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ADHD at Work

I am ready to give up


I don €™t know what to do anymore or where to turn.  I am almost 50 years old and am about to lose my job (again), because I can €™t seem to €œpay attention to detail € no matter how hard I try.

I have both a therapist (LCSW), as well as a psychiatrist who has me on 25 mg of adderall but nothing seems to help.  I have stayed late many, many nights trying to make sure that projects are perfect before I turn them in, and it still seems like everything I touch is a disaster.

I have to wonder what kind of a life I can possibly have if I can €™t hold a job and support myself. And I am so tired of working ten times harder than everyone else and everything still being all wrong. 

When I think about what lies ahead for me, I feel like I just want to give up.

Replies

You can’t just give up! Keep trying. Maybe you need to look into changing job fields? I am 46 and just changed fields for health reasons and it has worked out pretty well. Maybe it can work for you. Maybe a job that does not require as much detail? I just googled changing jobs. Found this site. It looks like it might be able to help you…http://www.learndirect.co.uk/improve-your-job-prospects/help-changing-career/
Good luck!

Posted by sammi1966 on Dec 14, 2013 at 2:34pm

First off, you are not alone. I read your comment and it just rang so accurate and so real ... for myself and for other friends who are going about their jobs in an ADHD-way too.  Thank you so much for your honesty and obvious commitment.

Sounds like you have support team and that’s good.  I’m interested in your work.  What are the tasks that require the detail effort? Maybe understanding the tasks can suggest some strategies?

Posted by drdan on Dec 14, 2013 at 2:43pm

I do donor research.

I work very hard to make sure that everything I put into a profile is factually correct it’s always the formatting and proofing that seems kill me. I have so much trouble working with templates.

I have asked other people to proof my work, but often there just isn’t enough time. It doesn’t help that my boss has admitted she is “the most anal person in the world”.

I also send emails and forget to include the attachments, have trouble following written directions (I know that I read things too quickly.  I shouldn’t “skim” but I do.  When I see a full page of instructions, I can’t seem to “remember” to sit and read every word; I can’t make myself ” just do it”).

I also take notes and then find that I can’t read my own handwriting, get extremely confused when working on different versions of the same document, and the list goes on.

I can’t do anything right.and my boss is fed up.

I don’t know why the Adderall isn’t helping.

Who in their right mind is going be dumb enough to hire me? I don’t know how I am going to survive.

Posted by VioletteN on Dec 14, 2013 at 3:30pm

25 mg of Adderall sounds low, maybe your doctor can try 30 mg in the am and 20-30 mg 4 hours later.  Otherwise I suggest your doctor try you on another add/adhd medication. We are all programed to believe Adderall is the one for everyone but, it’s not for everyone.  It made me really tired like a zombie, yes I could concentrate better as long as I didn’t have to move and it wore out fast like 2 hours tops.

Don’t give up on anything, your very smart.  Talk with your doctor and also look up add/adhd diet, Im gluten free and a vegetarian now and I know longer need medication (well according to dr.‘s I probably need a ton of it) but I feel better now than I ever did and Ive only been on this diet less than a year.  What you put in your mouth effects every aspect of your being, felling foggy, empty, tired well then try gluten free with your medications and never eat when you take your meds. Take them as soon as you wake up.

Please call your doctor today and make an appointment to have your medications evalutated. This can and probably will make your life much better.

Posted by BexIssues on Dec 14, 2013 at 5:24pm

Hello Violette - you are most certainly not alone in this struggle. Your feelings of giving up and no longer even trying are perfectly reasonable.
  I see my story in yours, and face the same uncertain and well-known future. The advice about career changes where our condition is an advantage seems to be about the best means to find some peace of mind in the workforce.
  Hang in there, take it one day at a time, and get all the help, coaching and support that you can!

Posted by Mal's Poppa on Dec 14, 2013 at 6:58pm

It’s a law in New York (oh by the way, did I mention that I live in the most expensive city in the world?), that a doctor can only prescribe Adderall for a month at a time.  So I have to see the psychiatrist every month, and as it turns out I have an appointment with him this Wednesday.

He is a really good doctor, but because he is so good he is always completely booked up.  I can usually only get in to see him for 15-20 minutes at a time. Which is why I also have a therapist.

