Just joined the site a day ago… I am a 33 year-old woman who was diagnosed only three months ago. Just “read through” (ie-skimmed) this thread and was spurred to write something.
I just wanted to comment back about the initial post…I am a “successful” person with ADHD, meaning I am married (sometimes happily and sometimes not-so-happily) and I work full-time as a lawyer.
I am still wrapping my head aroung my diagnosis. In some ways this makes perfect sense to me. I’ve always been different and felt different. My life has been filled with struggles- alcoholism, drug abuse, bulimia, depression, anxiety. I basically fought my way through obstacle after obstacle because I am stubborn. But I never understood why things had to be so much harder for me than for almost everyone else.
I guess I just wanted to say that just because I work as a lawyer (which is LOVE/HATE for me- Love the courtroom adrenaline stuff, hate the paperwork) doesn’t mean I feel very successful at all. The last year I have felt like I was barely holding my life together at the seams. My marriage is troubled right now. I am on the verge of screwing up big time at work and dealing with just my emotional state feels like wrestling with a beast. And that’s every day. I have always felt like I have a hole inside and nothing ever fills it. Wow, what a cliche- but true… I have typically been a positive exhuberant person who suffers from dark days (unable to get out of bed). I’m either on or I’m off… there is very little in the middle. It’s exhausting- the intensity of it.
I have learned over the years to cut other people a lot of slack. I don’t know what they are going through… Just like you don’t know what I’m going through. I hope you feel better soon and I am sorry you are struggling so hard.AnonymousInactive
This section is marked “Venting”, so I’m going to vent. If you’re sensitive or easily offended, either stop reading here, or do your best not to take it personally.
Because of A.D.D., it was really difficult to earn my F*CKING PH.D!!!
A.D.D. has really interfered with my career as a F*CKING LAWYER OR DOCTOR!!!
What with my chronic disorganization, it was a real struggle to keep up with things as OWNER OF MY OWN F*CKING BUSINESS!!!
Isn’t it encouraging to know that we have the same disorder as this RICH AND FAMOUS F*CKING MUSICIAN OR ACTOR?!!!
I am a SUCCESSFUL F*CKING BUSINESSMAN.
I am an EDITOR OF A F*CKING MAGAZINE.
I am a SOFTWARE F*CKING DESIGNER.
I am a HOLLYWOOD F*CKING PRODUCER.
If you have A.D.D. and you earn more than US$40,000 per year, I don’t identify with you or your experiences, and certainly do NOT feel any sympathy for you. I hate you, I hate your inspiring stories of the f*cking Power of Positive Thinking, and you are the reason I F*CKING LOATHE that PIECE OF SHIT BOOK, “DRIVEN TO F*CKING DISTRACTION”.
P.S., while I’m at it, the videos on this website that are intended to be funny are completely lame and embarrassing. Either humor needs to be added, or the attempts at humor need to be edited out.AnonymousInactive
Thank you for not taking it personally.munchkinMember
We are a wide range of people, and yet, there are similarities across the “spectrum.” The character judgements we have received through a lifetime of being blamed leave their scars and triggers of anger and frustration. I’m happy for the PHD’s, but it’s naive to think that just because you’ve been successful despite ADHD means you know the answers for anyone else. The same thing would apply for someone who has never been in a professional environment trying to give advice to the PHD on how to relate with colleagues…
I think people on this forum intend to voice our struggles, and be supportive of each other. Hopefully we can locate the people with similar journeys and share something useful. Best to just pass over the posts of people who are in a totally different situation without letting it get to you…
Hope the venting helped 🙄nellieMember
Remember everything is relative – including one’s experience and perception of success and failure.AnonymousInactive
Thank you so much, munchkin & nellie – you definitely have the right perspective on these things. Venting is really all it was – there is of course tremendous value in the diversity of our experiences.
Thing is, though, I’ve been frustrated my whole life with people insisting that I somehow pull a strong sense of self-esteem out of my a*s, and be quick about it. How does self-esteem magically appear, especially in the absence of supporting evidence? There are times when this frustration builds to the blowing point, like today, but in the end, the success of fellow ADDers is a most effective bludgeon with which to flog myself.
