Support, Educate, Advocate
* My ADHD Awarness Share Project 2017 *
Happy New Month! Happy October! My all time favorite month of the year. Alongside Breast Cancer Awareness we also support, educate and advocate ADD/ADHD, so while my beautiful niece is off rockin her pink locks in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I’ve decided this month I’d share some insight on what it’s like living with ADD from my own perspective and some of the ways it affects me personally, such as, well, right now. My intention last night was to get up early, open some windows and clean. I got up, decided it was ADHD Awareness month and I should immediately post something about that, because, well, that is my wheelhouse after all. And, because I know me, I also know that this will lead to about 17 to 53 revisions, which equals an entire day of logging on and off WordPress for what will eventually become a one paragraph, 2 minute read.
Ahh.. ADHD, you gotta have sense of humour. Since details aren’t my strong suit, unless of course it’s pointless trivia, or something I personally find fascinating, I won’t see any typos or grammar mistakes until after I publicly post this 5 or 8 times, even after multiple spellchecks. I’ll feel bad about the time I’ve wasted and decide to finally get around to some cleaning, but WAIT!, I need more pretty pictures for futures posts. I’ll then scan the internet, finding pretty pictures, that lead me to the blogs theses pretty pictures are attached to where I will read, and save, and read some more, down the rabbit hole once again. I’ll tell myself it’s really ok, because after all I do have off tomorrow. Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you tomorrow…..
Links to some valuble resources can be found in the ADD/ADHD header menu or here.
My Oh So Noisy Money Mind
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 re-address this topic once again.
Procrastination, Time Management and the Twilight Zone
Tsk, tsk, where does the time go? No, seriously. Where does it go? Time is such a funny thing to begin with in and of itself. The long and short of a year. And how does something like 2 weeks ago seems like a lifetime and something from a decade seem like yesterday? How is that. How can that be.
I’m always in a hurry, I don’t really know why, and I tend to walk super fast. I couldn’t saunter if I tried. Hurry up and wait could probably sum up the majority of my life, and yet at the same time I don’t like to rush. Huh. Weird quirk. I think maybe it’s because I always feel oddly rushed to begin with for no particular reason as to why. If I need to be at work at 8:00 a.m. I’m up at 6 :00 a.m. but really 5:30 a.m. (probably more like 5:00) because I’d feel even more rushed if I were on too tight of a time schedule. After all, I need to allow enough proper time for important stuff like my morning ritual, which basically consists of me sitting in silence drinking my coffee staring blankly the wall. Well maybe not so silent, there’s always that party in my head of course.
Just recently while reading through information on ADHD I’ve come across several articles of information that deal with ADHDer’s and our sense of time management, remarking that we tend to have an askewed sense of time. I like that. An askewed sense of time. You are correct sir. Though they would have it seem most ADHDer’s have a tendency toward lateness. I don’t know how accurate that is, maybe it’s true, be what it may, I can assure you I am not one of them. (My son, fyi, complete opposite.) I’m hyper early for everything and completely in a huff if you’re a nano second late. I mean after all, to me of course it would seem as though I’ve been waiting forever because I probably have been, no fault of your own. Rationally I know I have enough time, even more than enough time because I go by the 15 minute early rule of thumb, and in my world 15 minutes equates to 45. Madness. I went to yoga class against my ADHD’s judgement last week. The class is at 8:30 a.m. I hesitated in going because work schedules had been changed to accommodate the off season, meaning I now had to be at work at that new obscenely early hour of NOON instead of 1 p.m., which equals 11:30 a.m. in my head. Could I do it? Would I have suffice time for coffee, wall gazing AND make it to class, AND get home, AND get a shower, AND get ready for work WITHOUT rushing!??? Can it EVEN BE DONE!! AGGHHHH! It can. I had my coffee, skipped the wall scrying, went to class, got back with more than enough time to shower, get ready, and even had time left over for a pre workday wall stare instead of my usual morning. Time is just so weird to me. Hurry, hurry, hurry….
Of course then there’s the flip side, the procrastination. Now you’d be inclined to think someone with a sense of warp speed going through their day wouldn’t have an issue with procrastination, that’d I’d hop right to things (and sometimes I do, ahh, ADHD just can’t be simple. Gotta be all complicated and shit). Wrong. My twisted sense of time that keeps me an hour ahead of the rest of the population exists simultaneously with procrastination. It’s complicated. That’s all I got.
