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Can we stop trying to fix ADHD and just talk for a moment?


I have been looking into ADHD self-help websites for several years. I have been on and off medication since the age of fifteen. I have pondered how it actually makes me different than others and I cannot always find a reason. I also believe that I am a gifted underachiever.

Since finding out that I might have a thing called an “attention deficit”, every fiber of my being has been screaming, “Fix it! Fix it!” I have been trying to “fix it” for a little over a decade. But now, I want to discuss it.

Every time I read an article about “getting organized” or “getting focused”, I feel like a piece of the puzzle is missing. I can alphabetize books A-Z. I can read an article for class and get my homework in; I can make it to work on time when I choose to leave an hour early. I can stand on my head while chewing gum and reciting Shakespeare when people really want me to (figuratively speaking, of course). The problem isn’t that I can’t- the problem is that I CAN and so I often DO all too willingly, but I never optimize the ways in which I am doing. So, I find myself excited to commit and so I overly commit to menial things impulsively rather than waiting for the one thing. The problem isn’t the “how” of getting organized and focused. It’s the “when”! It’s coordinating every activity in my life differently and it’s about changing a systemically ingrained habit that I must address. The little micro symptoms that I add up to the chaos I can deal with in isolation. How do I get them all to coordinate?!!!

I don’t want to hear, “oh, it helps if I make a visual schedule and chart it with post-it-notes in twenty different colors and I have a blue bunny who pops up in my I-Phone and whispers in my ear to check my 20-different-color-post-it-note schedule!” I just want to discuss…realistically…what is the first step in getting a grip on my life? What kinds of goals should I be making? How do I chart my progress? What sorts of books should I read?Are there self-help activity worksheets for this sort of thing? Please, let’s just talk REALISTICALLY about how to COORDINATE OUR WHOLE LIVES for a moment!

Replies

I must say I identify with what you are saying.  I “can” do all of these things.  I am in fact a hyper-organiser, because I have learned how to compensate for all my foibles and lacks, to appear normal.

Realistically, I actually believe that the whole picture is actually built out of the blue bunny whispering, post-it notes and so on.  It is sort of like a mosaic or graphic that is made up of many smaller images.

To me, reading your post, perhaps what you are looking for is an overall plan and sense of direction which gives meaning and justification to the more basic sets of skills and organisation skills.

Personally, I have a plan in life, I know roughly where I am going and how I plan to get there. I have short, medium and long term goals in place.  This is how I prioritise what I need in my life and what I commit to.  I am not perfect, i do fall by the wayside, and find myself committing to too much, when my enthusiasm gets the better of me.  However I work to balance that and work on learning from it, as best I can!

I would recommend a coach for this sort of thing.  I have coached in the past, and also used a coach on several points in my life.  I currently use an ADHD specialist coach.  It works for me.  BUt I do a lot of the hard work, myself, figuring out where I want to get to, and how I will achieve it.  As I get older, I get more focussed on achieving these things, because I don’t want my life to pass me by in a cloud of “it seemed a good idea at the time” type rubbish.  You say you want to get a grip on your life, I think you will get a lot further if you identify exactly what you need to get a grip on, what it is that is upsetting you and holding you back.  The more specific you get, the clearer things are, the more likely you can identify how to resolve these things.

I would also say it is a matter of committing every day to self discipline and focusing on your goals.  I have spent time working out my goals, to find the ones that really motivate me.  Not just doing the things I actually feel I should do.

I am classed as moderately gifted, and I have underachieved a lot so far.  I didn’t know about the ADHD until about 12 months ago, so I am behind where I would like to be in life, really.  But have made much more meaningful progress in the last year, than I ever have before, since understanding the nature of ADHD.

I will be really interested to read what other people have to say on this topic…

Sorry if I am barking up the wrong tree, or stumbled into entirely the wrong park!! wink

Posted by Wuftytufty on Nov 05, 2013 at 4:24pm

First, stash the anger. It’ll only keep you stuck. Second, realistically, nothing will coordinate your entire life.

