I have this little problem that becomes a really big problem in certain situations. The formal name for it is adult ADD but I don’t like using it. Whenever I talk about having ADD everyone gets quiet. Family members especially. No I haven’t been formerly diagnosed with ADD. My counselor and I came to that realization and I have almost all of the symptoms plus it’s hereditary and my dad has it. I always thought I had it but I was never as bad as someone we know that has it so I guess that’s why I went so many years without being diagnosed. Once we talked through it and came to the conclusion that I have it I felt SO much better about myself. Sometimes I don’t think it’s a disorder but I personality type. It does not allow you to learn the conventional way and it does not allow you to live the conventional way. I don’t think in the conventional way either.
Lately it’s been soooo much worse than normal. I can’t answer simple questions like “where’s the milk?”. I know the answer but I can never find the word for it. It takes me all day to drink my cup of coffee because I forget about it. Any task right now seems like it’s a mountain to climb. On Sunday even getting up to pee was a battle of the mind. “Get up Leah, go pee…it hurts”. I’m getting so down about it lately, I just want it to go away.
It’s so hard for people to understand it. A person with a typical brain would just think that if your house is messy you clean it, if you have to pee then go pee, if you have a paper due then write it. But it doesn’t work that way in my brain. Everything is 100 times harder for me too accomplish if it’s a task I don’t feel like doing. I feel that way about people with mental issues that I don’t have but who still seem like normal people. There’s some people with fetal alcohol effects that have been adopted into my family and I just think the same way about them sometimes. Why can’t you just be this way?? I can! But it’s the same, you just can’t. Your mental connections are just different.
I always feel judged about how I live, how my house is kept, how I deal with situations. Everyone else can handle two children and keep their house tidy…why can’t Leah? People try and offer up suggestions like telling me to make a list. I do make lists and then I go on to something else like blogging and I’ll find the list a month later and be like “oh ya, I need to clean my bathroom….ooo look a fly on the wall”.
Anyway, I truly wish I was like everyone else. I hate being like this, everything a battle, every stupid task a battle in my mind. I hate the stupid awkward silences I get when I bring it up, like people don’t believe me and I shouldn’t ever use it as an excuse…I just don’t bring it up anymore. People don’t understand the disorder…once I told someone I have it and they said “you don’t have ADD, you’re not stupid”. *sigh*. It really seems like no one believes me when I bring it up…thus the silence.
I do feel really under-supported in this area of my life. I seem to be the only one of my siblings graced with this issue…one sister shows some symptoms but she’s high functioning in the areas I’m not. This problem has haunted me my entire life, always feel like I was lazy and I wasn’t as good as everyone else. Spending lunch time and recess alone because people didn’t like the hyper girl. Always getting report cards back saying “Leah needs to apply herself more”. Always feeling bad that my house isn’t clean and I haven’t managed to get myself dressed by the time my husband gets home. As much as this has made me unique, I hate it. I feel like I am losing to it even though a while ago I was feeling like I was rising above it. There’s so much chaos in my life right now so when that happens I can’t function properly. I feel so badly when I’m a guest at other people’s houses. When there’s so much company and chaos I go into cocoon mode. I actually almost physically cannot make myself move to help out or anything. Sometimes I can but usually I feel glued to the couch or chair, it’s embarrassing. I’m also tired of the perma-bruise on both shoulders, I can’t properly analyze space so when I go through a doorway or around a corner I hit my shoulder on the door jam or corner…you’d think I’d learn by now but I don’t and dangit it smarts.
I’m just needing a good vent…perhaps I’ll have a good cry about it too. I just can’t help but feel bad about myself for it lately. I feel bad for my kids who sometimes I actually forget about mid-way through a diaper change…so they’re just laying there un-diapered with their mommy in the kitchen because she’s suddenly decided to fill the dishwasher. Don’t worry, they’re never there long….I can’t actually fill the entire dishwasher before getting distracted by something else and then I see them. There’s never been any accidents.