And as much as I love her, and as helpful as she has been with helping me with my anxiety (which is why I originally started to see her), I am not sure if she can really help me with the ADHD. 

Her approach is to use mindfulness exercises- is that really going to help? Is that how ADHD is normally treated?  I have tried mindfulness exercises in the past, but my mind always wanders, I get frustrated, and then stop trying.

Maybe right now my mind is racing in a million directions because I am terrified. But I am trying to think about anything I can do that I haven’t already tried. 

Are mindfulness exercises really the best to treat ADHD?  Do I need a neuropsychologist? Is there really such a thing as an ADHD specialist?  And how do I find one who actually takes my insurance.  The insurance company gave me a list of over 200 names of therapists who say that they treat ADHD; but it’s just a list of names.

I feel like I need to get this addressed now.  The time for trial and error is over.

I don’t know how I am going to find another job after all of this.

Changing careers…. I don’t even know where to start. I am almost 50 and have been doing donor research forever.  Quite frankly I can’t think of a single strength that I actually have.

Right now all I want to do is hide in bed with blankets over my head.  It’s hard for me to believe that I can have any kind of a life at this point.  I am trying hard to keep it together but I am almost paralyzed with fear.

Posted by VioletteN on Dec 15, 2013 at 2:07pm

Look at the link I left in my first response about changing careers. I didn’t think I could do it…and I did. I kind of fell into it with help from my hubby pointing out my strengths, but you can plan the change! The link helps you figure out what you’d be good at. What do you have to lose by looking? Absolutely nothing!

Posted by sammi1966 on Dec 15, 2013 at 5:09pm

Therapists tend to be helpful for understanding and coping emotionally with ADHD, but less focused on practical solutions to everyday life. It sounds like what you need is something like an ADHD coach, which is now a well-established field. ADHD coaches are specifically focused on finding practical ways to get around ADHD problems.  They are certified coaches who have extra training about ADHD so that they can focus on what’s most likely to help and avoid dead ends. If what the thereapist is doing isn’t helping, this may be a better investment of time and money.
  You can find out more about adhd coaching here,
http://help4adhd.org/en/living/coaching

and here
http://www.adhdcoaches.org/
http://www.adhdcoaches.org/about-coaches-and-coaching/

Posted by anothermom on Dec 18, 2013 at 1:06pm

If it’s a help.  I went from Management to Teaching for exactly the reasons you mention.  My attention to detail was awful.  After 12 or so jobs and 25 years I am, for the first time, starting to feel stable and professionally fulfilled.  I teach Chemistry in a public high school in one of America’s far flung holdings (Central Pacific).  I am earning a third of what I used to.  But, after fully understanding this thing we face, it’s the best option I have.

Moral to this story:  you can find a career that suits you.  You may not be rich, you may have to go back to school… but it’s out there… It’s just harder for us to find.  Hang tough…  find what you love and then see if you can make a buck doing it.  For me, it was a love of children and a family history of teaching.  You search my posts from 2 and 3 years ago…  I was ... well, where you are….  without hope.  That has changed and it can for you, too. 

You can do it…  Use those therapists and DrDan (above) sounds like a resource.

Keep in touch here…  This is a good place.

Posted by LakeLife on Dec 18, 2013 at 1:09pm

I have been in EXACTLY the same place!  But I am also looking now at exactly what kind of work would be right for me.

Have you sought support in the ADDjourneys website?  Sari Solden is very insightful about women’s ADD, esp. inattentive, and you’d find company, if not answers.

A big hug to you from someone who really does know what you’re going through.  It’s tough…our challenges aren’t visible handicaps, so we don’t get the same sympathy as someone with physical challenges. 

One thing that helps me is slowing down. I have a “quick brain” that is so eager to blurt out the answer that it doesn’t stop to think about it…or even fully listen to the question that was asked. That’s where the mindfulness comes in…gets me out of that error-criticism-anxiety-hurried fix-another screwup cycle.  I slow down, breathe, and, in my best moments, observe myself thinking/feeling.  Who >I< am really is the Self that observes my own thoughts and feelings…and typical patterns.  That Self is calm.  Taking a break between steps of a process and rechecking after I’ve had coffee or a walk or water really helps.

May we both thrive.

