Coming to terms with ADHD*

Well, it’s finally happened. After years of being that “flighty” friend because of a short attention span and getting myself into all kinds of messes due to lack of impulse control, I have finally started the path of being better.

I’ve always known that I was “different.” I knew that normal people didn’t experience some of the things I was experiencing. I have always struggled with staying focused on any kind of task, especially one that I deemed boring. I also always struggled with completing anything. There are so many things that I have started in my life that I never saw through. I always thought I had ADHD, but I never did anything about it. I put an asterisk on ADHD for a reason. Read on.

If you actually go back through my blog posts, you can see where I picked up new things like music, Krav Maga, school, and nothing ever came of it. Why? I would be into whatever I started 100%, but I would lose interest and move onto the next shiny object. Now I have Krav Maga skills that are going to waste, a piano that collects dust, and music sheets that just sit on my shelf. I love to blog and you can see the gaps between posts that I lose focus with this as well.

As if that was not bad enough, the lack of impulse control tops it. This has been the hugest pain point in my personal and professional life. I just don’t know how to stop myself sometimes. A lot of the time. I get this high and lose all control. I just say and do anything. There have been so many times in my life where I just do something like destroying furniture because I thought about it. The problem is that once the idea has planted in my head, it drives me. It winds me up and controls me. If I try to ignore it, it becomes even worse. It consumes me. I’ve actually felt my body almost spaz from trying to hold it in like it’s about to explode.

Just recently, I was having a really terrible experience at work, and due to the anxiety that it caused me, I impulsively spent over a grand to get a certificate to teach English abroad. I even told my leaders that I was no longer interested in leadership (I had been passed over for leadership which is what really pushed me down the rabbit hole and why I am here) and that I was planning to move to Europe. I just said and did all of that out of impulse.

In my heart of hearts, I think I knew that I wasn’t going anywhere. I was just running on emotion and impulse.

At work, I was put on a verbal action plan because how I say things. Honestly, I had never experienced stuff like that at work because the people I worked with adapted to me. That ended up making me more successful in the end. Now the game is different and I have to conform to other people.

That catapulted my decision to start looking into behavioral health. Whatever this is, it was affecting my job (although that could be debatable). My primary care physician referred me to the behavioral health department. I had to take a self-assessment with a therapist.

My results were interesting, to say the least. I tested very high for ADHD and Anxiety. I also tested for Depression.

Based on everything I experienced in the past 1.5 years, it all made sense. I always knew I had ADHD (although I was surprised to find out that I have the combined ADHD where all three aspects, short attention span, hyperactivity, and impulse control, are high), but the Anxiety and Depression were a surprise at first…until I thought about it. I am a very anxious person and have always been.

Talking with my therapist, I came to the realization that although I’ve always had those mental illnesses, it wasn’t until recently that they were exacerbated to the point where it was beginning to affect my life. Hearing that I have Depression immediately made me think of ways to beat that. I think I let so much bullshit seep into my life that I caused that to happen. No. Fucking. More! That’s changing right quick!

Moving along, so my next step was to see a Physician’s Assistant or Psychiatrist for medication. I finally had my visit yesterday, July 27, 2016. After an hour of talking about myself and my medical/mental history, the PA did something apparently unique.

I guess when someone shows signs of multiple mental illnesses, they always want to treat the Depression first. My PA determined that my Depression and Anxiety were actually due to the ADHD, so she prescribed me Adderall to start setting that right. That actually made me really happy! I do not want to take medicine for all of those things. I don’t think I need it. I want to tackle the Depression through exercise and living a more enjoyable life. I also want to let the stupid bullshit go. I think being able to focus on my work and life without being all over the map will definitely do that. That will also take care of the Anxiety. I fucking hate being anxious. I had this dreadful “leader” who used to cause me anxiety attacks at work. I only had one since we left her dark reign of control!

It’s only been two days, and I am on the lowest dosage of Adderall, but I have already felt a huge improvement! I was able to stay focused yesterday and today! I even managed to write this blog post with only one or two distractions! I think finding techniques to control my impulses coupled with Adderall is going to allow me to finally and really focus on me.

I am interested to see what I actually like to do and if I can follow through on those things.

