December 13, 2010 at 6:37 pm #88792
AnonymousInactiveDecember 13, 2010 at 6:37 pmPost count: 14413
I’m interested to see the response from people that have a long term carreer but still always feel that they’r gonna mess up constantly, feel behind, not as good as… etc. I have been a professional firefighter for 19 years yet, I still space off or make minute mistakes that when noticed people make a big deal out of. It attaches to a life long feeling of being a loser, and less than those around me. I even have demoted myself once to get away from the microscope of being part of management (which I achieved with ease). But I had to give it up to stay sane.
When I think about it, I am very intelligent, kind, hard working and worthy of my career. I feel that heading into the homestretch of my career my inattentaveness and fogginess is growing. Medications have never worked, but I find my life smooths out when I take conscous time to organize and to chill out and meditate or excercise. I want to hear from other adults who have struggled with this battle in the professional workplace for years.
I want to hook up with others to sound off from. I feel isolated.
Brian D. Maple Valley, Wa.REPORT ABUSEDecember 14, 2010 at 5:49 pm #97762
AnonymousInactiveDecember 14, 2010 at 5:49 pmPost count: 14413
Hey 0911…. thought I would share a little. I have bits and pieces of the kind of stuff you request kinda all over this web site. I will share here with you,but, remember we are all unique. Here I go….I’m 60, I’ve known that my brain processed differently (what they call ADD) since I was 30. I had a very very successful career, I am retired now. Retired 10 years ago wooohooo!!!! I worked my way through the company, starting as a lineman, moving to a specialty branch of telecommunications installation, inside to an admin support position, finally into management and on up the ladder. I am more than pleased with what I accomplished.
I took meds for while in the heyday of my career about hmmm….7-10 years maybe-ish??? They did help, but they were not everything!!! They were an assist. It was a very very high pressure job, frantic but that’s where we excel right!!! I thought it was fun… there were no footprints to follow in what I did….up on the tightrope…no net. My god why do we excel there eh???? I was fortunate!!
I have worked out regularly (every weekday without fail) since I was 30, due to an auto accident, whiplash. Best thing I ever did on my Chiros orders. ADD and regular exercise, strenuous exercise…are great friends. The benefits of that are too many to list…I was tempted but…..too many to list!! hahahaha Diet has also been critical, I delved into what foods do what, and do not deviate from there to often, grains veggis, fish….you know the stuff…hahahaha maybe the odd doughnut, or chocolate bar every blue moon. Junk food….what can I say, it KILLS…period!!! It is bad for us!!!
I have read and educated myself on how my brain works, so I know intimately my strengths and vulnerabilities, when I haven’t tricked myself…. I must be diligent. When I chose my career path within the corp I looked for areas of interest and work that I was compatible with…very important……for me anyway, and a little luck. It worked, and worked well ….for me.
I also sought counseling…for various reasons. I stayed in counseling for 3 years or better for different reasons. That in itself was the best thing I ever did. Lucky the corp. I worked for had a great EPA program and a director who hahahaha…could manipulate the budget to really assist employees. I digress…….so for me counseling (talk therapy) was the critical piece, without a doubt!!!
It opened me up to a level of self awareness I never would have achieved. Self awareness for me has provided me with a life that I am keenly living, each and everyday. I am more aware not only of myself but others as well. I am comfortable with me in ways that are difficult to describe. So I do encourage anybody, everybody to find a “GREAT” counselor and take the ride!!!! I never regret a moment of it. It is hard work and takes years….you didn’t get here in 5 minutes…we can’t change it in 5 minutes!!!!
Also I have a few interests I am passionate about…..hobbies is too light a term. I am passionate about, FOCUSED ON!! Music, my band, my hotrod, my motorcycles, art. These things drive me each and everyday… I know that’s what I am about…. and I do the hell out of those things…I cannot be detered….at all!! They excite me always!!! Doing them, talking about them, reading about them, talking with my friends about them and their same interests. My friends are acquired through mutual interests, we love the same things, cool eh!! My partner supports my life and life style….my kids (25&30) dig it too. So we as a family can talk and share on all levels. My passions support my life and visa versa…..and you know what….. my birth family could have cared less. My life was not their life…I learned that was ok, and how to be ok, with it. So I learned, accepted and moved into a world that fed me on many levels. I still speak with my birth family, we are friendly etc….but they cannot feed me and feed who I am. I am on a very different path, I can visit them but that all, we are too different. So they miss out…too bad for them I guess. Sooo…that’s me…sharing is good for me. Keeps me honest with myself.
