Ten Jobs That Aren’t For Me

Every now and then I find myself weepy when I think about how once I’ve finished my upcoming masters, I have to choose a job. The fact that “professional Disney karaokeist” and “cheese sampler” aren’t feasible (or should I say cheesible hahahaha I’m so sorry) make the decision all the more difficult. So, instead of using the next hour to productively do some research into fields of potential interest, I’m rather going to make a list of jobs that definitely aren’t for me.

  1. Lawyer

Unfortunately, this just isn’t an option. I’d start crying way too quickly, and I fear it would cause reason for the judge to believe I was incompetent when in reality, I just cry whenever someone shouts at me.

  1. Receptionist

So. Many. Phonecalls. *shivers*

Let’s just say the majority of my ailments have been a result of a minor issue that wasn’t resolved due to a crippling fear of phoning the doctor.

  1. Pre-school Teacher

I really enjoy children – provided they’re old enough that they use English and not Sound to communicate their needs. In fact, I reckon I’d be a reasonably good pre-school teacher. The reason I’d never go into this field is actually nothing to do with the teaching or the children, but rather the plague of nursery rhymes I’d have stuck in my head at all times. I’ve engaged with zero children today, have only listened to my Sean Kingston CD in the car and the only things on my newsfeed are Game of Thrones memes and “4 ingredient cooking tutorials”. So how the hell I got “Teddy Bear Picnic” in my head is a mystery. All I know is that if I were to actually hear these songs on a daily basis, it would be the end of semi-peace in my brain. Forever.

  1. Porter

I really, really hate carrying things.

  1. Biologist

I don’t actually know what biologists do, I just know that in grade 11 we were dissecting sheep lungs and we had to blow into the air pipe and watch the lungs expand. Nobody specified that you shouldn’t breathe back in afterwards… although, in fairness, I don’t think anyone thought there was a need. Unfortunately, after that day, I shan’t be going anywhere near organs of any variety. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth (literally).

  1. Anything Library Related

Ugh. No talking.

  1. Dietitian

While in the past I’ve provided Diet Tricks and reported on the 13 Day Diet, I think it’s best I leave that to people who don’t believe that salad was invented by a higher power to punish sinners.

  1. Vlogger

As much as this dream was real for a very long time, it died when I didn’t become famous overnight from my debut: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lca7hy1UeD4.

  1. Blogger


  1. Therapist

As much as I love giving people advice that they don’t ask for, I’m mature enough to acknowledge that it’s very poor. Not only is pot-stirring and spice-sprinkling a passion of mine, but I also tend to give advice that I would take and the fact that this blog post is even being written right now is testimony to the fact that that’s maybe not your best possible outcome. I also don’t know the difference between information and a secret.

(P.S. If you’re not South African and don’t understand the use of the word “spice” in this context, follow my blog because the next piece of writing that I shall be decorating the internet with is going to be on SA slang).






Back to the Future

Great Scott! This is heavy. October 21, 2015, was the year Marty McFly arrived in the future in a time-travelling DeLorean from his time, 1985. It’s now a year past that date and I simply cannot express how disappointed I am that I’m not riding a bright pink hoverboard around. With that said, I’m also very relieved Jaws 19 isn’t a reality. Who knows – maybe 2016 has been such a disastrous year because we are missing some very important developments… Like self-lacing shoes!

It’s strange to think that the reason Marty goes to the future is to stop his child from getting involved with a bank robbery. It’s strange because this was learnt through USA Today, a newspaper. I mean really – they predicted flying cars, flying road signs, thumb-automated locking systems, TVs instead of waitrons and video games that don’t require hands (initially I was thinking: “What? How would that be a thing?” and then I glanced over at our Nintendo WII and realised I’m incredibly unobservant sometimes). All this technological optimism, but they’re still using newspapers? Horah, I guess. I knew those nay-sayers who told me it was a bad idea to study Print Journalism for three years were wrong!