Posted by seeker on Dec 18, 2013 at 2:09pm

VioletteN, I totally understand what you are going though. Finding the right medication for you takes some trial and error, exersise helps, and I just started working on relaxation/meditation/hypnosis to help with relaxing, have seen great improvement with my ability to not get overwhelmed and stressed out under presure, which makes me totally frazzled and makes the ADD worse.  Good luck! Try thinking out side the box.

Posted by Deb W on Dec 18, 2013 at 3:51pm

I am so discouraged.  It is a constant struggle to keep up with appointments and plans—we have our youngest getting ready for college—and it is like climbing a mountain.  I envy people who can “climb the ladder” with their focus and quick learning abilities.  Not me.

Posted by barbhalfmann on Dec 18, 2013 at 11:16pm

Dear Violette, my heart goes out to you. But you are in the wrong job! I worked in offices for fifteen years, feeling useless and ‘less than’. It’s not the right environment for us. What works are things that have immediate deadlines, so that we get adrenalin pumping around our system. Adrenalin gives me the focus I need to function well. So look for jobs like that. If you can’t be a performer, or work somewhere dangerous, then be an estate agent (real estate in American). That really works for me. Having to turn up on time with the right keys is as hard for me as working for MI5 (the CIA in American). being a salesman, where you have to meet targets, is good. The paperwork is difficult, and I need extra time to check and check and check again - and then I still get it wrong - but my boss appreciates my obvious skills - ie my uber-friendliness, my people-skills and affability - so she makes allowances for my deficiencies. Or start your own business. If you are ADHD and not in prison you must be very smart. My psychiatrist told me that I would be fine if I had a personal Assistant to organise me. I couldn’t afford one but found someone who would come for the odd hour, whenever I could afford her. It makes all the difference. Don’t give up, we have so much to offer the world. Just stop being so hard on yourself and get into a supportive environment in the right job where you can shine. And by the way I’m 56, on 90mg a day of Concerta and about to try Strattera. It has helped massively. But I want to see if Strattera can help more. Haven’t tried Adderol.

Posted by Canary Mary on Dec 18, 2013 at 11:27pm

Hello VioletteN;

I was fired (retired) from the state of WI after 27 years for the same thing—staying after work on my own time for finishing up my work.  It didn’t help that my unit manager didn’t like me because there were other nurses that did the same thing.

Because retirement does not pay well I will have to go back to work and my unit manager also did a great job on shredding my self esteem and I am stalling like crazy.  However, am looking at my strengths and need the money so thought I’d pass along what I’ve learned.

1.  That Adderall is not a magic pill (which I thought it would be).  How it helps me is it allows me to sustain interest in what would be tedious activities.  And everyone is right—it may not be the right med for you.(Also am on 30 mg XR—lasts 8 to 12 hours)

2.  ADD is a disability and per the federal disabilities act, your employer is obligated to make reasonable accomodations for you.  It could be a quiet area or giving you extra time etc.  (Those ideas didn’t work for me because as a nurse I needed to be available and couldn’t work in a separate place and the next shift arrived and was in the way).

3.  When I need to read something, I print it and use different colored highlighters and put notes on it.  If you have bad handwriting, maybe print.  I print/write and that makes it readable.

4.Drop the perfectionism if possible (unless it has to be perfect).  Done is better than perfect.

5. Use checklists for tasks: ie sending emails—include attatchments.

6.  Sometimes taking a short break helps.

7.  Adequate sleep, exercise (a good walk), and nutrition will do.  Some people swear by Omega 3’s.

Sorry this is so long; hope it helps you!  Hang in there!

Lora K

Posted by Loralyn on Dec 19, 2013 at 2:10am

Thank you everybody.

I have spoken to both my therapist as well as my psychiatrist. The idea of changing careers is so scary for me partially because I have no clue what I want to do, and partially because I feel I’m too old.  But I know I need to strongly consider it.

And unfortunately-I do need to find a way to make a decent living.  I’m single and have lived from paycheck to paycheck forever.  I have no savings and nothing or no one to fall back on.

I would love to try an ADHD coach but I just don’t have the money.

And this is what I mean about wanting to give up.  I look ahead to what I think my life is going to look like going forward- and its awful.  I see myself having a job I hate that pays next to nothing-if I can find a job at all, or being homeless and out on the street.

