May 27, 2011 at 6:21 pm #89640
AnonymousInactiveMay 27, 2011 at 6:21 pmPost count: 14413
I am a 41 year old unemployed, married mother of 3
(6 year old twin girls) + 4 year old boy). Ironically,this week as the end of the Oprah era as we know it comes to an end I experienced my “aha-aha” moment. I have ADHD (self-diagnosed).
Coming to this realization has lifted my eternal fog
but I am so scared. What do I do now? Who do I tell? Who can help me? Who should apologize to first?
i have been unemployed for the last 8 months. I have not forwarded one resume. i spend my days wallowing in my “sorrow”—unfocused
very angry. I am on the computer looking at job posts, on social networks, on the web searching mindlessly & playing solitaire 7 hours a day. Wasting precious time.
I can’t sleep at night. I vow at 2am each day that I will accomplish x, y & z. In reality NOTHING gets accomplished. I get side-tracked. Distracted.
I constantly lie to my husband & family about my job search. Lucky for me the “bad” economy validates my lies. My family’s needs keep me busy……..laundry, cleaning, meal preparation, driving to & from school, activities, etc. but I feel like a walking Zombie-=a fake. I am very unhappy, extremely bored & frustrated.
Before kids I was highly regarded at one company because I was always in the office.
Came in early stayed late. Why? To compensate for the fact that I accomplished about 40% of my daily tasks during normal business hours. I zoned out. Daydreamed. Poor time management. needed to be “under the gun” to perform. Took on too much. I felt guilty & resented my situation constantly.
When I returned from mat leave…………I felt like a new person. Mothering twins made me by default a more “focused + organized person” . I made lists. Broke up my day into prioritized tasks. It did make a positive difference. Became pregnant unexpectedly again & left on mat leave a second time. During my absence my job was eliminated.
Stayed home for 2 years. Worked perdiocally as a consultant. The deadlines & need for the extra cash helped me “do” the work. Nonetheless, the quality & the time I devoted to it was I admit mediocre at best.
Within a week, convinced myself that an office structure would make me happier…….. One resume, one recruiter, one interview landed the job. Done. A little too easy. During this period…………I was superwoman! Accomplished at work (the novelty of it made me hyperfocus), my boss thought I was brillant, my colleagues liked me, my direct-reports were in awe, my husband was happy because it seemed like I was happy, I was a better mom to my children (more patient), and I always had a tasty meal waiting for dinner when the family came home. Hosted family gatherings. Exercised. My home was always tidy & neat. During this period I usually slept 4-5 hours a night. Also my husband runs his own business and works weekends…………I was home alone alot.
Abruptly after I gave a “excellent” corporate presentation a few days before I was “laid-off”………….just like that. Spoof!
Since that fateful day………..I have done ZILCH! Merely the minimum.
Does my situation resonate with anyone out there? What did you do? Please send me direction………….REPORT ABUSEMay 27, 2011 at 8:09 pm #104454
memzakMemberMay 27, 2011 at 8:09 pmPost count: 128
First of all, welcome to the website that will help you change your life. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Your situation sounds like many I have read on this site and similar to my own situation. The first thing you need to do is get diagnosed and look into medication. The diagnosis is importatant because you need to know how it is affecting you and eliminate what you don’t have. Educating yourself and your immediate family is second. It will take time. My brothers and sisters are not very interested in why I have gotten myself into the mess I am in. My daughter, who is almost 25, has accepted what it means and we talk almost daily about what I find out about myself and what it means to our relationship (she still lives with me and is not ADD). If you can afford a coach I have heard that this is an excellent way to get help with daily life.
If you can watch the program advertised on this site called “ADD and Loving It!?!” or better yet buy it from this site and watched it regularly it will help you pin down what is going on. There are many excellent books like “You mean I’m not Lazy, Stupid, or Crazy?” and “Driven to distraction”. I am looking forward to Rick Green’s new book, “ADD Stole my Car Keys”, a subject close to my heart .
It has been nearly a year since my self-diagnosis then a diagnosis by a psycologist. I am 58 and it has taken me a year to accept myself and learn the things i can change and how to manage the things that I can’t. I am still stuck but improving. I am still learning a lot just by reading other posts on this site.
Hang in there and keep in touch.REPORT ABUSEMay 29, 2011 at 9:33 am #104455
AnonymousInactiveMay 29, 2011 at 9:33 amPost count: 14413
Completely agree with Memzak, but being ADHD myself, feel I need to post my two bits worth
One other book I would recommend is called Delivered from Distraction. It’s basically the newer version of Driven to Distraction, written by the same guy ten years after he wrote Drive to Distraction, Dr. Ed Hallowell (who has ADHD himself). I’ve read both, and I must say that Delivered from Distraction was a lot more helpful to me, as a lot more about ADD has been discovered in recent years.