With that said, ADHD cannot be compared to current deconstructionist methods; that is, find root cause of X then apply Y treatment. Problem solved. It simply doesn’t work that way.
Because of this, there are as many “treatments” as there are people. There are some general things you can try. But essentially we all have to find our own path. That makes finding help enormously difficult.
BUT, and this is a big but (no pun intended), either you struggle to find YOUR solution from other’s suggestions or you roll over, bury your head and succumb to the depression and despair one feels when one is unable to cope in a society that refuses to understand who we are.
I choose the former. What will you choose?

Posted by mjstelly on Nov 05, 2013 at 4:40pm

I love your post.  L O V E   I T.  I could not agree more with what you’re saying and how you’re feeling.

You are absolutely correct.  Thank you for changing the focus from how “broken” we are to, really, how are we different and what can/should be done about it, if anything.  Because truthfully, I am getting overloaded with how awful ADD is, how impaired ADDers are, etc.  Enough.  We are fine.  We just have a problem with WHEN.

Which brings up the question of prioritization.  It is not a deficit of attention.  It is a surplus of attention.  Which means, what particular thing to put at the top of the ocean of things we are swimming in.  What deserves to be isolated from the rest?  Who gets to decide that?

So I am echoing Wuftytufty’s point, I think.  If you are feeling stretched, crazy, out-of-sync, overwhelmed (and who isn’t?), the only peace to be found is in identifying your one or two most important things.  For me, it is my kid.  I need her to be okay.  There are a lot of things I have to do throughout the day, of course, but everything can go jump in a lake, as far as I’m concerned, if my kid is out-of-whack.  I need her to be okay.  And that knowledge guides my choices.  Informs my actions.  Focuses my purpose. 

It is a problem with PRIORITIZATION.  And remaining mindful of our goals/priorities.  I really think it can be boiled down to that.

Posted by hitwcidb on Nov 05, 2013 at 4:55pm

I love this thread. It’s so easy to jump on the ADHD fix-it train. Often we need to stand back and look at the bigger picture.

I do agree with Wuftytufty.  Realistic goals would help.

I’d also suggest you work on your awareness of your strengths and weaknesses at the task level. I approach strengths differently than most coaches do. I have people look at their strengths at the task level instead of a higher, conceptual level.

The task level is where our ADHD/ADD hangs us up. What tasks do you naturally do easily (consistently and without monumental effort)? What tasks do you struggle with? As much as you can focus your world around the tasks that come easily to you and avoid, get help or create work-arounds for the tasks that hang you up.

We spend so much time focused on fixing our weaknesses when to truly live successfully with ADHD we need to center our world around our strengths.

You aren’t broken or in need of fixing. Sure your life would be easier if you learned to do some things differently but I suspect you’re rather fabulous just as you are.

Warmly,
Dana

Posted by DanaRayburn on Nov 05, 2013 at 5:02pm

I must say, I am relieved that people responded so favorably to this! I’ve lived in fear at times that I had the wrong diagnosis because of the way I so often interpret how people write about “steps 1-10 to getting organized!” It’s nice to know people can relate!

Finding an overarching goal is definitely something I struggle with. It’s not so much that I do not have one, but I have an issue with perfectionism and so I never think my goals are “lofty” enough, which is often what leads me to become overly-committed. Like this year, when I decided I was going to move across country to start a Master’s program, take 12 credits, a graduate assistant ship, and a part time job! (what was I thinking?) I felt like I had to in order to “prove” to myself and others that I actually AM smart, which I’m sure many of you can relate to, as well.

I especially love what you said, hitwcidb, about being so commited to your daughter. I know that my most important goal is family…but I sometimes wonder how I’ll ever have the time to settle down if I keep being as driven as I am or hopping from one driven project to the next? And it’s not even something I enjoy! That could be a great motivating factor to begin “grounding” myself so-to-speak.