I feel like I have no future or one that’s filled with failure and misery.  I can’t see a way out.

But I am going to try a new therapist. My psychiatrist gave me the name of a cognitive therapist-maybe that will help.  He is also tweaking my medications.

I have never been to ADDJourneys and will check that that out.

My big challenge at the moment seems to be to stop myself from falling into a pit of hopelessness.  Whenever I go there it so hard to get out.

I need to keep my head together and its hard to do when I’m in a state of complete panic.I have a “quick brain” too and it makes everything worse. 

Anyway I am doing my best to hang in there. 

Thanks again for all of the support.

Posted by VioletteN on Dec 19, 2013 at 3:55am

I’m just a random passer-by here - not part of any group here or anywhere else, though I am suffering terribly from unmanaged ADhD. Your thread hit a cord - I’m 43 and feel like the future holds nothing but failure for me either.

But nevermind that…  I signed in to commiserate and be supportive! I’m so sorry you are going through this, and I too wrestle with templates!...BLERG.

A thought—If you really feel like you are on the verge of getting the ax at work, you don’t have much to lose by seeking disability accommodations. Sure it might be awkward, and they might can you anyway, but it’ll probably buy you some time while you search for a new non-anal boss. Or.. it might even be amazing, and you will have opened new doors of tolerance and understanding! (I do strive to be a person that believes the latter..)

On mindfulness: you don’t need an LCSW for it but I do think there is benefit to be found for ADDers.

Just do super short meditations. Think of it as no-stakes focus-practice (that also happens to reduce anxiety).

Only try to meditate for a couple of minutes, say, 2 minutes on a timer (https://www.google.com/search?q=google+timer#q=google+timer), or for some number of long slow breaths, even just 10 or 15 (start over if you lose count).
Choose the easiest one for you. Don’t sit in a special spot or wait for a perfect moment. On the train, at your desk, elevator, whatever. All you have to do is focus on the breath - in, out. Notice the annoyance as you realize you’ve begun thinking about buying cat food or calling whatsisname. Stop the thought and come back to the breath - in, out.

The goal is only to *try* to clear the mind, you can’t fail at trying. Even if it didn’t “work” it totally worked, because you tried. Do it everyday or more (esp if you’re panicking). When it stops making you angry, start increasing your time by a minute or two. It will help you!

Anyway, I would be interested to hear how it goes with the new therapist and a med tweak. Keep posting!  Good luck to you!

Posted by gimmegrace on Dec 19, 2013 at 5:54am

I sympathize as I also had the same problem. I thought just getting work out was more important than accuracy. It only disappoints people. The secret is to slow down your delivery. Let what you have done rest and only review at a later stage when you have cleared your mind. (after exercise or meditation) I’m 50 and I just recently went back too University and the discipline to preform again for assignments taught me to take more time between reviews of scripts. You don’t need to change jobs, just change your strategy.

Posted by markoak on Dec 19, 2013 at 9:58am

Hi all I am 48 years old and new to this. Scheduling and detail is a large part of my job. Over a year a go I thought everything was normal. I had a little office with white boards that had projects on them. List on excel on my computer. I was well organized and accomplishing all my work. I coordinated the work of multiple contractors, but yet I was not a manager. One key to the whole operation was that I stayed secluded from everyone until I had to direct work. The office was quiet and I could concentrate on what I was doing. In the past year a friend of mine was promoted to director. (He started working there after me and has been promoted over me.) Since his promotion it has all gone down hill. Drastically! Out of no where I was pushed out of my office by the new director (my friend of 15 years and assistant vice president) and placed in a basement with two co workers. These were young guys about 13 to 15 years younger than me. They are always noisy, distracting, and continuously insulting me. My concentration has completely disintegrated. Meanwhile it seems that every co worker I work with has turned against me. The so called career I have built for over 20 years is completely falling apart. As I look back, what I noticed is, I did well when I was alone. I could work on extremely detailed and complicated work, if I was left alone. I do believe that this is not a disability, it is a gift. I understand that people who are artists, writers, scientists who work well alone or with people who are similar in attitude is the key. Mind you, I am at the end of my rope. I just called in sick again. Anxiety is through the roof. Heart palpitations. Looking for help as well but don’t know where to go. I will look today! I know I am a good person with a good heart. My best times are when I play music (drums and guitar) and scuba diving. If you are looking for movements of extreme peace, take up scuba diving. It may make you anxious at first but when you are in the ocean doing it, there is no sound but your breathing. The colors are breath taking. Complete solitude except for your buddy next to you. Its better than any meditation.

