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!

 

 

Sibling Solidarity

One of the things I value most in the world is the human experience. Nothing is as profound as living and experiencing this marvelous world and the wonders in it.

The most extraordinary experience I’ve ever had, and still have, is the bond between my siblings and myself. My siblings and I are very close. I have a twin sister, younger sister, and younger brother. They are my everything. They are so much more than my best friends. They transcend “friendship.” A couple days ago they showed me the difference between sibling and friend.

I’ve been going through some personal stuff, that I don’t want to get into here, but it’s been tough. Life has thrown some negative things at me. After a while, hit after hit negative things start to take their toll.  That’s where I have been for months. Just worn down. I’ve been living with depression and anxiety for quite some time. It’s been such a dark year. If it could go wrong, trust me, it did. The repercussions from this year will last for quite some time. The impact in my life has been life changing.

The past few weeks, I saw an incline in the depression and anxiety. I lost motivation to do anything positive. I let my house fall into a mess. I skipped days at the gym. When I did go to the gym, I think I just looked sad and checked out. I’ve been wallowing in the cesspool that is my life.

I not normally the type of person to really open up to others with what I have going on. Normally I work through the situation and I am good. I am the kind of guy that listens to other people’s issues. However, I know that it is not good to keep things inside, especially when life keeps beating you down. I do talk to my brother and sisters though. When you’ve known people your entire life and grew up in the same house, it’s easier.

Opening up to friends is not as easy. I learned that this year and it reminded me of who I can confide in and who I can’t. I’ve also learned that because I always listen to other people’s issues, that they get used to me as a sounding board/diary. Over the past few months, when I tried to talk some friends, they always turned it back around to them and basically disregarded what I had to say. It’s always about them. I even watched someone “listen” to me speak, pause to let me finish, then continue on about them self. For someone to wait for you to finish speaking so they can disregard your attempt to open up, that is disheartening. What a terrible feeling. I actually started to use the app Whisper to let out some stuff going on in my head. I felt this would keep me from being a burden to anyone.

I recently met up with my sisters for dinner at the mall. I had told my siblings that for winter hibernation, I was going to buy a PlayStation 4 with the Uncharted series.. I needed things to occupy my time and distract me. Then I got my doctor bill from an ultrasound sound I had on my testicles when I noticed an issue. It was a cancer scare. Luckily it wasn’t cancer. It was hydrocele. You can read about that here. The bill was $424. Just what I was going to use to buy my PS4. So there went that. I told my siblings my PS4 had to wait.

Then the most awesome thing happened. My siblings knew just how down I was feeling, so they surprised me with an early Christmas/birthday present and gave me a PlayStation 4 with the Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection that night.

No one, and I do mean no one, can know what that act of kindness did for me. When I got home with my PS4, I just stared at it. When I looked at the box, all I could think about was my siblings having the discussion to get me this gift because they knew it would lift my spirits. Since I’ve been an emotional train wreck lately anyway, I cried over it, but it was tears of joy. They knew exactly what I needed and when. I was a never burden to them.

The next day, something changed. I didn’t feel alone. The dark cloud that has been hovering over my head the past few months just vanished. Now, I feel like I used to. Strong, motivated, and tough. I know that shit is going to come my way, but I am ready to take it all on. I will not let anything take me down. With a support system like my siblings, there is no way I can’t. I am going to stay positive and motivated. I am going to pick up my life and move forward. We sometimes need the darkness to appreciate the light. Words cannot express just how much I appreciate the light in my life, my siblings (and our mother).

We all have those friends that get us, but siblings are different. They don’t just get you. They know you. They lift you up and lean on you. They are you. You are part of them and they are a part of you because you were born on the same wavelength. There is really nothing quite like it. #foreverfriends ❤️❤️❤️

I dedicate this song to my siblings and our mother, because quite frankly I just don’t what I would be without them.