August 28, 2010 at 3:42 am #88509
graciousMemberAugust 28, 2010 at 3:42 amPost count: 14
So…..ever since being diagnosed in April….and after making some healthy lifestyle changes….life has been going fairly well. I take Concerta and it has helped a lot. I also take Cymbalta and it has also helped me out a lot. I have been reading and education myself as much as I possibly can so I can understand myself better and educate those around me who have to deal with me every day (hubby, mom, etc.) I have enlisted the help of a coach, and her strategies and support have been really great! I also have 3 kids ages 7, 6, and 3, and a hubby who works out of town during the week. Just a brief intro before I let out my vent……
Does anyone else set unrealistic goals for themselves?? And then get into this hyperfocus funk that you just can’t escape when your projects or goals aren’t complete when you thought they would be?? Or how about taking on big projects (like reorganizing, repainting, redecorating 3 kids’ rooms and reorganizing and painting and decorating a kids toyroom) and not realizing just exactly how much work is involved until your standing knee-deep in wallpaper scraps and paint brushes? or how about trying to do all of these things, and thinking that you can still keep up with dishes, laundry, the dog, the kids, and everything else that comes along with it? And, just to add to the mix……my 6 year old son has ADHD, and without a doubt in my mind the big big H, but my hubby doesn’t believe it, and won’t support me in taking him to the dr. to get an evaluation. The strangest thing is…..his behaviour is better on the weekends when his daddy is home, and therefore he doesn’t see everything that I have to deal with throughout the week.
Last week, I took on the toyroom. It was upstairs, and so I needed to first clean out the office, which included a gigantic corner desk that I managed to drag outside (please don’t ask how) and lots of clutter as the room has a wall with built in shelves from ceiling to floor. What I thought would take me an hour to sort through took me about 8 hours. Then, I had to peel the border off the wall, paint the bottom half with spray chalkboard paint, and then paint the top half with “vibrant yellow”. Then, I had to move all of the stuff from the toyroom upstairs to the new toyroom downstairs. This took about 10 days, and I allowed it for about 3 days. I also had all 3 kids home with me believing that it would work out ok. It so so so did not work out ok. (Did I mention I have incredibly low frustration tolerance?) I was so frustrated, restless, anxious, irritated…….and the kids picked up on all of that and therefore became the same way…….
I met with my coach on the Friday and explained this dilemma. I explained that I still had 2 bedrooms to do, and that I want to enjoy the kids being home before they go back to school, but I also wanted to complete their bedrooms so that they could have their own private space and get proper sleep when they need to go back to school. She and I decided that for this week, I would send them to the sitter’s on Tues, Wed. and Thurs, which would be enough time for me to paint, and then do the finishing touches to both rooms on Thurs. Here’s a rough breakdown of how that all went down:
Tuesday: great mood!! ready to go!! Kids go to sitter’s. I put on my paint clothes and go to work. It takes me until about 2:00 p.m. JUST to scrape off the wallpaper and border on the bottom half of this room. However, I get one coat of paint on the wall before my time is up. On the plus side, I set right to work when I got home with little distractions. I set my cell phone timer so that at 3:20, I would know that I had 10 mins. left, and at 3:30 I would then put away my things and have a shower in an attempt to transition back into the role of mommy.
Wednesday: Good mood…..kids go to sitters. My arms really hurt. And I need to go into town to drop off a paper at my hubby’s work first. And I decide I need some new paint supplies because the point n paint that I bought totally sucks. And, while I’m there, I decide that I should stop at the hardware store and grab some new doorknobs. And, ok…I think that was it. I get home, and it’s already noon. I eat some lunch and get to work. I get the 2nd coat of paint on the wall, along with the edging. I realize that my daughters are going to be very upset if I do’nt at least start on their rooms, so then I work very fast (hyperfocus) and get all of the tape on the trim, and the edging and the first coat of pink paint on the walls. It goes on really good so I quickly do the 2nd coat before I hurry and clean my things and quickly grab a shower. By evening, I am exhausted, and I still have to do dishes and clean up the rest of my house. I am very irritated and edgy.
Thursday: feeling tired and dragging myself around. get the kids to sitters……feeling hopeful because at least I don’t have to paint…and now I get to do the fun stuff like curtains/bedding/wall deco. Oh wait, but first I have to go to the pharmacy because I am out of Concerta. Then, I should stop at Canadian Tire because I need to return a few things, and I want to get the kids each a bedroom lamp. While I’m in Canadian Tire, I decide I should get them laundry hampers, too. And 3 full length mirrors…….And I should probably……whatever I am sure you get the picture by now. At this point, I am feeling very anxious because I am fully aware that time is slipping away from me, and I need to get home to finish up. I get home around 11 this time. As I start to get out my yellow paint to paint some closet doors, my brother calls in distress. I talk to him for an hour and try to do what I can while I listen to him. Then….I am feeling faint cuz I haven’t eaten anything yet today, so I go have a quick lunch break. Got distracted by the computer, and pulled myself away to get back upstairs to finish my work!! I am incredibly frustrated at this point, and full of anxiety, but also very determined to get this done BEFORE I pick up the kids. I worked very very quickly, and got the wall stickers put on my son’s wall, his lamp set up, and his room was basically done. The girls’ room…….the painting was totally done, but I still need to put up the mirrors, set up the lamps, put the wall stickers on, and make the beds. It is 3:30 p.m. The hallway is full of screwdrivers, stools, cleaning supplies, garbage, the vaccuum…….and other junk. I have to pick up the kids at 4:30. I work my arse off until about 4:15 and then quickly clean my paint stuff off and jump in the shower and hurry over to the sitters at about 4:50p.m. I am exhausted, anxious, frustrated, angry with myself for not being finished…….and the kids just want to see their finished rooms.
