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Monday, March 31, 2014

You know you have ADHD when you...

You know you have ADHD when you...

  • Have stopped dead in your tracks and asked yourself "what was I doing" at least ten times today
  • Tell your family to be prepared for your Medication Vacation this weekend because you will not be getting out of your pajamas and will eat everything in the house
  • Catch yourself putting spinach in the plastic wrap/aluminum foil drawer.
  • Realize you just spent twenty minutes putting mascara on because... I don't even have an excuse for that one.
  • Your homework is due on Sunday at 11:59 Pm and your start at 10:45Pm
  • The teacher is teaching something but you are more worried about the guy next to you clicking his pen AND listening to another students conversation!
  • Search for your phone while you are talking to someone on it
  • Go looking for your baby while carrying him! True Story.
  • Are having a conversation with another person who had ADHD, the conversation may bob, weave and do somersaults , never staying quite on topic, but the two of you totally follow the conversation.
  • Spend 30 mins looking for something and find it in the place where it should be. Of course you never looked there because chances are you didn't put it where it "should be".
  • Lose your keys find them in the trunk of your car!
  • Have a good one to contribute but my brain is fried....maybe I will remember tomorrow
  • You go to Google and can't remember what you were going to search for.
  • ... Ooh look! A squirrel!
  • Have ADHD when you confirm a $7500 online bill payment for a $75 cable bill.
  • Can't find where you hid your magnetic spare key box on your car after locking your keys in the car.
  • Lose so many work badges, they start charging you for them
  • Don’t have a key to your house because you have lost them all and keep forgetting to change the locks or get another copy made..
  • Have ADHD when you let the dog out for a wee, close the door cuz it's frickin freezing, and wonder where the dog is and proceed to search the house for him!
  • Look for sunglasses everywhere to find them on your head...
  • Go to the dr early for a appt because you know you will get pushed to the back of the line if you are late. Go to the window to announce you are there and they tell you, "your dr appt is for next week. Not this week..." True story
  • You're constantly losing your glasses and have to get your kid who also has ADD help you look!
  • Think you have lost your phone, have the genius idea to call it from your house phone, forget your number, get phone out of your pocket, look up your number, proceed to call your phone, and sigh with relief that it's in your pocket! Not that I have done that at all....... *clears throat and looks innocent* (well, tries to!)
  • Can't find your laptop and your husband finds it under a pillow and a pile of packing paper atop a chair that no one has sat in in four months.
  • You know you have ADHD when you make an appointment with your doctor to see about getting diagnosed and you forget to go.....TWICE!
  • You know you have ADHD when you are talking to someone about something you actually care about and literally forget what you were talking about mid sentence.....
  • When someone tells you to relax, turn off the tv in dead silence and you want to blow your mind, torture for you.
  • When the professor asks you a question in class but you were already soo far gone thinking about other things your response is “what?”
  • Buy the same thing twice!
  • Have to leave your finances with a non adhd person because you forget to pay your bills
  • When you know that a 504 is not a pair of levi's jeans
  • When you are late for work every day for twenty-five years because (a) you get on the wrong color metro line, (b) you get on the turnpike going the wrong way, and/or (c) you just can't get out the door without running back inside ten times to retrieve items you forgot (e.g., lunch, files, bills to pay, wallet, shoes, etc...)
  • When you shampoo rinse then shampoo, then shampoo again because you couldn't remember if you did that step yet.
  • Thinking about 50 million things while driving, screaming to the top of your lungs screaming along with the rihanna's "pon de replay" only to realize you've turned on your street & don't remember taking the last THREE turns.
  • Do morning stretches at work and they say left arm and you do right then left leg and you do right and someone comes up to you and say ok .... We are all adults here now and you do know your L from your R . We are not in preschool anymore ok !!! To I answer her um no I forget all the time -
  • When you put papers in certain places to stay organized.... and the next day you've lost EVERYTHING and never find them again!
  • When you can listen to your ipod at work and get everything done while also sneakily being on facebook or shopping online, but can't concentrate /focus because someone on the other side of the room in your cubicle hell is whispering to someone else. And we won't even mention how you have to tie yourself to your chair when Queen's song "Somebody to Love" comes on to prevent yourself from jumping up and down yelling out a stirring rendition of it (complete with air guitar and fist pumping) in the middle of the office.
  • The only way to memorize Spanish vocabulary was to sit in front of the TV but can't remember where I put ANYTHING much less remember to charge my phone.
  • Start organizing something, then suddenly you are in facebook
  • Are driving back home, and you forgot how to get home....
  • Are cranky and starving well before dinner time but can't figure out why because you KNOW you ate last night's leftovers.....only to find them in the microwave 4 hours later. Untouched.
  • Only half listen to people because your brain is busy thinking what it is going to say next.
  • Get angry immediately then a half-hour later you don't remember what the fuss was about.
  • Know you have house chores to do and nothing seems to get done because you skip from one chore to the next chore without finishing one chore first so nothing ever gets done.
  • Skip from one website to another because you just have to look things up before you do that housework!
  • Past time to take your ADD medication and can't remember if you took it or not. Pour all the pills on the counter and start counting only to find you are 2 short. Freak out and find them in the pill case in the backpack 2 hours later.
  • Take your child to school and then once home questioning yourself if you actually dropped her in school or left her on a street somewhere! I do this almost everyday, and I know the answer.
  • Don’t want to get up out of bed to start my day I procrastinate at everything until last minute to do anything
  • Look at your watch then someone asks what the time is and you have to look again!
  • Have an appointment tomorrow, have already checked what time it is and how long it will take to get there, but I will check again before bed a couple of times, then again in the morning probably twice.
  • Have so much to do but you can't find the energy to do it. Then when u do perk up, you get overwhelmed because you can't focus on the task that need to be done.
  • Know you have something to do and plan on doing it and forget.
  • When you run in walmart for one thing...come out, and it takes longer to find your car than it did to run through the store!
  • Our Walmart is one that has the double entrance....after I check out I usually stand there with a dazed look for a few seconds trying to figure out which entrance I came into!
  • That red button on the key saver!
  • When you think you need to make an appointment with your doctor to make sure you don't have Alzheimer's.
  • Realize you could spend hours on the "you know you have ADHD game" recalling all the stupid ADHD crap you've ever pulled over the years. 
  • (Please note thehiddenillness shares opinions and thoughts from others which are solely the thoughts of the author and do not necessarily represent my own.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Find Your Strengths!