Thank you all for such awesome responses! I hope people keep talking about this. It’s just nice to be reminded we are not alone that what we are going through is EXACTLY what we think it is. wink

Posted by jessiela12887 on Nov 05, 2013 at 6:33pm

i dont want fixed ツ

Posted by TheLadyNC on Nov 05, 2013 at 10:12pm

I have a huge jumbled bag of tools, My bag of tools is so big I have to drag it around in a hand cart!  Unfortunately none of them have proven right for the job. 

I fear it is possible I will never “get a grip”.  I would be very happy to put on my big girl pants and head out towards my goals, but I don’t ever seem to be able to locate either!  I just want my big girl pants!  I’ve been a grown up for decades, but am always wondering whether I will ever feel like one. “What do I need to do to put me in charge” seems to be a common theme.

Wish I had something other than empathy for you - it’s all I have to give on that, but you are welcome to it if it helps at all. smile

Posted by Juggler on Nov 06, 2013 at 1:08am

I am so glad this topic came up.  I am so tired of hearing that we are impaired or broken just because we don’t measure up to other people’s standards.

I have heard from professionals trying to convince me to take Ritalin or other medicines that it is just like wearing glasses to focus better.  Well, when I mention the fact that when I am working on something I am naturally good at, there are no add symptoms there.  I can’t say the same thing about my glasses because when I take them off, my vision is always blurred.

What happens to us is just like a famous quote by Albert Einstein:  “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” 

We really must find our own way, and fast.  That’s our only “cure”.

Posted by mmori on Nov 06, 2013 at 4:18am

Here is how I see it, if I was able to follow a chart with sticky notes…..and follow through on the rest nof the process i wouldn’t be where i am…...I am 39 and actually not diagnoses but I should be the poster child for this.  I don’t know how to approach the whole thing with a doctor because it’s not easy to be like so…..let me tell you hoe many times i have lost my keys…...just today.  People say get a basket and put your keys and such in it and you’ll never lose them again…..Its the whole remembering to put my keys in the basket in the first place everytime…lol….frustrating.

Posted by mistyls74 on Nov 06, 2013 at 5:34pm

I love the awareness
I love the honesty
I love the passion to move forward…

Realistically, as you requested,
  “what IS it that you really, really want”
  “What are you willing to give up to get it?”
  “What do you see getting in the way?”

judy

Posted by judyadhdcoach on Nov 06, 2013 at 6:43pm

I’m a mess.  Never found a med to help.  Never got organized.  Never able to make important decisions for myself.  It sounds like most of you are well on your way to where you need to be.  Good for you.

Posted by ytg137@gmail.com on Nov 06, 2013 at 8:26pm

ytg137, have you tried Neurofeedback? http://www.eeginfo.com/

Posted by Swim on Nov 07, 2013 at 12:02am

jessiela12887,

As I read your post, I believe I was seeing ADD in action… kinda disjointed, but I was able to understand most of it. I think I probably understood what you were saying better than somebody who doesn’t have ADD… just because most of us tend to talk and express ourselves in a similar manner (radial vs. linear processing).

Here’s the thing. When I had a job that only required me to pick up the next hunk of aircraft electronics, open it up, follow a trouble-shooting manual step-by-step, etc., ADD wasn’t an issue in my work life. At home, my life was full of projects that just never quite got finished. Some did, but only the ones I was passionate about. But again, in the military and doing the electronics thing, I had no project management issues to worry about. There were no deadlines. The occasional “high priority” job, but mostly it was a strict “fist in, first out” (FIFO) process.

Then I became an instructor in the military. I was told what class to teach, when to teach it, etc. Again, no deadlines or multiple projects going on at that time… just follow my lesson plans, administer tests, then move on to the next class.