Also, sounds like you’ve been on quite a roller coaster, which is very typical of ADHD. At this point, I recommend getting properly diagnosed (if you have not done so already). In Dr. Hallowell’s book I mentioned earlier, he made a point about this which I think is a very good point, be careful about which doctor you see about this. Family doctors will try their best, but it’s not their field, so a psychologist would be good. Secondly, do some research and see if you can find a doctor who treats people, not patients (in other words, doctors who will want to spend time really getting down into your personal roadblocks and not just prescribe meds, give a few tips, and shoo you out the door). Admittedly, those kind of doctors can be hard to find, but if you can find one who will at least work with you a little bit, you can substitute the rest via community support (like here ). One more thing, for myself and for other’s I’ve known, medication is one of the most substantial interventions you can get, so if a doctor wants to prescribe you medication, I suggest accepting the prescription, and then research it on your own before you actually get it filled, but please do not dismiss it out-of-hand as a valid aid. Educate yourself with reputable sites first about the medications suggested (a very good analysis of the variant medications out there is in that book I mentioned earlier).
Also, just like Memzak said, educate yourself! I cannot stress that point enough. Just so you know though, I highly doubt you will have to push to educate yourself once you get started as it will bring a whole new world of understanding about yourself, which will likely make you want to know more. Make the effort to start educating yourself. If you cannot take the time to read a book (like you already hate me for writing such a long post, lol), then get it on CD or MP3 and listen to some of these books while you’re driving your car or out for a walk or just at home occupying yourself.
Anyhow, I hope this helps you a great dealREPORT ABUSEMay 29, 2011 at 11:38 am #104456
AnonymousInactiveMay 29, 2011 at 11:38 amPost count: 14413
MsUA, You are not alone!! Your story sounds similar to mine. I am currently only self diagnosed. I came to this realisation when a psychologist suggested testing my son for ADHD (he is my clone!). When I did some research I found I was reading about me, as well as my son. I have not had job related issues, but I am a nurse and it’s very hard to procrastinate when a patient asks to use the toilet! I think the only reason I have remained in my job so long is because it is hard to put off people’s immediate needs, so my work doesn’t suffer like it would if I was self employed. I am also not in a demanding area of nursing, so I don’t have to remember a multitude of things I have to do every shift. Most nights are pretty routine, and I do routine well. Everything else in my life (and sometimes stuff at work) gets put off for as long as possible then completed in a mad rush just before the deadline. If there is no deadline involved, I rarely get the motivation to complete anything.
I also found that having young children helped me become more organised, for a while. I tend to think it was a combination of hormones and the neediness of a baby/young child. Now my kids are older, I can deal with the various regular activities they do, thanks to FINALLY getting into the habit of using a calendar, but I find it hard to keep the house clean and keep consistent discipline, as I forget what I have said at a previous time, and this can result in me contradicting myself outright at times. Having a son just like me also means that there are two of us, in a house of four, who really don’t pull their weight. Frustration plus! Especially for my hubby. As well as lots of guilt from me.
I agree with the other posters that education is a must, as is a formal diagnosis. I go this week to get my son tested, and hope to briefly bring up my own issues at the same time to “test the waters” and see if the psychologist is open to adult testing. Fingers crossed.REPORT ABUSEMay 30, 2011 at 7:40 pm #104457
memzakMemberMay 30, 2011 at 7:40 pmPost count: 128
Alden, thank you for the book title correction. I could only remember one title and haven’t gotten around to reading any of them yet myself. Msunderachiever, I hope you have been back to this site. Let us know how things are going.REPORT ABUSEMay 31, 2011 at 3:50 am #104458
AnonymousInactiveMay 31, 2011 at 3:50 amPost count: 14413
Hi everyone. Nice to know that I really haven’t been crazy all me life, or stupid in a normal dull job. Regarding books, there are a GREAT MANY that will help you understand, motivate, and just realize that it’s NOT YOUR FAULT!! (Guess where that comes from!!)
Depending on people’s situations or personalities, there are also support groups – like the one I’m in through meetup.com. We meet every 2nd and fourth Mon of the month down at CAMH – Russell Tower at College and Spadina. I’m sorry I don;t have the address handy: I’ve been out of touch due to circumstances, but by being a part of it, I’ve found my own “tribe”. And it is WONDERFUL.
Maybe that’s a help?REPORT ABUSEJune 2, 2011 at 4:18 pm #104459
AnonymousInactiveJune 2, 2011 at 4:18 pmPost count: 14413
Thank you all for your posts. It is very comforting to know that I am not alone in my struggle.
