My Brief Flirtation with ADHD Drugs

Posted: May 8, 2013 in ADHD, humor, Life, living, writing
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

ADHD Drugs.  Tried them.  Worked as advertised but also had some interesting side effects.  I’m not sure I can ever get used to the second head that grew out of my shoulders, but whatever….

I think I went a little nuts when the doctor sat me down, showed me a chart and announced that his findings of my symptoms were almost off of the charts.   “Here’s where normal people are” he said (or words to that effect) as he pointed to a line across a graph.   Then he pointed to a line near the top of the page that went from left to right in a kind of a zigzag pattern “and here’s where you are.”   I was more than pleased; I was ecstatic.

squirrel-dog

There are so many more symptoms to ADHD than just the propensity toward distraction.  Many of us – especially ones with a more severe case of ADHD – become debilitated throughout our lives.  A great many can’t hold a job, a marriage or maintain our health.  Many of us have addiction problems.  I don’t mean just drugs; I mean anything under the sun: sexual addictions, problems with booze, problems with almost anything.  And so many of us hop from one addiction to another.  My dad was an alcoholic, so I was fortunate enough (long before the diagnosis) to recognize that I may have inherited his fascination with booze.  So although I enjoy wine, I was smart enough to occasionally go through dry periods “just to make sure”.   Then I realized that I was beginning to enjoy pot too much (this was years ago, officer), so I stopped taking any of that for a while.  There were a number of other ones – I won’t bother to list them here.

Many of us become adrenaline junkies, often taking horrible chances with our lives while looking for that “high”.   Scratch the skin of a person who gets into way too many car accidents and you may find a person with ADHD.

Socially, we are often just a bunch of misfits.  I never realized it until my daughter and I started comparing notes.  “Dad” she would say “I feel guilty about getting so bored with conversations sometimes”.  I would reply “I KNOW, RIGHT?  It’s like they’re all ‘blah blah my vacation blah blah” and I’m like ‘what time is it? Oh I’ve got to go'”.

Sometimes I even blogged about it.   Like the blog I posted about a guy who was into some of the same types of books I was interested in – only in a kind of steroidal way:  it was all he could talk about, and it bored me to tears.   I eventually realized that the problem wasn’t him, it was me.  (“Sure it was” I hear you say.  “That’s so cliché, man”.  And okay – so it is.  Happens to be true).  Normal people – however “normal” is defined – can carry on linear conversations that have beginning, middle and conclusion points.   I realized that wasn’t the case with me or my daughter:  our conversations were more like exploring birds, hopping from tree branch to tree branch, never landing on the same one twice.   A bouquet of non sequiturs, if you will.   We eventually realized that we were annoying others who wanted to get in on the conversation but felt they couldn’t.   “Can you not stay on the point???” they’d exclaim, exasperated.   “What point?” would be our innocent response.

Our conversations often frustrated ourselves as well, but only for brief moments.  It kind of went like this:  “um, what was I talking about?”  “I dunno” *shrug*   Whatever it was seemed important; it was a point I was trying to get to, only I was too excited by the process of the conversation and so, as usual, the conversational car left the track and flipped end over end into a field of much more interesting thoughts.  Crash and burn.

“Were you aware that there’s an eclipse of the moon tonight?”

“Oh really?  I’d love to see that.  I can’t stay up late though, I have a test in the morning.”

“Well maybe you don’t have to stay up to watch it.  Maybe you could….”

“Oh my God Dad.  I remember the last time I saw the Northern Lights.  They were so beautiful…”

“Was that when you were on that camping trip?”

“With Pete?”

“How is Pete?”

“He’s married now and he’s running his own shoe store.”

(Then I’d think: shoes, running, Nike, “just do it”)

“Hey I’m going to finish the next chapter of my book tonight.”

“Really?  That’s so good, Dad.”

(And she would think “books, Kindle, Amazon”)

“Do you know that Amazon delivers to Canada?”

(And I would think “old news, news, newspaper, columnists, Conrad Black)

“I knew that.  Hey have you ever read any of Conrad Black’s stuff?  The man’s a wordsmith!”

