A lifetime of shame and denial
REPOSTED BY MODERATOR TO OPEN COMMENTS
POSTED by ic.coffee:
I’m not completely new to ADHD but I am ready to face it head on for the first time in my life and face the deep sense of shame I have towards it/myself. I’ve been in and out of denial and I’m ready to do something about it.
I’m not sure if this is the correct community for this post, but I figure it’s a start. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
I was diagnosed at age 9 and was also diagnosed as gifted. My mom had a very negative outlook and focused almost entirely on my ‘flaws’ (as she worded it) and gave very little attention to my strengths. I hated feeling different than all the other kids and in addition to different, I also felt inferior almost constantly.
In addition to this, my mom has no impulse control and blabbed my diagnosis and the fact that I was on medication to almost anyone who would listen, including my close friends, and she had a negative bent on it. I just had a feeling that people saw my differently after my mom blabbed, and sometimes it was confirmed by distancing. I was completely mortified. She has been blabbing to the present day and has told friends and crushes even.
Growing up, I felt this deep sense of shame and stupidity and wanted to overcome this part of myself desperately. I worked very hard and performed quite well academically. I wanted to prove to myself that I could achieve and was capable and intelligent. For the most part I was able to prove this to myself but the deep sense of shame and differentness never went away
Medication was an interesting story. Due to my mom’s blabbing, I felt a deep sense of shame toward this. Also my mom acted as if I was nothing and had no hope of ever achieving without the medication. I saw it as a crutch but continued to use it for fear of what would happen without it. I had no treatment other than medication treatment. I was on Ritalin for a few years before switching to Dexidrin, which I stayed on for for 14 years. I forgot the exact dosage but I think it was too high. I liked the focus dexidrine offered, but there were some side effects that were not working for me. First of all, I felt it changed my personality drastically. I felt inhibited to the point of being very shy and reclusive and this was against my natural personality, which was warm and with longing to connect with and embrace the world and the people around me. The medication also made me more edgy, nervous and irritable. These personality changes were quite frustrating.
I also had trouble eating enough and taking pleasure in meals and food and was underweight all my life on medication.
I tried to lower my dosage in my 20s but had a hard time when I started gaining weight, even though I liked my personality and my general level of functioning better on this lower dosage
In my mid 20s I developed an eating disorder and even abused the dexidrine for that purpose at the height of it.
In my late 20s, I decided to go off the medication cold turkey. I stayed active academically and took language courses for fun and to prove to myself I was still able to function and do well off the medication. In addition to that I made some major life changes while off the medication. On the downside, I have been in denial about past and present struggles with adhd and treated it like a dark secret of my past.
However, I am struggling with memory problems to an extreme degree, and focus to a lesser degree. I lose things constantly. My mind races with these great ideas but I struggle to hold onto one of them long enough to see it through to its fruition. I have many dreams and many life changes I yearn to make but I keep procrastinating and getting in the way of myself. I would love to go back to grad school so I can purse a career path that I would find very rewarding and fulfilling. I feel that I have the potential and the will to make these changes, but I am struggling with the follow through.
A few weeks ago, my mom came to visit me and my roommate (who is also a dear friend) and she blabbed about my adhd and past medication issues to her. As usual, I was mortified and really wanted this to remain a secret.
Since the visit, my roommate, who sees and empathizes with my day to day struggles with memory and everything else mentioned, is urging me to look into adult ADHD so here I am. I’m going to set up a diagnostic appointment for next week.
I’m scared and excited. I think my biggest obstacle in moving forward will be overcoming this huge sense of shame I have.
I’m nervous about medication due to my personal experiences growing up but I’m willing to give it a try again if it will help me. I think a lower dose might be optimal for me.
I’m also looking forward to learning some organizational strategies and coping skills as well as other non medication treatments to supplement this. I’ve never tried other non medication related treatments as a child and I’m optimistic about learning some of these now.
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