Like a lot of women with ADHD, I felt my whole life that I didn’t fit in. It turns out, there are some great fellow female bloggers out there who can totally relate to that feeling.
(Which pretty much makes it a moot point, except that there’s still the rest of the world to contend with.)
As it happens, I’m not the first to discover a special comaraderie with other female bloggers.
Meet the bloggess
After reading the Bloggess’ Tweets, I was hooked.
What can I say? She had me at the curlers.
Funny woman Jenny Lawson (aka, “the Bloggess”), #1 New York Times bestselling author of Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) first came to my attention through her eccentric book cover.
After getting to know Lawson’s wacky sense of humor through her Tweets and blog, I finally read her book. I was awed by her raw, gritty prose, and no less so by her unbridled usage of the “F” word.
(Being the polite Canadian that I am, I struggled with the one instance of its usage in my own upcoming memoir; I put it in, took it out, then put it back again, leaving the decision up to my editors’ final arbitration, literary wuss that I am.)
What hit closest to home (my secret love of the “F” word notwithstanding), was a chapter called Making Friends with Girls, which begins:
“For the majority of my life I lived with a small, terrible secret: I’ve never really liked girls.”
Lawson, in her hilarious, self-deprecating way, explains that as an adult she had mostly male friends (again something I shared for a long time), finding other women judgmental and problematic.
Not like the other girls
I had a couple amazing girlfriends when I was a kid. Maybe it’s something in the Montreal water, but after we moved to a different province, I couldn’t seem to find any wacky girls like me. The older I got, the less I fit in with other women.
I was lucky as a child; a distinguishing feature of many schoolgirls with ADHD is that they’re rejected by other girls; they’re mercilessly teased from an early age, leaving them with the only viable options as renegade, loner, or tomboy.
“I was too much of an anxious misfit to properly bond with girls when I was young, and I never really got the hang of it.”
Lawson doesn’t mention ADHD, nor does she make her mental health struggles the focal point of her memoir. Like any great memoir writer, she lets her story speak for itself. Still, we learn that (like so many women with ADHD) she struggles with anxiety and depression.
Can you relate?
Whether or not she’s been diagnosed with ADHD, the well-trained eye finds umpteen tell-tale signs, in addition to her early conundrum with girl-bonding.
The bloggess suffers from social awkwardness, inappropriate impulsive blurting, becoming easily overwhelmed, a propensity for getting lost while driving in her own town, and finding life exhausting, or, as Lawson puts it:
“Pretending to be normal is draining and requires amazing amounts of energy and Xanax.”
So how does Lawson finally work up the courage to take the plunge into female friendship? Fellow bloggers of course (or, as she puts it, “misanthropic misfits” like herself).
I could relate to her late-in-life goal to find female best buds. One of my goals soon after my ADHD diagnosis was to improve my friendships with women. Eventually, Lawson decides (under duress) to join a gathering of fellow bloggers.
Once she’s agreed, she immediately starts worrying that she won’t fit in with her new-found group of friends. She feels ill-prepared for a four-day getaway involving wine tastings and facials. I get that.
In another uncanny parallel, her sister (trying to reassure her about her wardrobe) advises her to pretend to be bohemian. It must be a sister-without-our-mental-health-problems thing: my own sis once told me she thought I was trying to be bohemian when she couldn’t understand my “lifestyle.”
So what do you say?
You’ll have to pick up the book to decide for yourself whether or not we should adopt Lawson into our tribe; but my vote is, definitely. At least as an honorary member. If nothing else, she shares a warped sense of humor with those of us with the warped-sense-of-humor subtype.
Her memoir’s not for the faint of heart, but if you can handle the word vagina, a record-breaking number of F-bombs, and graphic taxidermical description (and no, that has nothing to do with taxes; if it had anything remotely to do with taxes I would never recommend the book) (obviously), you should grab a copy immediately. You might just see yourself on its pages.
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Last reviewed: 25 Mar 2013