(This post contains affiliate links, thank you for supporting ouradhdstory)

There has been a lot of discussion on whether or not ADHD is a strength or a weakness. Either way I know we all have our strengths and it does not matter where they come from. It is time we start focusing more on our strengths and less on our weakness' because strengths are in each and every one of us.

My husband had to take the strengths-finder 2.0 assessment for a college course. He is one of those guys who is against any quizzes or horoscopes telling you about yourself because he feels they are so generic to be able to fit anybody but we both knew these results were his. 

He encouraged me to take it and I loved his reasoning. He wanted me to know my strengths. He felt as a couple we could be able to understand how our strengths work with and help each other. I know it sounds silly but I thought it was super romantic.

In any marriage you are going to be with someone who has strengths and weakness’ and at times we can forget to see the good and focus on the bad. When really we are never good or bad we are all just different and can help with our unique skills and talents. So this was a very good and fun date night!

We spent a lot of time talking about our strengths and how we see them in each other. We pointed out how they have helped us and made our lives better and how we can use these for our benefit moving forward. 

Before taking the assessment I saw my husbands drive to achieve and accomplish things and wished I had that drive but then I realized how my strengths help his. I found out one of my top five strengths is being futurist which is where I can paint a picture of the future that helps give others hope. Many times my husband works hard for his goals but I am there giving him hope, painting that picture of the future for him and reminding him where all his hard work and effort will take him.

I use to want to be annoyed that my husband could not empathize with how I was feeling at times but now I realize that is my strength and just because it comes easy to me does not mean it comes as easily to everyone else.

I also found out one strength I have is 'positivity' and through our lives that is something my husband loves about me. Dealing with everyday life, parenting, jobs, college can feel overwhelming but I am always there looking at the bright side and reminding him of all the good that is in our situations and trials.

I could go on and on about how this assessment helped me be more optimistic about myself and how we as a couple have learned and have grown from it but that would be taking up time from you finding your strengths. The assessment takes about 30 minutes to complete and if you buy the kindle version the code will be sent to your e-mail so you can take it right away.

After taking the assessment you will be told your top 5 strengths and a description of what they mean. You will need to buy one per person who wants to take the assessment. So for about $30 you will have a date night, improved marriage, better self esteem, and more direction for what you can do to really maximize on those strengths.

I believe in this, it helped me, and I know it can help you too!