Taxes due? Meh, I got time. Bill due? Meh, I got time. Gas tank on empty and you’ve just driven past 4 gas stations fully aware that your gas tanks on empty? Meh, I got time. It sounds comical. It’s one of those funny, not funny things. A little laughter and a lot of WTF because it’s not like you’re oblivious to your own behaviour. It’s difficult to explain, it’s not as if you aren’t aware. You are. And it’s not as if you just don’t want to do it, because you do, such a simple task all you really want is to do it and just get it done, you even picture it in your head, the normalcy of “just get ‘er done”, just do these simple little everyday things and go on with your day like the rest of the world, it’s just that it’s nearly impossible to make yourself until the very last minute. That said, by procrastinating you’ve now introduced the element of rushing right into the situation, and allow me to direct you back to the previous paragraphs above and my complete dislike of rushing. So why would I even procrastinate? hmmmm.. I may have just had an epiphany here. UGH. See, complicated. Maybe it’s some weird psycho sense of urgency, I can attest that I seem to work better under pressure or on a deadline.
That being said I’ll segue right into hyper focus. This can be a blessing and a curse. I can be working on something before work, much like I am now on this blog post, and I will not budge until it’s time, and I mean the exact very stroke of time to leave. Which of course is 45 minute earlier than necessary, but I digress. I’ll keep looking over my shoulder at the hands of the clock again and again wondering why do they seem to move so slow, (maybe they actually do) and wishing I had a mega million lottery win tucked in the bank so I could just finish this last sentence correctly or go over my spell check one more time. Anyone that reads any of my posts might find that hysterical and be like, “is she serious?” given all the typos and grammar that I still manage to never find before I hit publish. Why yes, yes I am. Details are not a strong suit with my ADHD. Ugh! Times UP! Gotta go———-> At work, when the time comes for me shift into leadership role you really need to get out of my way because you don’t even want to interfere with my hyper focus on the job. Don’t make me cut you. Ask anyone that’s worked with me. Ask anyone that’s every interrupted me.
Ok, harsh, probably more like the incredible hulk all mild manner one minute, but go ahead, just try to interrupt my hyper focus … I DARE YOU. You get the point. It’s not that I’m mean, I just want to get shit done and getting shit done doesn’t always come so easily.
I am much better here now in my older years but it’s only because of a lifetime of practice and conditioning. I still have more than a long way to go, that’s where this next leg of this tour will take me. The Journey.
So, like, I’m gonna go now. I want to post this at 8:30 this morning, it’s 7:40 now. That gives me nearly 45 minutes to hyper focus on re-reading and editing the typos I’ll still never find.
No Title Because Frankly It Was Taking Too Long To Think Of One (On Patience)
Patience is a virtue. It really, really is. My patience is kind of funny. I have great patience in the “big” stuff, I actually have a very calm, cool and collected head in a crisis. Steady as a rock and I have no problem stepping up and taking charge. The big stuff I can manage. Cut me off in traffic without a blinker though, you’ve taken me to a whole other level. I will lose my freaking mind. Here’s why, this is how I justify it. I’m a pretty easy going person for the most part. I’m so laid back if I were anymore laid back I’d be dead. If you put your blinker on to come over, no worries, be my guest, it’s all good, I’ll even slow down for you. I share the love and the lanes. Just be courteous enough to use your blinker. You KNOW the BLINKER, that ThiNG they PuT ON EVERY Automobile FOR A FUCKING REASON!!!!!! THAT FUCKING REASON BEING SO OTHER PEOPLE…. LIKE ME!!!!!!…. KNOW YOU WANT TO COME THE FUCK ON OVER!!!!!!!!! That said, being a fan of all things woo, I have a natural love of all things sparkly, that includes the stars. Ah, yes, Astrology. How grand is life when all the planets are aligned properly and the stars are singing. I’m not a fan of the cookie cutter one size fits all newspaper/magazine horoscopes, but I do find a certain interest in actual natal birth charts. The squares and trines, the sextiles, whatever a sextile even is, it has the word sex in it though so it can’t be all bad. One day I will have mine read professionally, but I know enough to get me by, and this much I do know for sure, I’m a Sagittarius with a Leo Ascendent and an Aries Moon. Optimistic, enthusiastic (until I’m not anymore), philosophical, blunt, outspoken (when I’m not busy being an introvert, – can’t pigeon hole this lady), creative, artistic, impatient, impetuous, and temperamental. An all around triple threat Fire sign. One look at me once you’ve crossed over that fine line of tolerance and I just might melt you with my eyes alone. The gif below could be possible footage of me at work when I’ve reached my end and a guest innocently ask me for assistance.
Of all my shortcomings it’s my patience, (or lack there of) that has always been my greatest issue. It’s not just you, I don’t even have patient with ME, let alone anything else, unless of course it’s something I’m fascinated with, in which case I switch on my magical hyper focus super power. I am truly the proverbial lady of very little patience. I can’t help it, it’s the Sagittarius me. Or is it the Aries? Leo? I mean why God why does the light have to turn red, like ever. Especially when I’m driving along so mellow and groovy just jammin away. Why do song always sound better when you’re actual in drive? Ugh, I’ve been waiting here for 3 forever seconds, when is the light EVER going to turn green? COME ON. WTF. Thank God for smartphones so the world can multi task at these unnecessarily long 90 second red lights. Light turns green. LIGHT TURNED GREEN! The light turned green a nano second ago why isn’t the car in front of me moving!? WTH! DUDE! GO!! AGHHH!
