“Don’t tell anyone that.” My dad said when I told him I like to talk to myself while daydreaming and, after attempting to once again describe the chaos in my head. I failed another test in school and he kept telling me I wasn’t focused enough. Well how can you focus when you have a million thoughts running through your head and most of them aren’t even yours?
Some thoughts are nice, some are random, and some are disturbing. But I have no control over them. I do however love day dreaming. In the bed, while driving, at school, aimlessly walking around the house. “You have depression,” says one doctor.
“It’s anxiety,” says another. But the depression meds made my dreams much more vivid. All I wanted to do was sleep. And the anxiety meds did not stop me from running around, fidgeting, or talking too much. One of them however did make me lose most of my inhibition. One minute I was driving fine then the next I contemplated ramming my car into another.
All my life no one could tell me what’s wrong with me: why I couldn’t hear well while not having a hearing problem, why I had random bursts of energy, why I couldn’t act my age, why I couldn’t do simple things like everyone else, or why I couldn’t take care of myself. Oh and your family telling you you’re “acting” or making you feel inadequate (when you’re already feeling down) does not help keep the bad thoughts away.
I am awkward as awkward can get, and I am easily detachable from people. Sometimes. My husband says I am easily described as a cat. Temperament, attention span, the fact that I like to hide in small spaces, and my being jumpy and clumsy all the time. I forget sometimes that I’m on the phone and I walk off or hang up. I’m working on it. Sometimes I really really like being alone. Other times, I’m really really clingy. I embrace my awkwardness. I’m very clumsy and somehow I am just almost never aware of myself in space. My mother was worried about me because I walk into objects a lot and I trip going up the stairs (it’s a skill).
Often, I daydream or talk out future conversations with people. It has made therapy very interesting because we have to sort through what we actually have discussed and what hasn’t been. I’m not sure if this is why I start talking in the middle of conversations, but it drives my mother crazy. “I have no idea what you’re talking about” is said several times a day and I’ve recently noticed other people saying it.
I don’t mind social situations, but I have always hated going to the movies. I can’t rewind parts that I’ve missed and I can’t pause it when I need to (because at home I get up and run around and if I remember I was watching something, I can go back and watch what I missed). I imagine this is quite aggravating to my family since we don’t watch movies together anymore. We used to play games when I was younger but I’m really competitive and apparently still impatient.
Only once did someone ask me if I think it would be safe to have children, hours after we’d been talking. Despite what you’d think, I’m actually really attentive to children and I have babysat a lot over the years. I am so attentive, my mother has told me I would annoy my own kid. So there’s that. I already worry about that from time to time, and now people wonder that about that too?
“Did I lose you?” My therapist read the report to me, at some point I ended up completely turned around on the couch staring at a picture on the wall. I feel bad about that, I really do.
“Are you sure?” I said to the doctor’s face as I was looking around the room. The school suggested I see a psychiatrist, and appropriately so because enough was enough. Apparently I scared my advisor because of how hyper I was and how I kept getting up during our meetings. I ended up being diagnosed with the type where you have symptoms ADD and ADHD. It explains the insomnia, the impulsivity (I have bought a lot of things), the forgetfulness, not being able to hear sometimes, the hyperactivity, the mental exhaustion, the random clapping, and noises I make, putting the milk in the cabinet and the peanut butter in the fridge, my room...
I was also prescribed meds for my anxiety and insomnia. Which was funny to me because I am able to still have vivid dreams without getting much sleep if any from time to time. I found out that getting little to no sleep can cause your brain to enter R.E.M. faster when you do finally get to sleep. It’s kind of cool, but not. Some times my dreams are so real I think conversations have happened when they didn’t.
All this time, I thought I was crazy. I feel stupid at times. I feel like I don’t belong. I feel as though I can’t do anything right. I was raised better than how I act. But ADHD? I was always told it wasn’t a real thing. If I know people that have it, why aren’t they acting like me? What does it look like in an adult? Am I a normal adult with ADHD? And why isn’t my emotional maturity in line?
ADHD is different for each individual with it. There’s no cure. From what I experience and have heard from others, it is a mix of everything with varying degrees. Some people have ADHD and are bipolar, or have depression. For me, I experience a bit of everything. I have to fight the depressing thoughts sometimes, and pep talk myself everyday. Sometimes I handle change really well, and with something else I may blow things out of proportion. Every day I am a different person, a different version of me. People with ADHD, we aren’t lacking in attention. It’s just not where you want it to be at a certain moment. And that’s ok. Some things make take us a little longer to complete or maybe we have to tackle a task in a different way to get it done. Some of us are afraid if we tell you we have ADHD, you’ll treat us differently or you’ll try to tell us that it doesn’t exist. “Thank you for showing me articles trying to disprove my diagnosis. I’m cured, you’ve been a great help.”
Just because I am now medicated doesn’t mean I’m cured. Sometimes my symptoms are so bad, the Concerta doesn’t help much that day. But the next day may be different. I also don’t like taking my meds everyday and that is ok. I want to learn to cope without meds one day. All my life I’ve struggled and I’ve felt different. I’m finally relieved to know what’s going on with me and learn how to adult like everyone else. The best way I can describe it for me: there’s a small room filled with 20-30 televisions on different stations and the volume turned all the way up. Someone is flipping through the channels and there’s a small hole in the wall that someone on the outside is trying to talk to you through. Imagine why people thought I had a hearing problem all this time!
The first time I took Concerta, it was life changing I sat and watched a movie all the way through. My first conversation was amazing! I actually heard everything my dad was saying. I didn’t get confused or mentally blackout halfway through the conversation. I am so grateful for the people that helped and supported me. I’m not as afraid to be social and be myself. I’m not as afraid of making mistakes. I don’t put myself down as much anymore. The cure is not holding back, I am enough and so are you.