Thursday night, I attempted to finish up the girls’ rooms with them hovering over me…..and I worked until almost 11 p.m. until my daughter said,”Isn’t it bedtime yet?” Yes, absolutely!! but I can’t stop doing what I’m doing….because I am hyperfocused and insist that I can do it all tonight!!! I finally stop and put the kids to bed. Friday (Today!!) we need to make a trip to Walmart to get comfortors for the girls’ beds. I decided that even though every single time I have taken my 3 angels into Walmart with me, I walk out tense, frustrated, and anxious, THIS time it will be different! It wasn’t. It was a nightmare and I felt like such a bonehead standing in Walmart with 3 small children almost crying due to intense overwhelm. I promised them, of course, that when we got hom I would finish up the girls’ rooms. We got hom at 6:30. They eat supper, I don’t, and then I get back to work. So exhausted at this point, that I can look in the mirror at my eyes and not really recognize myself. Ready to cry at any given moment, and starving but so determined to get it completed that I don’t care….I can eat later. At 9:00, the kids go to bed after their bath, and I clean up the hallway, clean my kitchen, switch the laundry, clean up after the dog, and have a shower. I am so exhausted, and feeling depressed and angry!!
Why can’t I just be normal like everybody else? Why don’t I learn my lesson after the first 50 times something doesn’t work? What can I do about low frustration tolerance? I am a mother and I need to set examples for my kids……instead their reflectling my feelings back on me. Why is it so very hard for me to just stay on task? I finally sat down and cried. I though this whole ADD thing wasn’t so bad…….but I am having second thoughts. Does this mean I just simply can’t redo bedrooms?? Or take my kids shopping with me?? What is wrong with me?? Is my medication even helping anymore??
For anyone who’s reading this…..I want to thank you sincerely for taking the time to read this very long entry. I thank you for listening, and I am at least relieved to know that this group of people get it for what it is, and nothing else.
I hope your week was better than mine……and I hope my life goes back to “normal” real soon!!
gREPORT ABUSEAugust 28, 2010 at 5:16 am #95119
AnonymousInactiveAugust 28, 2010 at 5:16 amPost count: 14413
Hey gracious, nice to meet ya. Soooo this is my first post on here. I wanted to offer some support. I myself have had add all my life (no hyperactivity) and have within the last year admitted it, and started on Ritalin a week ago. I can totally relate to your struggle with time, fatigue and frustration. ADD effects me majorly in the motivation, completing tasks, and staying organized departments. As you might imagine, my home is no show room. I find housekeeping- Boring! Since starting the meds, I’ve been attacking my house and actually enjoying it- and yes- I’ve been hyper focusing on it. I presently am sitting in my living room, with the unfinished task of the wall hangings I want to put up- nagging at me. I want to finish, yet- after cleaning for 5 hours- I’m beat. But, I’m looking at the house reorganizing as a continuous project, so I don’t go nuts.
You sound like you have a lot on your plate! Three young kids along with redecorating bedrooms from top to bottom and daily life’s chores to contend with. That’s a lot! Whew! I’m a parent too, and I remember how difficult I found dealing with everything in life along with raising children. It sucks getting irritable and knowing how it effects the kiddos.
I want to say though, take a breather. Stop and give yourself a pat on the back. Look at everything you are accomplishing. It sounds like you are a concerned parent, who is creating beautiful rooms for them, and taking care of them. That’s a whole lot if you ask me.
Maybe it’s not add that’s a problem, maybe it’s your expectations. Maybe this project needs a deadline adjustment? It’s amazing how long some things take, when we think we’ll have them done by the end of the day and they just aren’t, no matter how hard we try.
I think that is a common human experience- adder’s as well. I guess I’m trying to say, be kind to yourself. I get how frustrated you are.
Ok, now here are some suggestions I thought of:
It sounds like you need some strategies to deal with things like shopping- what techniques would work for you to manage your frustration?
Is there a way that you can engage your kiddos in the project? Or in shopping? How can you vent your frustration in a constructive way in those situations? Can you talk to your kiddos in a way that lets them know what is going on inside of you, in a way that helps both you and them in those situations? Sometimes I say to my kiddo, “Look, I know that you want my attention right now- but I feel like I’m about to explode- I gotta calm down- give me a minute- then we’ll go to the toy isle.” What about fake cuss words? Those can be fun… “Oh Crumpletarts!!!” I dunno…
Can you put the kiddos in a temporary room to sleep and then hyperfocus to your heart’s content when they are are in bed?