They did get quite a few of their predictions right, but none of the really cool ones. Yay for video calls, I guess. But instead of a contraption that allows the people I’m calling to see my double-chin and non-filtered face, couldn’t we have focused our energy on clothes that adjust sizes based on who’s wearing them? THINK OF THE SHARING. Also, ALSO, no more painful shopping experiences or shamefully having to put back a dress because they don’t make them large enough for you (… Shut up. Cotton On makes ridiculously small clothes, alright)! Let’s think about some things that we would be better off having… Like self-lacing shoes! (Because really – Velcro is not nearly trendy enough).

Queen Diana

In the newspaper Marty and the Doc read, there are a few headlines that make various assumptions:

“Swiss Terrorist Threat” – not entirely accurate, but the threat in general was real?

“Shredding for Charity” – while I imagine this must (surely) have meant something different to what I’m thinking, all I can picture right now is a bunch of muscly people in the gym who are “on the shed, boet”.

“President says she’s tired” – loving the feminism here, and hoping that it becomes a reality quite soon?! One thing that will be a guarantee if this does happen is that she’ll be tired – rumour has it her competitor can be a smidge exhausting.

Then there’s the most striking (for me, at least), “Washington prepares for Queen Diana’s visit”. Ah, Princess Di. Sadly, only the queen of their hearts.

Self-cleaning shirts

 Yo, yo, yo! All the sauce-spilling people in the house. This is for us. The benefits are endless – not only would I be comfortable going out in white clothing, but I also could eat disobedient food (like Burritos) without a care in the world!

Dehydrated pizzas

Remember when Grandma Lorraine took a pizza the size of a cookie and popped it into a contraption that looks like the love-child of a hair dryer and a bread bin?

What is this?! A pizza for ants?! It needs to be at least… 3 times the size.

Yeah, much to my dismay, we don’t have cool mini dehydrated pizzas that grow into big pizzas on voice command. But let’s take a moment to imagine how great that would be. Gone would be the days of not being able to fit whole pizzas in your hang bag – a mere inconvenience of the past! “Bring and Braai” could become “Bring and Rehydrate” provided everyone got themselves their own rehydrator.

OMG! Also! You could probably fit a small pile of them in your purse for if you get peckish! Sigh, we’ve failed ourselves on that point.

Possibly the worst thing we didn’t have by 2015 was Michael J. Fox, the actor who played “Johnny B. Goode” on my 12-year-old heart-strings through his role of Marty McFly.


Between his completely inappropriate clothes for the times he was in (the best being the pink tasseled cowboy suit he rocked up in when he went to the Wild West) and his refusal to be called chicken, he made sure I always found Stuart Little’s voice incredibly disconcerting to hear.

Maybe we just need to give movie-makers, inventors and sport teams a bit more time. But we’ve had since 1989, so you’d think we could get our shit together and make sure I could eat some spaghetti without ruining my shirt. We’ve done pretty well so far, though.

And now, I’ll leave you with this:


Princess Problems

A common trend of “modern-living” involves obsessing over trivial problems. Most reality TV shows will show us this. It’s a perfectly normal thing to do, it’s just how things work – when you’re in a rush, you’re unlikely to worry about Cecil the Lion when you have no clean socks. Yet, with Disney Princesses, we seem to have a preoccupation with the big problems, and ignore the little ones.

I get it – it’s important not to “sweat the small stuff”. But I recently saw the following meme and suddenly, I’ve found myself very concerned about how my favourite Disney Princesses got through the mundanities of everyday life.


Almost every princess has some really serious shit to deal with – a carriage made of pumpkin, being locked in a castle, being poisoned by household fruit, accidentally falling in love with a peasant whose primary means of transport is carpet-wear, having possessed candlesticks and teapots. The list goes on.

But I want to know how they dealt with the lesser things, the routine things, the things that I can actually relate to (although I used to practice my fighting skills with a broomstick in the garden in case I was ever called up by the Chinese military).


Ariel was all about appreciating the seemingly everyday things about human life – she sings about her aspirations to be part of the human world, listing some of the activities she’d like to do, like dancing, and walking around (on those… Whad’ya call ’em? Oh – feet). She asks the good questions – why does fire burn?

