Sunday, January 9, 2011

Well dagnabbit...

....I have ADD! Okay this is not a new revelation here, I've known it for a couple years. I firmly believe I've had it my entire life. Yes I did great in school but only until I got to college. It all came so easily for me, tests, homework, in school writing assignments, no problem. For the very few occasions that I had to write papers, I did it last minute and, on 2 separate occasions, not at all; my teachers (senior year) gave me good grades based on past performance. I attributed my lack of preparation and planning for long term projects, to procrastination and accepted that label with open arms. It was an excuse, a self-imposed joke to keep laughing even when my overwhelmed mind would have me so very close to tears. I could never "see" my way through a project, let alone problems or goals! I had ideas about what I wanted for myself but had no idea how to get there; I could see the path but couldn't figure out which transport to use to get going most efficiently, so I stumbled and tripped and occasionally would land at the destination but with no real idea how I got there or how I'd move along from there.

College was disastrous. Long-term assignments abounded and I could not do it. I didn't know to seek out help because it just didn't make sense that I, a previously straight A student, couldn't handle the workload now. I wanted to make a success of my time in school and would marvel at those that could budget their time to tackle projects and prepare and study for tests and exams and keep their dorm rooms neat and work and have time to socialize. (yes, I seriously just used "socialize" to describe what goes on in college, hey-sometimes my kids read these!) How did they do it? And, increasingly distressing to me was, why couldn't I do that, too?

Fast forward to more recent years: I began researching information about ADHD when I began to realize my older son was struggling with organization at school. (we weren't homeschooling..yet!lol) The hyperactivity wasn't there but the attention issues were undeniably present. He was a great student and always got A's. In 3rd grade his first real assignment was given--the kids had to read a certain number of pages per week. He completely shut down and stopped reading; it seemed like an unattainable goal to him, so why try at all? I told him he was reading more than the required reading on his own, but he couldn't get past the requirement. The more I researched for my child, the more I began to see myself. I was reading different message boards and came across one woman's description of her college years and it could have been written by me. She described the fog that always seemed to hover around her, making it difficult to "see" her way through the semester. I couldn't believe someone else out there understood my struggle to visualize things clearly! She began to take adderall while still in college and described that first day as the fog lifting and being able to see clearly for the first time in her life. I was getting ready to return to college and knew I had to do something; I saw my doctor and got a prescription for adderall. I was so afraid to start it-what if it made me jittery or made my heart race? I took it anyway and that began a new chapter in my life. Yes, I take adderall, there I said it out loud. Okay technically not out loud but hey, why get technical? I don't get overly active from adderall; no, if anything it calms my mind down when I've gone into overload mode. I can "see" the destination and the smaller choices I need to decide upon to get going.

So, if that was a year ago, why am I writing now? I've had some very recent new revelations. To be continued........

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