Hope it helps you… it always helps me…..
toofatREPORT ABUSEDecember 18, 2010 at 10:25 pm #97763
Nomad40MemberDecember 18, 2010 at 10:25 pmPost count: 10
911- I’ve been at it 20+ years with a lot of ups and downs. I’ve been on the plus side for awhile now. Early on things were good. Had some rough clashes with the brothers from time to time. I always seemed to find conflict. I moved around- 5 different stations in the first 15yrs, twice was for promotion. 5 years ago I moved into a Fire Inspector job. A year later a couple of people retired and I got the Lead Fire Inspector job (equivalent to Captain). As the promo approched I asked my Dr. about meds. Tried Strattera, it did not work for me. We then tried Adderall XR. It worked wonders on most levels. I still had clashes with the people under me until the fire inspectors and asst fire chief took me off-site and really let me have it (like an intervention) This helped me turn it around. I’ve become a good leader and really appreciate those who work with/for me. I can retire but enjoy the job so much I’ll keep going till it changes, or when the rip the uniform off my back- whichever comes first. I do, however have a lot of contempt for the firefighters in the stations. The seem to have an entitlement mentality- way different attitudes, some of it really gets to me. I stay away from the stations to avoid getting P.O.’d. Maybe its just part of the “old me” that I can’t shake where I always need something to be disagreeable with or diagreeable about.
It sounds like you have some good ways of coping. Sounds like your not too far off from finding your equalibrium. However I think I’d be foggy too if I was still in riding the firetruck- I find the daily task oriented nature in my particular management position help me. Sorry mgt. did not work for you. You had it down- save the things that made you give it up. If I was a Captain I’d be retired already because l’d be insane from the attitudes. I’m succeding now because I have a position that fits, have 3 people working with me that do a fine job and we work as a team. I’m really lucky.
Sorry meds did not do for you what they did for me. Keep trying- this site may provide some input or new ideas- Stay safe broREPORT ABUSEFebruary 23, 2011 at 6:07 pm #97764
AnonymousInactiveFebruary 23, 2011 at 6:07 pmPost count: 14413
0911 – My husband is a firefighter and has ADD. He wasn’t diagnosed until he was 28 years old and didn’t get hired until he was 32. Your account of life on the job is EXACTLY how he describes his days sometimes. He is a hard worker and gets a lot of praise on the job from captains. But when he has a bad day and makes tiny mistakes, everyone seems to notice. He calls me to vent about his frustrations and its very hard for me to hear because I cant totally empathize. I listen and I know that’s all he really wants, but as his spouse, I want to be able to help fix it, but I cant. I give him a pep talk, which he needs and those help, but at the end of the day, he hates feeling like he sucks at his job.
He is on medication, but the meds cant fix everything. He had no life coping skills because he was an adult when diagnosed. He is also so afraid of anyone on the department knowing about his ADD that he stresses even more when he has those bad days.
It only makes it worse when he forgets his meds at home and is gone for days on end.
Are you partnered/married? Do you have anyone to vent to close by? I try to encourage my husband to find a support group, which he is open to, but unless I find the group and drag him there myself, I know he will never do it. He always has good intentions, but zero follow through, which only frustrates him more.
Anyway, I would be more than happy to share my insight as the spouse of a firefighter if that at all helps.
Good luck!REPORT ABUSEFebruary 24, 2011 at 3:37 am #97765
AnonymousInactiveFebruary 24, 2011 at 3:37 amPost count: 14413
If I can just add this….there is no body better in a crisis situation than Adder’s… when the world is moving way way too fast, and others are panicking and spinning….. we (ADDers) are right at home…the world for few moments is moving at the right speed for our brain.