No, but seriously, isn’t there anyone else out there who is sick to death of being told, and rather smugly, “believe in yourself”? As if just being told to do it was enough to make it happen? I can say it to myself all I want, but if I don’t believe it, I might as well be saying “doorknob” over and over. Someone identifies with this, right? You can’t just suddenly start believing in yourself just because you want to.munchkinMember
For some people, just being reminded to believe in themselves taps into something they already possess, but have to be “mindful” of in order to pull it off. So I guess that’s what the do-gooders are trying to do. It just isn’t always helpful if you don’t already have that ability to believe in yourself while hearing negative feedback all around you.
I think some ADD’ers have grown a thick callous against criticism and just belive in themselves no matter what – even when maybe they are screwing up… which has it’s problems, like not being able to see where you need to improve… while others are the walking wounded – always aware of the criticism, even when nobody is pointing it out. It’s hard to believe in yourself when you’ve been conditioned time and time again to think you will never amount to anything.
Some people have been able to regain self esteem through counseling, coaching, etc. but obviously there’s no magic bullet. I guess it’s kind of like pouring salt in a wound when you’re hearing that “buck up” type of stuff when you’re feeling really stuck. When I feel like people are being smug – I see that as ignorant, but not malicious. Still, it can grate on the nerves – I feel you. Anyway, you’re among friends, and we get it that ADD isn’t a moral failing. That’s the best thing about this forum.AnonymousInactive
JDC, I waited to post a response, actually I did compose one earlier but, deleted it……it just didn’t feel right. If I read you right, you appear to be struggling with your lot in life…..to say the least. Your post appears full of anger and from what you say, hate. It looks like a hard road…….
I believe your correct in your assessment, healthy self-esteem does not always just magically appear, nor does a positive self image, nor success, however we define it. We live in a parallel world of a minority. We are not the average, nor do we hold a comfortable average place to get lost in, a comfortable place in the middle of the normative scale, we differ from the flock. Many of our ilk struggle with the difference. All true………or so it appears.
If I can suggest….. just because some folks who visit this site have found extrinsic, or monetary, or career success, what ever you chose to call it, does not mean it did not come with a struggle, a tremendous struggle, the magnitude of which I cannot comment on, nor should I. It is not my place to judge another….
I do know there are folks here who struggle daily, and many who are reaping everything from a modicum of success, to being elated with the fullness and richness of their lives……..I imagine mainly do to hard work, in many cases it is years and years of hard work. sharing success and what works, maybe not so bad. Post after post of despair without any positive options might just be hmmm…….. more destructive than good?????
Developing healthy self-esteem and self image when your a member of a minority, and a tiny minority at that, that is judged by a less than understanding, or unknowledgeable majority is not always easy. Having been left out from the big table do to our differences, and having been told we are inadequate for the game, from a young age can do it’s damage to a person’s self-esteem and self image. We have all felt the sting of that……to some degree or another.
I am going to risk your wrath now………..I believe that our past lives and experience do make up who we are today. Our perception, our vision and our reality is shaped by a conglomeration of; past experience, socioeconomic conditions, circumstances, and parental influences, if you want to add physical make-up and chemistry…….fine throw those in the mix as well. However, I do not believe that those influences from the past cannot be eradicated, and our vision, our perception and the associated distortions and flaws inherent in that vision cannot be changed. I would never, ever, say it is easy, or can be accomplished overnight. Being creatures of habit, with years of reinforcement, it can be damn hard to overcome……but I can only imagine living my life in despair, would be harder.
Finally I feel living by comparison..can be very damaging. Comparison (to me) always places one up or down, another more or less, better or worse, and I’m not really convinced any good can come from that. I try avoid it as much as I can………there will always be a faster gun!!!