I wish I knew what it felt like to be driven, to feel real motivation not just a flutter of it here and there. I feel like I could accomplish so much in my life if only I was motivated. I really don’t know what that’s like. I know what it’s like to by hyper focussed on something only to lose interest in it after a while. I’ve never actually felt true motivation for any long period of time unless all of me completely wants it. Usually there’s a factor in it that I don’t want to do so the motivation goes away. Bye motivation. Good thing I love everything about blogging or else you’d all be left in the dark.
no weird looks from me, deary. I had the motivation and the direction and all that crap…then I crashed and burned out. Now I’m trying to figure out how to live life on my terms not to be a poster child for other people’s vicarious living needs.
Damn it ain’t easy. Too much information to process and no real answers. Oh well, just know you’re not struggling alone…and I think the change in weather (Bye Bye Summer) isn’t helping.
Hug for Munchy! Thanks for sharing this.
People who have not suffered from ADD have difficulty understanding it. I’m not a Health Care Professional, but I’ve watched this difficulty you have had since you were a young girl. I use to watch you when you were young and I hurt so much for you.
Adult ADD is a real handicap at times. Truthfully, at times it seems like a horrible nightmare that one is helplessly caught-up in. I totally understand your plight. As a child I can remember sitting down to do my homework, and to literally start physically shaking, and get sick. As an adult, I’ve been hurt by others words to me; not understanding me, and criticizing and blaming me.
Sometimes others will think they know how to ‘fix’ you, or how you can ‘fix’ yourself. They are dead wrong, and often simply add to one’s turmoil and pain.
I know you well enough to know that you are giving your family 150% of your love, care and energy. It’s just hard to pull it all together sometimes; to be organized as much as one wants. And being a perfectionist (like myself) with Adult ADD is indescribably frustrating.
You are doing and giving your best, and more. And you have a huge heart. Also an attititude to give and to help others. If people don’t understand you, as you know, that is not your problem.
I wish I had magic words to say, to encourage you. All I can do is keep praying for you.
AHA! Now I understand why I’m so drawn to your blog! My husband has ADD and I find that I’m often drawn to others with it, too. He was diagnosed as an adult, only 7 years ago, after I pushed for us to go to counselling because something wasn’t right, but I didn’t know what. Now that we understand it, he feels so much relief and life is easier for both of us, but still not without its trials. He’s also a perfectionist – I think it’s a common ADD trait, actually, because most ADD people I know seem to have it.
As difficult as it may be at times, ADD-ers have some amazingly positive qualities, too.
Pete (http://adultaddstrengths.com/) has put together a list of the Advantages of ADD – http://www.addcoach4u.com/positivesofadd.html.
Hugs. Thanx for sharing!
i wanna see najara
I love you. Thanks for sharing.
i never really thought i would say this, or even be able to agree but i understand where you are coming from. i suffer from the same thing and i felt, while reading this blog, that i was the one writing it. i don’t post about things like this because i like to feel i’m in a perfect world where i don’t have to talk about real life things. this blog really touched me because i felt like i wasn’t alone. i can relate to everything you had written in this post.. dead on. wow.
you could have been writing about me!
I adhere to the belief that people who are not “typical” don’t actually have a “handicap” (for lack of a better word); it is society not being able to deal/accept people who don’t fit a (so called) acceptable mould that is the true handicap. xxoo from your high functioning family member 🙂
I feel like you could have written my life story! I’ve not been formally diagnosed but the counselor I’ve been seeing recently highly suggested that I get evaluated for it. She thinks that it may be the root of my poor self esteem, depression, lack of motivation, etc. These are all issues that have always existed but only gotten worse as I’ve grown into adulthood and into the role of motherhood with now two children and MUCH more responsibility than I’ve ever had to deal with. Thanks for sharing your story. Now I know I’m not alone!