frequently met, at best, with skepticism about their neurodivergence. And so many are dealing with this along with a new diagnosis of an old disorder, since a lot of us aren’t diagnosed until adulthood; I’m in my 30s. I won’t go into all the details of that journey in this background post, I’ll just say that connecting with communities of people like me gave me a new part of the disability conversation I wanted to be a part of, and I still wanted to make use of this platform. And thus, Addapting in the dark was born.
For any visiting blind folks, the “addapting” in “addapting in the dark” is spelled with two Ds, like ADD…because puns are fun.
So, that’s the long and short of the background of the blog, and a little about my future intentions. I still want to bring information to those with these various disabilities, and those who want to learn about them. I’m just broadening my scope. So I hope you’ll have fun, learn something, and join us to create a collaborative community where we can share and grow as we figure our shit out one step at a time.
If you want to get in touch, please reach out to me through the contact form, or you can still find me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll get an Email that matches this new domain when someone gives me a good enough job that I can afford it. LoL..