With gadgets and gizmos aplenty, whozits and whatzits galore and twenty thingamabobs, Ariel has big ideas for what human life must mean and what she’d do without a tail in place of legs. Yup, Ariel, gal, you’re quite right. There is more than using a fork as a comb and, being one of the only Disney Princesses to have her own child, I’m sure she knew that, too. Let’s talk about some of the experiences that I imagine Sebastian was talking about when he said “the seaweed is always greener in somebody else’s lake”.

Does Ariel get nipple chafing from her Shell-Bra? I have some really good nipple cream I could recommend. It doubles up as a wonderful lip balm, too! As per the meme above, there are some other good questions regarding her age. 16 is a tough age for anyone, but at least most of us have the 15 years prior to try and get our feet (excuse the pun) as functioning humans. Do Mer-people feel the need to pee? Or do their bodies just let it free once its finished its urinary path? Where does it come out of? I googled whether fish pee, and it said that they basically just get rid of excess stuff they don’t need through their gills (ew). Everybody pees in the sea anyway, so I guess you wouldn’t even need to actively decide it was time to come out. I want to know what she thought was happening the first time nature called. Did she just pee herself and not understand the duo of discomfort and then relief? It must have been a very embarrassing introduction into the human world.


18 years of hair growth is an unbelievably long time. Think of the maintenance. Think of the knots. Think of the split ends. I spent 3 nights at Oppi Koppi and I came home with literally matted hair.

Now, I understand that she didn’t have much choice and that hair-tugging can be sexy in the right context, but there’s no way someone CLIMBING up your hair wouldn’t hurt like hell. Sometimes my hair gets caught on stuff while I walk past it, and then I cry a bit.

Sleeping Beauty

Ah, Princess Aurora. Let’s just say I’m quite glad the fate of my awake-hood isn’t dependent on being kissed whilst I sleep. I’m far from a graceful sleeper, and I snore, and sometimes I drool, too.

Let’s take a moment to remember exactly why Aurora is cursed to die after pricking her finger at 16. The evil fairy Maleficent curses a NEW BORN as revenge for not being invited to her Christening. BRUH. This seems like a very extreme response to being NFI’d (Not Fucking Invited). Being NFI’d is really common. An everyday occurance. Maybe it’s for catering reasons, maybe it’s because you’re an evil curse-giving bitch. Who knows. You can’t behave like that though, especially for a Christening, and especially if you ever want to get invited to another one again. Christenings aren’t even that fun – are you allowed to drink at them? Is there music? Also why are you cursing Aurora? Curse her parents, they did the inviting! I’ve been NFI’d before and I get it, it’s really hurtful. But I’m not sure I’d doom the child to 16 years of waiting to die.

I do wish I could keep going. I want to know if Pocahontas and Jasmine have crop-top tans. I want to know how 7 dwarves happened to end up living together. I want to know how on earth Cinderella was able to walk in shoes made of glass, and whether she got blisters. I can’t walk in normal heals and end up with glass in my feet every time I go out, so I can’t imagine they’re the safest choice in footwear.

I guess the same person who has magical ice powers has enough clothing to stop her developing hypothermia and that we can assume the same person who’s able to defeat the Huns (plus the patriarchy) would have developed a system of sanitation for during the war.

Harry Potter Midnight Party (no spoilers)

Picture me. Young, naïve, innocent. It’s about 2 months ago. I’m trawling the Exclusive Books website (as I do for fun, sometimes) and see that the new Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, is available for pre-ordering. I squeal in anticipation. I order it.

Now, picture me again when I find out that I’m not allowed to collect my book at the launch, and that the book is only going to be delivered THREE DAYS after said launch, meaning that a whole bunch of people, who didn’t even pre-order the book, are going to read it before me.

“That’s OK”, I snivel. “I’ve got an invitation to the Midnight Party. I’ll go for the vibe at the party, dress up, miss the queuing and just read the book a little later than everyone else”. So yeah – don’t be worried about any spoilers from this post, because I don’t actually know any (despite some solid efforts from my Facebook friends).