This weekend my self-diagnosis of ADD may be correct. I haven’t returned to this website until today because I have been dealing with an issue that came up. .
My husband’s closest childhood friend’s (as a side note I too have no real friends like a few Adders have posted) passed away unexpectedly—a massive heart attack this past Sunday morning. My DH received the news at 3pm Sunday afternoon. We decided to attend the funeral which is a 5 hour drive away. We would leave on Monday morning at 5am. Returning Wednesday mid-afternoon.
In order to accomplish this I had many things to get done in a very short amount of time. I took on all tasks myself. Made no lists. Even though my DH offered to help I told him to keep the kids entertained & to just relax. I was pumped. Ironically I had been moping all week long until I received this sad news.
At 4pm Sunday I began coordinating the child-care with my parents.
*Packed all three kids clothes, books, toys, knapsacks.
*Went to the grocery store to pick up snacks for kids & our car ride.
*went to the store to buy a hostess present for our “friends”
*Washed four loads of laundry.
*made a pot of soup, a lasagna & a two banana loaves to take to my parents (oh yes I did!)
*ordered a pizza (?) for our dinner that night
*bathed the children after dinner & drove them to my parents
*Folded & put away all four loads of laundry
*While putting away laundry in children’s rooms decided to wash all their bedding & vacuum
*at 10pm DH went to bed I stayed up until 12:30am cleaning & organizing kitchen, packed our suitcase
*at 2am awoke showered, dressed & went down to the kitchen. Made a pot coffee & decided to make a batch of cookies to take with us (2 varieties) Why??
*DH awoke at 4:15am we left at 5am
Once we arrived. I realized that I have not spoken to my husband’s friend’s wife in 5 years!!! We exchange Christmas cards, she’s an FB friend but I have not really talked with her in ages. However you wouldn’t have known that…..I was her “rock” during these past few days. This is so me! When I am needed I am your strongest support. The day to day mundane friend-stuff is not me. I babysat their children as they had details to handle for the service. I woke up earlier & made breakfast for everyone. I was very helpful & social. Served coffee & the cookies that I baked as people gathered in their home after the funeral. I often heard comments: “wow! You did this?”, “I do not know how you do it with 3 kids”, “I am just going to call you Martha Stewart”—who really wants to be called that? Even so, if only they knew the real me! I think this aspect of my personality of baking, cleaning, child-rearing, etc. & with the added illusion of an “accomplished” career woman alienates me from a lot of people—-mostly close female friends. I make it look easy when it isn’t at all. I need a crisis to function, the variety to fight the boredom & I need to work outside the home to feel like I am contributing…….currently I am unemployed so I am clearly not myself.
Our “friends” were very touched with our presence & my help. I mentioned that we should get together again very soon. Honestly I will not. I will not call her even though I think we bonded in the past few days. I will make absolutely no effort to remain in contact. Also I am not sure if I want to. Is that not weird?? Anti-social?? Immature?
On the drive home I mentioned all this to my husband. My symptoms, this website, my past successes & failures, my lack of friends, my job history, my chronic procrastination. Essentially he brushed it off. “You do not have ADD! “You are just not motivated. Use your energy to get a job. Any job. Get out of the house. Socialize. The economy is bad out there. Take anything & then move up. You can do it if you really wanted to! Pick up the phone & call friends. Make an effort. You wake-up at the crack of dawn—-type your resume!!!”
What should I do? Polish my resume. Call my recruiters. Get the interview & a job. Get this part of my life on track. In the mean-time try some holistic approaches to deal with my ADD, exercise, take omega-3s, read up on the subject, etc. & then deal with this issue head-on once I am fully employed?
I am so lost!!REPORT ABUSEJune 2, 2011 at 4:48 pm #104460
sdwaParticipantJune 2, 2011 at 4:48 pmPost count: 363
What motivates you? When you are at your most active, what thoughts or feelings are driving that activity? What are the circumstances? Are you responding to direct needs or requests of others? This is a key thing to notice, because it can help you later. It sounds like you responded – brilliantly – in an emotional-crisis situation.
Typically, people with ADHD need some kind of external cue or stimulation to launch into activity. We’re not good at doing this for ourselves. I have read advice to the effect that if I want to get things done, I have to put up notices or visual props for myself in the place where I will be doing the activity. Managing ADHD is about creating external structure.
Maybe you were great at work because you got regular feedback from the people around you. Maybe you’re great with your kids because kids (as a mom I know this) make us want to do things for them we would never bother to do for ourselves.
I find for myself that I’m much better with a mentor, teacher, or coach. A leader of a therapy group I am doing for people with ADHD suggested the idea of a “body double” – or a buddy to check in with about what we’re doing, to whom we can be accountable.