(And she would think “wordsmith, clowns, elephants, circus”)

“No I never have.   That reminds me: Cirque du Soleil is coming to town.  I’ve got tickets!”

And on it would go.  You can just picture other “normal” people saying “okay – just what the FUCK are you guys talking about?”

We’d both look at each other and smile.

I think even my writing gets affected and infected by this type of meandering.  For example: I meant to tell you about my foray into the ADHD drug world.

So the first one was a long-term drug that you have to take every day.  It’s supposed to get into your bloodstream as a constant presence and affect what’s called “executive function” – whereby you retain the ability to not only focus, but keep all of the balls in the air at the same time.  Most people aren’t aware of it: they put their current thought on a shelf – NOT FORGOTTEN, just placed aside for a moment – while they deal with a more pressing thought.  Then when they’re done, they go back to the shelf, bring down the thought and work with it again.  With ADHD folk it’s more like we hoof that thought into the outer stratosphere, completely forgotten and rarely ever seen again.  It’s not deliberate; it’s just the way our minds tend to work and process.   This drug was designed to help patients gain a measure of control.

I have no idea whether it worked or not; I didn’t stay on it long enough.  Just a week.  Just long enough to notice that I was having a very hard time trying to pee (among other things).  It was horrible.  I got worried that maybe my body was going through an unwanted change, until I got onto the net and started reading about the side effects.   So I dropped that drug like it was a flaming bag of dog poop – and I felt better almost immediately.

I went back to the doc who prescribed another ADHD medication that he promised wouldn’t mess me up so badly.  The side effects were minimal and as long as my blood pressure remained under control there wouldn’t be any problem.  I went on it for a few weeks and didn’t notice any change in my ADHD symptoms so went back to him.  He increased the dosage.  I tried it for a few more weeks; still no change.  I went back – and this can get boring so let me just say it took a few more visits until we got the dosage right.   And then, presto!  The required effects kicked in.

I was able to focus; I was able to complete projects; I was able to go places and not leave my iPhone or iPad sitting somewhere for someone to pick up and adopt as their own.  (Can’t tell you how many times I’d done that before).

There were other noticeable effects too.   I started boring the hell out of myself.  Anything I wrote was tedious and long – and complete.   I hated my writing.  My creativity took a noticeable hit.  I figured it was worth the price of being able to be just a little bit linear in thinking again.

Then one day I started having pains in my chest.  Severe pains.  I went to a walk-in clinic and the doctor said my blood pressure was through the roof.  She ordered an EKG (my heart was fine), and then prescribed some nitro.  I quickly realized the culprit:  the high doses of the ADHD drug was affecting my blood pressure.

So I went off it.  Completely.  Cold-turkey.

My blood pressure’s back to normal, and my creativity is back.

In talking with a good friend of mine who is also an MD, we seemed to agree that maybe, just maybe, people are designed to be different from each other, and maybe there’s no real need to alter our behaviour (or as we called it, get into “social engineering”).

I only know I’m enjoying the crap out of life right now, and it’s doubtful that I’ll ever seek help for my ADHD again.  (Never say never though).

Final note:  I hear you saying “dude, your creativity can’t be all that great.  You rarely write a new blog.”   You would be correct:  my blogs are too few and far between and I’m planning to change that.   But – and this is a huge thing – I’m still writing.  I’ve been employed for a few months as a critic for the popular site TVFanatic.com – and I write a weekly review of two shows:  Criminal Minds and NCIS.   Additionally, I’ve had the opportunity to interview two of the Criminal Minds stars too:  Matthew Gray Gubler (who plays Dr. Reid) and Joe Mantegna (who plays Agent Rossi).   If you want to check it out – no pressure! – you’ll find the reviews at Criminal Minds and NCIS.  (My name on there is Douglas Wolfe.)

In the meantime, maybe I’ll just keep playing at life and forget about the ADHD meds.  Frankly I’m having too much fun without them.

Comments
  1. Karen Milliorn says:

    As you write it, it sounds like ADHD is like a constant state of free association. That could be sort of –no, make that VERY–interesting! Life would certainly be less dull. You would like the book, “Connections”, written by, um, uh, …my brain seems to have come disconnected from the author’s name. Will get back to you on that!

