Life As I See It

Living With Attention Deficit Disorder

 To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.

 Elbert Hubbard
US author (1856 – 1915)

 “I think I may have a touch of ADD.” 

“I forget a lot of things, maybe I need medication”

“I’m so unorganized maybe I have ADD.                                                                                            

These are just a few reasons why I don’t share the fact that I live with Attention Deficit Disorder.  It’s bad enough that I have to struggle through life’s obstacles on my own, I don’t need people trying to compare themselves to me.  It’s just not that simple.  I don’t make this shit up.  And believe me I would give anything not to struggle through life this way.  I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.  Believe me there are better ways to get revenge. 

There’s a lot more to ADD then being disorganized and forgetful.  The struggles I go through each day are far beyond what people might think.  My thought process is different then most.  Think of your brain as a filing cabinet.  When you take in information it gets sorted and filed away into different files for later use.  When the information is needed you retrieve it and present it in a mannerly way.  Filing information is a problem for me so when it’s time to retrieve it, it’s no where to be found.  Trying to find the words I need to use is confusing and stressful for me.  Sometimes I find all of the words and sometimes I don’t find any.  It makes it hard to learn new things as the learning process works the same way.  It’s the most difficult deficit that I have to live with and the most frustrating because it’s the one most people don’t understand and have the least amount of compassion for.  The world in which we live doesn’t allow people to be compassionate or  understanding.  They’re judgemental, they’re mean and they don’t except people for who they are.   

I live on an emotional roller coaster that effects my life in many ways.    My highs feel like a bird soaring through the sky, conquering the world.  I want to be free, to be me and just being me, sometimes interferes in everyday living.  My lows feel like the end of the world filled with self pity and shame.   When my mind gets clouded with too many emotional thoughts, it can’t handle it and shuts down so to speak.  I may seem to be depressed or withdrawn from certain situations but in reality my thoughts just run through my head like a run away train and then doesn’t know where to begin with the task at hand.  This would be the reason why things don’t get done. 

I have impulsive tendencies that I can’t control.  I don’t stop to think about what I’m doing or saying.   Consequences don’t seem to matter to me until they happen.  I’m a risk taker and easily bored therefore I look for excitement in my life.   The more excitement the better I feel.  The better I feel the more trouble seems to come my way. 

These are just a few deficits that I live with every day of my life.  It doesn’t seem like much but if you put it all together it affects every aspect in it.  It’s hard for me to focus and take in information; therefore it’s hard for me to read, to have a conversation, to learn new things, to follow directions, to give information, I’m overwhelmed easily.  I’m impulsive, I’m easily bored, I say things I shouldn’t, I break all the rules, I’m an impulsive shopper, I change jobs frequently, I can’t handle stress in a normal way, I’m overwhelmed easily and with each one of these deficits comes a consequence that I have to deal with or fix.  There’s way more but I’m not writing a book. 

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26 responses

  1. Poor Excuse

    This was a good post. What do you take for it?

    January 6, 2008 at 7:02 pm

  2. Poor Excuse

    And did you know bipolar disorder is also very closely related to ADD? They are often confused for each other.

    January 6, 2008 at 7:03 pm

  3. I take Ritalin. It helps with focusing on certain tasks and keeps my mind from basically falling asleep. Very low dose. And yes bipolar is very similar. my son was diagnosed at a very young age with ADHD the stimulant meds just made him worse. When we switched from a neurologist to a psychologist, he told me that medication is hit or miss. the stimulants didn’t work probably because he doesn’t have ADHD, it’s probably a mood disorder.

    He started taking Depakote along with an antidepressant and voila, a changed person. He does take a stimulant for the hyper mania that goes along with bipolar. His doctor wants to wean him off the depakote, I’m terrified. This is why my son weighs 260 lbs. He also has a learning disability which gives him about a 3 year delay. He’s in a private school. The Devereux Foundation.

