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I’m Struggling And I Don’t Know Why

Symptoms of ADDIf there’s one big theme to the mail we receive, it’s “I’m struggling and I don’t know why”.

When I look at the many ways this feeling is expressed, there seems to be a pervasive and common experience of feeling alone, misunderstood and having unique problems—even though we may be surrounded by people, at work, in the grocery store, wherever we go.

If this feels all too familiar, you’re with me, I just did it myself this very week. 

I followed my natural instinct to hunker down, keep the feelings inside and try to figure everything out on my own. 

But, totally inadvertently and somewhat miraculously, I’ve built a safety net that reminds me to get out of my head and reach out for help! 

It comes in the form of notes sent to TotallyADD from people from all over the world.

Every day, I’m inspired by folks who reach out to us, share their story and interact with others here. 

These are people who were struggling but then saw ADD & Loving It?! or one of our other videos, or came to TotallyADD and have found a deep connection to this community

Or they’re participating in a webinar and share in the chat window that they “no longer feel alone”.

It brings me to tears every time. 

Thank you all for being here and for having the courage to write to us, by email, in the Forums, on webinars. 

And also to all of you who don’t necessarily share but feel the connection just by being here and hanging out.  This post is my celebration of you—wonderful, energetic, creative, expressive, thoughtful, unique you!

What follows is just a sampling of the mail that we get (names withheld for anonymity). 

Please read on and see that you are not alone!

ADD & Loving It, TotallyADD, Struggling and Don't Know WhyWe’re a small group working in our home, and remote locations, and we sometimes feel isolated too. 

Please know that you make a world of difference to us. 

We love reading your notes and we love that you come here to hang out with us.

If you are so moved, we’d love it if you shared TotallyADD with your doctor, coach, teachers, etc.

ADD and Loving It?! changed my life.  It made me feel normal and that I was not alone, and there was help. 

I went back for treatment after years of struggling, and now I feel like me again and not the ADHD.  You do not know the effect you have had on my life.”

“I laughed and cried and yelled at the TV and then took notes.  It was just …wow.”

“This DVD awakened me to the real issues of loving someone with ADD.  I was ready to throw everything away because I didn’t understand that he can’t help the way he is.  Now I feel like I have the tools to help him be a happier person.”

“I (a non-ADDer) have shown “ADD & Loving It” to several family members, and one by one, they are getting diagnosed, and changing their lives for the better!”

“I had NO idea I would see myself in most of the situations/ behaviours/symptoms discussed in the program.  I feel as if a light has gone on—like there is new hope for my life!”

“The DVD has helped me, my therapist, and two friends immensely.  Thanks to everyone.  As someone with ADD, I really get it.”

“I watched “ADD and Loving It” last night.  It meant so much to hear that I’m not the only one who struggles like this and it’s left me with a great sense of empowerment that I can ‘overcome’ this.”

“This is the best information I’ve seen on ADD & ADHD.  I’ve suffered for years, my 2nd wife has just asked me for a divorce, I’ve got a huge debt load, I lost my job because I couldn’t get things done on time and I’ve been praying for death.  You’ve given me hope.”

“If you don’t feel at least a little bit better about yourself, or feel that it didn’t help you, or no good info was in it – then you were not paying attention.”

“I hope “ADD and Loving It” is being shown to teachers and EA’s in our school system.  This would show them the possibilities in these kids, not just the negatives.”

“Through “ADD and Loving It”, I have just discovered, at age 63, my ADHD, and I now have a better ability to assist my 9-year-old grandniece with her ADHD.  I can’t thank you enough for all of your help.”

“I’m a father of an ADD child (now 15) and I can’t tell you what a struggle it has, and continues to be.  Have received great help in the past but when I watched your show, I was inspired.  And even though I know a “ton” about the subject, your presentation was by far, the best I have seen.”

“I have lived 30 years with an ADD son and took courses about ADD, read all I could.  This is by far the best I have ever seen to help ‘others’ understand what it is and stop telling ADD people to ‘get your act together!’ Thank you, thank you, thank you !!!!”

“My 9 yr old grandson was diagnosed with ADHD, which I thought was bogus and just an excuse for the teachers not wanting to deal with a highly energetic child.  Boy was I wrong.  After watching “ADD and Loving It?!,” I now realize this runs in our family – my mother, myself, my son and my grandson as well as some of my siblings and other family members.  Heck, it’s no wonder I thought it was normal!