Posted by 2divein2 on Dec 19, 2013 at 12:33pm

Oh and I am going back to school for engineering and/or science. I won’t let this beat me!

Posted by 2divein2 on Dec 19, 2013 at 12:37pm

Violet:  It looks like everyone gave you great advice!  I take 60 mg of Adderall a day.  I also lost my job of 23 years.  I told my company I had ADHD after finding out in 2006.  You need to see things on paper.  Things told to you in person won’t always stick - at least that is me.  You are allowed that type of accommodation (Job Accommodation Network).  I am looking for work, but also filed with the EEOC because of the way I was fired.  My counselor said I should look for a job that is more enjoyable, simple - not a lot of paperwork.  I am almost 56 years old and might just end up volunteering and try to get disability, perhaps work part-time.  I also have other diagnoses (example - migraines).  Music is helpful.  I think you got lots of great ideas from others.  It is very difficult and you need a boss who is understanding.

Posted by JADD on Dec 19, 2013 at 2:54pm

2divein2 thanks so much for your post. I am surrounded by tiny toys, which I bought in bulk for my great-nieces and nephews. Then I had to portion them out…. I’m in such a muddle and have missed the post. Of course. I had to log on to read these posts from others like me. It helps so much to know I’m not the only one. At work, I have found that being just really assertive about my disability helps. When they criticise me for not paying attention, being forgetful, etcetc, I say ‘what part of attention deficit disorder do you not understand?’ It makes me so mad, I mean they wouldn’t criticise a blind man for falling over an obstacle would they? Fight back! Value your strengths! Criticise them for their lack of understanding!

Posted by Canary Mary on Dec 19, 2013 at 5:09pm

Hi Sweetie! Would you believe that just yesterday I met with our long-time friend & church counseling ministry director to discuss essentially the same issues? EXCEPT, I cannot even get HIRED! And I am a Certified Master’s level COUNSELOR—have been for nearly 10 years! In addition, I will be 51 in less than a month; I have SEVERE Narcolepsy; experienced premature menopause (10 years ago); have hypothyroidism; degenerative & painful scoliosis; and am married to a very successful (& exasperated, with me) Ph.D. who teaches graduate accounting courses at a local prestigious private college!

Even though I was certain of my “diagnosis” (as a trained clinician in diagnostics), I still had to pay a Psychometrist $300 to “Officially Assess & Diagnose” my ADHD, combined type, SEVERE! Only then would my Psychiatrist begin working with me to find the best medication and dosage to decrease my life-interfering symptoms! All the while, I have continued seeing a sweet, supportive counselor at the center. She’s not an ADHD coach, but her validation, feedback, & support have helped to NOT give up—helping me to refocus, see & use my strengths, and to empower & encourage me to persevere, even when I work “10 times as hard as everyone else”—NOT striving for perfection, only COMPLETION of the minimum requirements! (Though others THINK it’s perfection—we know it is struggling to just get by!)

I have been tardy to numerous interviews, arrive exhausted & frantic, had to reschedule, even cancel interviews! And I’m ALWAYS SO TIRED…all the while our house is a total disaster in every room!

It’s VERY hard to avoid developing a self-concept of profound shame! But we MUST FIGHT THAT! We are born (were created) this way for good and SPECIAL purposes!  These are nearly always divergent from our predominate cultural priorities of what “valuable” traits, characteristics, thought patterns, information processing, expression/communication & “successful” life/work skills & outcomes are!

Commit to YOURSELF to keep PERSEVERING creatively to explore, discover, & adopt strategies that will empower you to be successful—even in small victories and will encourage you to set & meet realistic, appropriate, measurable, specific, simple, & worthwhile goals!

Think…meditate…dream…brainstorm…write…draw…sing…these goals! Then share them with a trusted friend/family member, so they can be an accountability partner & advocate for you!

Remember…The Little Engine…
FINALLY DID IT!!!

