June 7, 2023

When she was young, Isa could always be found playing alone, never fluttering about and laughing with the other fairies. It wasn’t that she was anti-social or even unlikeable. It’s just that she was different, and the other blossoms (young fairies) in magic school weren’t exactly fond of “different”.

With the inability to control her powers properly, which worsened under stress, she just preferred the quiet, and the worlds she could create within it.

On this grey February morning, with the rumble of the train and the flickering of artificial lights, she wasn’t that different from the little blossom all those years ago. Not used to being in the city and on a train with so many strangers, she was struggling to slow the onslaught of thoughts and feelings coming at her.

She crossed and crossed her feet, trying to hold in the urge to move. It’s not that she wanted to go anywhere specific, she just wanted, needed even, to be moving.

What she wanted, just as much, to be back in Linden Meadows. She missed her cats, the teashop, and even the chaos that came with living at Honeysuckle House.

But, she wasn’t, she was here, and she was feeling out of place, awkward, and overwhelmed.

It was going to be risky with so many people but it was this or having her wings suddenly poke out from under her jacket. Or maybe her whiskers would grow back like that other time. (Yeah, whiskers. I’ll get to this in a bit)

So, breathing in, she looked around at the others and stopped when she saw the perfect woman at the opposite end of the car. She was petite, probably in her 20’s, had determined dead eyes and plump, pouty lips the color of a deep Bordeaux.

With images and feelings starting to swirl around, she felt herself sink into her seat. Her muscles relaxed, and her breath became slower and deeper as a collage of feelings collided with her imagination.

Letting her imagination take over she imagined that the woman was part of an underground society of criminals—a brilliant hacker haunted by a memory so painful, so awful that she hid her memories away in a vault tucked into the farthest corners of her heart.

Every so often though, always during a big storm, she would dream about a woman: her blonde curly hair sticking to her wet, mascara-stained face, and her sapphire eyes filled with terror as thunder and gunfire exploded around her.

The woman never made it to the end of the dream, though she would give anything to know what happened to the woman — her mother.

Instead, she would wake up with a jolt, sweating and hyperventilating with her eyes wide with horror. Then, for a little while, she was lost in a world between the dream world and the real world, unsure where the screaming and thunder were coming from.

On these rare occasions she’d let herself cry, silently begging to be saved, just like she did as a child when she was taken to this dark, lifeless palace. But, it never happened then, and she knew better than to keep wishing for the impossible. It was too painful.

So blinking away her tears and rolling her body into a ball she’d hold herself tightly, and once again, lock all of those feelings far, far away. It was easier this way.

Hearing the name of her stop, Isa snapped back to reality, jumping up and out the door, then froze, quickly patting herself down to make sure she didn’t leave anything behind. It wouldn’t be the first time. 

When she was sure she hadn’t, she kept walking, feeling shaken by what she had felt.  Usually, the feelings drifted away, taken over by others, but this time they were sticking with her. They also felt way too real! 

Normally, without permission, most of what she felt or “saw” during these exercises was 99.9% imagination.  But this felt too real and she couldn’t shake the feeling that someone (anyone but her) needed to look into this.

Lacking another fairy to help her snap home, though, she would have to wait until tomorrow to summon her mom. After all, it’s not as if she could simply call a fairy on the phone when they were in Petaloria (the fairy realm). So, for now, she would have to stay focused on why she was here.

Discovering ADHD Through Isa’s Eyes

I wrote this story as a way to reflect and celebrate our authentic selves, with a hint of magic. Isa represents those of us always caught in a storm of thoughts, constantly aching to move. She has a special gift too: she can deeply sense what others feel. To find peace in the chaos, Isa often escapes into her daydreams.

While this tale falls under “ADHD Fantasy Fiction,” future stories could take various directions. My hope is that this narrative resonates with you, offering a comforting glimpse into our shared experiences.

What Now?

I used to escape into my imagination, but after being told I “zoned out” too much, I pulled back. Lately, I’ve thought about how many of us set aside things that used to help us cope. With this story, I hope to inspire you to think about the habits or hobbies you’ve left behind that might still be good for you.

  1. Take a moment today to think about a past hobby or habit that once brought you peace or joy. Whether it was drawing, writing, daydreaming, or even just taking a long walk – consider reintroducing it into your routine, even if just for a few minutes. It might surprise you how much it helps.

About the author 

Susanna Miles

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