Search This Blog

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Tom Nardone, My ADD Was Untreated

I had to go through this. Your kid doesn’t. By Tom Nardone First grade; art class; we had a project where we would take a piece of construction paper and write our names on it with glue. Before the glue dried, we would sprinkle glitter on it and it made this shiny glittery image of our name. Somehow mine came out better than most, and my teacher was very proud. She held it up for the whole class to see. I was proud for that brief moment. 

 A couple of days later, we had an assignment. The teacher wrote three sentences on the board and we were to copy them. I carefully copied the sentences and was about to turn in my assignment. Then I remembered how excited my art teacher was and, I really wanted Mrs. Ginn to be pleased with me. I got out my glue and my glitter, and began to write my name on my class work with my glue. I sprinkled the glitter on it and turned it in. there was no time for the glue to dry since I had to turn my work in. I turned it in and the bell rang. We got up and went to our bus

 The next day at school, Mrs. Ginn was furious. Apparently my classwork/art project idea had, caused all of the other papers to stick together in a big mess. The second I walked in she got up and said “Tommy Nardone you come with me.” I had no idea where we were going or why. We went to the janitor’s closet in the hallway and she slammed the door. She asked me if I poured glue all over the classwork assignments yesterday. Seeing that I disappointed her I began to cry as I explained that I just wanted her to be proud of me for making my name look so nice for my classwork assignment. She actually began to laugh and apologized for being mad.

 I was just as unique a kid, as I am an adult. This incident at the time seemed completely reasonable to me. I was not trying to hurt anyone or upset any one I was proud of something I did in art class and I wanted to share it with my regular teacher Mrs. Ginn. 

 I know lots of people love me today. That is perhaps due in part to the fact that I am different, and unusual. Let me tell you how the kids I went to school with felt about that. 

 Unfortunately, the glue debacle like many other incidents became a source of fuel for the class to tease me about how stupid I was. They got a lot of mileage out of that one. They had no shortage of material. They would make fun of my name, my clothes, my hair, my parents, or anything else that they believed would upset me. I seemed to be a source of entertainment for the whole class. I couldn’t for the life of me understand why for no reason, so many people took so much pleasure in making me feel bad. I had, up to that point, never been treated that way. I would have understood if the members of my T-ball team gave me a hard time. I regularly jammed the whole team up every game we played, but these people don’t even know me. I tried to get to know them but they just had no interest in talking to me unless it was in the form of ridicule. 

 The playground was the worst. I hated recess. It was the time I least looked forward to. Many of these kids wanted to fight me. They would constantly hit me in the arm or the chest. I remember asking my teacher if I could do extra work in the library in order to avoid the ridicule and the harassment I received on the playground every day. She always said “No!” I hated her for that. I stopped telling my parents about this. It seemed to hurt them too much to hear it, and I could not bear to see that. 

 I had never fought back. I did not know how to fight. I took it day after day. It got to the point where I dreaded going to school. I hated the bus ride. I never had a moments rest. I remember crying in my bed at night before I would go to school the next day. I would have rather done anything else

 One day, I struck back. This is the only good memory I have from my whole first grade experience. There was this particularly evil son-of-a-bitch in my class named Roman. I avoided him at all costs. Roman was normally the ring leader. Every time I thought I might go a full day without any drama, Roman would be sure to get some started. I viewed Roman as the source of all the things in my life that were shitty. Today would be the last day Roman would ever screw with me. Today Roman falls. 

I was in the bathroom standing at the urinal closest to the first stall. Roman came in and went to the first stall and began to pee on my shoe. I did nothing, except move my foot away from the stream.

 I thought all day about all the problems that little bastard had caused me during the entire school year, and I decided that it was OK if I get in trouble, but this little shit was going to give me my money’s worth. Near the end of the day Roman snuck out of the room to use the bathroom without asking permission. As soon as he left, I went and got permission to use the bathroom. Mrs. Ginn said “hurry the bell is about to ring” I went immediately. I was going in there and I was going to just start kicking his ass, without saying one word. But a better solution presented itself.

 As I entered the bathroom I was so scared. I couldn’t believe that I was going to do this. I began to ask myself; should I just punch him first, or should I throw him on the ground and start hitting him. I knew I would get in trouble, but that day; it was OK. I knew that Roman would probably beat the shit out of me, but if I could get one hit on him, it would be worth it. When I entered Roman was in the first stall. I saw Roman’s shoes pointing forward with his pants pulled around his ankles. He was sitting on the commode. I thought and I thought and then it came to me. I called an audible, and completely changed my plans. I would quickly reach under and steal his shoes. I thought that would be funny if he had to ride the bus home without his shoes. I also remember thinking that he owes me a pair of shoes anyway. I quietly moved into position, and just as I grabbed his shoes, the bell rang. I jerked my arms back to recover them, but I got more than I planned for. 

