Revelations, Emotions, and ADHD

It’s been a very uncomfortable and revealing week.

This coming Monday I will be evaluated at the Hallowell Center in Sudbury MA. For Attention Deficit Disorder, or; ADD.

I’m not afraid of the results. I already know the outcome.

The reason I want to go and get the evaluation is:

  1.  To validate my life experience.
  2.  For the help I can get and the hope that I feel for understanding how my brain works. I feel a sense of hope that once I am able to better understand the issue and the behavior/symptoms that I struggle with that I will be able to find some relief as well as a way to better regulate the fluctuating energy I constantly feel.

Until now, I’ve secretively believed somewhere deep down inside myself, that I am stupid, inadequate, incompetent. I’ve wondered about learning disabilities, chemical imbalances, and even Lyme.  I’ve struggled for so long to understand why I can’t seem to get through a day without feeling the need to go lay down.  Why sometimes I feel like I can climb to epic heights and other times I feel spacey and quite able and willing to take a nap at any given time of day.

Until this past Monday I thought I knew what ADD was- boy, was i wrong.

I’d dismissed any real possibility that the diagnosis was applicable to me in any way.  The term ADD or ADHD brought to mind hyper little boys.
I thought people with ADD were unable to focus on things, yet I’ve been able to accomplish so much- and can focus intently on projects I am passionate about.  I’d associated it with people who were unable to give their attention to things for a reasonable period of time and were terribly distracted and over the top in terms of their energy levels being erratic, and over the top. Not so.

Now that I really know what it is… and how it manifests- I am certain that this is exactly what I have struggled with.  I have never been more certain of anything actually, and so although I may sound as if I am jumping the gun in choosing the disorder de’jour, I know I’m not.

Let me back up.  It’s not like i’ve done my whole life thinking that something was *wrong* with me.  I’ve just observed that I am much different from my peers in my way of looking at the world, and structuring my life, and in my ability to retain information. The *symptoms* have been explainable- and so I have often rationalized them away, or have had others help me rationalize them away…

“You are just scattered – you take a lot on”

“Your a big thinker, not a detail person”

and then there are those comments that seem to haunt me now…

“Why can’t you just put the scissors back where you found them?”

“You need to get organized, how can you get anything done with your desk that way?”

“Are you having a blonde moment?”

“Hello! Monica, are you with us?”

The zoning out – since I was a child… off in my own world, and unable to follow along with the teacher on any given subject.  The report cards, the parent teacher meetings, the failed tests, my consistent inability to remember the details or directions.  It didn’t seem to matter how many times i was told, or how many times a task was demonstrated.

I stopped trying to remember phone numbers or to memorize multiplication tables early on,   I just could not retain them.  I also gave up on making lists because as soon as I wrote it down, I lost it.  Just yesterday I could not find my phone until minutes later I saw my makeup tin vibrating. There it was nestled up with my mascara and face cream. I never knew there was an explanation for my embarrassing faux paws or my impulsive behavior.  I’d tell myself I was just eccentric. I told myself that whatever the hell was wrong with me I’d better learn to mask it and mask it good, otherwise people would know they were dealing with a space shot.

As I listened to podcasts this week on the subject I alternately sobbed, laughed, and felt sick as memories flooded my mind of all the ways in which the words resonated with me, and the puzzle pieces began to come together.  I am text book… and yet this fact has eluded me my whole life . I’ve been to countless Dr. appointments, therapies, a library of self help books, and alternative remedies administered by experts in all fields.

 I feel like someone who has just stepped in dog shit- but who keeps going around to everyone else asking them to please check their shoes…

“do you smell that?! It smells like someone stepped in dog shit.”

*sniff **sniff*… only to finally realize that its been on my own foot the whole time.

I know that right now I am on the roller coaster ride one feels when they finally have answers to something that they’ve somehow always suspected but have never been accurately informed about.  I’m on the part in the ride right now where I feel more grief, anger and sadness than I do freedom and elation at finally finding the suspect.  I feel like I’ve been looking everywhere and it’s been as plain as the nose on my face- urrrggg.

I wonder why I’d never really given the idea much thought… yet my friends and family have been kind of saying it in so many ways for years.  It’s not as if I was purposely ignoring their comments- but I’d just lumped them into the dumb blonde category vs. the “hey – they might be on to something here” one.  My own ignorance on the subject is what kept me from applying it to my own life experience.

I don’t tell you this because I feel sorry for myself.  I tell you to be transparent about what’s going on for me right now.  I’m “in it” as they say, and feel completely overwhelmed by it.  This is the revelation project after all so I may as well reveal what is being revealed.
I do believe that what gets revealed, can heal.