Want the assessment without the book? Click here

ADHD Gift, Curse, or Badass Superhuman Powers

 My new friends over at Our ADHD Story got me to thinking this morning about ADHD. My most recent post was my attempt to tell my complicated story about having ADHD. I wasn’t sure where the post would end up, but my concluding sentence became “At 17 years old, I began to discover the impact of ADHD and saw it as what was WRONG with me. Now, at 38, I see it as everything that is RIGHT about me, my husband, and my child.”

     Hmm…okay. So, in a way, my conclusion even surprised me. I certainly don’t think it’s the popular point of view. Some days, my ADHD makes me want to hide in my closet and never come out. Others, I feel empowered and strong.

     Having a child with ADHD helps me to see the “gifts” that come with the diagnosis. It’s really difficult, as a mom, to see something my child has as a curse. But, believe me, I see the struggles. My child’s ADHD is so severe that it’s dangerous. I know that I am “lucky” that I don’t have it that bad.

     Let’s look at the symptoms of ADHD. According to WebMD, symptoms (for adults) include:

     “Anxiety, chronic boredom, chronic lateness and forgetfulness, depression, difficulty concentrating when reading, difficulty controlling anger, employment problems, impulsiveness, low frustration tolerance, low self-esteem, mood swings, poor organization skills, procrastination, relationship problems, substance abuse or addiction” (, 2000).

WebMD also lists the following contextual symptoms:

Adults with ADHD may have:

  • Had a history of poorer educational performance and been underachievers
  • Had more frequent school disciplinary actions
  • Had to repeat a grade
  • Dropped out of school more often
Adults with ADHD are more likely to:
  • Change employers frequently and perform poorly
  • Have less job satisfaction and fewer occupational achievements, independent of psychiatric status
  • Have a lower socioeconomic status
  • Have driving violations such as being cited for speeding, having their license suspended, and being involved in more crashes
  • Rate themselves and others as using poorer driving habits
  • Use illegal substances more frequently
  • Smoke cigarettes
  • Self-report psychological maladjustment more often
(, 2000)

Some things above, I consider to be contextual. Meaning, the judgement or benchmark set to consider the symptom a problem, pertains to our societal construct. In other words, we’re comparing ourselves with others to consider if we’re normal or not.

My ADHD becomes a gift when I am able to use it for my benefit without comparing myself to my peers. I quit using other’s behaviors and values as my measuring stick. I started to look for opportunities to partake in activities and lifestyles that allow me to set up my own framework, systems, and routines that are based on my strengths and abilities.

I quit judging myself on my ability to do things the way that others did them. Our society is all up in everyone’s business about how they accomplish things, the best way to do this or that, and HOW to achieve goals. If the focus was on the outcome only, there would be less judgement passed around and more acknowledgement of achieving a goal. Everyone wants recognition for “a job well done”, when again, that is only speaking to the “work” process it took to get there. I have spent many years beating myself up for not being able to achieve goals the traditional way. I wouldn’t allow myself to pat myself on the back for meeting a goal, because I would discount its achievement because I felt like I “cheated” because I didn’t do it the way the others would have recommended. Again, if you took all of that judgement and comparison away, an ADHDer’s method of achieving something would seem pretty badass, quite frankly.

Talk show radio host Thom Hartmann has been a long time proponent of the upside to ADHD. He says, “If a left-handed person has a job cutting origami with right-handed scissors, that doesn’t mean they have a disability; they have a context disorder,” Hartmann explains. “Short people trying to play basketball have a context disorder” (MSN Healthy Living, 2001).

Once you realize its a context disorder, and you can dismiss others insistence upon accomplishing things their way, you can start to focus on the gifts. The upside and gifts of ADHD include:

  • Enthusiasm
  • Empathy
  • High Energy
  • Quick-wittedness
  • Able to see the Big Picture
  • Natural Problem Solver
  • Creativity
  • Out-of-the-box thinking
  • Tenacious focus on passions
  • Constant stream of ideas
  • Quick solution finder
  • Multiple solution finder
  • Intuition
  • Ability to motivate others
  • Ability to inspire others                  
  •  Image Credit
     Thom Hartmann “posits that the people with ADHD may carry genetically coded abilities that once were, and may still be, necessary for human survival and that contribute richness to the culture” (MSN Healthy Living, 2001).

     Well, that sounds pretty badass to me! (Coincidentally, I think this is what my Hubby meant the other day when he said that he thinks the existence and prevalence of ADHD has something to do with evolution.)