I know some people think ADHD is a joke, or it isn’t real. Whatever I am experiencing, it is real. It is very real to me. I am glad that I finally started the road to recovery!

Are you struggling with mental illness? You are not alone! You are never alone! I am a friend and I am here for you, to talk or just to listen!

 

 

The Walls of My Lunacy

My life is like a bowl of Alpha-Bits cereal. All kinds of fun letters just mixed around and starting my day off. Most importantly are O.C.D, and possibly the new letters of A.D.H.D.

That is certainly a lot to choke on huh? My doctor told me a year or so ago that I have O.C.D and wanted me to talk to a therapist and getting on medication for it. I know that I probably should, but I don’t want to. ¬†Sometimes O.C.D works out in my favor and I am afraid to lose out on it’s benefits. I have really good grades at school because I can’t not have good grade. However, it really does cause me more problems than solutions. So in an attempt to do something about it, I have really self reflected to see what the cause of my O.C.D is. There is always an underlying issue with this disorder. For me I realized, it is the irrational fear that if I break pattern in things that I am doing, something terrible will happen to my mother, brother or sisters. There have been times were I have been forced out of my patterns, and I stop and wait for the devastating phone call.

Another issue that I struggle with is my inability to throw things away. It is an emotional challenge for me to throw thing of importance out. I kept an entertainment system and 32 inch TV for years because my mom bought it (14 years ago). I didn’t even need it, not did I have space for it in my apartment. Those are just two of the many examples I have. I have cluttered my home on numerous¬†occasional¬†because of this disorder.

A great tool to help with this is my illogical impulsive behavior. As if the O.C.D was not enough, I have recently learned that I could possibly have A.D.H.D (which I am not self diagnosing, I plan on seeing someone for that). The symptoms certainly explained a lot of why I am the way I am. Either way, I have a huge impulse control problem. More times than not I end up just shooting myself in the foot. I go on this “binges” or “episodes” were I just can’t control myself and do things like spend money on things I shouldn’t or do things I shouldn’t. This impulse control also causes my dislike of a clutter (contradictory right? Welcome to my life) and causes me to go on weekend long sprees of cleaning, smashing, breaking, and ripping things apart in my apartment. Just two nights ago, I ripped apart the entertainment system I was talking about. A few months before that I had the same episodes where I ripped a sofa and love seat to pieces. I had a vision and nothing was going to stop me.

I recently came to realize that my cluttered/hoarding home is also my barrier from me and the outside world. My mess, my garbage, it’s all a subconscious way of keeping out people from my life. I never have people over. Ever. I honestly believe that this is what prevents me from getting into the dating world. Or rather, I prevent myself. Fortunately, once you admit your problem, you can begin healing and rebuilding.

Not that I have any dating prospects beating down on my door, but I think I am scared or nervous to start something new with someone. I was did that once and it fell apartment. I have long moved past that, but it is in the past, so it is easier to move on from what has already happened. The future is a little more open and I am not sure what the universe holds for me. I think as a precaution I have this messy home as my back up and bomb shelter. I can hide here and no one can get to me.

Luckily, I think I took steps in the right direction by completing cleaning and revamping my apartment. Now I am comfortable with perhaps letting someone in. Now maybe I won’t be stuck in this same place. I feel like a rock sometimes. I am not even living. I just exist. I exist in my madness. Well I can no longer live like that. I’ve started the journey, that’s really the hardest part.

Anyone else have O.C.D or A.D.H.D? How do you deal? Any stories you would like to share?

>My battle with O.C.P.D

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Before I say anything about this I just want to note that I have never been to a doctor about this. Read what I have to say before you make any comments. I have read some articles stating that people who are “neat freaks” think they have O.C.P.D, but they are really just either obsessive or compulsive, but that doesn’t mean it’s O.C.P.D. That is caused my an underlying fear that causes people to follow rituals or routines to prevent that fear from coming true.

