Each week this month in recognition of ADHD Awareness Month I’m going to try (try being the key word here, hello ADHD) to share my own experience with ADHD in bits and pieces to let you inside the working of my particular ADHD brain. I’m in no way a medical person and my thoughts and beliefs are just my own, this is just me, myself and my monkey brain, coming and sharing with you. So….
My brain thoughts can typically run a pattern something like this at any given moment… I can be thinking of a time I was a teenager down at our local park with some friends snapping off photos in the playground and wondering if I still have those photos and within a fraction of a second be thinking of my mom in her hospital bed, jump to the time she tripped over her oxygen tank hose and laughing at herself and remembering us standing in the rain outside Papass restaurant while she cried to catch her breath, but don’t stop there. I’ll jump to thinking of the time I was working at my favorite bookstore and the fun it was, and why can’t every job be that enjoyable, right to the time I was driving up in Harford County and a storm came through knocking over a tree and the detour I had to take that got me lost, moving right on to thinking of the park in Nottingham, and wonder what my best hiking buddy is up to now, to the time I walked that trail alone in tears when my son up and abruptly left for Alabama, all while I’m on the phone with YOU making reservations for your fantastic trip out the with our fabulous company, while simultaneously showing a co-worker how to make a price fix correction.
Noisy, jumpy, jumbley, MONKEY brain. That paragraph of multiple rapid random thoughts firing off would consume and span about approximately 1 to 3 minutes, now multiply those numbers by the amount of hours in an average waking day.
Extra credit for bonus points, try having a brain like that and working a full time job, and a part time job, while being a single parent raising a son with ADHD, while trying to temper a mother who not only had ADHD, but also a tad of OCD, and suffered greatly from GAD topped with pinch of paranoia for good measure. Yes my mind is a noisy mind, oh so, so noisy, couple that with always working within the general public service sector (more noise) I think that’s why I can sit stretches in complete silence, so much so that I have to snap myself out of it! “Damn Girl! you got an eternity of silence to listen to when you’re DEAD! Snap out of it!” Yeah. Exhausting?
After a couple of decades it stops being an issue and just becomes, well, you. Your personality. You just get used to it. Other people get use to it too, and are likely to just think you’re quirky. Most people probably won’t even realize you have ADHD because if you have the type that doesn’t necessarily include the physical hyperactivity, people really have no idea the hyperactivity is playing out INSIDE your own head. As you grow older you just learn to adjust your responses and behavior to cover the tracks of your jumpy little monkey brain so one is typically the wiser. I come from the generation where there was no ADHD, you were either “hyperactive” riding the Ritalin train or you were lazy, or a late bloomer, lackadaisy, a daydreamer, or my personal favorite slight, “slow”. That’s kind of amusing when you think about it considering how not slow the ADHD brain actually is.
At the end of next week I have my first doctors appointment since moving down South here with a new PCP. I think October being ADHD Awareness month is a fitting enough time to discuss the re-visitation of medication. I’ve been un-medicated my entire life with the exception of one week, maybe less than a week, you know the ADHD doesn’t allow for much patience. It was well over a decade ago, when my dentists assistant was telling me about some medication she was on for it that I had never heard of, and I thought I’d heard of them all. It had perked my attention because my son was on medication and by this time (well into my 30’s) I had begun to realize that I probably should at least try something for myself. I’m not a big “pill” popping fan, never have been, opting for the old holistic homeopathic ways above, beyond and before pharmaceuticals, but even I couldn’t deny the night and day difference in my own child with vs without medication, so I jumped on board (impulsively, hello ADHD) without much discussion or research. It didn’t help that, now in hindsight, my doctor was a quack. I can’t even remember the name of the medication I had enlisted the help of now it seems so uncommon, but my doctor was more than happy to prescribe it (pushing pharmaceutical sales, another reason I’m not a big fan of the pharma). Within a day my face and arm began to go numb. Without any hesitation, in fear of death while still raising a small child, I just tossed them never looking back. Between raising my son,
raising taking care of my mom, working full time, deadbeat dad nonsense, running back and forth and in and out of court over child support coupled with the internal racket in my own head, there was no time or room in my life to play guessing games with medications, or, at least my ADHD would have me believe. Ahhh, to do it all over again knowing what I know now, such is life.
My mother has since passed, my son grown and on his own-ish, my life as a new empty nester is now quiet enough and settled enough to readdress this topic once again. A new journey. I’ll take you along with me. Wish me luck!
#adhdawareness #educate #advocate
featured image courtesy of @theadhdmind