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    • wolfshades says:

      “A constant state of free association”. I like that! It happens to describe it perfectly. Although frankly the conversational example I described in the blog was a huge over-simplification of what goes on. But it’s as close to explaining it as I could get.

      And you’re right – life is actually pretty dynamic and terribly terribly interesting for both my daughter and I. Our ADHD symptoms negatively affected both of us, each in individual ways, but the excitement of our thoughts tend to keep us constantly amused.

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  2. Karen Milliorn says:

    Got it–it’s James Burke, the British science historian. The book will boggle your mind &–much like listening to & thinking too hard about Mozart–make you feel terribly mentally inadequate while enjoying it at the same time!

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  3. Abe's Blog says:

    My little guy is wired a little differently – though not towards the ADHD tendency. I was just reading about how people with his supposed and possible condition are moving towards promoting the idea you expressed – that some of us think differently, and that is not necessarily a bad thing! If we tried to reprogram all of those whose brains are wired to process differently, we would exclude some of the greatest minds of all time from our midst.

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    • wolfshades says:

      Absolutely. Mind you – some people with ADHD need to be treated for their own health’s sake. Or at least, they need to find alternative therapies that will help them deal with the condition. Like mediation, yoga and lots and lots of exercise. There are many avenues of treatment – medication is only one branch of the tree.

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  4. umavvs says:

    Wow! So that’s ADHD- didn’t know it. In our parts of the world nobody bothers about these tendencies unless someone makes a complete mess. Good or bad, I won’t know. Incidentally this is how my chat conversations with a friend go. It actually makes us comfortable as it gives us the feeling that neither of us is trying to manipulate the conversation. And the sense of freedom that comes with it is simply awesome.

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    • wolfshades says:

      Such conversations are so much fun aren’t they? The thing about them is: you can talk for hours and hours that way. Normally I *hate* answering my cell phone when I know there’s a linear thinker on the other end. Nothing wrong with linear thinkers – it’s just that they happen to represent so much work for me. I dislike being rude so it’s a chore to maintain the conversation. Give me a distracted thinker any day!

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  5. Actually, your daughter’s brain works just like any normal woman. Our brains fire off in every direction. My brain works like that and it took me far in my career. While other people stressed over interruptions to their thought processes/tasks, I was able to go with the flow – switching from one topic to another. I predict your daughter will go far. Many years ago, I watched a 20/20 show regarding the male vs the female brain. The presenter gave an informative look at the two brains and I never forgot the main difference. Men have a one track mind. Women are all over the place. Men can concentrate better because their brain filters out all distractions. A woman can switch from task to task and back again because their brains are all over the place. I hope I explained that adequately. Anyway…the point is that I agree that we are all wired differently and we should just accept our differences as long as we are functional. Glad you are off the drug. Personally, I think we are better off to accept our idiosyncrasies and not turn to doctors or prescriptions to resolve a perceived problem which is only a characteristic that is uniquely you.

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    • wolfshades says:

      The key phrase in your explanation is “and can switch back”. My daughter, much like myself, can’t. Once a topic or thought is gone, it’s generally just gone. The only way either of us can retrieve it again is by trying to recall the process or a key word that brought us there in the first place. Mostly though we just give up.

      I agree with your conclusion, for the most part though (and specifically in my own case). However I know there are some people out there who suffer their whole lives because of ADHD. I’ve met so many of them as adults shortly after they got diagnosed. Many of them are angry and say things like “if I had only known that’s what this was years ago, I would have saved myself so much heartache and job loss”.

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      • I can no longer “switch back”, but I blame my age. I wish I had a dollar for every time I went to fetch something in another room and forgot what I went for until I walked back to the room where the original thought developed. I have to go back to the first room just so I can retrieve that thought. I leave clothes in the washer for hours because I forgot I was doing laundry. But in this case, I blame the internet. LOL

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  6. staticcalm says:

    Illnesses like ADHD lie on a continuum of severity, but it definitely seems that your unique brain, and perhaps what causes your ADHD is in large part what fuels your creative processes. For some reason when I was reading your article I couldn’t help thinking about this:

    http://www.annholm.net/2011/11/the-christmas-tree-brain/#comments

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    • wolfshades says:

      Fascinating blog – thanks for linking it. The symptom she discusses – the creative fits and starts – is exactly the case here. When the Muse hits, it’s like Nirvana has descended and I feel the need to scramble and create before she leaves. Christmas Tree brain. So interesting.