However, in the corporate world after the military, I found myself in a supervisory situation where I DID have multiple projects to track, deadlines to meet, and responsibility for my team’s project deadlines as well.
It wasn’t long before I did what I think you said you you do… work on the smaller, less significant parts of a project… then my mind would wander onto another project, so I’d start working that one. Then I’d go to the loo, go grab a soda, visit with a co-worker, etc., etc. I felt like I was working hard, but when those deadlines got close, I went into panic mode! I would start pulling all-nighters, all-weekenders, sometimes working 2 - 3 days straight, on maybe 5 - 6 hrs of fitful sleep, when and where it was possible to take a break. Then there were the excuses to my boss… “Gee, this and that came up at the last second… ” ...  “I got a call from one of our key vendors that required me to meet with so-and-so to discuss requirements for next year..  BUT DON’T WORRY… I’LL HAVE PROJECT XYZ done no later than Friday morning. Yeah, I know it was due yesterday, but the person who asked for it knows we’re running behind and they’re cool with it… ”

Etcetera, freaking, Etcetera….

My life and my health were out of control. I was lucky if I could spend more than an hour or two on ANY one project, before drifting off and doing something else.

Somebody (who was ADD) said, hey, you should take this online test for ADD. I did. I passed!  I went to a psychiatrist to get his opinion. He gave me pretty much the same test… I passed again!

Then came the medication. One of the first ones I took actually caused me to become “hyper-focused”... I mean, I would start working the most important project on my plate, then work it some more, then more…and THEN.. I’d look up at the clock, realize that 5 or 6 hours had gone by, and realized that for probably the first time in my life, I actually spent a significant, contiguous amount of time working on ONE thing! It was great and scary at the same time… “Scary” being the hyper-focus, because I forgot to go to lunch, I would just “hold it” instead of going to the restroom…

Anyway, that one medication (after some adjustments) worked the best for me. I was getting projects completed on time, not taking work home every night (or spending all night at work). Unfortunately, I acclimated to that med really fast, and before too long, I reached the highest allowable dose. Once I acclimated to it and it became ineffective, I had to switch meds. The one I’m on now does the job, but not nearly as good as the other.

Now, more to your point: Why all the talk about meds???  Because if any of us in a position of responsibility, and our inability to focus makes us unable to fulfill our responsibilities, then medication is one of the only things that really works for many of us. I’m looking at retiring to S. America soon, and I’ll probably never take ADD meds again. I’ll be fine, though, because my responsibility level will be close to nil. 

The moral of the story is, if you’re working or living in a life where the medication can literally FREE YOU from the scrambled thoughts and misplaced priorities, then why suffer?  Then again, if your life is such that meds won’t make much of an impact, then you probably don’t need them.  The meds probably—and quite literally—saved my life when I was swimming in a sea of confusion, missing deadlines, missing my family because I had to work so many more freakin’ hours than anyone else to get my work done.. and I was the in-house expert in the work I was doing. It wasn’t a lack of ability, but a lack of ability-to-focus. It was killing me and making my life a living hell.

So while I appreciate your sentiment, all I can say is “do what’s right for you.”  And please don’t judge those of us who DO need the meds. Notice I said “NEED”... because we do, and we suffer greatly without them. Maybe somebody will find little bits of monkey DNA and suddenly cure this WAY-MISUNDERSTOOD malady of ours,  but until then, why would you want to judge the rest of us who need the help of special chemicals that allow our brains to work like most everyone else?

Posted by Enterprizer on Nov 07, 2013 at 8:22am

Hitwcidb (hope I got that right)...

You said: “We are fine.  We just have a problem with WHEN.”

***How is that “fine”? WHEN is a pretty damn big problem when you’ve got a wife and four kids at home, a big mortgage, car payment, and so many other obligations. “WHEN,” for me at one point, meant the difference between keeping or losing my job!  “WHEN” meant for me that I was still at the office trying to work a hot deadline at 3:00 AM, wondering when I’d get to sleep next to my wife again. WHEN was the only thing between a paycheck and the food-closet.

And are we broken? I guess that’s all a matter of perspective. If I have a hole in my tire, but patch it to allow it to hold air, then is that tire broken? Of course not.. it works NOW… after the fix was applied. For those of us who truly and wonderfully respond to medication for this condition, our “leak” has been patched. To varying degrees, of course, but why begrudge those of us who choose the patch and benefit from it? 

