Archives for December, 2011
I was going to write a post about New Years Resolutions. Then I thought I’d write about what I would have done differently over the last year. Then I started thinking I should write a post about what I think I would have done differently throughout my life If I’d had an ADHD diagnosis as a child. Well, that sounds like a good post, and I think I’ll write it ... some other day. Today, I’ve decided on something else. Today isn’t for resolutions or regrets, today is for accomplishments!
This post is a kind of “week after Christmas” meal of the things that are left over in tin foil covered bowls and on plastic wrapped plates. Many of these bits could be full posts, but I’m feeling like having fried leftovers today. What’s in this bowl? I’m in a unique situation. I’ve put myself out there in the virtual world of the internet as an ADHDer. I’ve obsessed, professed and confessed in public. I’ve shared, joked, and even ranted a bit. But the deal is ... I want to help. I’m working hard to keep my personal life in my blog without dwelling on things that are very unique to me, things that have little to do with most others and their ADHD. There are times when this isn’t possible. And frankly, while parts of my life are unique to me, stress is stress. If you can learn from the ways in which I deal with mine, great. If not, I tried.
I always called it “being numb.” I reach a point where stress and confusion accumulate to a level that leaves me unable to function, unable to think in a straight line. Okay, I can’t think in a straight line much of the time, I do well to skip around two or three concurrent trains of thought ... with my meds. This year was going to be different! Okay, this year couldn’t help but be different. Christmas, 1983, marked the first Christmas I spent with the woman who would soon be my wife. Christmas, 1984, was the first Christmas we spent together as husband and wife. And we spent every subsequent Christmas, until 2010, in each others company. Now I've been left to try to find Christmas on my own.
Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. I know I haven’t been very festive in my posts this December. I’ve tried, but as many of you know, I’ve had my reasons for not being cheerful. I'm not normally a Scrooge. I can’t promise any improvement in the near future either, but I do promise I’ll try. That’s not my present to you, that’s just what I’m going to have to do to make my life better. And I appreciate all the comments and emails you’ve been offering, I’m accepting them as my presents from you all. And my gift to you isn't my admiration of you, but you should all know that I do admire you, all of you. From the most depressed among you to the most optimistic, from the least organized to the most ordered, I feel I'm blessed to have found so many friends here.
On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me Twelve drummers drumming, Eleven pipers piping, Ten lords a-leaping, Nine ladies dancing, Eight maids a-milking, Seven swans a-swimming, Six geese a-laying, Five golden rings, Four calling birds, Three French hens, Two turtle doves, And a partridge in a pear tree! You all know the song I’m sure. You’ll at least know the melody, if not all the words. Each line has a religious significance that I’m not going to bother itemizing here. It isn’t that I fear being politically incorrect, it’s just that I blog about ADHD, not faith or religion. So what’s the twelve days of ADHD? It occurred to me recently, that our lives are so fraught with manifestations of our ADHDishness, our symptoms, that we ought to have a holiday song all our own. Having written the odd song that I’m rather proud of I took it upon myself to do just that, but I had trouble coming up with lyrics.
I live in Canada. We call it the Great White North because of its annual covering of snow. In my part of Canada, that lasts three or four months. We do have warm weather for five to seven months of the year. We also usually have one to four months of shoulder season, times when nights are chilly and days are cool. These weather patterns aren’t exclusive to Canada. The northern states share my latitude and weather. But I’m not writing an exotic travelogue here.
I know, I’ve been dwelling a lot on relationships this month, a hazard of my personal situation. Loss makes you feel alone. I also know I should be talking about the holidays and the stress they bring as a special gift for those of us with ADHD. But this post isn’t as far off the mark as you might think. ♪♫“Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas, without the one you love ...”♫♪♫ For those of us who are spending the holidays alone, the urge to “repair” this situation may be rather strong. And the new-age techno way of doing that is from the comfort of your home through online social networks that are geared toward matching you with that perfect someone. While I’m not tempted to head out onto the info-bahn to find that perfect ether-mate – yet – I am willing to concede that it is an option for many of today’s lonely hearts.
Okay, that’s inappropriate, and it’s a bad title. I have ADHD though, I’m prone to blurting out inappropriate things, ask any of my friends. And yes, that title does imply a relationship that should never occur, bear with me. I know I’ve crossed a line, but I can explain. I’m thinking that a lot of what goes into being a good therapist is on the shortlist for an ADHDer’s partner. So what makes a good therapist? Several websites offer resources for those who wish to head off to therapy forewarned and forearmed. Here at Psych Central we have an article titled “10 Ways to Find a Good Therapist” by Elvira G. Aletta, Ph.D. We also have an online book titled “How to Find a Good Therapist” with a traditional bound version available. It also comes as an e-book if you’re e-reader savvy.
I seem to be suffering from the most debilitating episode of anxiety. In the last two months I’ve been awakened three times in the night with excruciating chest pains. I swear it feels like I’m suffering cardiac failure, but no. The holidays seem to be playing a roll here. I’m feeling the loss of my wife this month rather acutely. I’m not trying to downplay what I’ve felt up ‘til now, but I have to say that comparing my lot to those around me is making me feel the strain a bit more.
Dear Santa: Last year, in my previous blog, I wrote to you and said: “And I think, if you’re willing to consider my request, that I have the perfect Christmas gift to ask you for. It would be a very useful thing for me, but it’s not just for me. It would help others across the country, across the continent and around the world. It would help not just those of us with ADHD, but those people who love us and want to understand what’s going on.” I went on to ask for the ADHD equivalent of the moon: “For Christmas, I’d like you to bring ADHD awareness to the world. I know there are bigger problems; AIDS, cancers, wars and crime. But I think that if we could resolve some of the problems surrounding the lives of those of us with ADHD, we could all work together on these other things. ” I realize now that I might have been asking too much of you. I’m aware that the world isn’t really listening to you so much anymore.