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Lost and Full of Doubt

Lost and Full of Doubt2014-05-17T12:44:53+00:00

The Forums Forums Emotional Journey My Story Lost and Full of Doubt

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    Post count: 2

    I have been combating with ADHD-PI for as long as I can remember, constantly struggling with things that seem SO easy for everyone else and feeling like I’ll never be capable of having any kind of success in my life. My fiancé regularly asks me if I have holes on my brain. I just wish so badly that I was not this way. I want to be capable of having a conversation without the inevitable, involuntary ‘check-out’ that leaves me struggling to find the correct response to whatever I missed. I want to be able to breeze through my workday focused, alert and efficient like everyone else. Why is this so hard?

    So many times in any given day I will find myself standing somewhere without any idea how long I’ve been there, casting about wildly for some kind of cue to help me remember what my original purpose there was intended to be. This happens at work, at home, at the store….everywhere! I will sometimes walk out of and back into a room several times remembering, forgetting, remembering and then forgetting yet again what I was doing.

    I am constantly late for everything because I have no concept of time as it passes. I also lose things. It’s very commonplace to see me tearing through the house looking for my keys, my shoes, my daughter’s backpack, my cell phone, my purse etc. It breaks my heart that my four-year-old feels she has to be responsible for guiding me, an adult woman, through getting out of the house “Mommy, do you have your keys? Your purse? Did you get your phone? You left my lunch on the counter.” I also tend to have to go back into stores when I’m done shopping to find my purse or keys. It happens so often that my family, my friends, my daughter and my fiancé don’t even ask why I’m late or why I’m going back into the store. They already know and make no attempt to hide their contempt for the situation… If only they knew how much I also hate me for it.

    I have eventually detested every job I have ever had passionately. I despise the struggle of trying to force my brain into doing things it virtually refuses to do. Needless to say I have a difficult time holding employment. I’ve been fired from employments as a dental assistant, as a manager in a restaurant, as a retail clerk, as a bank teller and now about to be fired from a pre-school/daycare where I run the kitchen and also clean the building. The reason is always the same. “You make too many careless mistakes. You’re disorganized. You take far too long to complete tasks. You miss details. You don’t seem mentally present. You don’t show any initiative”

    In fairness, the job where I am now is really too much for one person. Even a ‘normal’ person. From what I understand, the people who have held the position before me have taken a lot of heat as well. But I’ve been warned that I’m about to be dismissed due to poor performance and I feel like everything is riding on this job. I promised myself I would not get fired again. I have already strained my relationship with my fiancé to its limit. He doesn’t feel he can tie his life to someone who isn’t even capable of holding a steady job. I don’t blame him. Who wants to deal with that kind of instability?

    Trying to stay on task and focus is, for me, very much like holding a heavy book straight out on front of me at shoulder level. At first, it’s ok. I can hold it. I can handle it. But the strain becomes more and more unbearable. The effort becomes exhausting and I feel the ‘book’ start to drop. I’ll struggle with it. I’ll find the will to lift it back up, but it’s only for a few moments before it starts to fall again and I just can’t hold it no matter how hard determined I am to keep it high and steady. The damned book is too heavy and I’m not strong enough to keep it up.

    To make matters worse I also have a little problem on the flipside of this. I guess it’s commonly known as ‘hyperfocus’. I can watch movies, work on my art, read or get involved in a video game and suddenly nothing else exists in this world. I can’t hear anything else. I don’t see anything else. Hours pass by in what seems a few minutes. And tearing my attention away from whatever I’m engrossed in results in either my becoming absurdly angry or experiencing this weird sort of ‘brain shock’ kind of like if you were to wake up suddenly in the middle of the night because you heard a loud crash but you’re not sure if it was real or a dream.

    I can’t let my little daughter watch cartoons in the morning because if I’m walking across the living room during the process of getting ready for work and I venture a glance at the television, I’m a goner. Not that I’m even interested in the life and times of Peppa Pig, but it’s there and it’s moving and making colors and noises and telling a story, so I can’t move. “You’re going to be LATE!!!” screams a voice in the back of my mind. “Please just brush your hair. Find your keys. Let the dog outside now so you don’t leave him in the house all day again” But a gawking statue I remain.

    I haven’t taken medication for this mostly because I can’t afford to seek professional help or the prescriptions that would be the most probable result of the visit. I’ve never been officially diagnosed with this condition even though it has been a prominent issue all my life. I’m terrified that I will never be able to have a productive life. I’m exhausted from the effort of trying to force myself to function normally and from battling the depression resulting from my continual failure to do so. I wish I knew what to do to make this better. Is there anything aside from medication that might help me?


    Post count: 906

    Hi @adrift, welcome to Totally ADD. 🙂

    We all know what it’s like. Most of us have gone through exactly the same things many times. I am unemployed myself right now, for all the same reasons. And my 80 year old mother who can’t remember what day of the week it is and, until recently, thought that Johnny Carson was still on The Tonight Show,  has to help me with the “Have you got….” list. It gets kind of scary around here some days, though so far one of us usually manages to remember the important stuff.