I will admit to this, however: Although the meds help me tremendously, my previous witch of a boss harrassed me *constantly*, and in the process she pretty much negated the benefits of my medication. During that time, I WAS truly broken, because she used her limited knowledge of my condition, along with a streak of pure evil, to render me worthless on the job. Now I’m looking at lawyers, mediations, possibly court. All because ONE SICK PERSON chose to single me out and torment me. Of course, she’s far MORE broken than I am… at least I have a functioning conscience, and I don’t judge others for taking advantage of the things that make life easier for them.

Posted by Enterprizer on Nov 07, 2013 at 8:38am

I hope no one feels attacked as we discuss alternatives to medication for ADHD. I do know some people who genuinely benefit from medication. It’s just that I, personally, do not find medication beneficial for myself. I see the choice to take or not to take medication as both holistic and philosophical. I will explain my reasons for choosing no medication, but I would like to make it clear that I do support people who DO choose to take meds.

I stopped taking medication half way through my senior year of high school because I was on a health kick. I landed myself in the hospital a lot during high school and I wanted to change that. So, I became a strict vegetarian and started taking a vitamin supplement cocktail in lieu of prescription medications because I had found literature which backed up my belief that some of my medical issues might have been caused by and underlying issue with how my body reacted to being on head meds. Then last year for the first time in years, I felt like I was drowning in my ADHD symptoms. I think I was drowning in them the whole time but I only really became consciously aware of how bad it was getting around January 2013. So, I requested an appointment with a psychiatrist, and after an evaluation, she gave me a prescription for strattera.

The strattera worked great! My biggest concerns slowly improved, my feelings of inadequacy and depression that were forming as a result of the ADHD were actually becoming more balanced, and my biggest concern of all- my terrible driving- became much, much better. However, something else happened. After about three months, I felt the “real me” slipping away. I gave up being physically active for sitting on the computer day in and out, obsessively researching topics of interest to me- and I do that NORMALLY so by obsessive, I mean, unable to pull myself away even when I wanted to! I lost my sense of humor and, because I also felt my anxiety subsiding slightly, I no longer felt incentive to get my paperwork for my job done on time. You see, working AROUND my symptoms had been keeping me on edge all those years and kept me accountable to myself. I became almost lazy on meds…this feeling of heaviness overtook me and I was happy to just plod along like a bump on a log in my own head. It was like one extreme side of my personality which typically is what gives me the little focus that I do have was so pronounced that couldn’t enjoy the beautiful spontaneity for living that my ADHD allows me to feel. For me, personally, that was not something I was willing to lose. I would rather have issues, and at least know that they are the real me, than to take medication and feel my real personality slipping away…that my new personality is “the meds” and not me! But that is JUST ME. I don’t expect everyone to have the same experience with meds that I had.

Enterprizer-

Yes, I totally do that! I sometimes find myself making excuses for why I am running late to my Graduate Assistantship because I just feel so pressured by all the projects I have taken on- like the walls are caving in on me- that I cannot get myself out the door on time most Monday mornings! It’s disheartening, but at least my supervisor is flexible. She doesn’t really care as long as the work gets done and I communicate with her. I get the sense that she probably has ADHD, too, so we have similar work habits, which totally helps!

On a slightly unrelated note, (and I hope this won’t sound overly arrogant, as I actually do appreciate your comment) I find it interesting that you think my writing is disjointed. I’m not gonna lie- I get sorta butt hurt when anyone says anything bad about my writing- even when I am just writing informally- because writing is “my jam” so-to-speak. I have been the best writer in the room my whole life in every single academic setting I’ve ever been in- even during college when I was accepted to the honors program FOR my writing, I was still considered a “superior writer” to my cohorts. Writing is kinda like, the ONE thing I ALWAYS do right, lol.