I’ve ordered all the information available and have shared this website with my family. “

“I’m watching ADD and Loving it?! right now at 3:00 am!!  This is my 5th time watching it!  It is amazing and I joke about it being my life documentary!  I tell my friends that I’m watching my life on TV. ”

“I watched the show a while back and it completely changed my mind.  My opinion of ADD used to be that it didn’t really exist and that it was just an excuse for people.  I’ve made comments such as: “the cure for ADD must be leather because our father’s belt made us pay attention” Thank you for opening my eyes and relieving my ignorance.  It’s great to see celebrities promoting science instead of conspiracy theories and pseudo-science – I’m looking at you Jenna McCarthy and Oprah.”

“Watched the film this weekend…..WOW!  
Thank you so much for this wonderful way to explain this disorder.  My husband- for years- has wondered what is wrong with him; I have told him for years what it is.  Until he saw (just the trailer) on this website, he has never been more convinced! He made an appt. today to get an initial assessment! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!”

“I happened across ADD & Loving It“the other night and watched a few minutes of it out of curiosity.  I had NO idea I would see myself in most of the situations/behaviours/symptoms discussed in the program… I never thought of myself as ADD before because I thought an element of hyperactivity had to be present.  But now I feel as if a light has gone on – like there is new hope for my life!  I have an appointment with my psychiatrist tomorrow and am going to discuss this possibility with her and ask about medication and treatment.  I am more optimistic than I have been in a long time.  At 47, that’s a marvellous feeling!  Thank you for the show and the site – I’m sure I’ll be a regular visitor!”

“Wow!!  Finally a POSITIVE look at ADD & ADHD.  This show is fantastic.   Instead of crying like I’ve done through so many discussions and worrying about my now adult daughter, I can honestly laugh!”

“I watched your film last night (PVR’d it so I could “zoom” through any commercials), I’ll tell you, I got so “Gotten” about 1/2 way through — my husband started giggling and told me “Well, that explains why we had 16 different colours of paint on every single wall” (when I was choosing a colour for our house – which I still haven’t done. I did paint over the 16 with one crappy muddy bit of yuk,) … I started laughing and then went into hysterical sobs…  I have never before been so “gotten” with respect to what I deal with…  My hubby saw that these actions are not a choice, nor a lack of decision, but what it actually is… a part of how I operate.”



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  1. Ourteam August 5, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    So often when we see a professional, a professional who is “linear” is usually what I get. So naturally they don’t get this alone feeling, something is unique to me, and other valid and touching /subjective complaints. You’d think they’d refer you to someone who does get what ADHD is all about but they often try to help you by diagnosing you with depression, or some other transient disorder which never seems to help. IT IS ADHD and it covers my problem. Thanks for posting this blog, which reminds me I am not alone in a linear world..

  2. Larynxa August 6, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    I’ve discovered something interesting. I don’t know how scientific it is, but it’s always seemed to work when I’ve tried it.
    A quick way to determine if the person you’re dealing with is an ADDer or a linear-thinker, is to ask them to draw a clock (the kind with hands, not a digital one). Notice how they add the numbers.
    We ADDers tend to add the 3, 6, 9, and 12 first, then fill in the other numbers.
    Non-ADDers tend to add all the numbers in sequence, from 1 to 12.
    “Your” way of doing it makes perfect sense to you, but seems really weird to someone who does it the other way.
    BTW the “draw a clock” test is part of the diagnostic testing for Alzheimer’s, but I don’t think it’s part of formal testing for ADHD. Maybe, with more research, it could become one.

  3. spngbob August 15, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    how do I get pbs to air this in west Virginia? Morgantown.

  4. Ava Green August 24, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Thanks for commenting on my blog. It’s so great to get feedback!
    @Larynxa – Interesting. I have a friend with ADD that never paints a room in a linear fashion, she moves from one area to another, randomly, then goes back later and fills in more. Same thing when she shovels snow in the driveway! So what you’re saying makes good sense to me!
    @ourteam – You’re definitely not alone. It’s great to see folks write to each other in the Forums and have their experiences validated. Lots of connection, or as Dr Hallowell calls it, “Vitamin C”.
    @spngbob – Please start a writing and calling campaign to your local public television station and let them know that you want this program on the air there! If they haven’t picked it up, hearing from viewers makes a difference. I just did a quick google search and found this:
    West Virginia Public Broadcasting
    191 Scott Ave, Morgantown, WV 26508, United States
    +1 304-284-1440

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