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  7. I loved this blog! I have been thinking a lot about ADD, ADHD and the likes lately as I read a list of the symptoms when writing an article about it and had to confess to having every single one on the list. And as nice as it was to somehow feel understood and also feel a little bit better about all those times one has been yelled at for screwing up things most people would never do (like sending letters with the address and no name, or reading the same excel file five times and still not spotting the mistakes, or simply panicking about filling out any paperwork as there will nine times out of ten be a mistake) I just don’t like the idea that it means there is something wrong with you. People are different. Having a non linear kind of thinking patterns means you can come up with amazing ideas and create some wonderful things. When growing up they called me the professor as I was lost in thought, now they call me dizzy and blonde, and as much hell as that created when I was working in an office, now when I spend time working on things I’m good at…I enjoy being me! And working with kids now as well I just believe there are different ways to reach different people, different talents we all have and we should be honored for that, not be made to fit into a specific shape or form! So thanks for this blog!

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    • wolfshades says:

      I really enjoyed reading your take on all of this! My journey into ADHD started along the same lines: recognizing my behaviours within the context of the ADD condition, and realizing: 1) I wasn’t alone; and 2) no, I’m NOT stupid and I’m not a procrastinator. Having it all explained to me so that I understood what was going on was like a breath of fresh air. After (correctly) realizing that I might have ADHD I went the extra mile and got tested. There were multiple tests and all kinds of background material to go through, just so that the psychiatrist could rule out any other condition. When he finally sat me down and told me, the feeling was so cathartic.

      I like having the creative impulse, about as much as I enjoy the shiny multi-coloured balls in my brain that cause me to flip from one cool subject to another. Fascinating and endless. When I walk the hour to work, I’ve been aware that I’ve gone through a multitude of thoughts, each barely relating to the next. It’s like having your own little movie theatre in your head sometimes. : )

      The key – as you so eloquently put it – is to find the right occupation that fits your abilities, temperaments and behaviours. LIke you, doing project work was not it. I kind of knew that since the time I was in elementary school. Man, I lost interest so fast with those things – and consequently did poorly with them. Did you know – they’ve figured out that folk with ADHD have a learning style which suits them better than the traditional pen-paper-book method? I believe it has to do with engaging us on different spectrums. Audio and visual aids are (apparently) a must for us. It certainly helps anyway – I know that for a fact, as textbook/lecture learning just puts me to sleep even today when learning stuff for my job.

      Interesting that you were always lost in thought as a kid. My dad actually got angry at me once, telling me that I was too lost in thought all of the time. He was right (except for the “too” part).

      Ultimately ADHD is just one of many factors that feed into who we are. I don’t define myself by it, but recognize it as a variable that has an influence. And – my goal is to fully delve into the creative end of things. I only wish I’d known about this earlier. Thanks so much for commenting!

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      • Well, I remember reading your blog like years ago and thinking your symptoms sounded like mine, but I didn’t really believe in ADD…I didn’t want to believe in it. My ex was diagnosed with it as a kid and he believed the meds fucked him up – he stopped as soon as possible and I knew for a fact he was very capable of focusing on certain things, so I figured ADD was just something doctors invented when kids weren’t interested in maths.

        I never really thought I had a problem until a few years ago when reading blogs such as yours, or hearing things, I recognized myself. I did well in school, but I always learnt everything last minute, my notes were a mess, I was constantly late, I lost all my things (one particularly great time I left the money in the cash machine – took my card and left), I was terrible at maths as I always managed to turn some number around somewhere along the way, or skip a number, I never remembered to do anything someone told me to do, because in the space of time I’d moved from one room to the next my mind was somewhere else entirely (something which greatly annoyed my family and relatives and when they told me to do things they usually repeated it three times…which meant I got annoyed, but just as well, by the time I hung up the phone, or moved to the next room…I’d forgotten all about it). I would always remember though…not just necessarily at the right time. My dad used to say I had my head under my arm – a Swedish expression.

