I have no idea if I’m in the autumn of my life, in ways it really feels like I am, but in other ways it still feels like spring for me.
It’s truly difficult to reconcile wondering how I’m going to finance retirement in 10 years with wondering what I should be when I grow up.
And I’m still not sure what the requirements are for grading a life. Will mine be considered a success? Or will it be a failure?
It’s Thanksgiving here in Canada, and soon it will be Thanksgiving in the U.S.A.
Maybe we could be thankful for something unique. What about our regrets?
What regrets you ask? Well, for starters, we forget. We get distracted. We make poor decisions. We practise deluding ourselves. And as a result, our lives suffer.
But all these things are parts of many peoples lives. True, we do these things and others to extreme. But it’s the phrase “we do these things” that is at the root of our regrets. We make bad choices, bad decisions.
It’s been five years since I was diagnosed with ADHD. I am now 55 years old. So technically, I’ve had ADHD for five years.
But realistically, if one assumes that ADHD is heritable, I’ve had ADHD all my life.
From the time of my birth, when development was still ongoing, right up to the point in my life when symptoms, had they been known and understood, could have been observed, I had ADHD.
Prescription stimulants are the things that help many of us focus.
Why do they help us focus? Well, it seems that they actually make the part of our brain that functions in a … shall we say “scattered” way, work better. That means that the part of our brain that should focus our thoughts is unable to do that well, allowing our brains to wander from this to that. Stimulants seem to stimulate focus.
There also seems to be, in the ADHD brain, an increased speed of thought that isn’t regulated. When our focus is more easily controlled, that rapid firing of our brains is either also controlled, or since we are better able to focus, not relevant. The speed of our thinking doesn’t matter.
To those of you who noticed that I missed publishing my blog on Friday, I have a good excuse. I have ADHD. No, I’m not going to tell you that I forgot, I’ve got a better imagination than that. I’m going to tell you a wee bit of a story.
I have ADHD, and when I decide to do something, I often stick to it until it’s done. It’s called hyper-focus in some circles, perseverance in others, pig headedness in my world.
But, be that as it may, there it is. And it has stood me in good stead on many occasions. That’s the pig-headedness I’m talking about.
Firstly, I apologize for the sorry pun. But it works on so many levels … well, okay two, it works on two levels. The sorry pun is one level.
The other level is the fact that denial is the full time facilitator of procrastination.
I don’t mean that we deny that tasks exist, or that they need to be done. We’re smarter than that.
We deny that the imperative nature of a thing is … well, is as imperative as it is.
I may have mentioned this before, I have ADHD. And though I’ve only known that for six years (I was diagnosed five years ago), I’ve had it most of my life.
I have an interesting view of my life, yet not a terribly unique one (there are many people my age just finding out about their ADHD). My view of my life is one where I have memories of life as a confused person thinking I was just like everyone else.
Now, as I look back, I see the effects of ADHD and the intricate ways in which I rationalized, ignored and denied those effects.
Some title, eh? And I hear this in different ways. There’s the old dismissive standard: “ADHD is just an excuse for ! (fill in the blank)” And then there’s: “Every time you do that, you blame your ADHD!” And one of my all time favorites: “Instead of talking about your ADHD, why don’t you do something about it?”
It’s nice that there is so much help out there, isn’t it? And the great thing is that any one of these remarks immediately makes me retreat into myself, disengage from the person who says them, and re-establish my relationship with the cracks I’d thought I had patched in my shattered self esteem.
I seem to have a problem that would almost be the opposite of ADHD, except, it’s not. My ADHD mind is usually a whirl of thoughts and ideas. It’s a rare occasion when I am unable to come up with an idea for … well, for anything.
In fact, standard operating procedure for me is to have too many ideas and to little patience on the part of whoever is listening to my ideas. That’s life in the fast lane for this brain … most of the time.
Today and Friday I’ll be discussing systems used to deliver ADHD stimulant medications. Did you know that you and your health care practitioner have a choice in how your medication is delivered?
To the best of my knowledge, there are three delivery systems for ADHD stimulant medications. They range from “chancy at best,” to “pretty damned good.”
And in between those two extremes, they make a stop off at “should work … most of the time.”