On Wednesday I told you of my wife’s recent passing, my personal loss. I received condolences here and by email, thank you.
And while dwelling on it isn’t very pleasant for me, I need to share it with you in order to blog about my ADHD without having to censor myself. Modifying my personal anecdotes that illustrate ADHD-related information by leaving out my current and past marital status is possible, but it isn’t my style.
The following is an example of an anecdote that I could not have told adequately without having told you about my wife’s passing:
I’ve been aware for some time that my wife was the greater half of our “couple dynamic executive function.” But I’m just now finding out the staggering extent to which I relied on her to play that role.
I don’t want to downplay the part that grief has played in my life these last two months. My symptoms have been far more obvious as a result of my loss. I know that ADHD is context sensitive and I find myself, among other things, without focus.
Some of that loss of focus is the fact that my wife was responsible for our calendar. She kept track of appointments, bill due dates, social engagements, etc.
Since her death, I’ve paid three different bills late and I’ve completely missed one forgotten appointment. I had recently thought that I might be getting control of things.
Here’s my journal entry from Friday last:
Today I went to a doctor’s appointment. I was having a good day, I was five minutes early for my 11 o’clock appointment even though I’d ridden my Yamaha in the rain to get there. I presented my health card (that’s a Canadian thing) and smiled my usual flirtatious smile at the receptionist. She smiled back as always and said sweetly, “You’re an hour late.”
I’m sure the smile on my face fell away like a stone. In less than a second I felt disbelief, incredulity, surprise, the feeling of stupidity that permeates my life regularly even though I know I’m an intelligent person, and the shock of losing my wife all over again as I suddenly realized that this wouldn’t have happened two months ago.
Waves of grief, loss and sadness swept over me. I muttered an apology while looking at the floor. The receptionist told me “It’s okay.” She said they’d squeeze me in and the only response I could muster was … another mumbled apology. I wanted to scream out that I’m lost, that I need somebody to look after me, that I need everybody to watch out for me, that I need people to call me and make sure I know what I’m doing. I wanted to tell them that they need to put me somewhere where I can’t make a mess of my life, they just need to look after me. I wanted to say “Help!” … but I couldn’t.
Believe me when I tell you that people are looking out for me. Trust me, I’m not often being left to my own devices. But whenever I’m alone, doubt creeps up on me. I know I’ll survive, but I harbour a strong belief that I’ll not likely flourish. I just can’t see from here how it’s possible.
My point is that my posts will not be written without the seasoning of grief for some time to come. And, in as much as ADHD is a part of my life and so is loss, that’s fair. But it would not have been fair to keep this information from you. I’m here at Psych Central for several reasons, but the greatest one is that I want to
do my part in ensuring that those of you who are seeking information and community have one more place to find them.
Wish me luck, my journey from here will be a hard one. If you want to come along, I welcome the company. And, as always, I’ll share what I find along the way, and I hope you do too.
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From Psych Central's World of Psychology:
Best of Our Blogs: October 4, 2011 | World of Psychology (October 4, 2011)
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Last reviewed: 30 Sep 2011