        I love reading, so I learnt in traditional ways, but I’m really into my own thoughts, so I can’t stand having a lot of noise around most of the time. It gets in the way of my thoughts. Similarly I’m really messy, but I panic if there’s a mess around me as I feel like I can’t think straight. I hate cleaning up a big mess, or packing as I just see all those things and go into overwhelm. I don’t know where to start. Because I feel like a mess inside I need everything to be very clear and orderly, but personally, I mess it up again. So it’s weird.

        My career has been weird because I could never really decide upon one path. I had a breakdown about that when I was seventeen – I just didn’t know what to do because I wanted to do everything. Recently I believe I’ve managed to squeeze all my ideas into two companies, but of course, they are so spread out that I need about three people around me to make sure it starts on step one instead of step 100. That’s a massive problem for me – I create enormous structures in my head and build incredible things, but I get completely confused when I look at what I’ve created, because I never know where to start. In drama school I once tried to explain my thinking as jumping from stone to stone when you are on a pier. I did this a lot as a kid and that’s similar to how I process things.

        I’ve always felt overwhelmed by ideas and creativity, as well as torn between my ideas and where to live. And I don’t think people understand how stressed I get by my own ideas – it feels like they are chasing me. And because it isn’t the one thing, I often get lost. I felt completely lost when leaving school because there was no structure. I was just floating around. It’s taken me years to work out some sort of structure to my life. I love discipline, having someone almost controlling me, because otherwise it’s anyone’s guess where I might end up. In fact it has often been my dream having someone structure my time for me. Now I’m learning self-discipline. And it sounds so simple, but if you knew the times I’ve been sitting with a foggy head staring at a screen panicking not knowing where to start… It’s a sense of constant overwhelm.

        My writing is probably also a way of clearing my head because I feel once I’ve written something it’s like the thoughts have been taken out of my head and put on the paper, so my head is now clean.

        Sometimes I get stressed in a bad way, like my whole head is spinning (because I want to execute everything in one go – again I’m learning one thing at a time), but I also usually don’t work unless I’m under pressure. My head is foggy until it reaches a tipping point when everything becomes crystal clear.

        Admin work completely freaks me out – I don’t open most letters I receive, or it takes me weeks to do so, I lose money because nothing is ever handed in on time…I still haven’t done an insurance claim I should have done in December…because it involves paperwork. And I don’t understand it, because of course, eventually I have to do it. So I do. But it freaks me out every time. But I feel really good when I do it, especially if it’s on time.

        Like you I love my creativity more than anything, but just the same I’ve often also said it’s like a curse chasing me. And I didn’t really know how to explain it to people. It’s like I suffer if I don’t get to execute my own ideas, so most jobs were just pure suffering. I didn’t have to think, or come up with things, so I felt entirely dead. My last stint in London was dreadful, maybe because it was admin and I constantly messed everything up (I felt like crying most days because I made people mad by mistake all the time by missing some detail and I also started thinking I had a serious problem. I could never relax as usually on days when I thought I’d done a splendid job, I would find out I had screwed something up), but it’s so terrible to be stuck doing as someone says. No ideas, no creativity. And again I used to be panicking because I thought I’d be stuck forever feeling like that. I had panicked about that since I left college. I actually envied people who could enjoy a nine to five. Now that I do more of what I love, I love myself more. I love life more. I’m happy.

        Damn long answer, part of me feel insane for even trying to describe all this, had it not been for my best friend being even worse than me in some areas, I would probably have felt insane last year at that job. Like I could write an A on any damn paper in school, but I couldn’t do a brain dead sales job, because it involved admin?

        So yes, thanks again for your blog. I really believe we have a power of our own. I just also believe in PAs…and maybe help in discipline and structure! :)

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        • wolfshades says:

          Wow. Your reply reads like a textbook testimony of someone with ADHD. There’s a comedian named Rick Green whose testimony is almost a mirror of yours. Like you, he understands the need for PAs – and for life partners who don’t have ADHD but understand the limitations.

