March 12, 2011 at 10:42 pm #89286
AnonymousInactiveMarch 12, 2011 at 10:42 pmPost count: 14413
Have you had difficulty telling people about your diagnosis and then explaining what it means for you – what it means looking back and what it means going forward? I’m having a really hard time with it. Inattentive type is different in that we’re more lethargic outwardly and the hyperactivity comes into play in our minds. It’s hard to explain an ADHD diagnosis when no one has ever seen me as hyper…since most people associate ADHD with hyper little boys who are busy darting around a classroom. That couldn’t be further from how I was as a child or how I am now at 34. The best way I’ve found to describe it thus far and somewhat effectively, once the confused and doubtful face appears, is to say “You know that stereotypical little boy you picture when you hear ADHD or ADD? For me, that little boy is in my head…and he won’t sit down, stop chattering or darting from topic to topic or sleep. My mind stays so busy from this that I’m exhausted in almost every minute of the day. Other than that, my ADHD is no different from the real little boy’s ADHD.” Here’s the other thing – since my diagnosis I, almost instantaneously, began cutting myself slack. Consistent slack for the first time in my life. In so doing, the ADHD symptoms quickly became more apparent – my guess is that it’s b/c I’m not constantly working so hard to cover or change what I previously considered to be my faults. While I’ve developed good skills to counteract or counterbalance (not sure which is the right word here) these ‘faults’ over the years, most of what I’ve been doing is beating myself to a bloody pulp day in and day out for not being as good, as smart, as well achieved (is that a word??), or as mature as everyone else – even though I am all of those things in my own way. That said, most people have no idea how it looks or feels on the inside b/c I’ve always been so diligent at covering or outright lying so they didn’t see the real me, the faulty me.
Does any of this sound familiar?
What were those first few conversations like for you? How do you explain your ADHD to various people? What do you do when/if they just don’t get it?REPORT ABUSEMarch 12, 2011 at 11:14 pm #101921
AnonymousInactiveMarch 12, 2011 at 11:14 pmPost count: 14413
This sounds very familiar to me, for sure. Just came out of a relationship where she told me that I “was not that special, everyone has these issues”, and I just need to stop being so hard on myself. Yeah… There is a kernel of truth in there, of course, but if I could “not be so hard on myself” I would. This way of being is not particularly fun a lot of the time.
On the other hand, I wish that I was not so focused on trying to explain myself to other people. I feel like I always end up talking about what is difficult in my life, what I feel is “wrong” with me, at that moment. I would love to develop a better filter, and talk about everyday stuff with friends and family (for the most part), as I think that would make a lot of my relationships better.
So, I guess what I am saying is that while I feel a need emotionally for other people to get it, I am trying to get to a place where this is a non-issue. Maybe most people don’t need to know, and those that do either get it or they don’t, but not my problem.
Easier said than done, especially in a romantic relationship.
Otherwise, I have not figured out an effective way (in short form) to explain what I mean.REPORT ABUSEMarch 13, 2011 at 1:44 pm #101922
AnonymousInactiveMarch 13, 2011 at 1:44 pmPost count: 14413
Seriously, right? I don’t know many who would choose to be so hard on themselves just for kicks and giggles.
Thanks for sharing your perspective. It helped a lot. After I wrote the post, the amount of importance that I was placing on others to understand started to dawn on me and why it’s so important to me that they get it. I think it helped a lot to just type it out – to see how I was thinking in writing. You’re right – maybe most people don’t need to know and those who do will either get it or not – either way, not my problem.
I hope you find what you’re looking for in a relationship and with someone who will be supportive. Everyone needs a soft place to fall. To me, a soft place is a place without judgement where you can just be yourself. From what I’ve gathered in my research and reading thus far, it seems a lot of people with ADHD who aren’t diagnosed until they’re adults have done such a number on themselves and their self-esteem has taken such a beating and all starting from such a young age, that they essentially self-sabotage (whether they realize it or not) b/c they’ve become so insecure, protective, and self-loathing took over so long ago. It takes a lot of hard work to get to the point where their self-esteem is what it should/can be and they see themselves as just as good, if not better, than Susie Q or John Doe sitting next to them.
Whether this is right or not, I’m taking a break from the dating/relationship scene until I get things rolling with this new diagnosis. It’s only been a few weeks since I found out and there’s a lot that’s still sinking in. I don’t think I could handle this AND a relationship anytime soon. Sometime I hope, but not soon.REPORT ABUSEMarch 13, 2011 at 10:13 pm #101923
AnonymousInactiveMarch 13, 2011 at 10:13 pmPost count: 14413
Me too!!! You know, there is probably never a perfect time to get into a relationship, but I know that my time and attention is better spent working on myself at the moment. Too easy to hyperfocus on someone else, and completely lose focus and perspective on what I need. Trying to, as much as possible, create that soft place to fall for myself.
Good luck.REPORT ABUSEMarch 14, 2011 at 2:11 am #101924
AnonymousInactiveMarch 14, 2011 at 2:11 amPost count: 14413
In 1996, when I was 30 yrs old, my little sister called me late at night one night to tell me that she knew what was “wrong with us”. She blurted out “We have ADD!!!!” She had done the self assessment and told me she had 12 of the 20 characteristics. I took the same test and had 18 of 20. It seemed like I was on to something.
The next day I went to the public library (we didn’t have a computer) and I found Sari Solden’s “Women With ADD” and read the first chapter in the library and wept. Finally!!!! Someone understood what I have always felt on the inside. You mean I’m not lazy, stupid or crazy? Really???