Do you have a support network? Counselour? (My counselour has ADD herself, and it’s good to know someone who understands.)
Anyhoo, yer doing good, and as I see it- you just need some more tools in your bag and to stop and smell the roses. As long as you are taking care of your kiddos and they know that you love them- that’s all that really matters. I hate to see someone trying so hard and beating themselves up. Seriously, I used to be overly hard on myself. I still am sometimes.
Wishing you well, roachella.REPORT ABUSEAugust 28, 2010 at 1:14 pm #95120
AnonymousInactiveAugust 28, 2010 at 1:14 pmPost count: 14413
@gracious…take a breath, girl. I can completely relate. I have many unfinished projects. It sounds like you are really trying to do good things for your family and I really admire that . I’m sorry it’s frustrating. I wish I had magic words to help. Maybe next time you look around with good thoughts about what you need or want to do, and then give up before you start because it’s too overwhelming, remember we are out here and we know it’s not “YOU”. I’m going to think about your note for a while. I could really relate to it. Thanks.REPORT ABUSEAugust 28, 2010 at 2:17 pm #95121
AnonymousInactiveAugust 28, 2010 at 2:17 pmPost count: 14413
Shopping is just overwhelming, period. I actually go shopping when I *want* to get stimulated. So then it’s kind of enjoyable. Otherwise, it’s a nightmare — and I don’t even have kids to deal with. Is there any way you can just do your shopping on your own? At least when you’re in the middle of some other overwhelming project. Like, pick one overwhelming thing to get OCD about and make the other stuff easy. I had a reno project 5 years ago I got hyperfocused on (was selling a house) — but I did nothing else but that. The last week before I put my house on the market, I didn’t go to work, didn’t shower, barely ate, only answered calls I absolutely had to take, drank a ton of coffee. I can’t say it was brilliantly handled, but I was able to get it all done without too much frustration and raging. Again, I realize I have the “luxury” (ha ha) of a single life and don’t have all your obligations, but I feel ya.REPORT ABUSEAugust 29, 2010 at 3:07 am #95122
graciousMemberAugust 29, 2010 at 3:07 amPost count: 14
Thanks everyone! @ Roachella….I like what you said about looking at reorganizing the house as an ongoing project, rather than something which has a given amount of time to complete. I am going to try to look at my projects like that…..and maybe that way I won’t feel so driven all day to get them done…..and then hopefully be able to stop and smell the roses. I also really like using fake cuss words…..we do that a lot around here!! We usually use “Oh, pickles!” As for a counselor…..I had one for about 6 years….he took me through a lot of yucky stuff from the past……and actually is the one who did the very first ADD assessment with me. But when I enlisted the help of my coach….I had to choose between my counselor and my coach (for financial reasons) and the coach won. I know that my counselor will always be available if I choose to contact him again.
The good news of today is: I finally got my hubby to sit down and watch the Totally ADD dvd with me….and he said it really opened his eyes. yay!! We have a breakthrough!!!
Thanks again everyone.REPORT ABUSESeptember 4, 2010 at 6:55 pm #95123
AnonymousInactiveSeptember 4, 2010 at 6:55 pmPost count: 14413
Hey gracious- yesterday I had a totally relatable day to your original post. I was about to snap. Like I said, I just started ritalin a few weeks ago and the dose went up- but it stopped helping. I was more bunched up and easily irritated. Shopping was terrible! My patience with people was nill! I was so frustrated with the little disorganized behaviors I was experiencing, just like when I wasn’t on meds.
Example: In drive through @ bank, forget account number, misplace several needed things for the transaction while trying to complete the transaction- all in in the vicinity of my lap. My LAP!!! (driver’s license, the actual tube that goes up the pipe- seriously- the tube!!) The meds were no longer helping- I felt more uncomfortable around strangers, because my communication skills went down the tube- and that is something I do not need. I was in melt down mode yesterday. So when I saw my Nurse Practioner- we switched to adderall. I start that today…we’ll see.
I think another part of being frustrated is that I am more aware of these behaviors, because I’ve been trying to change them. When they start rearing their heads again, I feel dissapointed and ashamed, so non- functional and almost hopeless- and I get mad at myself.
I have to keep in mind why I started taking meds and to be easy on myself…I’m trying to make my life better. Geeesh!REPORT ABUSESeptember 7, 2010 at 2:25 am #95124
graciousMemberSeptember 7, 2010 at 2:25 amPost count: 14
Hope things are going better for you now. Being aware of my behaviours does make it more frustrating…….because yes, as you say, we’re trying to change them and then when they come up and completely take over it just feels so hopeless.
Life is a journey……..and as long as your’re trying to make it better…….and you’re doing the best you can do……than what else is there? I say that’s pretty awesome!!!REPORT ABUSE
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