Clarity in crisis…calm in crisis….. we are defined by that!!!
If I am… or my family, is in a crisis alarm situation……………… I want the trucks to show up FULL of ADD Firefighters!!!!!
I’ll be fine… I’ll be in good hands.
toofatREPORT ABUSEMarch 6, 2011 at 4:33 pm #97766
AnonymousInactiveMarch 6, 2011 at 4:33 pmPost count: 14413
Hey Im a fellow firefighter and haven’t been foramaly diagnosed, but from what I hear from this web site and the results of my quiz I’m pretty sure I am ADD. I have been on the job for about 5 years as a career firefighter and 5 as a volunteer. I don’t know how I made it through the academy and EMT school. The reason I say I don’t know how I made it through is because I struggled with school my whole. I recently went through Paramedic school and ended up failing out. It wasn’t be cause of a lack of effort. I really tried as hard as I could. I always had focus issues in class. When the question was possed does anybody have any questions I ould never have any. Partially because I didn’t want to be that person who never got it or I would lose focus during lecture, so some times I wouldn’t get all the info. I love this job and want to do it untill I can’t anymore, but I fear I have already started experiencing some of the issues you have had and are having. I have been with my current crew and station for about three years now. I have positioned myself as far away from the chiefs and training staff. I do want to advance maybe some day become a captain. I don’t know if that will happen because of my ADDREPORT ABUSEMarch 6, 2011 at 6:37 pm #97767
AnonymousInactiveMarch 6, 2011 at 6:37 pmPost count: 14413March 8, 2011 at 6:36 pm #97768
AnonymousInactiveMarch 8, 2011 at 6:36 pmPost count: 14413
Brian, I just retired from 21+ years with a mid-west fire dept., The first 5 years were the best!! but slowly the job, especially the Paramedic end of it passed me by, and I felt like I was just faking it and feared that I would be caught some day. To add to that stress our dept. was run by a bunch of bullies and since the actual fire load (actual fires) was light, we (the Dept.) spent a lot of time fighting each other so any perceived weakness was pounced on. My best advice is make a list of things that you feel are a challenge at work and start knocking them off. I was accused of not knowing my streets, I was not from the town I served so I bought a memory course and started memorizing the street names, then actually walked the streets, or by Bike, and when the opportunity came I worked part time with the census bureau, and got paid to walk the streets. You can’t keep them from talking about you, but you can keep it from being true. I was 15 years into my career when I was diagnosed with ADHD and if felt is was a secret I had to keep to myself, I’m not married “surprise” so I had no real support at home. Meds helped a little but I got through it and got out with my pension. Whew! One of the big killers for me was having to rush out unprepared. So I always kept a bag with me with extra pens, a dictionary, electronic dictionary, snacks, Chapstick, chemical hand warmers, gatoraid. I always got to work early to check out my rig so I would not get caught with my pants down if we got a early call. And I lobbied my cause that I did care about my job, and was doing all I could to stay current and informed, though I often fell short. I always said that “the only thing worse than riding the ambulance with someone who is unsure of himself, is being that person.” I found it helpful to let someone I could trust know I had areas I was uncomfortable in, ask for their experience and allow them to have the final say in that area if the need arose. But don’t ever let them think you don’t care, that its not your job, or that you don’t have to know your job. They will crucify you, and have fun doing it.
Hope this is of some help, All the best, Say Huh?REPORT ABUSEMarch 10, 2011 at 1:56 pm #97769
AnonymousInactiveMarch 10, 2011 at 1:56 pmPost count: 14413
Okay this is a really old post with no replies from the author.
There is some interest and it caught my eye as well, so I’d like to add to it despite the age of the original post.
“I have been a professional firefighter for 19 years yet, I still space off or make minute mistakes that when noticed people make a big deal out of.”
Check this out: http://www.wimp.com/lastlecture/
There is a quote in here that goes something like: “It’s a good thing when people notice you screwing up and tell you about it because when they notice and don’t say anything it means they gave up on you.”
It’s not about right or wrong, it’s about understanding.REPORT ABUSE
Firefigher with ADD, ADD and work2010-12-13T18:37:09+00:00
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