Zoë enjoying the midnight fireflies.

Zoë enjoying the midnight fireflies. Photo courtesy ©John P. Santos, 2012, Green Bee Media

The Truth About Adult ADHD Treatment – Or, What I Learned On My Summer Vacation – Part II

In Part I, we can already see the effects of adult ADHD treatment (as listed under “Prep Positives”).

Just like the field of fireflies in the photo wouldn’t be seen in the daylight, so too were my ADHD treatment gains invisible until my recent vacation shone light on how far I’ve come.

I’m sure that being older has something to do with the dramatic change I felt this time ’round. I’m even more sure that my ADHD treatment has kicked in – big time!

Here’s a snapshot of the changes:

Zoë at the 2005 festival

I arrive at the festival grounds. The only person I know is a festival administrator who seduced me into attending with, “There’ll be lots of [hand]drummers there, Zoë!”  Sold.

(Ok, dancing around a huge bonfire was a draw too, as were the woods, the camping, the hiking, the camaraderie…  it was like Girl Guides for big girls, men and kids, what can I say?) Still, I was alone. Facing a huge gathering where I only know one other person was about as appealing to me as massaging a porcupine.

ADHD girl-gone-wild

The entire time, I ran around like a frenzied ant who’s home had been poked by a stick. I’d drag huge chunks of stuff that I couldn’t handle to and fro, not quite sure where I belonged or what I was supposed to be doing.

I arrived at workshops late or missed them completely. I approached various cliques but, feeling insecure and anxious, was too nervous to join in the conversation.

I rode a rollercoaster of  emotions: desperately lonely one moment, ecstatically connected the next. From euphorically drumming in rhythm with others, to pathetically out of sync the rest of the time.

At the drum circle, I’d hyper-focus, pushing myself beyond my limits until the wee hours of the morning. I’d pay for it the next day with sore arms, throbbing hands, and exhaustion.

I was in constant, unfocused motion for days in a row.

The exuberance of youth? Hardly. I was 46. Forty-six and hyperactive, easily distracted, and unable to resist impulsive passions that would have been better enjoyed in moderation (or in some cases, not at all).

And I was 14 months away from scoring off the scale on the Jasper/Goldberg Adult ADD Questionnaire.

Zoë at the 2012 festival

I felt calm and relaxed as my friend and I pulled into the parking lot by the administration desk. The festival had moved to a new site, so my calmness surprised me. Usually, being in unfamiliar surroundings made me uneasy and anxious.

The woman at the registration desk greeted me with a warm, friendly hug. I was shocked. We hadn’t seen each other in years. Her welcome felt like a homecoming. Where had that person who didn’t belong disappeared to?

No worries, monZoë Kessler after ADHD treatment

In spite of my fear of work withdrawal, I felt instantly immersed in the present moment, enjoying the beauty of the natural environment with its forested hillsides, clean, spring-fed river, fields of fireflies, and on-site horses. I was able to leave work and worries back home where they belonged.

I arrived at workshops relaxed and calm (even if I was a few minutes late); I took good care of myself, went to the river alone when I needed to recharge my batteries, and went back to my tent when I needed rest.

I met new friends in easy conversation, exchanged warm embraces with those whom I’d met years before (belying my former sense of self as a disconnected loser!), and was a full-fledged member of the community.

The mood swings and anxiety were gone; I no longer felt insecure or ashamed of my lack of social graces. I was at ease and fully able to be myself.

Home again, to the new me!

When I got home, I gave myself the time I needed to transition back into my work routine. Before my ADHD diagnosis, I didn’t even realize how difficult transitions were for me.

I barely recognize the anxious, frantic, insecure, moody girl I was at retreats past.

I love the new me. Or, more accurately, the me that was buried under unmanaged ADHD, waiting all along to get out and play well with others!

A gift for you

Now, I can pass this gift along to you:

I can now say with 100% certainty that your life as an adult with ADHD can get better – beyond your wildest expectations! It takes one to know one.

Good luck!


The Truth About Adult ADHD Treatment – Part I

Photo courtesy ©John P. Santos, 2012, Green Bee Media (used with permission).
fyi: my image is a bit blurry because the photo was taken at night, as the fireflies played in the fields. I had to stand still for an entire minute to create this magical image! Stand still for an entire minute?! HA! Not likely… (but I did my best). Sorry, John!

Follow ChickADD44 on Twitter