Monthly Archives: July 2010

My ADD/ADHD Story

It was around eleven by the time I got home from school that night. As I opened the door to our two-bedroom condo my wife was sitting on the sofa with our second child in her arms.

“I have something to show you,” she said as she stood to put the baby in his crib. She seemed a little apprehensive, not so much that I was alarmed, but it was obvious she was worried about my reaction to what she had to show me. As she stood, the book she had been reading fell to the floor, and it was then that I had a pretty good idea of what was to come. A few weeks earlier her sister had given her a book about ADHD, and she had hinted a number of times that I ought to read it. She would read little excerpts from it to me occasionally and ask my opinion. Or suggest that so and so had such and such a characteristic, and on occasion even suggest that such and such a characteristic sounded like me. I would just humor her and agree, or act offended, depending on how close to home she was hitting.

When she emerged from the kids’ bedroom she walked over to the computer and turned it on. While she waited for it to boot, she began explaining that the author of the book had a website, and that she had been on it- and actually taken a test on my behalf. She explained that the author had categorized ADHD into six different subcategories, and that according to the test I fell into the “inattentive” category. I was skeptical. I had taken on-line tests before and… really? I doubted its accuracy, and… who was she to be taking a test for me anyway!?

We were using dial-up internet at the time- so it took a while for everything to load, which was okay because it provided her plenty of time to explain herself and reassure me that she was not trying to offend me in anyway. She knew this could be a sensitive issue for me, and she was very careful with how she worded everything. I think she had been thinking for weeks about how to have this conversation and the test provided for her the opportunity, that is to say, emotionally unattached proof.

Turns out that, as we sat in front of the computer screen my skepticism began to shrink. The test seemed legit, it was fairly extensive, and it needed to be down loaded from the authors’ web site- which was professional and well done. He claimed to be an expert on ADHD, and I had no proof to say otherwise, so… Here we go!

Although, I resisted admitting yes to some of the characteristics, it didn’t take her long before she could think of example after example for each question I wanted to answer no to. “Do you frequently misplace things?” for example, is one that I wanted to deny emphatically, but she had way too many instances to refer to, and soon, it was time for me to just face the hard cold facts, although mostly perfect in every way… I was flawed.

The idea took some getting used to. People thought it was funny and endearing when I would lose my wallet or keys. And people like getting teased… even when they say they don’t- right? Everyone gets distracted sometimes don’t they?
Then there was another set of questions to deal with. What will my family think? What will her family think? Is this something I should be ashamed of? What causes ADHD, and what are the treatment options? Why have I lived this much of my life without knowing? (I was in my late twenties at the time) I knew kids in school who had ADHD, was I one of them?! So, now what?

It was a late night for us by the time we made it into bed. We had fun going through the test a few more times, thinking of loved ones who matched the characteristics of this or that sub-category, and me coming to the realization that getting some help may improve my chances of actually finishing school, and being more efficient at work. I was especially glad for my sweetheart of a wife, who was very careful with me, and was able to help me come to the realization of my “condition” in a loving and caring way. Thanks honey!!

To be continued…

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My Top Ten- or so- Reasons ADHD is Awesome!

A number of years ago my sister-in-law gave my wife a book about ADHD, hmm- coincidence… and upon finishing the blasted thing, she came to the conclusion that I fell into one of the five…or are there six…typical ADHD categories. I’m “inattentive”- thank you very much. I was mildly offended for a week or two, which prompted me to begin my quest to disprove her silly notion. I’ll sum up the following six months by just saying that I am indeed an ADHD survivor! Since beginning my treatments (a little pill in the morning) my life has been remarkably different, and mostly for the best. I don’t lose my car keys anymore. I’m much quieter in public settings. I don’t doze off when speaking to my sweetheart for more than thirty seconds. I don’t look for excuses to go do something else…anything other than what I am doing. The list could go on for days, and maybe sometime I’ll fill you in on some of the other things, but that is not the purpose of this post.
Since beginning my “treatment” there have been a few occasions here and there where, for various reasons, we have been unable to fill the prescription. This past week has been one of those times and, although I would rather be “on something”- here are the top ten reasons this week has been a fun walk down memory lane.

1. It’s fun to be obnoxious!
2. The creative juices flow freely.
3. Daydreaming is far more productive.
4. No energy is wasted doing anything efficiently.
5. Being forgetful is… hold that thought… it’s coming back… endearing?
6. Spontaneity is my favorite pastime again.
7. Consequences are a nebulous futuristic impossibility.
8. Everyone likes being teased, despite what they say.

This is where I got distracted by something shiny over there…

9. Social norms are for simpletons and fun suckers!
10. The ability to sit and be asleep in seconds is truly a gift.
11. Complete chaos is a form of organization- right?

I was going to put them all in order, but that would have required some amount of organizational ability. Which reminded me that I needed to add (haha get it- add is spelled a.d.d… hahaha hmmm) another item to my list, hence my list grew to be My Top Ten or so Reasons That…you know.

Here is where I have a smile on my face for actually starting and finishing a task by myself! Yay me!!

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