Sagittarius – blunt and impatient = ADHD, Aries – impulsive and temperamental = ADHD, Leo – lavish and grandiose = ADHD, need I say more. And here I’ve spent a lifetime thinking it was written in the stars.
Before banking online I had a many a bills go unpaid. Well, not unpaid really, I’d write out the check, stick it in the envelope and place on the stamp, the problem seemed to be in the actual getting to the post office. When I say post office I mean the mailbox in front of my house and sticking the up the flag. I pause here as it would seem I’ve gone and perplexed myself. Damn you ADHD, foiled again! I now question, does this fall under patience, lack there of, as in I don’t have the 15 seconds of time it would take to reach the front of the house and mailbox because I’m overly busy hobnobbing and networking with the party in head, OR does this fall under procrastination and it’s sneaky under handed way of subconsciously adding the challenge of meeting the deadline of paying a bill on time into play, hmmm… interesting. I can tell you this. Tomato, tomahto. Regardless of what it falls under it will fuck up your credit score.
Ironically, I’ve always had fairly good blood pressure considering. It’s damn near golden before work hours. But because I am fully aware of my explosive triple threat fire sign temperament, and because I am an adult and a mom and basically an all around kind person, I do rein it in. I mean hell hath no fury by the likes of me. I know me better than anyone, inside and out. I could crush you like a bug with my words alone. I won’t of course, just know that I could. Thank God no one lives in my head but me and my committee. I am prone to heart palpitations if I feel myself self holding back too much, and I have learned to walk away quickly and often. Yoga’s been great in teaching proper breathing techniques. Yoga is probably the best thing I’ve done so far for the ADHD. Breathe your way through. Breathe yourself down, down off the ledge. You would never ever know any of this by looking at me, by talking to me. Trust me, it’s taken a lifetime of practice to look this put together. It’s a wonder I haven’t self combusted by now. IT CAN HAPPEN. It’s gotten even worse in the past 2 years with the beginnings of menopause. The good times are just getting better. The lack of patience aggravation that produces heart palpitations, now throws nuclear hot flashes into the mix. If you see a puddle on the floor with a pair of glasses in the center just step over kindly, it’s just me, someone probably asked me the same question for the 478th time.
Co-dependency, Chaos and all that Other Crap
I once tried to woo an ex boyfriend back by delivering him a pound of deliciously fresh steamed shrimp. Shoved into his mailbox. Still hot. Because that’s normal. (?) And as much as I’d like to say I was young, truth is, I wasn’t THAT young. You can’t make people love you. Want you. Need you. Fix you. Truth is, if they’re ok with you shoving hot steamed shrimp into their mailbox they no doubt need fixing themselves, and you can’t do that for them either.
Having ADHD, or any kind of developmental disorder, it has seemed through years of observation to me at least, that we tend to run a higher risk of attracting not so healthy co-dependent relationships. I believe it stems from a broken sense of self. I’ll make this as short and sweet as possible from my personal point of view, even though the topic spans and entire section in Barnes & Nobles and multiple sub sections. It may come off a little preachy, and yes, as a matter of fact it WILL sound like a chapter straight from a Deepak Chopra book, but, when it comes to “love”, you need to get it right with yourself first. Get that shit together. I don’t care how you get to it as long as it’s legit and you get there. Medicate, meditate, therapy, .. drumming circles if so inclined, but do something pro-active and positive because we all emit an energy around us, and we are each simultaneously the moth and the flame. Everything starts from the inside out. Know that like attracts like even if you’re terribly un-alike. And just like every fucking thing else, it gets complicated. People don’t complete people, there is no “better half” to you. It’s a sweet sentiment sure, but also a load of crap. YOU are a complete and whole person in and of yourself. Know that first. Like you first, freakin fall in love with YOU FIRST regardless of how flawed or mucked up you feel or think you are. Enjoy your own company, respect yourself, love yourself because what’s been said a million times before is all true, you can’t give someone else something you don’t already have to give. Period. Dot. The End.
