If you watched the video…this might give you a hint as to how my mind can work. I feel as if I’m running away. Running away from my thoughts, fears, anxiety. This is part of the reason I stay very busy. The good thing is, I don’t mind being busy! I really LOVE it! Maybe it is a coping mechanism? Could choose a worse one….
The other good thing is that I don’t want to kill myself or drown in a tub! And…I see sunshine just like the kid did in the end of the video. I love life!
I was diagnosed with ADD during my fourth year of college. I didn’t really take this “diagnosis” seriously. All of those crazy and racing thoughts, chronic procrastination, and the need to be on the go, were just part of who I was, or…should I have blamed it on my ADD?
Deep down, I already knew this. School had always been a struggle for me and I was very disorganized. The cubbie under my desk was crammed full of old graded papers and I could never find anything. Many days I dreaded going to school because I didn’t have my homework done, or, I wasn’t prepared for tests. The “play sick” skill had been mastered. Slapping my cheeks to look flushed, putting the thermometer by my light bulb to produce a fever, and even producing fake tears were part of the trick.
My poor Mom… It almost tickles me now, as I am raising a son with ADHD and see the same behavior. He doesn’t fool me like he may think, as I know the behavior well! I OWN it:)
My parents pulled me out of the public school system after third grade and sent me to a private Catholic school where I would have more one on one attention. This may have helped raise my D’s and F’s to C’s?
Did I get off track? What was I talking about? Oh yes….ADHD! Just so you know, I completed High School and went on to college. I remember my college prep counselor in High School having a talk with me about what I wanted to do after High School. I told her that I wanted to be a Physical Therapist and she said, “Oh dear, you just don’t have the grades that it takes to pursue something like that.” That was encouraging!
Of course, like many others, AD/HD or not…I did great in the courses that I enjoyed. It’s to bad that in College, we can’t just take the courses that are applied to our major! Instead, we have to fulfill a certain amount of hours and take all of these electives spending all kinds of money. The traditional four year college degree is NOT for everyone! I’m not regretful that I attended college for four and a half years despite the fact that I left with no degree, and, many hours left in order to get one.
In all seriousness, I may have avoided some crazy times had I not gone to college, however, I would have missed out on many important things (life lessons) and people. I’m glad I went. Go EIU!
My college career finally came to an end when I had a panic attack in my abnormal Psych class. Yea…probably not the best career for me. I chose to drop out and pursue Massage Therapy.
So years later, many “air headish” moments, and a Divorce that I DID NOT expect…I found my attention and focus to be really unmanageable! Of course, anyone would have a tough time focusing if their husband had an affair out of the blue and left you with a two year old. Everyone was shocked over this! TOTALLY shocked!
Everything happens for a reason!
Am I still talking about ADHD or marriages gone awry? I could easily swith topics, as I have a lot to say about the latter.
So, I met this guy on eHarmony a few years later. Ahhh….Love the guy! This story will wait for a different blog post because it is a neat tale to tell. I’m just giving a time line as to when I was given diagnosis #2 for the AD/HD thing.
My brain wasn’t dealing well with the new life/ adjustments. Previously, (before marriage #2), my life was….Single Mom of one son, very independent, extremely social, involved in everything, and owned my own successful business as a Massage Therapist. Then, my life went to…. Mom of three sons, with a Husband who traveled a lot, living in a much bigger city and much bigger house, not knowing anyone, as a stay at home mom! NO WAY was that working for me or my active mind! Please note that I was and still am very lucky and grateful to have been in that predicament. It was just bad timing, no gradual adjustment, and not a good fit for my active mind and particular circumstances at the time.
The sleep doc decided that I was “hypervigilent”. Ready for action and not allowing myself to go into a deep sleep! I went in for some suggested cognitive/neurological testing and sure enough, after 4 hours of verbal, written, and computerized tests…it was official. I had the ADHD diagnosis. FULL BLOWN ADHD! This time, the diagnosis was different. I cried. The report was long and made me sad. I had been living my whole life like this. My brain was on constant overdrive…my thoughts were way ahead of my words, I was in fight or flight all of the time. I couldn’t focus people! I had to move, I felt uncomfortable sitting still. BTW…still do:)
The Following information is from an article from the ADDitude magazine….
“The ADHD nervous system, is a unique and special creation that regulates attention and emotions in different ways than the nervous system in those without the condition.
Those with the condition don’t have a shortage of attention. They pay too much attention to everything. Most people with unmedicated ADHD have four or five things going on in their minds at once. (THAT IS ME!!)
Everyone with ADHD knows that they can “get in the zone” at least a few times a day.
ADHDers know that they are bright and clever, but they are never sure whether their abilities will show up when they need them. The fact that symptoms and impairments come and go throughout the day is the defining trait of ADHD. It makes the condition mystifying and frustrating. ( I CONCUR;)
People with ADHD primarily get in the zone by being interested in, or intrigued by, what they are doing. I call it an interest-based nervous system. Judgmental friends and family see this as being unreliable or self-serving. When friends say, “You can do the things you like,” they are describing the essence of the ADHD nervous system. (Totally true!!!!)
ADHD individuals also get in the zone when they are challenged or thrown into a competitive environment. Sometimes a new or novel task attracts their attention. Novelty is short-lived, though, and everything gets old after a while. (this sounds familiar)
Most people with an ADHD nervous system can engage in tasks and access their abilities when the task is urgent — a do-or-die deadline, for instance. This is why procrastination is an almost universal impairment in people with ADHD. They want to get their work done, but they can’t get started until the task becomes interesting, challenging, or urgent. ” ( Yep, Yes, Right on!)
Over the years I have gone back and forth on my opinion of the AD/HD diagnosis. Is it real? Is it just bad parenting, life circumstances, bad genes, a label? Doesn’t EVERYONE have a level of inattention or focus issue? Yes probably.
The difference however, is that The AD/HD mind has so many other characteristics that are so very positive. When under pressure…I can do 1,2,3,4 and 5. I tend to remember things and be able to get it all put together. I’m also very creative and can come up with ideas that are in a waiting line to get out of my brain. haha
I do agree that the ADD/HD label has been a bit “over done”. Throughout my years of researching and studying the AD/HD, anxiety brain…I have come to believe that we can change our behavior. We can alter how our genes “express” themselves. Just as someone with Autism or even addiction can. Some people can’t assimilate certain nutrients that are vital for brain health. Some people don’t produce glutathione… Again…this topic will have to be another post. Very interesting information!
I wanted to share this with you, as I have been made fun of by both family and friends for most of my life for being “flightly”, “air-headish”, I talk to much, etc. I’ve laughed along with them, and REALLY have had “flightly” moments! So what right? Well, deep down, it does begin to wear on a person. AD/HD people are extra sensitive to criticism and we may be told we are being “over-reactive” or “unreasonable” for feeling the way that we do. What if we can’t help feeling that way? Something to consider….
Some of the most brilliant and talented people have been diagnosed with AD/HD. Let’s look at the good in the ADDer! Who cares if they can’t write like a Private school Master’s degree scholar? Who cares if they don’t have perfect punctuation? Who cares if they don’t use big fancy words to try and make themselves “appear/sound smart”. Is that shit really important? Really? What is important? That is for you to decide……
For now….I choose to blame it on my ADD Baby!
Please have compassion for those who may seem like they are “to busy for you”, take things out of context, interrupt, talk to much, seem scattered or anxious, aren’t grounded (my favorite;) Until you have been in their shoes (or mind)…you don’t know what they may be going through. You probably wouldn’t want to either.
Have a great weekend with your friends, family and AD/HDer’s!
Peace and Love