After rereading my post, I can see why you found it disjointed. It is very rare that anyone ever points out a flaw in my writing. Although you are the second person who has told me recently that my writing is disjointed and I’m wondering if it is because I am actually not on medication for the first time in a while. I’ll definitely need to reflect on that because I take my writing very seriously. Thank you.

Posted by jessiela12887 on Nov 07, 2013 at 1:09pm

I am so engaged ready all so many of you have shared.  As an ADHD Coach, we are but a tool to use out of the toolbox.  Sadly, building my business comes from the passion of working with teens and their families and seeing them struggle.  I want to increase the awareness and educate!  I hear the sadness in so many of your stories and realize…we have so far to go!  You are all wonderful advocates of such a serious and what can be a debilitating disability.  I simply acknowledge you sharing and wish only the best for all of you. Keep sharing and educating those around you!

judy

Posted by judyadhdcoach on Nov 07, 2013 at 8:36pm

I agree with your comment/feelings about being a gifted underachiever.  It hurts to reach near-60 and look back at my life only to think, wow, I could have done this or become that.

You asked about first steps.  For me, it was finally listening to my family, friends, and yes, my mate ... and accepting the realization that if I did not face my ADD head on and make some changes in my life I was going to lose people that I loved and who loved me but just couldn’t deal with certain behaviors that were disruptive.  As painful as it was, I took the steps to get help.  I found a therapist who specializes in ADD’rs (who is an ADD’r himself), I began taking meds and I read A LOT.  Books like Driven to Distraction, Delivered From Distraction ... and The Gifts of Adult ADHD helped me tremendously.  I read articles on line, studied the parts of the brain that are affected by ADD, became informed.

Changing destructive behaviors such as acting/speaking before thinking (no filter), showing my boredom when others talk on and on, etc .... was and is still a daily task.  Sure, I am human and fall off the wagon and believe me, I pay for it by having to endure comments from those around me.  But, patting myself on the back every time I resist the urge to speak or when I keep my composure in a conversation .... those self rewards are all I need to know that I AM making changes even though others are not as aware of them as I am.

Every comment to you so far is helpful.  But, for me, taking responsibility for my own actions, wanting to make changes to be a better mate, family member, etc. and then taking the steps to make those changes is what helps me.  I truly believe that we have gifts that others do not and I wouldn’t ever mask those or try to “fit in” by denying them.  I love my quirky sense of humor, my ability to think outside the box, my ability to take the complex and whittle it down to a solution ... Those are an innate part of who I am .... and I hold those traits close to my heart.  Do the same for yourself—- find your sweet spot

Posted by QuirkySenseOfHumorGirl on Nov 08, 2013 at 8:43pm

Hi,
I am wondering why using little tricks and tips be it post it notes or phones whispering schedules is considered not realistic? I find talking about how to work with what I have a wonderful thing. I know I am not like most other people. I don’t want to be. I like who I am now (I didn’t always). When I didn’t like who I was I wanted to make things work the same way they work for other folks. Have you ever heard “If it don’t fit force it”? That is what I was doing. I finally gave up after wearing myself out trying. That trying just gave me anger and depression for my efforts. The sooner everyone starts being true to themselves, the sooner we can learn to use the little tricks that help us rise to the top of our game like the rest of society does.
I don’t know what gift everyone else has that will let them rise to their bliss. I only know what mine was. I also know trying to do something that is not your passion will ‘absolutely not’ work for us no matter how hard you push. Spend the time it takes to identify your personal passion. If you do that and make it your work it will leave you joyous, happy & free ADHD or not. Note; I did not say you would be problem free. I said you would be happy with your path of choice.

Posted by missmix48 on Nov 09, 2013 at 3:44am

I can relate to this. I was diagnosed 10 years ago and had managed well over the past years.  Over the last year things seem to be spiraling ut of control and I do feel broken. I am on medication but I don’t know where to begin to put things back on course.

Posted by me101 on Nov 09, 2013 at 7:06pm

Long thread already;

Let me just say—I don’t try to “fix” my ADHD—I try to adapt my life goals to its strengths—of which there are many, I think. The help with organizing and that sort of thing are tips on how to cope with a world not tailored to people like us.

