Part of the reason that I decided to start blogging again is because I really want to start documenting and exploring my current battle/journey, and especially how it relates to parenting, something I have yet to figure out.
I was recently diagnosed with ADD. It’s all still really new and relatively weird, and the way I even figured it out totally snuck up on me and took me by surprise. You see, even just a few months ago, I had huge misconceptions about what ADD/ADHD is, so to even consider the fact that I might have it myself was on par with thinking I might have Bubonic Plague.
But then someone posted in my writers’ group that she had just been diagnosed. The symptoms she described eerily mirrored my life. Other writers started posting about their experiences with ADD, and the more I read, the more I went, “Um, this totally sounds like me!” So I started researching the symptoms. I took an online screening, and the results said I scored very high for ADD. I ordered a book, hilariously titled You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?! and started reading. I interviewed my mom at length about my childhood because there were a few things I wasn’t sure applied (they did).
My next step was to talk to my doctor about it when I went in for my 6-month check-up. He had me take a screening that was almost identical to the one I have posted here and he recommended that I start talking to a counselor to work on ways to cope, as well as keep an open mind toward medication, should I decide to go that route (he knows how much I dislike being on medication).
The thing with ADD is that if you have it as an adult, you had it as a kid. I seem to have the inattentive type, which usually tends to fly under the radar (not that anyone was even diagnosing ADD back in those days). In many ways, it’s a huge relief to understand some new things about myself, like why I am always, always fidgeting and moving, why I can’t retain anything in my brain for longer than 10 seconds, and why, as hard as I try (and I try hard!) I’m constantly letting people down because I forget things. The good hour I used to spend awake at night as a child as my brain whirled and spun and refused to shut down; the way I have always managed to lose my most precious possessions despite my efforts to keep them safe; the way my brain does not turn off, ever, and even my sleep is taken hostage by vivid, dramatic, crazy dreaming; all makes sense now. What I thought was just my creative, flighty, air-headed personality and constantly running thoughts now has an explanation.
So far, I’ve gotten a few different reactions from the people I’ve told. One of my good friends said simply, “Nah, I don’t see it.” Most were just curious and interested. My parents sort of basically said, “Well, that explains a lot!” Yet another close friend was able to discover that she struggles with it too, thanks to my story and how much she related to my symptoms.
As for me, I’m working on finding new ways to help myself manage my time and organization better, understand how and why I work the way I do, and find new tricks to increase my productivity. So far, it’s very, very difficult and slow-going, but as they say, anything worth doing takes hard work, and so I will keep trudging along.