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More Than ADHD: The Bigger Picture

rusty cart photoThe past year of my life has been especially rickety. I’ve been coasting through one moody spell to another in a boat with no rudder. Each shift in mood is like a massive wave that shoves me in another direction. Change is an addiction. New clothes transform me into a powerful career woman from a seasoned backwoods gal who tends poultry deep in the woods. Some days I’ll do the dishes in heels and a cocktail dress and other days I’ll stay in a frumpy nightgown half the day.

Sometimes I find myself uninterested in the qualms of daily life. I sit at my computer trying to work as I’m climbed like Everest by my toddler. He will use my elbow as a foothold and my hair as is rope as he reaches my shoulders and squeals with triumph. On these days I just let him climb.

When I’m feeling excited I’ll take on more work than I can deal with later. When I’m feeling down I’ll drop everything and loathe in self hate. I’ve ran from my problems and recreated myself time and time again over the years. This is hard on my sense of self and even harder on my children. I know this reaches beyond the simplicity of ADHD and have recently sought the support of those close to me to get the right help for this strange brew of problems.

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I wonder if I’ll ever feel stable and happy for more than a month at a time. I worry a lot and agonize over work, home life, money and short term needs. I have a hard time waiting for anything or setting long terms goals. I like to set goals but know I can’t usually keep them. I’ll create elaborate goals for gardening, cooking, organizing, education and holiday gatherings then change them all at the last minute.
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Life is a vivid beautiful masterpiece one day and dreaded chore the next. Things that seem to be solid, taken for granted and secure become untethered and unravel causing me to run and withdraw. Am I lost? Do I belong here? Maybe I’d be better someplace else where no one knows me and I can be who I want to be—whoever that is.

Life is a strange and confusing place and for most of it I’d done very well to hide it from others around me. I didn’t let on that I was in turmoil and would sabotage relationships to keep from being called out on my oddities. I figured I was different—artistic types usually are. I didn’t fear pain or change and if anything welcomed it.

Now I realize how wrong it was to hide my problems from others and what it has done to those around me. I didn’t want to accept them myself or be labeled as “soft in the head” or “off my rocker” or “having a screw loose”. My own parents no longer trust me who were the first to bring me to a counselor in my early teens. I have a long way to go and it will be a bumpy road to getting better.

More Than ADHD: The Bigger Picture

Amanda Emerson-Pelletier

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APA Reference
Emerson-Pelletier, A. (2016). More Than ADHD: The Bigger Picture. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 19, 2019, from


Last updated: 15 Dec 2016
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 15 Dec 2016
Published on All rights reserved.