Getting a rein on feelings is not an easy task for anyone because feelings are so intense. Having ADHD I already have a hyper sense of everything and this I know. Feelings, if you let them, will trick you and find ways to wreak havoc on your life. ADHDer’s are prone to impulsiveness so this make working with feelings doubly hard. I’m no expert on anyone elses ADHD let only their personal feelings but I know from my own experience, when it comes to feelings, that’s yet another rabbit hole I try to tread carefully around, lest I slip, fall in and bump my head. I have this ability to feel everything so deeply both good and bad, it’s kind of pain in the ass really. Even things that are completely detached from myself, my life, my world. This is why I opt not to watch the news. I can be sitting at a red light, hear a song on the radio completely unrelated to anything in my life, ever, and have tears and snot streaming down my face, by the time the light turns green, I’m seriously questioning stuff like past life regression, because I mean WTH. It can get all blood and guts down in there too, a virtual war zone. You can get lost down there also if you’re not careful, and it’s ugly when you crawl back out of that well of emotions. I’m not saying anyone should cut themselves off from their feelings in any way, feelings are a blessing, we need them, they make life worth living, we need them for joy, and for love. We need them for compassion and to empathize and to be human, we just also need to know how to establish healthy boundaries with them and not just act on them impulsively. Feelings without any temperament of logic and reason make a recipe for disaster especially when it comes to relationships.
*Literal footage of me crawling out of my emotions.
Many years ago I was in a relationship with a man and while one evening on the phone with his mom chit chatting away all casual, I was saying how even though her son I was living with was pretty negligent, a bit verbally abusive, drank far too much, too often, and how embarrassing it was hauling out hefty lawn bags full of clanking beer bottles to the curb on trash night, I was really ok with it because most of the time he was too drunk to make it home anyway opting to stay at the womans house he was cheating on me with, so the way I seen it, this is pretty much my house now. I told her it seemed perfectly normal to me anymore. I’ll never forget the words she said, short and to the point, “sweetheart, if you think that’s normal, you need to leave right now.” We trick ourselves with these false feelings trying to mend these broken places. Somewhere deep inside I knew this was true. I hung up the phone, packed up everything I owned that night and never looked back again. As much as I’d like to say lesson learned, it was merely a chapter I had finished, and not the book. I still had decade worth of other adventures awaiting me in “feelings” realm.
Feelings, don’t let them trick you. The Devil often appears as an angel of light. Corinthians 2 11:14
Co-dependency: anytime you’re fully willing to put with and make excuses for someones elses shit for fear of being alone. Once we snag our target it tends to be a game. A challenge. ADHDer’s generally like a challenge, because it holds interest, but so do lots of other kinds of people.
Chaos: a complete state of confusion and disorganization. Ain’t it fun to try to solve puzzles! It keeps our minds challenged, engaged, and best of all off ourselves and our own shit. Yay! This kind of game however becomes addictive and that’s where it gets dangerous. Co-dependency and chaos make a very powerful drug and if you allow yourself to get used to that life, just like any addict, once that drug is taken away the withdraw begins. Normalcy doesn’t seem normal, it just seems boring. What’s the fun in that? Where’s the challenge there eh, so we (or they) will finds ways to mess it all up again in an effort to get high.
Crap: it has come to my mind throughout far too many years of observation that broken people like to try to fix other broken people in a doctor heal thyself sort of way. It doesn’t work. Co-dependency isn’t between just signficant others either, it can be between family members, friends, anytime you’re willing to put up, shut up and ultimately BE, anyone else’s personal toilet, it’s there you’re likely to find a co-dependency issue.
It’s all fun and games until the bail money runs out.
We are all just little magnets, we pull into our lives the energy that we put out, and if we put out an energy of brokeness that’s what we get in return, broken things, and we won’t even see it coming. Get that shit right with yourself. I won’t pretend it’s easy because it’s not. It’s hard and it’s ugly and it’s messy and you may end up on a therapist’s couch with a bottle of cheap bourbon and pack of unfiltered Winstons, and I don’t care if you don’t smoke, because you will now. This sense of brokeness comes from deep dark places.
I lived my whole adolescence and young adult life feeling and believing my mother didn’t love me, and as her only daughter I couldn’t understand why. My mother was broken, she had her own mental health issues she never accepted and dealt very poorly with. Raised in an environment of poverty as the only daughter of an alcoholic mother who collected lovers and husbands like some people collect keychains and postcards. Broken begets broken if you’re not careful and wise. So again I repeat, you cannot give someone else something you don’t already have to give. My mother couldn’t give me anymore than her mother had given her. Between the ADHD, the lack of any loving or supportive relationship with my mother and zero self esteem, I was a virtual freak magnet, and this why I know all this shit.
ADHD can trick you into feeling that you’re broken and slightly out of step, that you don’t deserve anyone wonderful because no one really ‘gets’ you anyway, and THAT’S A LOAD OF CRAP.
I end with this: One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in my journey is you cannot fix yourself by fixing other people. Broken people are broken, and you can’t glue your own feelings of brokeness back together through them, don’t even try, you’ll wake up one day and realize you’ve given away all your energy and half of your life.
#adhd #awareness #support #educate #advocate