Dr. Umesh Jain
is now exclusively responsible
for TotallyADD.com
and its content
Dr. Umesh Jain is now exclusively responsible for TotallyADD.com and its content

The Forums Forums Emotional Journey My Story A story from down under

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  • MarieAngell

    Down Under isn’t so different from Texas. In fact, I have an Aussie brother-in-law, although he’s become far too American to suit my taste. B

    It’s only been a couple of years since I got The Diagnosis, but it’s clear to see the symptoms as far back as I can remember (which is quite a long time ago, I assure you, well before ADHD was a common diagnosis). Daydreaming, messiness, late with assignments–if done at all– ignored by most teachers and frustrating to the ones who cared. A little bullying, a lot of feeling lost (both literally and figuratively).

    And, yep, I’ve passed it on to my son. But, as is so often noted, there are good aspects to ADHD.

    The frustration and pain of being passed over for promotions is very hard. I have spent hours, days and probably months of my life wondering why and how could I do better. Since I’ve been diagnosed and medicated, I think I have a clearer understanding of the impression I’m making and am better able to strategize. But it’s still more uphill than down at times.

    I’m really affirming what Rick and others have said, that medication is tool and you still have to do the work. Drat!

    It’s good to be able to hash out some of these problems, which this site is providing.

    So let the wild meandering begin!


    Yes, but what is “the work”?


    @sdwa–That is the $64K question, no?

    What is the work?
    I think that is part of the challenge of ADD, figuring out what your particular work is. My diagnosis was only made a year ago and it has been a bumpy road trying to figure out what my specific deficits are, how they manifest, how the manifestations affect other people, and how to gain some mastery or control over that.

    I have an immense problem with my control over attention and a huge problem with not having a sense of time. Usual remedies have not really been helpful, so additional ‘work’ on not feeling defeated.

    What does ‘doing the work’ mean to the rest out there?

    Phil, Just Phil.

    Yeah totally stuck on that one ml myself.  According to MBTI I am ENFP and I found an ADD website that combined ADD and temperament to offer guidance in career.  But mine said something Bout having a wide vocational range etc.. totally not helpful.


    MRMcKay, I’ve taken MBTI a couple times over the years and to me, while nice to have my suspicions about myself confirmed, I didn’t find it helpful in regard to careers. The best career advice I got was from  full-on career advice and assessment testing administered through a reputable college. There was a cost associated with it, but it was quite accurate.

    As a person with undiagnosed ADD, I of course did not take that advice. But that’s another story.

    Was there anything you liked doing as a kid, something that really fascinated you, that you learned a lot about and did? <self-love joke deleted>


    G’day one and all! There were lots of things that I loved doing as a kid: reading books, wrecking toys through curiosity (I loved opening the backs of radios etc. as the circuitry reminded me of tiny cities), riding my bike, mucking around with my mates…what I couldn’t do was just sitting quietly inside. I am 46 and still don’t know what I want to be when I eventually grow up. If daydreaming was a job then I’d be a C.E.O. of a multi national conglomerate…


    Daydreaming can be a job, sort of. Of course, I guess one still has to do things (darn it!), but I channel much of daydreaming into writing of various sorts and I love to research things. Jobs like futurist (that’s a real thing!) can be a good thing for some daydreamers.

    AllenWallace, if you still like circuitry and/or figuring things out, there are plenty of ways that could go, depending on what you’re good at now or what you might be able to get training for, bearing in mind what you aren’t well suited for (just as important, in my view!)

    I’m very keen on the book, “The $100 Startup” by Chris Guillebeau who has a great website as well, can help to get the entrepreneurial juices flowing.


    Of course, one doesn’t need to start a business to read that book. Chris does a nice job of gently steering people into looking at things from different angles.  Chris urges us to look around–what are unmet needs in your life, in the lives other people. Can you fill this need by doing something you are good at?

    His previous book, “The Art of Nonconformity” has some nice inspiration as well.



    G’day Marie! Yeah, I’m kind of unemployed at the moment…I have been doing a few days here and there in various gulags weeping and gnashing teeth whilst barely measuring up the the limited demands of menial labour! Tee hee

    As for circuitry things, I haven’t the foggiest idea. I just used to like taking things apart and looking inside! Those cute and colourful little things attached to wires fascinated me, so I’d resist the temptation to demolish my latest radio for as long as I could before yielding and demolishing it…alas, I’m afraid that my curiosity about those sorts of things never cultivated an understanding of how they worked, and they’d just become my Hiroshima or Nagasaki for my next wave of bombers (pens that i’d set on fire to drop those globs of burning plastic)…

    Sorry to sound like Captain Negative but I’m afraid that I have as much commercial flair as a dung beetle. I couldn’t run a lemonade stall, and perhaps the only things that I seem to have an intrinsic ability to do well are causing mischief, and fucking things up! If it’s an uproar that you want then I’m your guy! I could cause a full blown riot in a buddhist temple with only a handful of sleepy and gentle elderly monks hundreds of miles from anywhere in the middle of nowhere! I can break the unbreakable too. Somehow. I don’t even know how I manage to wreck stuff that has survived manhandling from A grade troglodytes!