Blessings,
Audrey
(TurtleGirl)

Posted by alm4hope on Dec 19, 2013 at 7:39pm

Incredible comments.  I’ve been feeling alone all these years.  Been fired from just about everybody.  I present very well and easily land good jobs…and lose them.  People cannot understand my low-functioning and I’m not aware of it until its too late.

I have reached the bottom…in a low-paying job (thought low-paying meant easy—wrong) where I am blasted everyday by a boss that sees only bad.  Level of detail in number counting and inventorying gets my head spinning.

My wife’s LD has kept her from many jobs without success, except she has found day care for twos and now is opening her own in our home.  So far a good beginning. 

To qualify further the insight given above about “going for what you love”  is a Charles Schwaub’s advice (on the ADD Celebrity Poster…) “and then work twice as hard at”  really resonates.  Now got to search my self’s passions.

In the meantime we have no money am also looking to qualify for disability. Anyone know a good Pro-Bono or Contingency SSI Attorney? Please provide contact info.  Thanks !

My wife and I live on our faith in a Power greater than ourselves to help us—we have to, being the parents of six-year-old twins (boy and girl).  This attitude has saved us from needless pessimism, nervousness and possible self-destructive behavior. 

We pray for help and to help others, take actions, then turn our actions over to G-d for the results.  May these results be way better than we can possibly imagine (they will be if we keep our eyes open)!

In the meantime we treat these challenges as the means to refine us, to become better human beings.

Posted by glnrss613 on Dec 24, 2013 at 5:25am

I want to thank everyone for their posts. Reading this thread has made me realise that I can stop beating myself up for being workaholic and perfectionistic. Actually I’m not! I just have to work ten times as hard as everyone else to achieve the same amount. That’s a revelation. I think when it has sunk in it will make a big difference to me. I hope it will anyway. I can stop calling myself anal, picky, fussy,slow, long-winded. And maybe I will stop overloading myself and acknowledge that I need more time to do the things I’ve planned. But then again, that’s unlikely to happen. And now I’ve got to get to the butcher before he closes or I won’t have a turkey for Xmas. Happy holiday everyone!

Posted by Canary Mary on Dec 24, 2013 at 10:10am

Guys remember the other side to this is the people you work or live around. They can see how you react.

Posted by 2divein2 on Dec 26, 2013 at 12:15pm

Bosses will overload you. Co workers will pick on you. I believe in some cases this is on purpose. Low self esteem and depression creates a large portion of our problem. It creates mental blocks for me. I was doing really well with my job until they pulled me from my office and put me in with two other people. That’s when it went down hill.
  Like I mentioned, I am going back to school. I find myself having problems concentrating because of all the other things that people have said or done during the course of the day, that keeps racing through my mind.
  I need to find how to control that. I am sure that we are fairly bright individuals. I would hire us without a doubt if I had a business.
  You can dig yourself out of any hole your in. The goal is to be happy. This is what I decided. Now as long as my wife lets me. LOL

Posted by 2divein2 on Dec 26, 2013 at 12:30pm

Thanks again everyone. 

I met with a new therapist yesterday.  He also encouraged me to continue to work with my psychiatrist to get the right adderall level and also thought it could be raised.

He also had a few good ideas about negotiating with my current boss about switching around some of my responsibilities, so that I could spend more time doing the parts of my job that I am good at, and have someone else take over the parts I am struggling with.

I have no idea if she will go for it but its worth a try-even if it only buys me a little more time to find another job.

I just have to take it one day at a time and try not to let myself sink into that state of utter panic.

Posted by VioletteN on Dec 28, 2013 at 10:55pm

hi to all i am new in ths thread. just like you guys i also have adhd im having difficulty in organizing my tasks at work. My boss always scolds me in my work and i think my colleagues think that i d not focus in my work.  CAn you guys help me in giving tips to manage my time and organize my workplace. Please help me out

Posted by nightwing on Dec 30, 2013 at 2:17am

Hi nightwing!

Organization is difficult for so many people! Here’s an article on ADDitudeMag.com that has some great tips to help you get more organized at work: 10 Ways to Get More Done at Work, Despite ADHD: http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/1687.html

I hope that helps!