I normally do not share this with anyone but I know that I have some version of Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder. I am not sure the severity of it as I have never been diagnosed. I think at my next doctor appointment I am going to bring it up. I have dealt with this for a long time. I am kind of over it.
Let me give you some individually specific examples of my life. Just tonight, I went to Meijer to get some things like cat food and toiletries. I saw some Reebok running sneakers on sale and tried them on. I totally fell in love with them but told myself I really did not need them (after 10 minutes of pacing back and forth thinking). So I put them back, got the rest of my stuff, checked out, and went home. Well true to form all I could think about were those sneakers. So I got ready for bed, grabbed my keys and went back to Meijer to get them. And not just any pair mind you. It had to be the shoes I tried on. If I touch something that I show interest in, I have to have that exact item, not another one. If someone had bought those pair of sneakers, I would have turned around and left without buying anything. Luckily no one bought them.
Last semester I was in a Microeconomics class. I almost always sat in the same seat (center row last seat) when I came in. Well one day I was running late to class and someone had taken my seat. I had to sit all the way to the left row in the middle seat. I panicked during the whole class that I was going to fail the class because of that seat. I couldn’t even take notes or pay attention because I was anxious.
When I drive places that is another story in itself. I ALWAYS have to take the exact same way to and from where I am going. I could take the same route every day and I always have to change lanes in the same spot. I have to do everything identical to the first or second time I did it. That is why I freak out when idiots on the road mess me up. If they fuck up my routine something bad will happen to someone I love.
Routines are what get me. I get ready for work, the gym, and going out almost always the same way. If something messes up my routine (like I am out of hair product or my floss is missing) it completely messes me up. I do not know how to go from point A to point C without point B first. Sometimes I just completely stop what I am doing. Normally I buy things in advance so I don’t have this problem.
Also, I have the hoarding mentality. I simply struggle to throw things away. I feel an overwhelming guilt when I have to throw something out. For God’s sake I save paper clips I find on the floor at work so they don’t get thrown out. My ex boyfriend got so fed up once with everything I had accumulated (and he was also fed up with my freaking out when he moved my stuff and I didn’t know where it was) that he bought be a huge bin to keep everything in. I have cried dealing with throwing things out. It’s hard for me. He used to see me at the store have an episode because I really wanted something and I couldn’t stop talking about it or researching it until I got it. I think that if something traumatic were to happen to me, I would probably break and became a full blown hoarder.
My basic fear is something terrible is going to happen to someone I love if I break my routine.
I don’t have rituals like other people. I dont have to turn the doorknob four times and tap the tv five times or whatever. Well, there are a couple things that I have to do an even amount of times or else my body feels lopsided.
Ok so now that you have a faint idea (there is much more but I want to keep this interesting and not drawn out) we can continue. This has caused me more grief than I have ever cared to admit. It does affect my every day life. Any wrench thrown into my routine completely messes me up. This who overtime jazz at Flagstar for example. It has broken my routine and has left me nerve racked, angry, and to tears over it. I can’t handle planning and moving my schedule around. All this obsessiveness leads to my compulsive behavior. I spent all day on Tuesday talking myself out of doing something compulsive like quitting my job. I was SO fucked up over it I couldnt concentrate on my work and I was making myself physically ill. Common sense SHOULD tell me that quitting my job is a stupid decision and not the right thing to do. But but my compulsiveness doesn’t seem to care.
This disorder affects me in every aspect of my life. Financially to socially. I have splurged more times that I ever should have because I can not control my compulsion. Sometimes the real reason I don’t go out is because I can’t. It was already in my brain that I am staying home, so when people call me or text me to go out, I don’t because it breaks the plan I had. I physically can not go anywhere at that point.
Every since I became truly self aware, it has helped me work on this. I force myself to throw things out even when it is hard because I know that if I don’t I will accrue a massive mess. I also force myself (I have only done it twice so far) to take different routes to places. I know the things I have to do to help me work past this or at least live with this. I just wish it didn’t make me have neurotic moments. If I decide on something. my mind is set and no one can tell me otherwise. Again, I am getting better at it but it is definitely a work in progress.
I do want to say that it isn’t entirely bad. It drives me to do things and meets goals for myself. I want to finish school and be successful, and I have the drive to do the work that it takes to get it. I haven’t even allowed myself any other options. Even when I am exhausted and worn out, I do what have to do because my brain is hooked on the idea. So there are some pros to it. The cons still outweigh them them. That basic dreadful fear sucks to have looming over your life.
So my goal is to definitely work on this.