Instead, I’m going to chat about the event. I have a few thoughts, but before I share them, LOOK AT MY GOLDEN SNITCH OUTFIT. And before you ask: no, I haven’t got all of the gold off yet. But my bedsheets tried real hard to collect some of it.

  1. They shouldn’t have called it a party

I actually feel quite sorry for Exclusive Books – as much as they’re a top business that has been doing this stuff for years and should’ve known better, they essentially delivered what they’re here to deliver: books.

So, either it was an oversight, or some noob in marketing needs to be fired, or everyone was just too excited for the new book to forward plan very far. But, essentially: whoever’s idea it was to describe the event as a “party” done fucked up.

My sympathy for EB is mainly because it was a great launch. The coolest I’ve been to, and I can say this having actually been to a lot of book launches.

If they’d advertised the event as a “midnight launch”, I can’t imagine too many people would’ve been disappointed. And, if they were, it would’ve been their own fault.

But it was kind of like being invited to a cupcake party, only to be presented with a bran muffin on arrival. I mean, bran muffins are delicious. They’re just not cupcakes. So regardless of how good those muffins are, you’re going to make some cupcake enthusiasts angry.

They didn’t call it a launch, though. The Facebook page clearly stated that it was “a midnight party in anticipation of the launch of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”. This suggests two things, yeah? It suggests a party, which is being thrown in anticipation of the launch?

  1. Why this is actually a problem

People have freaked out – more than when people were throwing water on themselves for ALS. It seems quite petty to get annoyed about there not having been a party, because the main objective is to buy the book, yes? Well, actually, no. That’s not quite how it is. A lot of people had, like myself, pre-ordered the book and some people, being Harry Potter enthusiasts, just wanted to dress up and have a party.

Again, if they’d just set up a couple of disclaimers, this could have been avoided. Nobody knew what was going on once they arrived – all they knew was that the RSVP process was hella tiring, so they expected to be presented with something worth that process.

I wandered around, with my entire body painted gold, for at least an hour before the hard reality sunk in: there wasn’t anything to do, other than wait in line for the book. Which was awkward, considering I didn’t need to buy the book, along with a lot of people.

  1. Harry Potter fans are the best

Apart from the meanie-bo-beanie who accused me of trying to cut the line (bitch), Harry Potter fans are my favourite types of people. There’s just a connection, you know? You know they’ve cried around similar times you have, or laughed, or stayed up until an inappropriate hour in the morning on a school night because “one more chapter” turned into 7.

I’ve arrived at parties in costume before and felt like the Tornado amongst Tinkerbells – mm, that happened, the “T” themed party that left most of the invited guests in fairy costumes left me wrapped in bubble wrap with dolls sticky-taped to it. This can sometimes make me cautious when dressing up for something. But I’m never worried when it comes to Harry Potter cosplay. Harry Potter fans always have your back.

  1. Facebook lynch mobs are terrifying

My final thought regarding the event: what on earth is up with people and complaining about stuff on Facebook? I realise it’s a useful way of getting things sorted, but people just take it way too far. The sass is mindblowing. Look at some of the stuff people have been posting on the event page:

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 12.49.44 AM
Damn, gal. Look at you. Using a poll AND HPB (Harry Potter Banter, obviously).
Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 12.50.06 AM
Is “my foot” a thing?
Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 12.50.55 AM
Oh oh oh we got ourselves some more HPB, everyone!


Ja’feel, Linda. You waited for 4 hours. Like, sorry man, Fred. I’m sure Exclusive Books didn’t mean to destroy your childhood (?! People are that dramatic). But like… What are you trying to achieve here? Complaining on public platforms for the sake of complaining, even when you know nothing can be done, casts the most intense Confundus Charm on me.

Ok. Yeah. They messed up. They missed a massive opportunity. As discussed in point 3, this is exactly the market that would’ve been tapped by a bar that served potions instead of drinks. And instead, there was a glorified line. But how is starting a “we demand an apology” page going to help you? I can understand complaining to Maynards because you got a mouldy wine gum in your packet and you want some new ones (been there, done that). In that situation, there’s something they can do to quell your distress (and let me just tell you – mouldy wine gums are unbelievably stressful). So what are we wanting now? Do you want them to relaunch the book?