    January 6, 2008 at 7:36 pm

  4. I’ve been in therapy for over a year now for it.

    January 6, 2008 at 8:29 pm

  5. My wife and I have been going through this for a while too.
    They said at 2-3 years old my boy had ADD and was autistic. We couldnt run the vacume cleaner, blender, coffee grinder anything like that. He would freak and wouldnt calm down for hours. Also he wouldnt eat solids. We had to grind everything up till he was about 6 or 7. All the doctors said he would grow out of it. Well hes 13 next week and he still has never eaten an apple in his life. Dont get me wrong, hes way better than he used to be. But he cant handle things like grape skin or the membrane in an orange, lettuce. Its been an INCREDIBLE amount of work getting him this far. Alot of screaming and pushing. When hes threatened with some kind of punishment its aamazing how he pulls off a tomatoe or something like that with skin. I’m convinced by now that its just become habit and hes convinced that he cant get anything past his throat unless its pureed.
    As far as the ADD goes, we never went for the meds because Ritalin is just pharmacuetical meth. I’ve done alot of and I mean alot of speed in my life and my wife is scared to take aspirin so we just held off on that idea for a while.
    He has a very selective and direct attention span.
    With a lot of focus training right here at home and giving assinine little chores to him that focus only on following directions he has turned out to be an A student and hasnt been to any special ed in over 4 years.
    Whats freaky is thatI have a condition where I can talk on the phone, read an invoice, and eaves drop on a conversation 10 feet away all at the same time. And repeat it all to you verbatum. It makes for talent and the incredible urge to just shut down sometimes.
    With my drug and alcohol past I’ve turned down all the good meds 🙂 I just rough it and practice balancing acts to keep from overloading and snapping.
    Success is dependent on constant self monitoring.
    But its not half as much energy as when I used to go looking for dope.

    January 7, 2008 at 12:18 pm

  6. Everyone thinks that ADD is being hyperactive but I’m just the opposite. I’m the day dreamer, the one whose mind wonders from anything that takes more then five minutes. I went to the doctors a little over five years ago when I started to get worried because my day dreaming got so bad that I wasn’t sure how I got from point A to Point B. We rules out stress and depression as they can cause the same symptoms.

    I take a stimulant because it speeds up my thinking process and helps me to focus, especially in the working world. You don’t know what it’s like having a conversation with a stranger and not being able to focus on what they are saying, it’s an awful feeling. It doesn’t help me to remember regardless of people think about the drug, And believe I’ve done plenty of drugs in my life there is a big difference.

    Along with all of these disorders, comes something called sensory defensiveness. Basically your senses are overwhelmed, for instance touch, if you touched my son he would freak out on you. To him it felt like a punch. He hated clothes and is almost 17 and still does not dress in the house. Certain sounds and certain smells, crowds, he couldn’t handle this. We were leaning towards autism, too.(pervasive developmental delay or asperger’s.) It’s tough, really tough. really, really tough.

    January 7, 2008 at 4:24 pm

  7. Yea, autism comes in levels. You sound like you got your hands full.
    You cant focus long enough, and he focuses on every detail down to the touch.
    I have this weird reverse metabolism. Ritalin has a calming effect on hyper kids, and its also really relevant to the dosage.
    Meth a stimulants work as they should on me, no problem there. I take vicodin for my back. I’m prescribed 120 of the 750s every month. I only take half of them and give the rest to this old man friend of mine who needs surgery on both knees and has crappy coverage.
    Vicodin doesnt knock me out. It makes me work like a horse and I cant take them too close to bed time or I’m up for 4 hours. Plus if I took all of them all the time I would approach a threshold I dont want to go near. Its either that or surgery which is 50/50 better or worse.
    As far as our kids go it looks like I have alot less to stress about than you do. And I’ll bet hes not gonna leave the roost as quick as others do.
    But it sounds like you have it down to a plausable function.

    January 7, 2008 at 4:57 pm

  8. he’s much better on the medication, they actually want to decrease it but I’m scared. I don’t want to go through what I did years ago. If I wasn’t on top of things he would of killed my daugher, that’s how bad he was. He already warned us that he’s going to live with us until he’s 50. I don’t think he’s going anywhere anytime soon. he wants his drivers license, I laughed and said, “you can’t even get your own drink how the fuck can you drive.”

    jesus christ, we just started to let him use the lawn mower.

    January 7, 2008 at 5:11 pm

  9. My son is where he’s at because of me. There’s no better advocate for a child then their mother. I would cry everyday to god, what have I done to deserve this, until one day I thought, I wasn’t being punished, my son was being rewarded.

    January 7, 2008 at 5:27 pm

  10. I had a sister die of heart problems when she was 5, I was 8.
    I wish my mother had seen it your way.
    Her whole life has been about her and she uses my sis’s death as a justicication for all her shit.

    Why would they suggest dropping your sons dose if things are going as good as they have been ?

    January 7, 2008 at 6:41 pm

  11. I guess cause he’s doing so well. and the depakote increases the appetite that’s why he’s so big. heavy children are more apt. to get diabetes. he’s been on meds since he was five.

    It must of been hard to loose a sibling. I can’t justify anyone actions for loosing a child because I haven’t been there but it must of been hard.

    Like I said when my son didn’t come home after school. and i thought he was missing it was the most horrible feeling in the world.

    January 7, 2008 at 7:47 pm

  12. See mick, the third time i read your comment i noticed this. that’s how many time i have to read things so i don’t miss anything.