 The shoes were sort of connected to his pants and underwear which also came off. He started yelling. I quickly turned away and just stuffed all of it into my book bag as I left the bathroom. I walked slowly to get on my bus, so as not to draw suspicion. I sat there on the bus shaking with fear that I would get busted. I thought about police men coming onto the bus to arrest me. It seemed like an eternity until those buses started moving. I thought they have stopped the busses and are looking for me. I hid under my seat and prayed this bus would leave soon. I heard the air brake release and the bus started moving. 

 I was still scared when I got home. I got a plastic bag and put Romans clothes, sox,, and shoes into it and went to the creek about a mile from our house. I added rocks to the bag and tied it up. Then I just threw it into the deep part of the creek. The anxiety I felt vanished as soon as the bag hit the water and sunk to the bottom. 

 The next day, I felt something on the way to school I had never felt. I felt anticipation, and confidence. I realized that I no longer had to be bullied. I felt like a million bucks and for the first time ever, I couldn’t wait to get to school. 

 It was better than I could have hoped for. When we got to school, Mrs. Ginn and the principal, and Roman’s Parents were all their waiting for the class to get in and sit down. The day started out by explaining to us that Roman ended up stranded in the bathroom until 6pm that night. There were no teachers working late as there were only a few more days of school until summer break. Roman sat there on the toilet crying when a janitor heard him and called his parents. 

 His parents were in the classroom for show. His asshole father (even if only by association) was furious, and his mother was crying. I know it was wrong to feel this way but seeing that made it even sweeter. Now Romans mom got a taste of what my mom has been feeling for so long. 

Romans Mom pleaded with the class to tell them who was responsible, but no one knew a thing. She even talked about what a sweet boy her Roman was, and that he would never do anything like that to anyone. I just held my tongue. 

 I figuratively kicked his social standing, right in the nuts. Roman was in school the next day and I enjoyed the last three days of the first grade watching Roman take my place as the butt of all the jokes. I did not participate in the ridicule. That is not who I was. 

 Every year, on the first day of school, I would be so hopeful. I remember thinking “This year will be different”, but the only thing that was different about a new year, was the faces behind the piercing words that almost every boy and girl in my class had to say to me. 

 Don’t hate these kids. I don’t. These are the people who long ago began the construction process. They unknowingly began building and designing the most awesome thing the world has ever known. Today you have access to this greatness. That greatness is I, and I am Tom Nardone. I am here today to entertain you all.

 Today many, many years later I stand proud as Tom Nardone, and all the kids who ridiculed me are still a bunch of assholes.

 I WIN! 

 I am Tom Nardone, and you are welcome (See more from Tom on his blog)

Friday, May 30, 2014

Poem: My ADHD

I look in the mirror and what do I see, but 32 year old man who has ADHD

Looking back things now it all makes sense
As a kid I wasn't slow, stupid or dense
School was something I always had to work hard at
Listening to things that bored me while fidgeting this way and that
I was charismatic and charming and had lots of friends
I was crazy and funny willing to make you laugh till no end
I guess I coped with this problem not knowing in me was this problem to deal with called ADHD
As a young adult I hung out with crazy friends
We did insane things that made us wonder how we lived in the end
I realize now that it was me just coping for my ADHD
Just trying to find a rush that could satisfy me
But through all these years and the dumb things I have done
I was blind to fact that I had an issue all my own
I am 32 now and was married twice, once with a family of my own
It took me seven years of hurting to become aware of this
I have the problem it is in me
It's a threat to destroy my family this damn ADHD
Now that I know I feel relieved and scared
I have to face my issue 
To conquer this problem that has formed who I am
Some bad, some good have come to be
This person I am the ADHD me

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Superstore that Tried to Eat my Saturday

