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beyond the labels

beyond the labels2011-12-23T15:46:20+00:00

The Forums Forums What is it? Other beyond the labels

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    I’m sort of new to this (diagnosed about 6 months ago) but I’m 45 so I’m pretty familiar with the pitfalls of this kind of brain wiring…

    The forums have been very helpful in getting me through some of my low points – which I’ve had quite of few of this wonderful holiday season:learning other people’s dilemmas and kowing I’m not the only one.

    Before the diagnosis: I first turned to religion, then spent years reading self-help books, going to therapists, doing exercises of all kinds, attending seminars and workshops, studying metaphysics, in an effort to understand why my life was so f—d up. Only once did the possibility that it could be this particular kind of problem come up, and quickly rejected because it couldn’t possible explain everything that had gone wrong for me: relationships, family problems, work, money,,,, and the list goes on and on…

    Some of the tools and advice were more helpful than others, and in some ways I was prepared for the diagnosis: first a stunned relief, and a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.Then after reading what it means to have ADD – how it does affect all the portions of my life I thought were within my control, but I was too lazy, selfish, arrogant, stupid, mean, bad, undisciplined, shallow and flaky to work on properly – my next response was “Oh my God – so my life REALLY is F—-D UP” (Please excuse the french).

    I guess I’m not looking for advice – I have had tons and tons of that, which I’m sure everyone on this forum can relate to. But I wanted to know how people deal with the labels that may have haunted them for most of their lives. Someone mentioned in a prior thread

    that to abandon labels is to break down everything theologians, self-help gurus who talk blithely about self-empowerment, etc. and the teachers and parents who complain that you refuse to try hard enough and reach your full potential rely on to describe human nature andf the world we live in.

    When behavior previously defined as “good” “bad” “Destructive” “irresponsible” “criminal” is turned into “different way the brain is wired, but medication can improve it” I can only conclude that in many ways we humans have absolutely no idea what we’re talking about – when we talk about ourselves, at least. Being undiagnosed for so long, and I have at least two siblings who exhibit many of the symptoms worse than me but are still undiagnosed – It reminds me of the days when people who had schizophrenia were taken to the resident church official to be cured of demon possession or punished for witchcraft. It seems that to talk about this condition is to challenge a huge number of myths we make up about ourselves and destroys the neat pockets we’re put in. The labels make the world we live in “managable”. If I can’t hate you or blame you for your outlandish, weird, unacceptable behavior, then what am I supposed to do??? (from the average person’s point of view).

    I’m rambling, but I don’t see anyway to go back and right wrongs, repair broken friendships or help my other family members out when I know they don’t understand what this “gift” (curse? handicap? burden”) really is and the implications. It still sounds like an excuse to others and all I can do is go back to my old explanations.My favorite self-description is “jack of all trades, master of none” which is a polite way for saying, “I’m a flake”. So I’ve only told a few people and I’ve gotten blank stares, and actually a couple of people told me that they had it as well. There seems to be a large population of people who live in the closet about it, I suspect for the reasons I’ve given.

    Are there any success stories about people who could find redemption or in some way come to an understanding with people who really don’t want to hear your sob story (they’ve got their own troubles, so who can be bothered with yours?) but probably need to hear it?

    Thanks for the feedback in advance: it may be a while before I remember to check in again but I’ll try… :|

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