Someone is going to go onto the page and say, “sorry”. Then we’re done? Is that enough? Is that the justice you’re looking for? Come now. Go read the book and stop wasting your time clogging up my notifications with lamentations about your son, Billy, being exhausted.

Again, I want to stipulate: it was a really, really fun launch. I love Harry Potter and I love dressing up and I love seeing other people dressed up. A huge S/O to all of the people who grabbed my arm shouting “I CAUGHT YOU” as I walked past. Even bigger S/O for thinking you were the only ones who had done it. It was just a pity they oversold it like they did and that they weren’t more clear about what we should’ve expected. Anyway, book review to come – just got to get the cursed thing first (hehe, see what I did there?)

Gotta catch ’em all

Loads of people will tell you that they’ve been die-hard Pokémon fans since they were just kids with a Gameboy, and that the release of the Pokémon GO app has been the best thing that’s happened to them this year bar Melania Trump’s recital.

Loads of people will tell you they’ve never heard of Pokémon and that this is the most annoying thing that’s happened to them this year bar Brexit.

Fewer people, like myself, will admit that they’d hardly heard of Pokémon bar collecting those plastic things off of chip packets back in the day, but think that it’s the best thing that’s happened to them this year.

I knew Pokémon were a thing a few weeks ago, but that was basically the reach of my knowledge. They were a thing, yes, that I used to collect and trade based on my lunch-box-treats. I was definitely more excited about the chips, though. I couldn’t tell you where they came from though or why people were collecting them. Were they from a TV show? A movie? A game? All of the above? Which came first? Is it a bit chicken-and-egg-esque? Who knew? Not me.

Then, one morning, a bunch of my friends were going to look for Pokémon at Zoo Lake and I thought “ag, why not”. It’s now two weeks in. I go on regular Pokémon excursions, I sit next to random people who have Pokémon lures, a large portion of my daily schedule is structured around making sure my phone has enough battery to check into gyms and check points when need be, and I was stopped the other day by a friend and asked to “stop sharing so much Pokémon stuff on Facebook” as it was “clogging up their newsfeed” (Gah! The nerve!)

I’m not going to even try give “tricks and hacks”, I’m not remotely qualified enough. Not to mention, if I actually knew some tricks and/or hacks I may not have wasted 5 Pokéballs trying to catch a Caterpie with CP10 yesterday (you’ll either know straight away that this is a disgrace, or you’re just going to have to accept that you don’t understand).

Instead, I’m going to give you some key tips on WHAT NOT TO DO around Pokéfans if you’re only recently converted, so that you don’t make your noob status public too quickly.

  1. Get your terminology right

“Pokémon”, as I’m very regularly reminded, is already a plural. Do not call them “Pokémons”. One fish, two fish. One Pokémon, two Pokémon. “How many Pokémons do you have?” is a question worth avoiding unless you’re going to ask it properly.

You “evolve” Pokémon, you do not “upgrade” them. For instance, the following sentence was received by a gasp of despair when I allowed it to escape from my mouth: “How many Pokémons have you upgraded?” While the process of evolving them is essentially an upgrade, “IT IS JUST NOT WHAT IT IS CALLED, MEG”.

  1. If you don’t know the name of a Pokémon, don’t wing it

See, Pokémon are based on real animals/things (or something to that effect, I believe). However, their names are rarely as simple as what they look like. Try avoid the impulse to shout out “I caught a (insert names to come)” until you know what they’re actually called:

This is what I called a “piggy” for a while. It’s a Clefairy.
This is a Ghastly, not “the inky black ball”.
Weedle, commonly mistaken (by me, mostly), as “the worm thing”.
  1. Try avoid excitement about catching Pokémon

I get it – it’s bloody exciting to catch something. Full stop. However, as I learnt when I ran with unrivalled enthusiasm across Rosebank Mall to tell my friends I hatched a Pikachu out of my 10km egg, it turns out that’s actually not a very impressive thing to hatch considering you walked 10km to get it.