Anyway, that’s two-bits from me…….later…
Well put Munch……
John, I can understand where you are coming from, and completely believe that venting here is a great way to help get frustrations out. I would like to point out, though, that success is subjective. Only the person involved knows if they are “successful”. I have seen many people who others would call successful, that are not feeling successful within themselves. Earning more than $40,000 a year is certainly not classed as a measure of success in my book. Being happy and content with who you are, and what you are doing in life, is a better measure of success, in my opinion. And THAT can be very hard work. For anybody. ADHD or not.
That said, comparisons suck! I don’t believe that anybody should compare themselves to others, as there are always going to be those “better” or “worse” than us. So the constant reminders of which famous people have ADHD can be really irritating. WHO CARES?!! Though I guess some people find it useful to have a role model to hold up and use as motivation.
The best “success” related advice that I have come across is one I was given at a recent conference on workplace violence….
“Rather than trying to find a life that you enjoy, you should try and find enjoyment in your life.”
So may you find enjoyment in your lifeAnonymousInactive
I honestly hope venting as such has made you feel better, but success does not come from just positive thinking, or the force within. It is more then that. It is a combination of a lot of factors, all individual to each person. Ironically, as much as I am sure you would not want to be tagged with a disfunction, you are yourself tagging successfull adders for being able to achieve something you obviously have not.
I could hate and vent on all ball players for they’re 25 million $ contracts but the fact of the matter is I did not have the same opportunities, nor the same talent, nor the same will, and perhaps even just not the same determination and passion….with or without ADD. Seing the glass half full and being positive will still not make me hit the fences, but I will tell you one thing, it will sure help me give it my best shot.
You would obviously not relate to me for the reasons you mentioned in your post. Yet I find it verry sad that you can judge me by my income or profession without knowing what type of ordeal my life is. Without knowing the challenges I face on a daily basis. And by that I dont mean the challenge of not loosing my god given success check on my way to the bank…..but on the simnplest issues of life,,, the same damn issues every ADDer goes through.
I for one dont believe a disfunction is an excuse for faillure, even if I have failled many times, and am not the one to use it as a bragging tag for my successes either.
Just my 2 centsbilldMember
John I can relate!
Multiple marriages, multiple jobs, troubles in most of the jobs I HAVE had, can’t get anything done, no ambition, etc. etc.
Even many ADD’ers just don’t get it.
Severe here – VERY.
Dr. Barkley nails it in his video where he’s stating that the behavioral modifications won’t necessarily work – as we’ll get to them when we get a chance…
Take Ty Pennington – he’s ADD. And successful – however, for his sort of success, you can’t have the issues I have with my brand of ADD – severe, combined sub-type, with social anxiety. Hmmm, can’t see me in front of a group of people talking, let alone on camera broadcast to MILLIONS. Uh, no.
And for the sports people – DUH, you have to enjoy and be good at sports. I’m not athletic, and other health issues have prevented it if I wanted to (blind in one eye, short of breath after short runs, joint issues)
It takes the RIGHT combination! Some are successful in spite of the ADD – some have the talents in areas, they get a lucky break, right place, right time, and it works, it falls into place.
No small number of people say _I_ am successful. I don’t think so personally. I know my potential, and I’m at only about 10% I could run a big corporation, I could be a top engineer at GM or Ford, I could be the top mechanic in all of Indy racing – Yes, I AM that good, that quick, and back in 1975, had the certificates, trophies, etc. to show how good I was – but it could never be applied. I could never get it out from my brain where I knew what I knew, to practical application where OTHERS could live with it, and deal with me.
I know what I know, can do what I do – but can’t convey it to others. It’s the interactions that fail.
I was the best in the state of Iowa for some time – but my “doesn’t play well with others” worked against me.
If I could just “buck up” and deal with it – don’t ya think I would have by now, wanting what I want, knowing what I know?
Each time I try, I get exhausted and put it off and do something I’d rather do…………
I got dozens of folks sending me work – alternators and starters to restore to original/show condition as they know I’m the best….. guess how long I’ve had a couple of them…………it’s piling up.
Just living through a “normal day” exhausts me.
(I can so relate to the song “Routine Day” right now)billdMember
>>”Rather than trying to find a life that you enjoy, you should try and find enjoyment in your life.”<<
krazykat – love ya. You are too cool.
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