Penny
ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Dec 30, 2013 at 8:59pm

I am still reading through the replies, so I apologize if this duplicates other feedback.
In terms of medication, i take focalin. It has helped me tremendously. Prior to focalin, I could always focus and work hard, but always seemed to be distracted by something related to the task that interested me more. I had many of the same concerns and had a history of not being able to finish. I am such a perfectionist. I think it is because I never wanted people to see my flaws. In the end, it has only magnified them and paralyzed me. Focalin has improved my work and quality of life.

I also got a personal coach that helped me (square peg) find ways to adapt to the corporate (round hole) without losing too much of myself in the process.

In terms of counseling, one thing that has worked remarkably well for me is working with someone with experience in using eidetic imagery to help work through things. That has also worked well for me. It has also improved my mindful meditation b/c I now realize it doesn’t have to be some profound thoughts. I can meditate by going through rooms in my grandma’s house or the old apartment my dad and I lived in..and be more centered afterwards.

Posted by geoame on Jan 01, 2014 at 9:25pm

One other thing…may be consider staying where you are until you get your meds and therapy worked out. It will give you some stability (a known) rather than all of unknowns while trying to improve.
For computer stuff, templates can be tedious. Perhaps develop a couple of standard workflows or checklists for your main tasks. Keep those handy for your daily routine. It will keep down on missed steps. I tutored LD students in math for years. This works. Also, i am very poor at rote memorization. The tip to use different colors for different steps or while reading/editing/revising has worked wonders for me.
If like what you do, but struggle with completion..try some of these adaptations. A timer may also help.

Posted by geoame on Jan 01, 2014 at 9:38pm

hello, i am also a random visitor…but I had to stop and share. Like so many others I see my story in yours…I am considering a career change and I am 54…beyond scary…I spend way too much time hiding in bed trying to work up my courage, create a game plan, make new lists, follow all the organizational material i have read…then (cue the celestial music) I stumbled on a site that made me laugh till I cried…that embraced my “random thought patterns” and said what I have always thought…but was/am ridiculed for - I do not and cannot think like a neurotypical person…step 1, step 2, stepppp
AHHHH!!! No! I not only do not think inside the box I don’t know where the box is.  More importantly, if the “box” was so marvelous why are there constant issues, crisis, and so on.  I see a problem and seek to solve it not band aid it so it can pop up again and again and again. hmm this may be why housework eludes me…anyway i digress

Let me tell you at first I thought GREAT one more way I fail to measure up…PFFtttt…then I read some more of this lady’s words and I tracked the articles and sources she noted…(see these here: http://blogs.psychcentral.com/adhd-zoe/2013/06/adhd-treatment-have-we-been-taking-the-wrong-approach/ and here: http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/10121.html

That second one is especially important in light of your comment regarding your supervisor not liking you.

Guess what!?!  the boxes are for ordinary people so they do not get lost like a map…we the non-linear, the non-neurotypical, the fantastic thinkers see the world beyond the map. AND we are the ones who jump in and explore, create new avenues, solve issues.  In Jan of 2010, a lady named Kay Whittenhauer wrote an article concerning famous folks with ADD/ADHD..wow, we are in august company.  (see that article here:http://voices.yahoo.com/famous-people-add-adhd-positive-side-add-5248633.html)

Forget the organizational manuals for a moment…think about your last success…how did you do it?  How did you keep track of the details, what worked? What didn’t?  Now can you apply those techniques to your current position?  Next- while thinking about that think on a second channel as well (yes multitask GASP!) What kind of work needs your skills and believe me you have them in abundance…How can you write a proposal that will get you into that type of work?...play fantasy job in one part of your mind…a create the reality…

Do I know if this will work? nope…not yet but I am trying it…maybe you can too.  My story is like yours..i am about to be canned for not fitting in a box…I gotta do something…I am choosing to be the whole me..and it is scary but so is my current situation…

Well enough of my rambling…I know you will do well whatever you choose.  Try to choose a way that does not require you to disable your fantastic brain and mind.

Posted by disi on Jan 01, 2014 at 11:32pm

THanx adhdmomma for the link. im sure it can help me a lot. by the way do you know a adhd book which is easy to understand , a book that has a workbook and can help in my daily tasks.  thanx . im considering it is a free e book

Posted by nightwing on Jan 02, 2014 at 10:03am

I found Delivered from Distraction good for understanding ADHD. It’s by Ned Hallowell.

