Archives for October, 2011
Halloween. Samhain. All Hallows Eve. All Souls' Day. Whatever you call it, it would be all too easy to be negative about ADHD today. It's a nightmare; it's like being one of the living dead; it's no treat. I'd like to offer another perspective on ADHD as I anticipate tonight's onslaught of goblins and ghouls.
Before my diagnosis (at 47) I spent decades wondering why I couldn't do what other women did. You know: really complicated stuff like getting to work on time; finding a skirt and a top that matched; or high-functioning things like throwing a party or holding down a job. And keeping a tidy, organized house? Forget it. When I first discovered how my ADHD had left me in the dust when it came to dusting, I found it kind of depressing. Officially, we’ve dropped the expectation that women must do it all: housework, childrearing, social organizing, etc. But let’s face it - most of us still try. If 9-to-5ers without ADHD lament not being able to keep up, try being me. (That was rhetorical, unless you’re a masochist.) Admitting defeat...sort of Prior to diagnosis, I’d adopted the persona of an eccentric renegade. This was my way to save face while admitting to myself that I’d never be as organized or competent as other women. On the inside, I had a secret agenda. So secret, in fact, that even I didn’t know it.
How's ADHD Awareness Week going for you? So far, I've participated in Terry Matlen's Q and A on "Women with ADD" at her site Moms with ADD/ADHD and checked out Linda Roggli's ADHD & Work teleseminar with guest speaker Wilma Fellman. I've also been paying WAY more attention to my Twitter feed, just to find out what's going on and what I might want to tune in to. I found Dr. Ned Hallowell's podcast there and listened in.
A while back I wrote about generic versus patented Concerta, a long-acting stimulant drug used to treat ADHD. Recently, as I was filling out a questionnaire for Canadian adults with ADHD at Centre for ADHD Awareness, Canada (CADDAC), this very topic came up. I just about choked when I read the question, have you contacted Health Canada about being switched to the generic substitute? Why no, I thought; I had no idea I could do that.
ADHDers never give up. Ever. At least, that's what I've noticed. Me, and a lot of therapists and professionals who work with us. Even so, we're only human. The combined effort of life's usual troubles, plus the extra layer of ADHD challenges can sometimes overwhelm us. That's why I've started to explore and share some personal sources of inspiration, and am encouraging you to do the same. Last week, I started with the Goddess Diana, the personification of aiming for goals and living in harmony with nature. Today, I'm sharing a more earth-bound source of hope and inspiration: my dad.
It’s been one of “those” days. We all have ‘em. It’s 1:51 p.m. I’ve started and stopped my Pet Peeve for today about 20 times over the past six days. Still nothing. Not only have I started to write the post, then stopped, I’ve changed the topic about 10 times. Much of this was due to new and unplanned disruptions, most of them emotionally draining and time-consuming to address. Some of them involved others who were also affected, and the whole mess turned into a cauldron of Sensitive Stew which made us all sick. Today, suffering from psychic Salmonella, I’ve been unable to quell the queasiness in my stomach, to turn off the tossing in my brain and settle on my planned Pet Peeve du jour. Let’s examine why I haven’t been successful at bringing you today’s Pet Peeve. Make that, at why today’s Pet Peeve is my inability to create a Pet Peeve. Or something like that…
I mentioned on World Health Day that I’d like to share a few personal sources of faith and inspiration that have helped sustain me as I’ve learned to manage and live with ADHD. Specialists agree that treating ADHD with a variety of approaches, including medication, exercise, coaching, and others, is the best way to manage ADHD symptoms. I’d like to add attending to your spiritual / inner life as an important component in treating ADHD in a holistic way, addressing mind, body, and spirit. I’m hoping that sharing some of my sources for inspiration and faith will help you think about yours. You might even want to expand your repertoire of resources to turn to for spiritual succor.
I’ve been thinking a lot about inspiration lately, and about faith. As we recognize World Mental Health Day here at Psych Central, I’m aware that conditions for those of us who struggle with emotional challenges vary widely around the globe. Right here in Canada, it’s the luck of the draw whether or not you’ll find a practitioner who is qualified to treat you, let alone to diagnose. While appropriate treatment and services to support those of us who are struggling with mental health issues may or may not be available, there is one thing all of us share, no matter where we live: sources for faith and inspiration.
I started writing this blog post a few days ago, but got interrupted. Lame, I know. Some of the events I listed are over already. I meant well. I really did. *sigh* I decided to list this stuff anyway, in case there were podcasts that might be available after the fact. AND - I want you to know the kinds of things that are going on. A lot of these events are annual, or more frequent, and I still think it's important for you to know about them.