Saturday morning, almost a month after starting ADHD medication, was time for my first prescription refill. I drove to our local Meijer superstore, enjoying the warm sun and fall colors.  My wife, Chris, had stayed home with our 8 and 5 years old boys, both with ADHD. She had a long to-do list, but would spend most of her time corralling their energy. “Please don’t spend all day there,” she had implored when she handed me a list of the 3 things we needed there.
Escaped! How lucky to be away from the chaos at home.
I parked and walked into the giant warehouse. Superstore entrances are overwhelming for most of us with ADHD.
Everything in the store is potentially interesting and is calling me to come check it out!
The pharmacy was at the very back of the store, but where else did I need to stop? Chris had given me the list.  Where was it? Oddly, it was where it belonged—in my pocket.
This is a first. I can’t believe I've actually got the list with me. It’s not in the car or at home.
I headed toward the back of the store, walking past tempting displays, just as the retail designers had planned. Happily for me, this included camping gear. I love camping—even the idea of it. I looked down the camping aisle, expecting that the trip would now turn interesting, but the only thought that crossed my mind was that I already owned at least one of everything in the aisle, so didn't need to go down it.
This is different. Since when do I give myself practical advice? That’s Chris’ job, not mine.
Bewildered, I walked past the camping equipment.
No problem. Something in here will be interesting. It’s a big store.
The same thing happened in automotive, home improvement and electronics. Nothing was necessary and nothing seemed interesting.
Two minutes—not two hours—after entering the store, I stood at the pharmacy counter picking up my prescription.
Camping StoreSeveral minutes later the other items from the list were in the cart. I hadn’t bothered to browse any more aisles. My Hummer-sized shopping cart held 3 small items that collectively wouldn’t fill a lunch bag. I pulled up to the check-out counter. “Is that all?” asked the clerk.  Sheepishly, I nodded.
I checked my watch. Ten minutes.  I was leaving a superstore after ten minutes, because I was done, and the rest was  boring.
Oh, no! It’s the medicine. ADHD medication makes life boring!
My heart fell. I had truly enjoyed the improved productivity of my first month on medication, but had just realized the price I would be paying. The chatter in my active mind was quieter. Perfunctory shopping would now be efficient, but boring.
My mind was still. I felt almost a little lonely.
And then, an idea hit me so forcefully that it felt like God might have said it. Saturday morning, in the checkout line at Meijer, a life-changing realization interrupted the self-pity:
You’re in Meijer, doofus. Of course this is boring. Go home. FAMILY is interesting!
The words in my head didn't sound like Morgan Freeman, and God probably doesn't call people ‘doofus’. Maybe I added that self-deprecating slant as I archived the powerful intuition in my memory bank. But the advice was so counter to the way I had lived for forty years that it seemed like a wisdom from outside myself.
For forty years, I had wasted hours making boring tasks interesting, not because that was the best way I had found to handle boredom, but because it was the only way I had found. The antidote for 10 minutes of boring shopping no longer needed to be two hours of unnecessary project-shopping. Not when a family I loved wanted me to share Saturday with them.
As I carried my single shopping bag to the car, I looked in the direction I would be driving. Several minutes away was my home. I imagined it vibrant and full of life, and wanted to be there.
The Mason guys. Chris took this photo on the day of this story.
The Mason guys. Chris took this picture on the day of this story.
MY FAMILY is interesting! Chris is beautiful and I love being with her. The boys are energetic and creative and they need me. I’m missing their Saturday. I want to be there. I need to go home…
“I can’t believe you’re home so fast,” said Chris when I walked into the kitchen. She kissed me as if I was home from a month overseas.  (Definitely NOT boring!) “I didn't expect you home for a couple more hours.” She was happy.
Instead of wandering the sale aisles, I took Ben and Paul outside where we raked leaves into jumping piles. Medication, it turned out, helped me make more time for what was truly interesting. It didn't help me care more, but the people I loved felt like it did.
See more at Attentionality!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Overachieving ADHD

The bipolar, major depressive ADHD one... overachiever, fear of failure and no one can tell. The mask has been firmly attached for over 30 years..I'm now 47. onto my 3 rd psych who is finally digging deep enough so we can work on meds that work. I am exhausted playing the charade of normalcy...I'm an expat as well, so being in a foreign culture has its own drawbacks...Aussie, then Indonesia for 3 yrs and now Turkey for 2 so far. 

Compulsive shopper, get bored easily, don't stay in a job for more than 2 yrs cos I provide solutions but maintaining them is boring. i have been a research scientist...never submitted ½ finished PhD thesis in mineral chemistry cos i got bored), sales, recruitment then HR. now studying psychology - i believe I can make a contribution by servicing other expats in whichever country we are living in. 

Keeping it together for my daughters sake, let the mask slip slightly with my husband of 27 yrs and finally last week took it off at the psychs. my sisters are bipolar and major depressive, my mother is totally manic. have developed arrhythmia due to meds, so now experimenting to see what I can take in combination to treat all of the above and not have a attack or kill my liver, also have hypertension to throw in the mix. I am a practicing Buddhist (Vajriana - Tibetan) which is very cognitive based. hoping to one day have a normal "base line" and experience joy again!