          One thing I found out when I first started exploring it: there are a lot of ADHD symptoms, of which inattentiveness is merely one. It’s common to doubt those who have it, when they seem able to focus on something to completion – but that’s actually a symptom as well, called hyper-focus. That ability allows you to concentrate on one thing only, often to the detriment of everything else. Rick describes it as being able to pay attention to something while the house may be burning down around him. The thing is though: it’s *one* thing only. Add a second or third, and we’re off to a fantasy world in our minds, hopping from idea to idea.

          When I was in school (and I’m now wondering if you had this same experience), I wasn’t able to pay much attention in class, and constantly worried that I would fail. The night before the exam I could hyperfocus like crazy and do really well on the text the next day. And this was consistent all through my school years.

          I’m so glad you shared about your issues with job choices. Your comment emphatically resonates with me: I too will envision something and want to complete it RIGHT NOW, COMPLETELY (caps for emphasis only, not yelling). : ) I think maybe the reason we do that is because we instinctively know that if we tackle it piecemeal, we’ll end up getting bored and distracted and find something else to do. Ergo, it won’t be done.

          That’s another thing about ADHDers: we suffer a lot of guilt because of our penchant for quick boredom. Especially when it involves trying to listen to someone who is a linear thinker (thinking: classroom, or board meetings). It’s awful when you lose focus while talking with a loved one. That boredom is not a deliberate choice, so maybe it’s time to drop the package of guilt that goes with it. It’s just the way it is.

          I do know that whatever direction I go is going to have to involve people who are good at financial management and projects: as I’m horrible at both. I mean it’s fun (so MUCH fun) being impulsive, but it can be counterproductive at times.

          I’m not surprised at reading that you cried at your admin job: a lot of us have lost jobs because of how badly we’ve messed them up at times. I recall working in a factory and being told I had to memorize a series of coloured lights (I can’t remember any more context than that), and failing miserably at it. It was embarrassing, especially because I was with a bunch of other people who had no problem. I knew I wasn’t stupid. I just couldn’t do it. I would lose focus so quickly.

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          • Man I tried replying to this three times and the answer was erased…then I kept thinking about it for about three weeks after that and now, finally, I’m replying. Not at all a pattern in my life having five hundred things running around in the back of my mind. I’ve actually been thinking about this a lot though. This conversation opened up a lot of things for me.

            I don’t know if I have ADHD, or how strong it is, or whatever, but I know I have some of the symptoms as discussed above and whether that’s part of what is labelled ADHD, or not I have a hyperactive mind, massive problems with scheduling, whatever I do it seems to grow out of proportion (and there are always ideas everywhere spread like on big mammoth mess around you) and I do things like just now I thought about the alarm being on in the house downstairs, went to get something and walked down the stairs. Only when I reached the bottom of the stairs did I start pondering whether I turned the alarm off, or just thought about it. Then the alarm went on and answered my question.

            I spoke about this with my best friend as well and she literally had me swear to structure our company in such a way that I don’t deal with admin and day to day running of certain things, because she knows me and she has the same problems, but worse. The day before we chatted about it I was talking to her on Facebook and she was like “I’m just gonna get my headphones and then skype you” but because she was at the same time sewing something or doing something like that, she wrote that message and only remembered it at 1am in the morning and she was like “people just think you are nuts or you don’t care because they think if you care you would have remembered to call and any sane person would remember it for at least five minutes.” Since she and I started talking about this a few months back when I wrote the articles about ADHD we have often discussed the best thing is when someone understands and doesn’t get angry. Doesn’t say you are neglectful, don’t care, irresponsible, aren’t putting in enough effort, etc. Oh and that you aren’t insane because you panic at the thought of doing paperwork. Just thinking of filing your bank statements leaves you paralyzed. It sounds ridiculous right. (And when my best friend and I were talking her boyfriend was there and he was saying he understood how we felt and you only do this that and the other and it is solved and we were just shaking our heads because it was clear that there is a difference in thinking. Like you can make up your mind to do ONLY one thing, but before you know it you have given that ONE business fifteen revenue streams and come up with five hundred things that might improve it and you have no idea what phone call to make first… You can change yourself, but it is on an overall level as your thinking pattern is part of everything you do.)

