So, I have ADHD. That is completely and blatantly obvious to everyone. Myself included. However, mine has yet to be confirmed by the medical profession.
But Fliss, you are a firm proponent of getting help and support. You’ve fought like a tiger to get #1 Son diagnosed and supported. Why won’t you do this for yourself?
And that is a very good question.
Especially as several persons in my close circle have recently been both diagnosed and put on the relevant medications.
Well, I have a few reasons. They are mostly practical in nature. I’m already on multiple medications:
- Estrogen – HRT (to deal with my hysterectomy).
- Amlodipine/Valsartan – Blood Pressure (so I don’t stroke out and die).
- Pantoprazole – a seriously high dose GI med (it has healed some esophageal damage and seems to be dealing with some of my endometriosis related issues).
- Fluconazole – I’ve been having issues with recurrent yeast infections since a misdiagnosed infection so I’m on a standing prescription for the rest of the year.
I also take a number of supplements to try and deal with other issues. I basically rattle. So the idea of adding more medications to the rotation doesn’t exactly fill me with joy.
In addition, I live in the USA. So I rely heavily on the insurance gods – and they have a tendency to either refuse to cover treatment, or to decide (with zero medical knowledge) that you don’t need the dosage level that your actual doctor prescribed for you. My pantoprazole costs circa $200 a month with insurance! So, I’d really rather not be in the position of getting reliant on a medication that could be yanked out from under me at any moment because someone who ‘doesn’t believe in ADHD’ doesn’t feel like I deserve my medication.
I might change my mind in one of two situations.
- When I have to come off of HRT – menopause really makes ADHD symptoms worse.
- If/when I go “back to work” as I know from bitter experience that I do not cope well with an office environment, but there’s no way I’m going back into the work system in a customer service role.
And certainly not while the pandemic rages on – essential workers have been shafted on both sides of the Atlantic – and I can’t do that.
I’ve developed coping mechanisms that work. Now, admittedly, quite a large number of them have either been newly developed or refined since the pandemic started, but realizing why I’m not ‘normal’ and how my specific neurodivergence works has enabled me to work with my brain, instead of constantly fighting it.
That doesn’t mean I’m cured. Far from it. I never will be. This is permanent. But now I understand.
- Why I listen to the same songs/audiobooks over and over again.
- Why I space out.
- Why I ‘squirrel’ even while spaced out.
- Why I get so uncomfortable if I get interrupted (by anything) whilst I am mid task.
- Why I can be happily enjoying a TV show/series/video game one day and then the next just think “nope, I just don’t want to watch/play this ever again”.
- Why I obsess and why I hyper-fixate on things.
- Why I hate change, and need routines.
- Why I never ever stop talking, especially if I’m hyper-fixated on the subject.
- Why I speak so fucking fast – especially if I’m excited – it’s my superpower bitches!
I’ve learned about dopamine – and the fact my brain doesn’t make it. So it finds it elsewhere. But that the supplies of dopamine can suddenly just… stop. And will they come back? Who knows. Which can often be more than a little distressing.
And perhaps most importantly? I’ve learned about executive dysfunction – and how mine works. There are days, sometimes over a week, when I cannot do ‘stuff’. That fortunately is nowhere near as common as it once was – and it usually coincides with a depression or anxiety flare up.
Why am I writing this? Because today has been a bad one. It took me over 30 minutes to decide to complete the getting of the dressed. Then a further 30 minutes to actually do it.
Then I was attempting to do my usual housework. I have discovered that if I leave the dishwasher ‘for the morning’, it’s the worst thing I can do for myself. Because if I walk into the kitchen and see that? It just kills me mentally for the rest of the day. I can’t. So last night I filled and ran the dishwasher, so I just had to empty it. But I also needed to start my cleaning. And that? That took over two hours to complete. Not because the rooms were dirty, but because I just couldn’t even. Mopping each room only takes five minutes, but I had to prepare the relevant things… and I just couldn’t.
So today? A bad day. But I managed to clean my kitchen and my dining room, which are the two highest traffic rooms in the house. So, I managed to get shit done today. But that’s it now. I’m not fighting my brain anymore. Laundry day is tomorrow, so I’m not going to quibble over that today.
And that’s another bugbear. I hate laundry. And I’ve had to change laundry day due to outside factors. It used to be Monday, now it’s mostly Wednesdays. Did you know that children keep growing? Now I no longer have one whites/lights and one darks/colors load a week. Nope, now both kids are big enough that it’s a minimum of three loads a week. Also, because of cloth masks, I’m also laundering all the towels every week. I used to be able to get away with it every week and a half to two weeks because our machine is ludicrously oversized! Not anymore, nope. Sigh.
So now I’m going to veg on the sofa with my heated froggy slippers, a drink and a streaming service – IF my brain will let me focus on any one thing this afternoon.