    I’ll figure out what my niche is one day…I’ve had so many jobs, well in excess of 100, and have loathed them all. Business stuff bores me unto death, and I apparently have issues with authority types, so even if I had the inclination to try hard at something somewhere, my unwillingness and inability to backstab and kiss butt would ensure that I remained dangling precariously from the bottom rung of which ever gulag was stuck with me…researching things sounds interesting though. How does one get a job doing that? That’s another thing, I’m not a pragmatist and waste so much time going around in circles wondering what’s going on…

    That book ‘the art of non-conformity’ sounds very interesting too! Sounds right up my alley! Some of us just seem to be able to do it without any effort, eh? 🙂



    So, Allen, you’re involved in a lengthy process of elimination in regard to jobs. Now you have a 100 things you know you don’t like. That’s a start. From what you’ve said, you remind me a lot of people who work at Renaissance Fairs and the like. If you like blowing things up, maybe the fireworks trade would be for you (although you have to exercise a lot of caution).

    Not sure exactly what you mean when you talk about causing a riot in a buddhist temple, but if that means you’re good at getting people stirred up and excited about stuff, if you’re good with making events fun, a lot of events planners and marketing companies hire people like that to liven up dull parties and come up with good event ideas.

    For a lot of jobs, it requires doing some manual labor to get your foot in the door into fields like that, but if you’re already doing manual labor, it’s at least labor with a goal in mind.

    Demolition on a small or large scale (large scale–there’s the explosives again) is a good field for taking things apart without having to put them back together.

    A regular career in research sort of demands that you specialize in a particular field and these days, employers tend to demand a certain level of education, but if that’s something that interests you, you could start, ahem, researching a couple of areas of expertise that catch your eye. I find that a lot of people are curious about certain things in their lives, especially medical issues, but all kinds of things, but don’t know how to go about digging out answers. I often research things for people and I think there is a demand for doing this for a fee that could start casually and be built up.

    Nothing is going to be completely easy. That’s the hard part.


    Gee whiz, how does one get those facey thingy’s up? It eludes me…

    Hmm, nah, I don’t think that my glittering career has been a process of elimination. In the early years having a job was just a way to deflect scrutiny from my oddness, and as I never ‘aimed high’ I just blundered from one crappy mundane job to another, and it was always the same story: quickly bored, heaps of sickies, and then a game of cat and mouse as to whether I resigned or got the sack first….

    As for the uproars, that’s just what happens when I get bored and mischievous. Playing tricks, joking around, and manipulating dull environments to become a bit more entertaining lol….nothing sinister or nasty, just a bit of fun! I’m an introvert though, and don’t do well in social situations. Over time I’ve learnt to keep out of the way and to keep my mouth zipped up as much as possible before I offended one and all with something not properly considered and weighed up before delivery…*grimace*….often I’d express my bewilderment with a ‘what did I say?’ Meh, I dunno. I haven’t given it a great deal of thought, because, quite frankly, I’m not really good at anything…*blush*…

    I love animals, and it’d be a delight to feed and play with baby animals in a zoo or something. That’d be a blast, and wouldn’t feel like a job. The regimentation of any job has also been a source of angst for my masters from the gulags too. Invariably late, not servile, and strong willed…not the attributes of a malleable serf, eh?

    As for education I’m a high school drop-out, and my CV, such as it, reads as an obituary for a bona fide loser lol! I’m still at the point of coming to terms with ADHD, and who knows, maybe I’ll reach a level of maturity which will see me salvage something from my train wreck of a career…

    Research does sound interesting though. I’d never considered a job doing that sort of thing, and anyway, I wouldn’t know where to start. When it comes to work prowess, or whatever it’s called, I’m too acutely aware of my own lack of suitability for any job that might require a humble primate to apply basic deductive powers lol One thing’s for certain, I’ve never been ‘headhunted’ by a Corporation…tee hee

    Anyway, easy is boring…even as a tike my mum always said that I always had to do everything the hard way! I’m content to just blindly blunder along the highway of life just navigating my way through the impediments and obstacles as they come at me like heat seeking missiles lol

    I’m gonna go and have a game of scrabble or 10 now! Cheerio for now xo


    MarieAngell – thanks for posting the web address earlier. He’s a cool guy  and because he has ADD  I  didn’t just dismiss him. His idea of an annual review and planning the year ahead is a good one.

    I doubt many people have his  energy but given that what he does is his job and life then maybe..

    His comment about being unrealistic about what can be done in a day, but over a year a lot can be achieved is right. I’m going to try this idea of reviewing my year and planning next. I’m too old to waste anymore time – it’s time to set some goals. 🙂


    ‘ a


    Aah – I did the post above on my ipod but decided to use the computer to edit it because I got sick of the ipod deciding it knew what words I wanted to use – but couldn’t – have we lost the edit function or is it because I changed the kit?