So, what I’d suggest is that you just casually say the name of what you’ve caught and wait for a response. This ensures you look cool, regardless of its status. If everyone shrugs or says “shem”, you just nod and be childishly happy on the inside. If everyone is like OMG NO WAYS, then you give a coy smile and pretend your casual approach was because you catch cool stuff all the time… and then you be childishly happy on the inside.

I suspect hearing about Pokémon GO when you’ve never played it is somewhat like when you try describe Game of Thrones to someone who’s never watched it. I mean, I get that it must sound absurd. Imagine a situation in which you’re a Jabronie who has never seen GOT, and you catch the end of a conversation that involves the words: “wolves, bastards, magic, forest children, zigzags, dragons and holding doors”. You’re bound to feel something along the lines of “pick a genre”, if not “that’s not really my thing”. With this said, anyone who’s watched it knows that it’s much more than that, and it’s almost everyone’s thing.

So, if you’re holding back from playing Pokémon GO because you heard someone jump with glee about hatching their eggs in conjunction with shouting profanities as they were faced with another Zubat, and think they might be clinically insane and/or an 11-year-old trapped in a 21-year-old’s body – think again.

Tiger Tiger

Tiger Tiger is a nightclub franchise. The one I regarded as my local watering hole when I was in my first and second year at UCT is the one in Claremont, Cape Town. It was closed, for a number of reasons, apparently, and is in the process of trying to relaunch.

Tiger Tiger has a bit of a reputation, and much to the owner’s despair: it’s not for the great drinks and rocking music (… cane and Cream Soda specials paired with Ke$ha…) Its reputation is of both condoning and creating an atmosphere for racist, sexist and homophobic behaviour. Between bouncers kicking out gay couples while allowing same sex couples to practically have sex on the dance floor, and privileged white students throwing up all over the show and not even being reprimanded, the proposed “relaunch” of the club is receiving a lot of hate (rightfully so, and available on the Tiger Tiger Facebook page).

Disclaimer: I’m not saying I never went to Tiger Tiger and that I didn’t drink the R10 drinks or that I never had fun there. I’m saying that that’s because I’m white and adhered to the dress code and didn’t put up a fight when bouncers beat up boys (not the white ones, that is) for cutting the lines but let me skip the whole thing if I was wearing a short enough skirt and a pair of heels. Progress isn’t necessarily about always knowing what was right or wrong when you did it. It’s about being able to change your mind. 

Here’s a poem I wrote, outlining some of the many reasons why their attempt to relaunch the club needs to fall flat.

– Tiger Tiger – an adaptation of William Blake’s “Tyger Tyger”

Tiger tiger, burning white
“We can’t remember what we did last night”
What immortal brand or guy
Could frame thy fearful “new me” lie?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
So that you were so blind to see
Why boys get charged and girls are free?

Who raised a child that chose to pee
On a cab driver over the balcony?
A child that finds it quite the laugh
To beat up the cleaning staff?

And what privilege, how much cent
Could harbour such entitlement?
And when thy fists began to beat
Is it worth being a piece of meat?

What the hammered? What the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What is it I seek to fight?
Entrance goes to: straight and white

When the bouncers threw down their spears
The carpets stained with puke and tears
Did he smile his work to see?
Girls “dressed to impress”, impressing he?

Tiger, tiger, what a sight
You won’t come back without a fight
There’s no immortal brand or guy
That could ever frame your “new me” lie


Ritalin is not cheating

I want to talk about the years of my childhood being told I just wasn’t trying hard enough. That I would be fine if I didn’t talk so much. That I just didn’t have a work ethic. That if I just focused a bit more, I would be able to get good marks like the other kids in the class.

I want to talk about the years of highschool, where being semi-adults more capable of engaging with reason didn’t even help the stigma. Where the accusations actually got a bit more serious, because the stakes were higher. Of refusing to take it because I was scared of being called a cheater. Of telling my doctor I didn’t care, I wouldn’t take it. Of being told I procrastinate because I am lazy.