            I never really had the problems you had with not focusing in school. I can listen to thing if people speak to me – I can also think about three other things at the same time, or question each statement in various ways as people speak. And I can’t listen to just audio. Then I’m lost. I go off in my thoughts and have to replay it ten times to get what they were actually saying.

            I talked to my dad about this who was certain I can’t have ADHD because I had good grades in school and I can sit and write all day long and I have no idea how it works. I just…I just find it so nice that there are people who understand and don’t get angry as I said. And that all the hell I’ve felt since leaving college, not being able to organize my time always so I get things done…and all the thoughts of how irresponsible I am because I do weird things (the other week I accidentally washed an avocado. I carried the washing and the avocado and instead of putting the avocado in the fruit bowl, I threw it in the laundry machine..), as well as the constant feeling of needing to work on five different things, or feeling like I can’t do it…it just makes sense somehow when I know others can relate. And also that I need to deal with some of it and just work to get better instead of getting angry with myself.

            So thanks for having this conversation because it has made me see things a lot clearer somehow. I still feel weird talking about it. I still don’t know if it’s a label I want to have, or a label I am not entitled to, or whatever, but it makes sense and it just helps…being understood in some way. :)

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            • wolfshades says:

              I found myself nodding so emphatically as I read everything you wrote. We really do share so many similar traits in this. Maybe you don’t have ADHD. Maybe if you do, the label doesn’t matter anyway – what seems to matter most is that you’re able to work around those areas that aren’t strengths for you (like paperwork and scheduling) and that you have surrounded yourself with friends who won’t judge you. You’re right – forgetting things doesn’t mean you don’t care, or that you’re lazy. (God. How many times have I made those accusations of myself???) At one time I was sure I was stupid.

              The questions for me remained. Most ADHDers have problems with school. Fortunately I had found a way to work it (the late night hyperfocus cramming) so that my grades didn’t suffer that much. I do recall teachers writing “he could so much better…had so much potential he’s not using..”. That one there is a key.

              If you’re interested in doing a quick test to see if there’s a good possibility that you have it, check out http://totallyadd.com. They have an online test you can take. They’re careful to explain that it’s not a definitive test. More like a screener test, to validate the possibility that you might want to see a doc to get formal testing done. Some things masquerade as ADHD too – and those formal tests rule those out, and help folk get to the root of things.

              I really love the fact that you’re writing with me about this. I love comparing notes and – most importantly – talking with someone who truly gets it. Truly understands the “fairies of the mind” that make life so very freaking interesting. : )

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              • Ha well I did that test and a few others. I erm scored pretty high.

                At times I think lack of concentration is just lack of interest, at others I think my thought patterns are messing things up and i could so relate to everything in this discussion…I guess there’s nuances to everything and it just helps to know there are people who understand. :)

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  8. I still think Facebook is one of the biggest ever creative-energy sappers. Or maybe not ‘energy’, but it’s much easier to do a quick status, have a rant with immediate feedback and interaction, and then forget about it (in a Noo Fokkin Joisey accent).

    Of course, I justify this by telling myself I’ll use that brief idea and expand on it for a blog… Well that rarely happens!

    Meh, I had a point here, but think your ADHD is catching!

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    • wolfshades says:

      Facebook is an ADDer’s wet dream, I think. It certainly feeds our need to flit from one topic to the next, randomly.

      Funny thing: I’ve noticed that the books I read tend to involve adventure, suspense and adrenaline. I’ve tried reading “War and Peace” and just couldn’t make it past the second chapter. At one time I thought it was (again) because of stupidity, but now understand it to be an exercise in frustration. If a book doesn’t have *something* happening, I can’t tolerate it at all. Full pages of explanation is the quickest way to provoke me to drop it entirely. Same thing applied to school courses: I learned much better when there was some sort of applied learning, where I could interact with others, or with experiments and the like. Reading about any of it served to put me to sleep.

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  9. […] you want to find out more about ADHD and why I think I might have it you can read this blog – highly recommended (my comments are…well, in the comments section). For the record I […]

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