Veronica Howes

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My Child is Not a Zombie

Ok so I knew my kiddo was different at birth. Yes birth in the delivery room to be exact. I said to my mom "We're going to have problems..." And we do. But being the parent I am I accepted this and moved forward. My son began therapy at two, homeopathic meds the same year. By age 3 he was in OT five days a week for an hour a day, and started non stimulants. We decided we weren't going to tell anyone because of the stigma around medicating children. Then we were at my parents one weekend. My dad punched me on the shoulder, we're like that, and says "See I told you there was nothing wrong with him. He'd out grow it." Then I said "He's medicated big guy. Told you meds wouldn't change him, wouldn't turn him into a "zombie." This was a pivotal moment in my parenting and my quest for my kiddo to be accepted for who he is. I no longer give a rodents rear what anyone thinks about what I do.

Undercover ADHD

I go by Melanie Dawn. Not my real name. I have to stay incognito due to my job. I was diagnosed over 10 years ago. Life has really sucked partly because I didn't do anything with the diagnosis. I became suicidal before I woke up and realized I needed help and had to face my diagnoses, which included bipolar disorder. So I'm in depth: therapy which is really hard work. I've read some books on ADHD that have been enlightning and decreased the shame. I also see a psychiatrist and am on meds. that is also very hard work because we can't get them right so far. I had been for therapy before and was diagnosed with major depressive disorder and anxiety disorder. I think that those doctors did not believe in ADHD. I live in a state where our mental health practice is graded very low on the NAMI scale. So it is hard to get proper care here and you have to do a lot yourself.

Monday, May 26, 2014

ODDly ADDing

Hi there! I'm Maribel I was diagnosed with ADHD as an adult shortly after my son was diagnosed at the age of 7. I do not currently take meds, because I've always been a bit of an OCD high achiever type with lots of energy and an ability to hyperfocus, so I've created a lot of coping techniques without even knowing it! However, the diagnosis does explain my brain's constant chatter and the fact that I only have two speeds, on or off. It has always been weird trying to figure out how I can be "so amazing" one minute and "falling apart" the next and I always thought it was because I was "moody" as my mom put it. I have no sense of direction and get lost going to the same place just because I'll be on autopilot and miss a turn. I can have the productivity of 10 people for a season, then I'll procrastinate for months over a simple email. Ironically, I found out about ADHD because my son was exhibiting symptoms of ODD. It was only in researching Oppositional Defiance (my boy is textbook ODD) that I considered that he was unable (not just unwilling) to have impulse control. I wrote more about my adventures on my blog: 
Typical, for an ADHDer, I dabble in a lot of things. After 9 years at home with my 3 kids, I'm back to work as a Project Manager for my local library system. I am also a grassroots activist and Operations Director for a non-profit organization called Start School Later, Inc. Having the diagnosis of ADHD allows me to accept myself for what I am, understand and work with my quirks instead of trying to suppress them and live an even happier life

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Adult ADD

Hello all! I am ecstatic to find this group! I am a 34 yr old wife and mother to a very energetic, curious, silly 6 yr old boy. His kindergarten teacher had major concerns with his ability to stay focused on the task at hand and complete his work. I started looking into signs of ADHD, just because there are so many other things he has that led me in that direction. Thankfully, his pediatrician is leaning more toward normal 6 yr old boy.

 However, in the process of researching, low and behold I stumble across the sentence that has changed everything. Many parents discover they have ADD when their kids get diagnosed. So I started looking into adult ADD. My jaw hit the floor! For 34 years, I have struggled with so many issues, and just thought it was me. Most people don't want to be labeled with a disorder. I felt like laughing. THis huge weight had been lifted off my chest. It's such a relief to know that I am not the only one who struggles! I was only diagnosed a couple months ago, and we are still trying to tweak my meds. But knowing is half the battle.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Dear Matt Walsh

To Matt Walsh and readers attacking ADHD parents,

My son is 5 and medicated . I'm just the worst mom, let's forget about all his improvements , forget about him moving from counting til two til now sixty . Forget that he now writes his name and recognizes numbers and letters . Let's forget that he was supposed to be held back in pre k for another year but in 3 months got to a level of where he is ready for kindergarten (yay) . Let's forget about him waking up asking for his chill out pill as he hates how crazy his day is without it. Let's forget about him coming with tears rolling down his face screaming with his voice so full of pain, repeating " I just want it to stop, I want my brain to stop , I just want to sit , why can't I sit still , I hate my brain, I hate my brain".
Let's forget the smile I see on his face all day everyday now because he is so proud of himself , he is so proud of learning , so proud of being in Control of himself .