    Whats freaky is thatI have a condition where I can talk on the phone, read an invoice, and eaves drop on a conversation 10 feet away all at the same time. And repeat it all to you verbatum. It makes for talent and the incredible urge to just shut down sometimes.

    so, this is a condition? and it affects you how? I wish I could even remember one sentence someone has said to me in a conversation. and it’s not that i don;t remember, it’s that I don’t remember all of it and in order of text.

    January 7, 2008 at 8:05 pm

  13. I soak up everything around me.
    Working as a waiter in some of the finest houses I never used a pad. Behind the line I can keep the orders from 12 tables in my head. As the expiditer I could keep everything the cooks and waiters were doing in my head.
    I can help junior with his homework, listen to the news and eaves drop on my wifes conversation with her friend.
    At the end of the day I go ballistic if the dog even starts barking for 1/2 a minute. I just want everything to stop. Thats probably why I go to bed early and get up at 3.
    I hate crowds with a passion.
    Shrink says I’m like a computer downloading too much at once and wants to give me librium, valium, prozac and shit. Are you fucking kidding me ?
    I’d rather go nuts while somewhat coherant than get all clouded and end up where I was 16 years ago.

    January 7, 2008 at 8:46 pm

  14. I’m just the opposite, I have too much shit in my head but mine doesn’t down load and if the information isn’t down loaded then you can’t retrieve it. My therapist suggested a journal, if I could get the words out on paper then it might help clear my mind and put things on order. My journal sat on my dining room table for three months before I picked it up and then when I did I didn’t know what to do.

    when sissy turned me on to blogging I thought this might just work. and here I am.

    and keeping a journal does help clear the cloud in my head. I’m still fucked up though.

    I couldn’t even imagine knowing to much information.
    but I can see how it would affect you in many ways.

    January 7, 2008 at 9:28 pm

  15. It makes for some fucking gnarly political debates.
    I start searching and downloading and cutting and pasting documents and transcripts and just turn into fucking taz. Sometimes I’m debating 2 or 3 at a time, ON THE SAME THREAD !
    Thats one reason I go to spanks, yours, keys.
    Just to regroup a little and come back down

    January 7, 2008 at 10:26 pm

  16. I have a friend who has a passion for politics. Politics is too broad a subject for me. to much to take in, I wouldn’t know where to begin.

    but I’m glad I can be good therapy for you.

    My daughter is a good debater.

    January 7, 2008 at 10:38 pm

  17. I wont debate your daughter. And I’m already married

    January 7, 2008 at 11:46 pm

  18. I may be sorry for asking this but what does debating my daughter have to do with being married?

    I thought maybe I wrote the wrong word, I had to look up the definition.

    January 8, 2008 at 3:08 pm

  19. Dont be sorry.
    I was being (or trying to) to be funny.
    Sounded like you found someone who had something in common with her and you were trying to marry her off.
    Are you sure you know what a 40 is ?

    January 8, 2008 at 6:52 pm

  20. Sorry if I’m not as congenial as I could be. I’ve been dealing with this fucking jerk all day thats trying to convince me that the moon is made of government cheese. (short story)
    Maybe I should hide today because when I get like this everyone is fair game. I almost did it to Dr, Deb.

    January 8, 2008 at 6:57 pm

  21. marry my daughter? I wouldn’t do that to someone I know let alone someone I don’t.

    if you need to pound on someone (again) I’m always fair game.

    January 8, 2008 at 8:23 pm

  22. Nah, just need to get away from the computer for a while, go make a salad or some shit.
    Besides that, for all I know your daughter could be 5 years old and still be a good debater

    January 8, 2008 at 8:46 pm

  23. she was and her daughter is following in her footsteps.

    January 8, 2008 at 9:09 pm

  24. Gotcha. See I forgot already about Lexi Rae being your grandaughter. I’m drained.
    You are talkig about Lexi right ?

    January 8, 2008 at 10:25 pm

  25. my daughter, Danielle was a good debater when she was five, she could hold a conversation when she was two. she will be 22 next month and enjoys a good debate.

    Lexi will be one tomorrow. and as you can see on her video she’s good at repeating and imitating the things that you do. now she is repeating two words at a time. I suspect she will be like her mom.

    me, 40 is something I was two years ago and still trying to get over. I can’t hold a conversation much less have a debate.

    January 8, 2008 at 10:59 pm

  26. Dont feel too bad.
    I had to start shaving my ears last year. I was tryng to brush my hair back and the fucking hairs wouldnt stay down.I kept brushing and brushing, was getting all pissed off. Turns out it was the hair on my ears.
    All of a sudden it hit me.

    January 8, 2008 at 11:23 pm

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