In short—think about what your STRENGTHS are, and make that your life goal. Coordination is something secondary, to help us execute our plans.

Posted by masterchip27 on Nov 09, 2013 at 7:06pm

I find it amazing that before my diagnosis, and as acknowledged by my doctor, I had developed effective coping mechanisms for as I called them then, my qwerks. I wrote poetry, enjoyed my flute and just took pleasure in the fact that I saw and did things differently than anyone else. I liked dancing to the beat of a different drum. Now I find irony in the fact that the mother who told her children always think outside the box , embrace your differences and refuse to jump through the proverbial hoops that society puts in our way, is afraid to be who I’ve always been.

Posted by me101 on Nov 09, 2013 at 10:52pm

Hey, Missmix…

I don’t see anything in the world wrong with post-it notes, notes I dictate “to self” on my cell phone, sending messages to my home answering machine for myself, or using whatever method or mnemonic approach necessary. Even though I’m on meds, all that’s really done for me is lengthen the amount of time I can focus on any one topic/project. I still have many of the other ADD quirks, most of which aren’t helped by medication. I simply don’t wander as much. Don’t let anyone tell you that using whatever tool works for you is wrong, unless it’s in someway self-defeating in some weird way, and no, I have no such example. I can’t walk through the house without passing a stack of sticky notes laying here or there…. or all around my monitor on my PC.  grin

Posted by Enterprizer on Nov 10, 2013 at 6:53am

jessiela12887

I truly am sorry for dissing your writing. This is, of course, an informal forum, and most of us don’t take the time to go back and edit what we’ve said in this type of environment. Same goes for my informal e-mails and texts.

Like you, I have always been considered the best writer in the room, but then again I will typically edit and re-edit anything that’s for business or any other formal purpose. I recently wrote a letter for a doctor of mine to use in getting me approved for a “reasonable accommodation.” My intention was initially to give her a list of bullets to work from, so she’d know which areas she needed to address, and to what extent. Before I knew it, I had written the entire letter. I put it on a pen drive and took it to her. She was “professionally put-out” that I would presume to write her own letter, but told me she’d take a peek at it. The long and short, she ended up using MY version of the entire letter, changing one or two minor words.

I think the thing I saw in your writing (where I referred to it as disjointed), was that, in spots, it seemed to flow in the same manner as many ADD folks speak. The way it’s been explained to me, is that a non-ADD person will explain something in a very LINEAR, blow-by-blow manner. For those with ADD (and I know this is true of me), we tend to speak (and sometimes write) in a RADIAL fashion; our thoughts are spread out over this circular continuum, and we bounce back and forth around that circle, picking and choosing various elements to share… pretty much at random, and in a way that frustrates a lot of people who lack the patience while we make our way to our POINT! grin That’s me, precisely, and because I was in a brief relationship where a woman (who was a licensed counselor) felt obliged to point it out whenever I started going “radial” on her, I’ve become a little more self-aware of when I’m doing it now, and attempt a course-correction. BTW, I’m not dating her anymore.. she was obnoxious. grin

So trust me, I feel your pain (regarding my comment). If somebody were to criticize my writing like I did yours, I’d be quite distressed, myself. All I really meant with your writing was that I think I recall spotting a little bit of that radial construction going on, but then again I’m so obsessed with fixing that within myself that I may be seeing it everywhere it’s NOT!

From one writer and grammarian to another, my apologies.

Posted by Enterprizer on Nov 10, 2013 at 7:08am

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Don’t give up. They seem to be coming out with new meds all the time. I thought I was on the latest thing, until I started visiting this site and hearing of at least three or four newer meds.

There are also the coping techniques that help us deal with the condition, but the exact arsenal of techniques you adopt will likely be very personal and unique to your own needs.