But because if his age we will forget all this , we will say boys will be boys . And we will say I am a lazy parent . We will say this so people that do not deal with what I and my child deals with everyday can pretend that they know how our day is, so they can pretend to even have the slightest clue of how it is to have a child that can not even function during the da . That after 3 years of numbers and letters everyday still did not know one single one . Let's pretend that they know how it is to have ur 4 year old at the time only able to count til 2 even tho every day you count with him . Let's pretend they know how it is. Let's pretend they know what's best for my child. Let's pretend I'm a bad , lazy mom, all so they can feel good about their judgmental ,know it all mindset.

 A caring and present parent!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Derailed ADHD

      Thanks for having me here. I'm 45 years old, live in the Mid-Atlantic, and have had a really full, amazing life so far...given that I've been living with ADHD and didn't know it until a year ago. Well, I knew there was always something "wrong" with me, but I'd learned to work with the tools I had. About 4 years ago, I quit smoking (I'd been smoking for almost 30 years - yes, I was 12 when I started), and all of the mental illness I'd been self-medicating completely derailed my life. I began trying anti-depressants, one of which caused crippling panic attacks. I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression, but I couldn't function on any of the old stand-by drugs. So, I began a regime of therapy, St. John's Wort, and breathing exercises and progressive relaxation, yoga, and exercise. 

     After about six months of therapy, my therapist suggested that I research ADHD. Suddenly, my life made sense. I decided not to seek an immediate diagnosis because I didn't want to go through the pill nightmare again. I read as much as I could, listened to as many podcasts as I could, and started to try to implement even more coping mechanisms than I'd already developed. It worked, for the most part, but when my youngest daughter (she's 8) started to exhibit the things I'd done when I was her age, I started to feel like I needed to get as much control over my brain as possible, so I could give her the best help. We are very much alike, both Type A gals, and in the morning, there wasn't enough room in the house for both of our attitudes. 

     So, I decided to get diagnosed and then medicated. The diagnosis came last year, and I tried Focus Factor first, which did nothing for my focus, but helped a lot with the depression, strangely. I also started a more aggressive exercise plan, becoming a runner and scheduling some kind of workout 6 days a week. This January, I started Strattera, which wasn't hateful, but I just wasn't getting the bang for my buck that I was looking for. Yesterday, I started Focalin. I work full-time as the clerk at a manufacturing facility that makes concrete pipe. It's a perfect job for me.

     I grew up as an army brat, I did a little time in the army myself, and I was married to a soldier for about 10 years. I'm re-married, have several adult children, and the second-grader I mentioned, two dogs, two cats, I'm a musician, a runner, and I drink a lot of coffee. I have a great (inappropriate?) sense of humor. I've lived in a few different states, Germany twice. I love nature, as long as I have insect repellent and I don't have to sleep or eat out there.

Kathi Yocum 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

ADHD Despite Perfect Grades

I knew there was something unique about me and so did many others around me. My brother and cousins who are all now engineers doctors did outstanding in school, and I was just okay. I had so much energy from the time I was a little girl, and really never could focus. From the time I was eight years old I have been addicted to distance running. For me it always has been and still is about releasing stress. As a result of my work ethic and the environment I grew up in and my family in general I got by in school up until what should have been my junior year of undergrad. I was about to fail a course, panicked, didn't know what to do finally got diagnosed and have been a straight A student ever sense. At the time I thought I wouldn't graduate. I couldn't eat, sleep, or have a normal conversation without crying. In my family its not okay to fail and I was so scared because I honestly believe that I did everything I could. Since then I have been flawless in school. I thank god no one diagnosed me younger! As hard as school was for me, I would not be the student or person I am today if I didn't struggle back then. Despite perfect grades. I haven't been perfect since I have been diagnosed. One issue will always stand out in my mind, I was student teaching in undergrad, and pulled from my placement. In my defense my ADHD was accommodated for even though I followed the right procedure. There is nothing in the world anyone can say that makes me believe I deserved what happened to me. I wasn't accommodated and that's not legal. I did react the way I could have after, and thus that was a black mark against me for a few years afterwards. I KNOW ADHD is misunderstood and that is something that will always bother me. So I really appreciate things like Our ADHD Story, because it helps create awareness of us (people with ADHD).
As I sit here, I have a masters degree and am starting a forensic psychology program in the fall. I want to dedicate my life to people who are unique, made a bad choice, and didn't have the advantages I had growing up. Specifically I want to work with young offenders to rehabilitate them. This spring when I got my masters degree saw my 4.0 GPA, I cried like a baby, all my academic struggles growing up were worth it. Even though I have a ways to go, I finally feel like I can do anything, I really am smart enough. The path my different for us with ADHD, compared to others, but we are equally capable, that's a lesson that took me a long time to learn. Earlier this year, I was reading one of my recommendation letters for the forensic psychology program, and my professor (who has an MD) said that I had the intelligence level needed to go to medical school. Now, I'll never do that, but the point is, me, the kid that was always behind is smart enough to go to medical school. People with ADHD are different and it takes us time to figure out how our brains best retain information. Once we do, I really believe that ADHD is an asset and not in any way a disability.

