I self published my first book, Soundtrack of a Misfit: Adventures in ADD & Addiction.
I've had a few poems published in online and in collaborative printed chapbooks. This book was inspired by my struggles with Attention Deficit Disorder and my passion for adventure and escape through music and (later) addiction.
I'm a Washington, D.C. native who came of age in the mid-eighties amidst the local punk scene and the rise of MTV. I wanted to be a rock star but I wasn't brave enough to stand my ground. 'Good 'Jewish girls didn't pierce their noses or wear ripped fishnet stockings with safety pins down the sides.
I always felt like a misfit; the disorganized lone wildflower shoved into a tidy bouquet of orderly roses. But I eventually found my way.
I was told by a psychologist, that the severity of my ADD would preclude my going to college. Yet, I've completed two vastly different graduate school programs (the first while backpacking throughout the country and living in a consensus-based community).
My 'otherness' led me to drink, job hop, and live on both coasts. I've been a barista, a Montessori Elementary school teacher, and a Recycling Specialist.
Today I'm proud to call myself a wildflower. I'm still not the most organized but I'm a fervent mental health therapist who uses my experience with ADD and addiction to help others. Therapist by day -- home karaoke singer by night.
Available now on Amazon in print & Kindle versions. Please leave a review.
Stay Tuned for Live & Virtual Readings
Soundtrack Of A Misfit:
Adventures in ADD & Addiction
Debut memoir by Rachel Leigh Wills
Washington, DC area poet and writer
It was 1976 - the heyday of disco and classic rock, I was too young to know despair but old enough to experience bewilderment and frustration. Listening to music was already my primary means of refuge. There’s a newspaper article my mom saved. Every time I come across it, my stomach sinks to my feet like it does when I fly and the plane hits a patch of turbulence. The photo in the article was of me. I ache for my five year old self - who wore a smock and stood in front of an easel easily twice my size.
I no longer wore a boy’s crewcut - courtesy of my best friend Nonnie, who was overzealous in playing hairdresser. My ash brown hair was long again. I wore it in a disheveled ponytail held fast with rubber bands that had colored plastic baubles on either end of them.
My eyes were pained, my mouth was askew, my right hand held a paintbrush tightly and my left pointer finger pressed hard against my upper lip. I felt frustrated and hopeless. I knew exactly what I was supposed to be painting but I just couldn’t do it. I should have been carefree but I was the furthest thing from it. I was forlorn and had heart-palpitating anxiety.
All the other kids in my kindergarten class were praised for how well they drew and colored within the lines. I tried to copy the kids on either side of me who took their time and colored neatly. I took the same amount of time and applied the same degree of effort. At some point however, I opted for scribbling because it didn’t matter how hard I tried.