I found 7 books on adult ADD and when I went to check them out, I wasn’t allowed because I had forgotten to return my library books a year before that. I left them on the counter and went into my car and sobbed. How appropriate.
I bought the books and devoured them. I read my life in those words. No one had ever been able to see inside of me the way these authors had.
I found a therapist to evaluate me for ADD. We went through the gamut of tests. What he found was that I was highly intelligent, had poor short term memory, scored poorly for impulsivity and that my symptoms started in childhood and were found in all settings of my life…however…he decided that I wasn’t ADD but that I had dysthymia and wanted me to start anti-depressants.
So I went another 4 years without real treatment.
It wasn’t until my 7 yr old son…the one who was expelled from 3 daycares and suspended 5 times in kindergarten…that someone finally noticed that I was ADD as well.
Having a diagnosis is in itself a relief. At least there is a reason. But unfortunately, people tend to want to believe the worst about others and will assume that you are looking for an excuse.REPORT ABUSEMarch 14, 2011 at 7:19 am #101925
AnonymousInactiveMarch 14, 2011 at 7:19 amPost count: 14413
Myinattentiveadd, sometimes I wish I was just the inattentive type. 😆
I’ve spent countless numbers of hours of my life focussing on both parts of my ADD. Either I’m trying to stay focused on what someone was saying to me or I’m trying to stay focused on staying seated quietly (not fidgeting, jumping up and out of my seat constantly). I’m very aware that everything around me is distracting to me, so it bothers me that I am probably a huge non-stop motion machine of a distraction to others who have to work with me.
If my physical hyperactivity doesn’t do them in, sometimes I’m sure they’re exhausted by trying to follow my train of thought.
Luckily, they usually can steer my brain back to the topic but the wiggly issues? That’s all in my ball park.REPORT ABUSEMarch 14, 2011 at 8:22 am #101926
AnonymousInactiveMarch 14, 2011 at 8:22 amPost count: 14413
i’m used to people not knowing what i’m talking about though- i don’t tend to let it bother me so much- as i don’t have too clear of an idea about what i’m on about a lot of the time myself.
when i first told my mum, and read some bits out of ADD books to her, she laughed- with sheer joy and releif that finally we knew what on earth was going on with me. i expect my dad and brother are incredibly dubious about the whole thing- no doubt along with a bunch of others, but i really don’t let it get to me- what matters is that *i* get it, and that *i’m* gonna be ok. thats not something their comprehension, skepticism, or lack there of has any bearing on whatsoever.
if you’re a bit more sensitive to criticism- i’d just keep it under your hat whenever you feel you need to- while we tend to feel the need to shout our revelations from the rooftops (just like everyone who finds religion, politics, the meaning of life, or whatever inevitably does when its new and exciting) much of the time it really doesn’t need saying- or make an ounce of difference to most other people- they’re gonna keep pottering along and doing their thing regardless.REPORT ABUSEMarch 15, 2011 at 3:38 am #101927
HansMemberMarch 15, 2011 at 3:38 amPost count: 51
I have struggled with ADHD my whole life. I have learned to live with it and make the many adjustments for daily life the best that I could. After the diagnosis I had the “The Ah Ha Moment”. It was clear to me. But the Ah Ha is personal in many cases.
The “normals” don’t get it. I don’t expect them to. Most of them have never had a mind freeze while taking a test. In college Its “A+” or “D-F”. If I knew the first question the “A”…if not the mind freeze “D-F”. I had no way to retrieve the knowledge that was in there.
I could remember and correct high mathematical equations written on a blackboard on sight but don’t ask me to spell mom. Also don’t ask me to read the word I wrote cause I have difficulty reading my own writing. And yes I can go from cursive to print in the same word.
Cancer everyone understands. ADHD is a mystery still. There is light and it is brighter everyday. MRI’s have helped, The Gene mapping has help and Forums like this help.
We get it here on this forum. I will talk to anyone and everyone about my AH HA moment. I don’t do it to impress someone else. I don’t do it for pitty. I do it with the hope that the person I talk to has his own personnal Ah Ha moment and says Yes I finally understand I am not alone.
Cancer everyone understands.
Everyone on this forum “get’s it.”REPORT ABUSEOctober 1, 2011 at 8:54 am #101928
AnonymousInactiveOctober 1, 2011 at 8:54 amPost count: 14413
I wish I could “bookmark” or “favorite” the thoughts flying through my mind so I could revisit them later instead of forgetting what I wanted to think about.
Sometimes I blurt “keywords” out to my bf while he’s talking, in order to avoid interrupting him! Then I will hopefully (but rarely) remember the comment I wanted to make when he’s done talking. Actually, I don’t think it’s so much forgetfulness as new thoughts/ideas replacing the previous ones.REPORT ABUSEFebruary 24, 2013 at 1:25 pm #119211
AnonymousInactiveFebruary 24, 2013 at 1:25 pmPost count: 14413February 26, 2013 at 8:21 pm #119271
phoenixmagicgirlMemberFebruary 26, 2013 at 8:21 pmPost count: 90
I’ve lived with ADD my entire life, I was diagnosed at a very young age.My family and my best friend, professors in college, my co workers and my boss. Having ADD isn’t something I went around telling everyone, but I’ve found having people close to you who understand what having ADD means is helpful. luckily my instructors that I train in martial arts with have all been very supportive and encouraing of me, which has been very benefitual in a difficult art like the one I train in. Most people I’ve encountered know what ADD means those who assume that everyone has it are ignorant and don’t know any better… in my life, I’ve had a good support team of therapists, life coaches, professors, etc to help navigate me.REPORT ABUSE
A facade that worked too well…apparently2011-03-12T22:42:28+00:00
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