Melissa Walden

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

ADHD and Eating Disorder

  I find it hard to reveal everything at once just because there is still that trust issue. I know that it's something that I have to contend with but it's an everyday battle. 5 years ago this summer I was put into respite for a number of reasons. I had completely stopped eating, and when I did eat I would purge everything soon after. It didn't matter where I was. I did it in a restaurant bathroom, at a rest stop while driving to visit my in laws, in the kitchen trash can which I quickly rushed out to the dump.

When I was at my lowest I did something that I'll never forgive myself for. I was driving and on my way to my daughter's soccer game. I decided that I would binge and go by Whaterburger and get one of their juicy burgers. And just as I finished it I pulled up to the soccer field parking lot. Feeling full and wanting to purge everything I had just eaten I grabbed the only thing I had. I grabbed a rubber glove that I had previously used to clean the inside of the car and made that my vessel. So there I was, walking across the field while holding this nasty glove in my hand with all of the badness in it. And wouldn't you know it. My daughter runs right up to me to give me a hug. As I hugged her I did everything I could to hide the glove but there was just no way that was going to happen. When she asked me what it was, I lied and told her that it was trash that I had picked up from the bottom of the car and she looked at me with such disbelief in her eyes. That was my turning point. I had lied to my daughter and I never lied to her.

   So I left the game early to come home and talk with my husband. I also called my father and asked him to come over because I knew I was going to need his help. As my husband and father were sitting in the living room, I sat on the floor crying and I just continually said over and over, "I can't do this anymore". I am 5' 6" and at that time was only 92 lbs. Just didn't look healthy. So I packed a bag, gave my husband the longest hug I have ever given him and kissed both children. I then took my father's hand as he led me to his car and before I knew it we were at respite care. Boy was that a wake up call. I stayed in respite for 11 days of hell and then was released because my insurance would not cover anymore of my stay. I did however opt to go to the out patient program which was every weekday, morning to night, then I would travel home for bed. And the next day start it all over again. I did this for a total of 3 months. Truly not the way I wanted to spend my summer.

    But it's been 5 years and I see myself as a totally different person than I did back then. I actually like this me I see in the mirror. Surely I could use a few lbs and tone up here and there but all in all, I'm just not that bad. For an old lady, as my son says. And I now choose to look at my life as what positive things can I do today instead of what about all those terrible things that happened to me then. I've lived in the past before and frankly, it just isn't fun. So I will laugh out loud hysterically and probably so loud it will embarrass Thomas, I will get in my SUV, open the sun roof and sing at the top of my lungs to many songs I don't even know (but I'll make up some words that fit, you can bet on that). And I will pick my son up at school everyday at 3:35 pm and race to Sonic so that we can get the Happy Hour priced slushies. Things do get better, life is good, love is plenty and some angel is watching over me. And for that, I thank her.

    For a very long time I have hidden behind my illnesses and addictions. I was told that it was those things that made me the bad person I was and that I was getting what I deserved. For a very long time I believed that every stigma said about the mental illnesses I had been diagnosed with rested solely on my shoulders. I was told to hide my illnesses because they were shameful. But I won't do that anymore. If I tell my story, I want to tell all of it leaving nothing "tainted" out. Because really, if you take those things out, you don't really have the real story. It wouldn't be MY story. Does that make any sense?

     Shaming is an awful thing and my family did a lot of that because of my eating disorders and mental illnesses. I was told that things needed to be kept hush-hush. But that was just so my parents could continue to keep up with the Jones' and one upping everyone. They feel that if I don't keep quiet then there is a possibility of their glass house could get damaged. But that's no longer my problem. I choose to be protected and live in the brick house of my own. And just leave the others where they are.

That made me smile. I have been thinking a lot over the last few days about "my story". What are the good parts and what are the bad. And then I realized that it's not good and it's not bad. It just is what it is. My reasoning for coming out about my eating disorder is it's been 5 years since my hospitalization and I've been reading my journal from the time when I was in treatment. Many things resonated with me that I still see in myself, but some of the other things I just didn't recognize. If I were to see that person on the street, I wouldn't know who she was. And I don't think I would want to know her. There were some very destructive behaviors that came with interacting with her. And I didn't like that. So I took a part of the AA Fourth Step and decided to write this portion of my story. And this was the result. Now in reality, when you write your Fourth Step you are supposed to show it to your sponsor (which I guess that would be you guys) and then burn the story. That signifies that that portion of your life that you had to admit, apologize and ask forgiveness for is in the past and no longer a part of you. So this is the virtual burning of the story. And I will apologize NO MORE!!!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Restless legs or ADHD?

