Long post – I tried to break it up with some white space, but it’s still too long. Posting it anyway because it feels good to write the thoughts down.
I was diagnosed…what, three years ago? (I honestly don’t remember) and I don’t think I will EVER stop second-guessing the diagnosis. Mainly because while hubby is a good resource for the “notice a change since the meds?” question (he usually says yes, but not always), after that I run out of candidates for feedback. I don’t want to ask my kids because it doesn’t seem fair to make them rate my performance as Mom. I don’t have a lot of close friends these days. Those people that I confide in the most, coincidentally,
The people who have known me the longest – my parents – I don’t dare tell. Their take on illnesses in general has always been either “it’s all in your head” or “tough it out.” And my father is a retired physician! The one time I floated the idea of my having ADD past my mother – before I was diagnosed – she attributed my long list of difficulties to the fact that I was simply a typical mother with three kids (as she had been).
She meant to be reassuring, but all it did was fill me with doubt and more confusion. Had she ever sent me to school with an empty sandwich? I don’t think so. But my son had the lovely experience of opening his sandwich box to find two plain slices of bread because I’d forgotten to put anything between them.
Perversely, it’s these kinds of stories I need to tell myself now and then so that I can trust my diagnosis and move forward. Otherwise the self-critic starts in with “Malingerer! Lazy butt! It’s all just an excuse for your lack of self-discipline! And for you to get some stimulants!” So it becomes this weird ironic game; in order to feel better about myself I have to go around looking for ways I’ve messed up that are above and beyond typical human screw-ups or typical busy-mom oopsies.
Obviously the ones that happened before I went on meds – like the sandwich incident – are best at convincing me my ADD is for real, but the sad truth is I still have plenty of ADD-style moments now.
What I usually decide is that the ADD moments are fewer, and it’s just that I’m more likely to notice the ones I do have thanks to the meds. (“Insight!” my doctor triumphantly pronounced at one of my med checks.). Sometimes I’ll look back at an oops moment and realize I actually caught myself mid-goof and thus prevented a worse one…as in, locking the door and realizing I forgot my phone. At least I thought of it in time to go back in and GET the phone. That’s an improvement. But of course at the moment it happens all I do is curse and kick myself for not thinking of it sooner still.
Sometimes the second-guessing seems endless. Am I too hard on myself now? Or did I seek ADD treatment because I was too hard on myself to begin with?
That’s part one – yikes! I’ve got more to say in Post #2.REPORT ABUSE