Posted by Canary Mary on Jan 02, 2014 at 10:36am

I thought I’m the onlyone who can’t read its own handwriting :D
I’m 35 and after reading you story It seems I just read my horoscope predictions at 50 smile
by the way even at this stage my condition is same as yours…

Posted by Burraak on Jan 05, 2014 at 2:04pm

VioletteN, I could not understand better where you are coming from had I written this post myself!

Before I start I want to apologise if any of these suggestions have already been tried or mentioned (like you I sometimes have to skim over large amounts of text!)

The first thing to realise is that you are NOT alone! talk to your family, your friends, your doctor, or even us on here as there is always someone that has been through worse or is going through the same thing that you are going through and the more people know of the condition the more they are willing to try and help you with it. I am not saying to use it as an excuse as this will soon irritate people to the point they will give up, but explain to them how it effects you, why it is you do the things that you do and, especially in the workplace, show them what you are doing to change things! If you show them that you have difficulty with ABC but you are doing XYZ to try and ease the problem and make things easier they are more inclined to listen and give you another chance.

With regards to the medication that you are taking, while I am on a different medication myself (Concerta XL) I believe that an increase in the dosage or a different medication altogether may solve a lot of your problems. After all there is no quick fix ‘miracle pill’ for this!

As for the tasks that you have difficulty at work a method that I have found useful is to write down IN BULLET POINTS the key steps that you need to have done on a post it note and stick it to the side of your computer monitor. Alternatively a simple table from an Excell spreadsheet listing what needs to be done with tick boxes next to them. This way you can prove, to yourself and others, that you have done everything that you needed to do. It may be that you end up with post its littering the edges of your screen however, I promise you from personal experience this is a technique that works and soon enough you are aware of the post its, what they say, why they are there and you will not even need them.

With regards to the handwriting/notes try writing less! It may sound stupid, but stick to bullet points outlining the key points you need to remember. personally I have found that I have a good long term memory and a terrible short term memory, a trick that I have found useful (though by no means 100% effective) to combat this is to try and remember not just what was said but the situation, try and put myself back in the meeting/lesson etc. Remembering the situation and the whole area is often lot easier than trying to remember a minute detail.

I hope these points help you, I really do. and remember you’re not alone! don’t give up because someone said you were wrong or you cant get your head around it fight harder!

I leave you with a, somewhat cheesy, quote from the Batman movies that I have actually found helps a lot;
why do we fall down? So that we can learn to pick ourselves back up.

All the very best
Gareth Rice-Adams

Posted by Pidge90 on Jan 13, 2014 at 1:24pm

I feel so much better. I am 42 years old and have been dealing with ADHD since elementary school. Violette reading your story makes me feel so not alone. I am going through the same symptoms as you. I work in sales wich I feel feeds my ADHD but I have not been able to go further with my position. Memory, attention to detail, filling out paper work, and communication issues is holding me back. Please don’t give up!!! You can do this.

Posted by blueskies71 on Jan 22, 2014 at 12:31am

It is hard though.  What amazes me is that so many people put up with my “spacyness” .  Then, when I started to figure out what was going on and mentioned it to a couple of close friends, they all said that they realized something was off, but they still were my friends.  The big thing is, I cannot sit still for very long; to manage this I get LOTS of exercise.  That does help.

Posted by barbhalfmann on Jan 22, 2014 at 2:22pm

Hi Violet,
There are a lot of good suggestions here. I know you want to give up, however I think you can do this job by simplifying it.
Here are a few suggestions:
1) like a previous poster said make your own detailed checklists and group items together that are related. Fill out a checklist for each donor as you make the file and mark each check box item as you complete it. Make the list fool proof and exhaustive so that as long as you follow it you cant go wrong. Eg. include email attachments, and anything else that you tend to forget. As needed modify the checklist by adding or removing items and include one for each donor/file. This should simplify the detailed tasks. You can make different checklists for different tasks. Email me if you need help with this.

2) The other thing I wanted to mention was that you seem stressed. Try relaxation breathing exercises and/or medication to help with anxiety. Because anxiety triggers adhd symptoms. So you have to deal with that as well.

Good luck with everything !
Brandon

Posted by BrandonL on Feb 14, 2014 at 11:34pm

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