    So, first of all, hang in there. Take a deep breath and let out all of that frustration and anxiety. You are not alone. And it is not your fault, so stop hating yourself and start forgiving yourself. And maybe even try laughing at yourself a little.

    Second, stop taking **** from other people. If  my fiancé kept asking if I have holes in my head, I would tell him off. Let him know that it hurts your feelings when he does that. If this is the man you are going to marry then he needs to respect you and support you. And if he loves you, which I assume he does since he wants to marry you, then he should love you the way you are, imho.

    And don’t worry so much about your daughter helping you. She probably has fun doing it and it’s a good learning experience for her. You could make it into a little game and make it fun for both of you, which might actually help you to focus better and stay more organized. Anxiety makes your symptoms worse, so sometimes it helps to not be so serious about everything.

    Next, the employment issue. I know what it’s like. Believe me, I do. And I had a lot of those jobs where it’s really too much for one person too. Those kind of employers try to cut costs by understaffing and then put all the blame on the employees. They did to the ones who came before you and they’ll do it to the ones who come after. It’s a good way to avoid having any long term employees who they might have to give things like raises and benefits.

    First, by promising yourself you will do better and then beating yourself up because you didn’t you are setting yourself up to fail. There are some things that you have no control over and will always struggle with. It is not because you are a bad person. It’s because you have ADD. And when you have ADD, trying harder doesn’t work.

    I can’t really give you a solution to the problem because I haven’t figured it out myself yet. But you need to assess your strengths and weaknesses and then try to find a way to minimize the weaknesses and maximize the strengths. And it will help if you can find something that you are really interested in, that you won’t hate after a few weeks.

    Second, you have rights. ADHD is a recognized disability, which means that you are protected by the Human Rights Code (no matter where you live, there should be a code of some kind).  And it means you have the right to be accommodated. Asking for an accommodation can be a little tricky, and you have to be sure to do it properly. But it may be an option if you feel your employment struggles are going to continue.

    I think that is enough for now. You seem like you are really having a hard time and you have an awful lot of issues to deal with. So if it’s possible, I think maybe you should consider professional help. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is one option that some people find very helpful. Or you could look for an ADHD coach. If you can’t afford that, or you aren’t comfortable with it, then you can find help and support right here in this forum. There are lots of very friendly and very knowledgable people here who have been in the same situations and faced the same challenges. Chances are someone  will have a solution that works for you.


    I just read the rest of your post (it was too much for one go).

    There are a lot of other things that can look like ADHD so you really should try to get a diagnosis to be sure. That way at least you know for certain and you have the medical evidence to back you up.

    There are some options for medication that are not too expensive. There may also be a way that you can get help to pay for it. If the depression is severe, you should consider at least getting treatment for that. It could make a big difference.

    There are lots of other  things you can do that will help. Reducing stress, making sure that you get enough sleep, eating properly and staying hydrated, developing routines to use every day, calendars and timers to help you keep track of the passage of time,  colour coding and labelling things to help you stay organized….Just to name a few.

    It is a lot of work and it will not be easy. You need to give yourself time and be prepared to have set backs. But if you stick with it, you can get better.


    Post count: 10

    Hi @adrift,

    I’m only new here myself and I really and i mean really suck at giving advice. So that’s not what I’m writing for. I agree with what @blackdog has to say.

    So I tried and failed to type something relevant here for about an hour, time to give up.

    I find that having someone who understands to talk to (and this site is awesome for that) and in general taking those small steps and recognising the positive progress are a huge boost to the struggle. To reflect and say “Yeah, with a few small steps I can definitely see how it has helped me in the past week” means so much. Having a person who can see the positives that you miss, or agrees that even baby steps are better than crawling can mean so much. I personally see the negatives first, and it really takes some time and even my partner forcing me to see the positive until I start to look at my progress in a positive light.

    It’s a bit crazy that when I train a horse, recognising when to pull up to have a break with one comes so easy, then when it comes to my personal progress all I see are the flaws and failures so keep charging ahead in anger which achieves nothing.

    Sorry, today is not my day for insight. I can barely string two sentences together.

    Oh I know!!! Move to Australia, we have a great health care system that costs bugger all.

    Yeah crap advice, what did I say.

    Anyway, hope you find some good info here because I’ve learned a lot about myself in the past few months through websites such as this one.

    Cheers, Justin



    Post count: 2

    Thank you Justin and Blackdog. It does make it a little easier to feel like I’m not the only one dealing with these issues. Your insights were actually very helpful. I’ve been doing a bit better with the implementation of timers and lists to help keep me on track, and focusing on what I’ve been doing slightly better feels much nicer than my typical focus on everything I screw up (Though it’s sometimes tough to do. Old habits die hard) I don’t really have much for options as far as my ‘support group’ as I’ve kind of burned up my bridges in regards to how much patience my loved ones have for me. I’m still struggling to determine what my strengths are, but there has to be something. I appreciate you taking the time to respond


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