My blog is "I don't even know how many" years old, and I have picked at it, and tapped away about various things over the years. My life has had some big U-turns, especially in the last few years, and I'm just not sure where to take things from here. Right now, I am really interested in cataloging my journey with my ADHD diagnosis (for the record, I was simultaneously diagnosed with anxiety and sensory integration disorder, although neither of those co-conditions really seems all that surprising to myself.) I'm not sure how I want to keep track of the changes I am going through in my diagnosis and treatment journey. I am considering using YouTube for a video journal of my experiences with my disorder, and reserving the blog for sewing and knitting related things. The thing is, if that does happen, the content here may not happen on a weekly basis like I would like. I am finding that because of the new medication I am on, I really want to do the fun things like sew and knit, but I have had so many half-finished life tasks hiding in the dark corners of my mind for so long and I really want to get those things wrapped up. All of the sudden, they are much harder to ignore and forget about. I'm not sure that's a bad thing, it's a lot easier for me to do the responsible, less exciting adulting tasks. Of course, just because I am on medication does not mean that I no longer have ADHD, and I feel almost impulsively compelled to do all those tasks while I am motivated to do them. Like, what if the medication stops working? What if I can't find a dose that continues to work for me, and I revert back to how I was before... fun, but frustrated and scattered? I am actually afraid of turning back into the old me. I didn't like feeling that way.
This first week on Adderall XR has had quite a few ups and downs. I've been more motivated than ever to knock tasks off my list, and I feel so accomplished and proud of myself. But being medicated has surprisingly made me less tolerant of my daughter's untreated ADHD. I hurt for her so much, seeing her struggle and empathizing with it has been a huge challenge. And seeing her use it as an excuse to just give up is infuriating. "I can't do it because I forget." Of course I want to tell her she has to try harder, that she is wasting her potential, but I know from experience that is not going to help things at all. I want to try all the holistic interventions I can find for her before we "resort" to medication because in my mind I feel like if I medicate her I am giving up on her, giving up on fighting FOR her, but in reality I am just spending my days fighting WITH her as she behaves with impulsivity and tortures her younger sister. She has told me she wants to try medication, she wants to ease her anxiety. I know what a relief it was the first day I took it and felt like I could think clearly and breathe without tightness in my chest for the first time in my life. Who am I to prevent her from possibly experiencing that early in life, before her spirit and self-confidence have been crushed? My breaking point was when we were fighting over another 3-sentence writing assignment and she looked at me with tears in her eyes and said "this time I am really going to try hard, I won't let you down." Folx, that shit right there is soul-crushing. I know that "I'm going to try my hardest this time and not fail" cycle of hope and despair. I have lived it almost every day of my life, except for the days when I was too depressed to give a crap and put any effort in. That feeling of "I'm not trying hard enough, I'm letting down the people that love me. If I keep letting them down, they are going to stop loving me, so I have to try harder."
Look, ADHD isn't laziness. ADHD is not stupidity. All the people I know with ADHD are very bright, they are smart, funny, empathetic, they ask great questions and problem solve from unique angles, they are passionate and creative. They know what needs to be done. They put systems in place. They try and things go great, until they get repetitive and boring, and then they move on and it looks like failure. It most definitely feels like failure. I have felt like a failure my entire life. In my mind, I am "Jami the woman that can't complete anything, why do people even like me?" I am "Jami, the woman that loves her children and wants the best for them so why can't I stand being a mother most days?" I am also "Jami, the woman that loves working for herself but hates running a business." Today I will try harder, I will finish the tasks, I will not yell when I get frustrated, I will contact that client. Except I will most likely fail at one, if not all, of those tasks.
You know what else I learned this week? I keep track of my menstrual cycles, and this is my "PMS" week. 5 days before my period, I turn into a fire-breathing demon at the slightest irritation. Well, Adderall does not fix that. Not at all, I am still grouchy. This week has been unusual because its been a very busy work week, the kids' dad has been out of town for 3 weeks so they miss him (and are behaving accordingly), and my sleep cycle has been out of whack while my body adjusts to ADHD meds. So it's been tough emotionally and for my patience.
I am Jami, I have ADHD and I am exhausted.