     An article in Healthline states, “In essence, the traits associated with ADHD make for better hunters-gatherers and worse settlers” (, 2012).

     So, if we were part of a tribe in Kenya, we would be pretty darn popular. We would be able to think on our feet better than others for hunting, gathering, and protecting our tribe. However, here, in our society, after 10,000 years of structuring agriculture and society, our ADHD isn’t as valued.

     But, I’m really not willing to give up my modern conveniences for tribal living, and evolution hasn’t caught up with our societal structure. So, I do have to conform in many ways. There begins the anxiety, low self-esteem, and the self-loathing and judgement. Here, these badass ADHD traits don’t serve me in day to day living. So, what do I do?

      Medicate. I take medication to help me live this life of structure and routines. This constant pace does not suit me naturally. Vyvanse helps me to follow through and focus in a way that society accepts (, 2014). I’m able to seem more successful, and get the necessities taken care of. Otherwise, I would continue to crumble in our society because I simply do not fit in.

     One of the biggest changes I have seen from taking Vyvanse is that I am not as good of a multi-tasker as I once was. By nature, I can handle 45 things going on simultaneously. I can spin all the plates without any falling down. But, if you ask me to remember to pay a bill, wash the car, complete boring paperwork, and complete repetitive tasks, all the plates come crashing down on the floor. So, Vyvanse balances it all out a little bit. Now, I have to rely on technology to help me remember to do the “immediate” things that I used to be able to do automatically through multitasking. But, I am able to stick with projects longer and see things through, much longer than before. Now I can sit down and focus, and I have to set reminders on my smartphone to interrupt that focus to get all the little things done. In some ways, I do feel more productive in general, and better able to manage my household. However, I do have to write a lot more things down than I did before. My brain can’t seem to hold as much fluff as it used to.

     I take Seroquel for sleep (, n.d.). In 38 years, I don’t think I’ve ever slept. Now, I think its because in a previous life, I was the one who was on night watch in the tribe. My nerves seem to stand on end at night. The tiniest of noises is the equivalent of hearing a freight train go by my window. I didn’t realize how bad it was, until I started taking Seroquel. For the first time in my life, I am getting sound sleep. In our society, I MUST sleep at night to be able to complete the billion of tasks and family supervision required by our society during the day. It has been my torture for 38 years. Now that I am sleeping, my whole world has changed. I get up in the morning refreshed and am able to stay awake all day long for the first time. My body literally ached for rest prior to taking Seroquel. Now, I am much happier that I’m getting sound sleep. I sleep like a normal person. I fall asleep, and if I get woken up, I can fall right back to sleep. I’m not “out of it” either. If I must stay awake to take care of one of my children, I can. But now, I can fall right back to sleep afterwards. It’s amazing. It has changed my life. This drug is no joke as it is prescribed for those with bipolar and schizophrenia. I was hesitant to take it at first as I was taking it “off label”. I am so glad I finally listened to my doctor.

So, my medications have allowed me to be productive in our current societal constructs. But, I still have my baseline ADHD advantages and gifts. Medication helps me “evolve”, but I don’t want to completely eradicate my symptoms. I like being superhuman.

Badass Superhuman,


(Would you like to share your story or opinion on thehiddenillness? Email Laura at
(ouradhdstory shares opinions and thoughts from others which are solely the thoughts of the author and do not necessarily represent my own.Warning language inappropriate for children)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

ADHD: A Gift I Would Like to Return

Please note thehiddenillness shares opinions and thoughts from others which are solely the thoughts of the author and do not necessarily represent my own.

My thoughts on the "ADHD is a gift" theory. Feel free to debate this in the comments. 

ADHD is not a gift. The beautiful things that make you who you are...those are just your personality. A lot of people with ADHD think it is this amazing thing when really it's a parasite preventing the outside world from both understanding and seeing the real you. I know I've talked about hitting a wall before and to be honest that wall effects us socially, emotionally, and physically even. 