I don’t know you, but I would suggest getting a diagnosis and getting on medication would be the best thing to tackle first. Then learn as much as you can about ADHD. This can help you separate your sense of self from the symptoms it causes, so you can stop berating yourself for being unproductive. You need to learn how you work, and accept it as natural for you, rather than being a character flaw or personal failing. I recommend Sari Solden’s book “Women with Attention Deficit Disorder” and Russell Barkley’s “Taking Charge of Adult ADHD.” John Ratey also has a book called “Spark” which talks about the effects of exercise on the ADHD brain. The reason I suggest getting on medication first and learning more about ADHD is that then you can make better-informed decisions about the type of work environment that can help you do your best work. For whatever that’s worth. Usually I tackle a problem in terms of what is most urgent, but often find that rushing in without thinking things through leads me into situations that might not be the best fit.REPORT ABUSEJune 2, 2011 at 7:09 pm #104461
ZitaMemberJune 2, 2011 at 7:09 pmPost count: 27
I find I need a bit of direction too, I need a list, and as much as I hate it I need structure. I find the summer hard, the kids are out of school and there just isn’t any structure. I’m on disability, I was just diagnosed and just started meds. Hopefully this summer with the help of meds I’ll be able to kind of create some kind of scheduled for us as a family too keep us on our toes. Both of my kids have ADHD, and I suspect my husband does too.REPORT ABUSEJune 2, 2011 at 7:30 pm #104462
ZitaMemberJune 2, 2011 at 7:30 pmPost count: 27
I read the title before any of the articles, msunderachiever you are not alone, people that don’t have ADD don’t understand. I’ve learned though experience that your just wasting your time trying to talk to closed minded people that just think you should “snap out of it”!!
I agree with many people here, go get an official diagnosis and get on some meds….I know the lost feeling, for the last 15 years I’ve been on so many meds for bipolar, borderline personality disorder and depression, none of them helped me, it just keep ed me in a fog and not able to function for years. I just started meds, my life has changed dramatically!! You sound a lot like me at times, I would go whole hog at some thing and all the sudden just stop. When ever it was that I was doing just dropped, or I would do this for this one, and that for that one, then I would make plans to do the same next week, by the time next week rolled around I had crashed and couldn’t go though with the commitment I had made.
Meds would make all the difference in the world for you, take a deep breath and make a Dr.appointment, get a referral to a psychiatrist, and relax! Things will turn around for you, never mind talking to closed minded people about ADD/ADHD, just listen to the specialist, do what’s best for you.REPORT ABUSEJune 2, 2011 at 7:40 pm #104463
MonikaMemberJune 2, 2011 at 7:40 pmPost count: 82
Sometimes people with ADD marry people without, that whole opposites attract, “They complete me” deal. Handy when it comes to remembering where you’ve put your car keys, a little harder because they have little to no understanding of the sidetracked mind, (of course marrying a fellow ADDer, you’d get more sympathy but perhaps never be able to drive your car…) anyway my point is sometimes when we can’t do one thing well, we THINK and FEEL that we can’t do anything right. Very untrue.
Why not take a babystep? My favorite time management and organizational website might help you find a victory, http://www.flylady.net
It’s a massive website but the small steps to greatness are all there and like the beautiful website community that Rick has for us here, their information is free.
Keep in touch and let us know how you do?
MonikaREPORT ABUSEJune 3, 2011 at 12:29 pm #104464
ZitaMemberJune 3, 2011 at 12:29 pmPost count: 27
I love flylady!! There are some great tips on there, and it’s comforting knowing I’m not the only one with a messy house!!REPORT ABUSEJune 23, 2011 at 1:12 am #104465
MonikaMemberJune 23, 2011 at 1:12 amPost count: 82
Me too Teese!
Thanks for sharing that you like her too,REPORT ABUSEJune 27, 2011 at 9:20 pm #104466
Rick Green – Founder of TotallyADDParticipantJune 27, 2011 at 9:20 pmPost count: 473
By all means, keep us apprised of your progress Ms.underachiever. And I request you change your name. Every time you log on it’s a reminder, a confirmation of a judgement you’ve put on yourself. Anyone who is parenting 3 kids is NOT an under achiever.
Consider that you just have no real sense of how powerful you are. Trust me. Before I got the diagnosis I had done hundreds and hundreds of television shows, yet considered myself an underachiever and lazy and not very productive.
In fact, it was just my paperwork that was behind and not done.
Anyway, create a new name for yourself, please. Something that inspires you. And us.
And if you want to play along with some of the challenges I’ve created in the Blogs, please do!
I need direction……..2011-05-27T18:21:32+00:00
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