To much TV in my head. I literally say Hi Everybody in my head the way Dr Nick from The Simpson’s says it every single time I say hi to someone.
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Now for the post
I went on vaca for a few days and totally disconnected. I get so obsessive with whatever I’m doing that I wanted to focus on my family and not think about ADHD, not think about how to improve my life and certainly not think about how my girls are going to suffer terribly from my deficiencies. I succeeded.
While I had my toes in the sand I was reading a book called, Saving Sarah by Susy Parker. I’ve mentioned Susy on the blog before. I discovered her on Instagram and was immediately taken in by her positive attitude and cheery demeanor. So much charisma in that Gal.
Susy’s daughter, Sarah, has been diagnosed with ADHD and ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder). I know very little about ODD but basically it is an “ongoing pattern of uncooperative, defiant, and hostile behavior toward authority figures” that seriously interferes with daily functioning.
All children display some sort of defiance, including my Moo. But Moo has nothing on Sarah. Susy has her hands full and I give her an enormous amount credit because of what she and her family have experienced.
I picked up Susy’s book because she has an amazingly positive outlook on ADHD which I am trying to adopt. It’s been a little harder than I hoped.
Should we medicate?
What I didn’t expect to happen from reading Susy’s book is my outlook on medication. I am currently medicated and have no desire to stop. I take Wellbutrin and Concerta which help me immensely in my daily life and I am okay with that. However, I wonder what my life would have been like had I been
- Been diagnosed at a younger age.
- Had parents that were appropriately educated about ADHD.
- Been told repeatedly that there is nothing wrong with me, that I wasn’t bad. That I’m not stupid and that I am just different and that difference does not mean I am “wrong”.
With the right environment, would I have been able to love myself at a much earlier age? I still have trouble with this. I doubt myself everyday and am constantly looking outward for someone to tell me “it’s okay.” I don’t want to care if someone else thinks “it’s okay.” I want to believe “it’s okay” even if others don’t understand me or aren’t happy with my behavior.
Would I have been able to go down a career path that was more suited for me, like art or theater, instead of forcing myself into a box because I so desperately wanted to be seen as smart and put together? I felt that people didn’t look at artists or actors and think of them as smart. I wanted to be a business woman like my mom. I wanted to be taken seriously like she was, be important like she was, and karate chop any person who got in my way Miss Piggy style.
Would I have been able to gain skills and acquire tools to help me manage my daily life?
You know… nunchuck skills, bow hunting skills… sorry, I had to.
I did a pretty good job of that on my own but it’s still a struggle. The struggle is especially real now that I have kids and pets and a home that I have to take care of.
And let’s not forget about my relationship with Blue Eyes. How can I be the best wife I can be if I keep putting the burden of my happiness on him? Blue Eyes is not my Father. He cannot fill the gap that was made when I was 7 and my dad would yell at me for forgetting to write down that someone called. (No voicemail or cell phones in the 80’s)
Would the knowledge of what was going on in my brain help heal the pieces of me that were breaking day after day because I thought I wasn’t good enough?
At 7 years old would the knowledge that I WAS good enough have been able to put back those pieces?
For a long time (and maybe still) I’ve been angry that I wasn’t diagnosed and medicated at an earlier age. I can see now how medication alone would not have been the answer. I needed someone to explain to me what was going on in my brain. My parents needed encouragement and someone to explain to them that I didn’t have control of the things I did wrong. That they in turn needed to help me understand those same things and together learn a way to come up with different solutions besides yelling.
And most of all, I needed love. Don’t get me wrong, I am incredibly lucky. My parents loved me as much as any child could ever hope for. There was also anger and frustration at things I couldn’t control and as a young child I interpreted that as being bad. And how can you love a kid that is bad?
I for sure am still angry at the docs for giving me a pill and sending me on my way. For not probing deeper when I said everything was fine but was losing pound after pound before their eyes because of my meds. Why didn’t they explain that I had felt different my whole life because I actually was different? Why didn’t they tell me that I lacked impulse control which meant jumping all over the room but also equaled verbal diarrhea? Oh the friends I have lost because of stupid things that came out of my mouth.
So many questions with answers I am only getting now. 23 years!!!
Okay, I think I’m ranting. Shocker!
The bottom line is that I 100% feel that medication is not the answer. Medication can play an amazing role but if a child (and parents) is not educated about ADHD, if love and reassurance aren’t given regularly self-esteem will still be an issue. Not knowing how to regulate emotions will still be an issue. Impulse control will still be an issue. Good habits need to be taught. Love needs to be given. Helping a child believe that they can still accomplish anything even if others don’t think they can is critically important.
I have no major recs today except for Susy’s book, Saving Sarah. Obviously. Check it out. Gain further insight. Love yourself. NOTHING IS WRONG WITH YOU…. Or me!
What’s distracting me?
Vacation. I want my toes back in the sand. I want to ready my summertime novels about witches (which I’ve read about 4 times). Oh, that’s a good rec.
I want to sleep and then do laundry. I need to catch up on Game of Thrones. Lots of life to do and no time to do it.
What’s distracting you?