    So for those who don’t want to scrol up the site Marie Angell referred to is:



    PS – I can edit this one so it must have been because I changed from ipod to something I could type on! 🙂




    Well. Allen, despite your devotion to nonconformity (even when unintentional), your story is no doubt a familiar one to most of us here, myself included.

    Thanks to Scattybird for re-posting the link to Chris Guillebeau’s site. There is a lot there of value, much of it free.  I like his year-end evaluation, too, but I haven’t kept good notes and can’t do a good one this year. I believe I finally have in place a system that will allow me to keep better records and I look forward to doing a year-end review next year.

    When writing my last post, I actually wrote a fair amount about my efforts to sort out my ADHD problems, then deleted it to focus more on career-y things. Then that deletion gnawed at me, so I’m glad of your response.

    You are obviously a smart guy, but I can tell you’re plagued by the most common attribute of ADHD, which I call “I’m a loser” syndrome. Everybody here who hasn’t felt that, please raise your hand. No hands raised. That’s what I thought.

    Everything is hard, because you have ADHD. (That’s what she said! Ahem. Sorry.). I whine about things being hard 5 times a day on good days.

    It took me a while to realize this, but I have really found that, for me, I have had to put most of my efforts into making my life work before trying to figure out what my life’s work will be. It’s a real process of trial and error, but now, almost 3 years into my diagnosis, I feel like I’ve got hold of a few things that work for me, including meds, with the hope that I can build on that.

    So, I would say, if you’re really feeling you’re “not good at anything,” then throw yourself into becoming better at your day-to-day life. That’s not going to make all the pieces fall magically into place (I wish!), but it’s going to make it easier to move forward.

    I hate to always refer to books, because I know it can be a pain in the ass to read sometimes, but I also strongly recommend Dr. Ed Hallowell’s, Driven to Distraction and the follow-up with good life-improvement suggestions,  Delivered from Distraction. These are pretty easy for ADDers to read because they have short sections you can dip in and out of. He has written other useful books, but these 2 really cut to the chase.  YouTube has a lot of videos of Dr. Hallowell as well. And there is a lot of good stuff on his website. He also has an app for ADDers, but I don’t know if it’s useful because I don’t use a smartphone (too much overwhelm!).


    I’m droning on, but I must suggest one kind of off-the-wall place for guidance. There is a blogger named James Altucher who, while he doesn’t self-identify as ADD he almost certainly is, who uses a system he calls The Daily Practice. He explains this very well, and he seems to have happened upon this method rather inadvertently, although I see various versions of this idea in a lot of ADD literature. I use the Daily Practice myself in a less structured way, but even at that, it does help.


    Also, I had trouble getting a picture into the profile, but, after days of trying, once again I went to Edit Profile and kept poking around on things, including clicking on the that sad blank person-shaped avatar and, at long last,  voila! It let me insert a picture. So I picked the lame one you see here. (I did file complain bitterly, I mean, file a bug report on that, so presumably they fixed it and it wasn’t just my incompetence.)

    MRMcKay, apologies to you for taking over your forum thread!

    Phil, Just Phil.

    Don’t apologise, I am glad to see it still going.  Have had an interesting time over Christmas, hope you all have as well.. I am now back in my 9-5 grind (grrr.) and didn’t quite get to the soul searching on what to do with myself but that is a fact of life for me.

    Allan, mate, I think our Angel has said very well and I am going to try and get a bit better at life, see where it gets me. 


    I considered signing up for our Army and doing a 12 month stint, they are offering these now, but teh Meds I am on means that they won;t even look at me, not sure dropping off them in NORMAL society for 6 or so months, THEN trying to apply will be beneficial to anything else in my life so I am shelving that idea.

    I thought about Accounting, owning my opwn business and getting my super organised sister to work for me (she is on maternity leave PA to an Accountant so I know she can do it) so I can focus on the fun of schmoozing clients, finding loopholes etc… while she makes sure the reports go in on time etc.. but I am not sure if it is the right move. 

    I am also more than a little interested in trying to help people like us, but probably should try and “get my shit together” first, though studying psychology would be a good step towards this end.  My wife has said she will support me whatever, but this time I need to follow through, not drop it like it’s hot when I get bored or overwhelmed.

    I have just received ADD and Loving it as well as the 3 DVD pack they are selling here in the shop, will have a look at the and see what I think.  I am still trying to get a proper grip on all this stuff, I have been reading for yearws on various things, some I remember, but waiting for the right combination of inspiration and background knowledge to actually get something happening.

    Any suggestions for free career guidance type stuff, for someone who hates writing his yearly reviews because he can tell you all the bad stuff but forgets what he might be good at?



    MRMcKay – if you want to join the army, get them to train you in something that is transferrable when you get out or I’d imagine it would be hard after the 12 months?

    Rather than focusing on my annual review, I’m going to prepare a road map for the coming year. Of course that’s only because it’s holidays and I’m itching to do something. Once I get back to work the grind will knock that out of me! 🙂

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