I want to talk about university, where the stakes got raised again. Where people would sulk under their breaths about how “we’d all be doing well if we were doing that”. I want to talk about people buying it without a prescription and making it seem less like a legitimate disorder and more like a luxury.

I want to talk about Ritalin.

I could write a thesis about how it affects people in terms of anxiety, or social interaction, or many of the other reasons why it is prescribed, but today I’m going to focus on its academic value, and the idea that it counts as “cheating” to take it.

Far too often, people take examples of children who were able to fight their way through the educational system, reduce the use of Ritalin, or other drugs of the sort, to redundant status and call it a way to suppress a child’s individuality.

“See! She didn’t take Ritalin and she made it through. Ritalin is just an easy way out!”

Denying a child medical attention because of speculation doesn’t necessarily “teach them to cope”, but sometimes it only furthers their inability to do so thereafter.

While I may have made it through the system without it, up until university, where I stopped feeling ashamed and allowed doctors to prescribe it to me, those formative years of being called the class clown and talking more than listening are part of the reason I still can’t do my times tables and why there rarely goes a paragraph I write without a spelling error popping up. Yes, I was able to get through it and wouldn’t say I’m particularly stunted by it, but most people don’t make it through and most people are stunted by it. I suppose it could be likened to how some people are able to sleep perfectly without sleeping pills – and that’s fantastic for them – but it doesn’t help the people who can’t sleep. Just because people have gone without taking medication for attention deficit and the likes, doesn’t mean that ignoring a clear problem is the best way of dealing with it.

I want to ask why people call it “cheating” to take Ritalin. Is it cheating to wear glasses? Are people who have genetically blurry vision told that if they just tried a little harder, they’d be able to see better?

What most people who don’t take Ritalin don’t understand about Ritalin is usually everything. But more specifically, they don’t understand that Ritalin doesn’t have some magic level of “smart” that it takes you to. Let’s make it really simple, and say that the average brain is able to to let you concentrate on level 4. Then, there are people who can only concentrate on level 2. Please note that these examples are for sake of explanation and not to be quoted as actual statistics. Ritalin will take both of those people to level 5. Does that make sense? It doesn’t have a set amount of “help” in each tablet – those who need it benefit more from it. For instance, someone who does not suffer from depression will not become excessively happy after taking an anti-depressant, while someone suffering from depression will be regulated.

Maybe it’s just too early to understand. There was a time – with a few ignorant souls still preaching it – when people were told they just needed to cheer up and smile more, as if that even skims the surface of the complexity of depression. Maybe, and hopefully, there will come a time where people will refer back to the time when people accused those suffering from attention deficit disorders of just being lazy or stupid, and they’ll think “thank goodness we came to our senses”.

I realise I’m being very unscientific about the matter and I’m doing so for two reasons. One, because I haven’t studied the topic to the extent that I could even begin to offer a medically sound discussion. Two, because we should be able to understand the topic without needing to make it a matter of statistics. It’s a social issue as much as it is a scientific one. We need to be able to discuss and understand these issues without bombarding people with figures.

Listen, I’m also not claiming that Ritalin is the only possible way to treat or deal with attention deficit. I’m sure that there are, and will be many other ways to do so as we learn more about the disorders. The only way that’s ever going to happen, though, is when people start acknowledging it for the disorder that it is, and not reducing it to an excuse for kids who don’t want to do their homework. Usually, and ironically, people aren’t concerned about these negative effects as much as they’re concerned about the positive ones. Either way, we need to acknowledge that it’s currently one of the only options for people suffering from attention deficit and to simply leave them to fend for themselves is unnecessary and archaic.

So, unless you’ve done specific research before bashing it, I don’t want to hear your misinformed opinions of how unfair it is that I am now able to absorb information that you might be lucky enough to do naturally. And please – please – don’t trivialise the disorder to the point where you are taking it without a prescription. That’s one of the many places the problem starts.

Meg Thomas' Blog