This is my first time on an airplane. I am nervous but really excited for something new and different. The first plane fly's for an hour and I meet someone on the airplane and we talk the whole way. Then the layover and I am not prepared for what comes next because next is the airplane that will take me 4 hours until I reach my destination. I am alone this time and no friendly face to talk to.

4 hours may seem like no big deal but when I sit there the quiet takes over and I realize I have to stay in one place for 4 hours, not just any place but a very quiet and boring place in the same seat looking at the same seat in front of me.  

My feet have been antsy before but nothing like what I am about to experience. I want to move so badly it hurts and honestly my whole body is fighting me to stay in that chair. I literally want to scream. Maybe I am having a panic attack ,I am not sure but I am very stressed out. I can’t read my book, I can’t daydream, I can’t take myself out of this chair. All I can think about it being stuck and not being able to go anywhere.

I HAVE to move and so I go to the bathroom the first chance I get. I take my time and breath deeply to try and calm myself.

When I told my doctor I think I have ADD I made sure he knew it was not ADHD only ADD because I am not hyperactive. I guess I felt better about myself feeling like I had some control and was not as bad as I could be. A hyperactive adult? What does that even look like?

Then one day I told my doctor my little secrets that when I can’t escape with my daydreams I have learned ways to cope with being hyperactive. For example I count on my fingers tapping them in rhythm and saying “2,4,5” in my head. I open and close lip gloss in my pocket, or I tap my feet to a certain sequence.

I struggle at movie theaters I end up walking around outside needing a drink, bathroom, refill… even to the point where I went and sat in my car. It can be worse when I am tired and have no more patience left to give. I want to move or go to sleep and my legs make me want to scream until I give them one or the other. Long car rides can feel excruciating.

Before my diagnosis I wondered if it was restless legs but I honestly look back now and I see it as my ADHD. Yes me a 27 year old woman has Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder.

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Dreamer

I'm 34, married to the love of my life, mother of 2, a boy and a girl. I was diagnosed at age 7, then again confirmed at age 11. I didn't know the name of my disorder until I was in 6th grade (age 11) and wondered why I had so much more trouble with what was really easy school work as far as turning it in and paying attention in class. I've always been a huge daydreamer! 

Being a SAHM is a dream and a nightmare at the same time. No structure and attempting to create any for me and my kids is a challenge every day. I have a somewhat set routine, but nothing too rigid (who wants to be like that?). I do manage to keep a reasonably clean home and at least 2-3 chores are completed daily. I love to paint, draw and be creative. I'm married to a guy who loves me exactly for me and graciously accepts my shortcomings that come with ADHD. He rocks, really. 

Find more at The House of Lynn

Thursday, May 15, 2014

My way: ADHD Poem

The mind is on creation.
The train is leaving station.
been through this situation.
But maybe another day.

100 dreams have vanished.
hype within has banished.
reality coated and polished.
Just another stack of hay.

kingdom under attack.
Been pushed to the back.
A peek between a crack.
Waiting aside the bay.

Leave me to myself.
Your views are of no help.
I know what you're gonna tell.
Let me move towards the ray.
I have to find my own way.
I have something to say.
No point of more dismay.
It's gonna be okay.

Hey hey heyyyyyyyy. Move aside or come beside me.
Heyy. I might fall of the nest. But not without the best.

I have to find my own way.
Can't just make it go away.
I have to find my way.
To touch the peak someday.

Arnav Kedia

Monday, May 12, 2014

ADHD is Highly Treatable

I always have an internal debate going on. I like to mull things over. I learned a lot about myself recovering from a serious mental illness. I used to live in a near constant state of paranoia and psychosis. It took an arrest and the threat of losing my then young son and daughter to accept proper treatment.

I think sometimes people on support groups I have belonged do not encourage people to improve themselves but actually validate unproductive behavior with misplace sympathy. 

I fight impulsive behavior. I have to take steps to make sure I do not behave impulsively. I cheated in my first marriage. I was a serial cheater and got caught. I ruined three marriages in the process.
I had a conversation with my first wife at the time in which I blamed my mistakes mental illness and ADD. 

She she responded with two good points, first she said, "does that mean I should hurt less" and the second was, "why was I not important enough for you to accept treatment".

I believe strongly that if we know that ADD/ADHD affects us cognitively.It affects our memory and/or can make act impulsively. If we do not take steps to correct this then we should expect to make mistakes. Unfortunately these mistakes will in all likelihood not just affect us they could affect other people. 