No one is blessed with this disorder. That's why it is a disorder in the first place. In order for the stigma surrounding ADHD to fall away and to have a society that is more aware of our struggles, people need to quit the fluffy crap. Positivity is one thing, but if someone were to tell me their ADHD is wonderful thing, I'd say they either don't have it, or they're deluded. When you surround it with all the flowers and rainbows, why would anyone give two shits whether you can clean your house or be on time?! You've just told them it gave you magical powers...why complain? Squirrels, give more credit to yourselves, not the crippling disorder.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

ADHD Poem: State of Mind

"I hope to articulate what it's like inside the mind of someone with A.D.D. through spoken word"

State of Mind
Am I black or am I white?
Is it wrong or is it right?
Do I run or do I fight?
This dichotomy, a constant part of me
from the time I was born
the war was on
step out of my mind
and I will find
saying too much not saying enough
opened but closed
I’ve revealed and exposed
too much of me
Dividing the line between yours and mine
mountain steeper wounds run deeper
excited broken hearted
frenemies, if you please
You think you know me?
Lifting the veil
that’s shrouding my sorrow
can’t my obsessions
wait til tomorrow?
letting it out holding it in
loving and hating
mending and breaking
a part of me
I don’t care I do care
my soul is bare
I’ve explaining to do
but my brain has the flu
fingers tapping knees shaking
mind quaking heart racing
brain pacing back and forth
for what it’s worth
my heart in gold
Boundaries undefined
my thoughts are entwined
words pierce the air
can’t take ‘em back
cos they’re already out there
say what I mean
what did you say?
give me a chance to push you away
being in love being in hate
don’t make me wait
you’ll never relate

Debilitating exhausting

overwhelming daunting
depressed repressed
my spirit’s undressed
square peg round hole
down the rabbit hole I go
close my eyes close my mind
Attention Deficit Disorder defined

~Keely 'Many Feathers' Sinclair

( Please note OURADHDSTORY shares opinions and thoughts from others which are solely the thoughts of the author and do not necessarily represent my own.)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

ADHD Unplugged

(This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting OURADHDSTORY!)

My friend from Home Maid Simple was asking if I have tried a "screen free day". I have been wondering what I could do to get my kids to step away from electronics. It can be a struggle some days and when I do I usually hear "I'm bored". Then I saw this awesome idea from DaleSkram that I had to make my own version of to hang up in my house:

My ADHD son is creative and fun! When I make him step away from electronics he becomes more alive and happy. At first he will fight me but then he will thank me! So I went on a search to find more toys to have in my house that let that creativity shine.

I found Wanted Bricks and now You Found The Best Construction Building Toys on The Planet!. The thing I love about Wanted Bricks is that all of my children can use them to create for any game they want. My kids can make a race track or they can make barbie furniture! They also grow with your kids and don't get outgrown as fast as most toys. 

Or if your child is more into LEGO's and you don't want to spend the money buying and hoarding each set they make I found Pley that lets you try over 1,000 LEGO sets and right now they are even doing a free trial!

If my kids are outside they love to collect things, rocks, garbage, and especially bugs! I thought this net from learning resources with Free Shipping on Orders of $30 or More! and I knew I could just see my kids wanting to go outside searching and running after bugs and then wanting to learn about what they found!

If it is cold outside my kids love to make forts with blankets but struggle to find places to connect them and keep them up but I found The EZ-FORT from - Free Shipping with coupon code: FREE Shop Now! 

I love the puppet theater especially because my kids can even make their own quality puppet at

If all else fails I know KidKraft on sale at zulily always has high quality art supplies that are sure to keep my kids having a great time! What are some toys you have found keep your kids unplugged and still having fun? 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Overwhelming Idea's

When you or your child needs to do home work...staring at that blank sheet of paper is torture.

How do you take all of these brilliant ideas and shrink them into one simple concept from one persons point of view???

It's very hard for many ADHD/adders to do.

The idea that there is suppose to be some pre structured form of thought formation, a main idea, informative and descriptive word choices to back up and explain the main idea, putting it in proper context so the reader is not mystified, AND finish with a general statement to close the idea when our thoughts are forever growing and changing and creating and going deeper into the many layers of whatever it is we are supposed to write's painstakingly hard to begin that first sentence.

It's not that we don't have a gazillion answers and's that we don't exactly know how to simplify the enormity of our thoughts and everything they are linked to into such small words on a very slow-step by step process. To so many of us, we can't understand why some questions are asked because there are so many different ways to answer them.

It's hard when you can't understand that something so basic and easy and simplified is being questioned. And then you are expected to break it down into even more basic steps.

I remember in school, when Aerial maps were included as one reference. It was like my whole world opened up! I didn't have to blindly follow a simple street view map any more. I could take whatever route I found more efficient and pleasant for me and still get to the same destination as everyone else. And I did not worry about making a wrong turn ever again.

(Please note OURADHDSTORY shares opinions and thoughts from others which are solely the thoughts of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this blog.)