One other thing—not nearly as convenient—is finding work that doesn’t require adhering to strict quotas or timelines, but which are more fluid and forgiving. In other words, “process-oriented” instead of “project-oriented.” I flourished for years under a process-oriented job situation, but found myself incredibly, painfully, destructively challenged by a world with tight deadlines, unrealistic quotas, etc.  If that’s something within your power to do, I’d definitely encourage looking for work in that type of environment.

Posted by Enterprizer on Nov 10, 2013 at 7:22am

missmix48,

I guess it’s not that pos-it-notes are unhelpful or that strategies don’t work great. I guess I, personally, am having a very specific coping issue, which I should have identified sooner, but I was having trouble putting my finger on how to describe it, which I so often do.

My life is upside down at the moment because I take on way too much. By that, I mean it looks like this: “Wow! I’m really sick of this job…it’s really boring! I want to do something different. Hey, I should go to grad school! But where would I go? I know, my old undergrad college on the east coast! I’m really bored of the nice weather…I want to go back to the seasons and my fun college town. But what would I do there? I don’t want to be a “college hanger-on”...a more evolved plan. I know! I’ll go to school full-time, take on a graduate assistant-ship, and get a part time job subbing. I’ll bring my boyfriend and my dog with me- cuz heck, I wouldn’t leave without them! How am I going to do all this? Well, I’ll just make sure we have money saved up, of course!”

And off I go impulsively to reach my new, grand dream! But I always miss something- some detail I should have troubleshooted for or some way I should have known that I was trying to do too much at once, but I was so busy having fun chasing down the idea that I didn’t see the reality of what could happen without better planning… in fact I often think that I am well-planned! Then, somewhere in there, I realize I’m not but by then it’s too late and I’ve already gone too far down the rabbit hole to climb back out. I am going to have force myself to shrink and go through the tiny door and just pray that I don’t cry too much in the process and form a river of tears to carry me away. There’s no post-it-note strategy for that. To me, it feels like it is way more cognitive and way more of a threat in my life than not being able to get to work on time…it can ruin my whole life and at this point, it certainly is keeping my from getting financially stable. I feel like I don’t want to move ever again, and yet…what if I decide to try and get settled and start feeling bored again? Then what? Will I job hop some more and never work somewhere long enough to actually start making good money? Will I move back to San Diego because the grumpy New Yorkers scared me off again and I am sick of feeling the need to keep up with the competition all the time? How do I learn to identify when I’ve been riding the carousel for too long and it’s time to get off BEFORE I start vomiting all over my new shoes? You know? That’s what I AM trying to piece together.

Posted by jessiela12887 on Nov 11, 2013 at 7:37pm

Procreation stopped the carousel cold, for me.  Being in charge of a child slams the brakes down like nothing else can.  And yes, the boredom will come.  And it will be hard.  And you will chafe against it and resent the stagnation of YOUR carousel ride, while watching your progeny grow and change and experience life’s breeze in its hair.

And you will have new challenges and possibly ADD+1 to worry about, all while feeling the weight of your personal stagnation.

There is always a reason to vomit.
I ask all of us here:  is that just another form of self-stimulation?  Are we even capable of contentment?
Are we?

Let’s face it, being calm, accepting, at peace…that is boring.  And what do we hate more than being bored?  What could possibly be harder for us to endure long-term?  There’s nothing worse than day-to-day unstimulating routine. Shoot me now.

So, there is no escape and no answer and no secret way to handle this.  Just try your best to find non-injurious ways to stay stimulated.  And know your bottom line.  Like I said before, mine is my kid.  I need her to be okay.  If I have to rot at the same job for the next 16 years in order to do my best for her, then I will find a way to suffer through.  That is my bottom line.  Her being okay is my bottom line.  I’m not going to move across country or job hop or travel around the world, as tempted as I am by all of those thoughts, because it would (in my opinion) not be good for my kid.  So I chafe.  Against the stagnation.  And I just deal with it.  Every day.  And she *is* okay.  Which makes it all bearable.

Posted by hitwcidb on Nov 11, 2013 at 10:50pm

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