ADD/ADHD is considered highly treatable and there are many strategies to combat it. If you do not embrace them do you deserve empathy when you hurt other people? Just a thought

(Our ADHD Story shares views from other's and do not necessarily represent our own)

Saturday, May 10, 2014

A new view on Mother's Day

     I don't usually enjoy mother's day and it is not on my list of favorite holidays. Maybe because women are not used to being spoiled and taken care of, maybe because I am not use to just sitting back and waiting for the holiday to occur without any plans or obligations coming from myself. Or maybe because it seems I focus on how hard I work, all I sacrifice, and all the hard stuff.

     Being a mother is hard work, I know that, but it is also one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. I use to go into mother's day with the idea that I should be thanked and I should be rewarded for all of my hard work and sacrifice. Not anymore. This year I made a choice to celebrate being a mom. To celebrate that I have the privilege to be a mother to my six beautiful children.  

     This attitude has really changed everything for me. I think this is what mother's day should really be about remembering the gift that it is to be a mother. I had a friend who told me she would buy each of her children something on mother's day because it was because of them she was able to be a mother. I loved the idea of seeing mother's day in that light. I gave a lot of thought to what I could buy my children to express how grateful I am to be their mom. Nothing really ever felt like it gave the right message that I wanted to send.

     Then the idea came to me that what I could give them was better than something wrapped, it was my time, my time not dedicated to cleaning, cooking, or all the other much needed but mundane tasks us mothers do but instead my time just having fun and being with them. Laughing more, and enjoying them more. 

     This year I decided to take them bowling which is something I love but hardly ever get to do. One day they would never remember a little toy I bought them but I like to think they will say "Hey mom remember when we went bowling and you kicked dad's butt?" and we can laugh about our good memories together. 

     On mother's day instead of thinking about all I clean and sacrifice for my children I am going to remember all the beauty and richness they give to my life.

Friday, May 9, 2014

ADHD Brain Breaks

Most of you all know I have three boys that I homeschool. My oldest is diagnosed with Aspergers and extreme ADHD.   My middle son was diagnosed with PDDNOS but recently they reduced that to ADHD and sensory. My youngest is not diagnosed. Needless to say, one reason we homeschool is so that we can incorporate a lot of breaks and fit our homeschool needs to meet theirs.

Have you ever had those days when you’re trying to school your children and they get that glazed-over look?  You can tell that their focus is elsewhere.  They may be looking at you and sitting still, but they for sure are not hearing anything you say!

As we began the process of getting our oldest evaluated, I learned about Sensory issues.  I had never heard about Sensory problems before.  During the process of educating myself on sensory issues, ADHD and aspergers, I learned about movement and how it really helped kiddos like mine.  However, finding what really worked and how to implement it was a whole different story. I was really short on time and coming up with my own sensory diet was hard and a lot of work.  We plugged along and as time has continued on, my oldest and my middle have improved.  Yet, there are times when I know they are off in a land of their own during school time. So I began to research again.  It was around this time that I heard about The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks.

What is the Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks?

Brain Breaks are intentional movement activities that work to wake up the brain.  This stimulates the brain, causing it to focus and pay attention again. Its like giving the brain a reboot (pg 4 of The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks).

Why does movement matter?

Our society is set up so that kids are encouraged and required to spend large chunks of their days sitting in chairs.  We want them to sit still, pay attention, and learn (pg 5 of The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks).

Movement helps the two hemispheres of the brain work together. This, in turn, MAKES LEARNING EASIER! (pg 7 of The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks).

There is so much in this book. Heather really goes into the science of why movement is so important, yet she keeps it easy for any person to understand.  She also keeps it brief enough that even us busy moms can read it and learn to apply it:).  She also goes over the  activities so that you know exactly what to have your child do and how to do it. One thing I LOVE about this book is that most of the activities require no supplies at all! You know how it is, you’re all set to start an activity only to learn you can’t because you have none of the supplies you need!!! I loved how I could read through this book and immediately begin to implement the strategies.

If you have a child that has ANY of the following happen when sitting for very long, check out this wonderful resource:

1.  Eyes glaze over and they won’t focus
2.  Their mouth hangs open
3.  They start to get disruptive
4.  They start to get over-emotional
5. They ask questions that have nothing to do with the task at hand.
6.  They stare out the window
7.  They become listless-taking FOREVER to accomplish a task.
8.  They fidget constantly but without making headway.

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks

One other thing I wanted to add, this resource is not just for kids who are homeschooled. It is also a wonderful addition for teachers in school, church, or anywhere else where sitting is required!


Laura from raisingsoldiers4christ

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

What can you cut out?

I was having a very stressful day and was feeling overwhelmed by all that I had scheduled for me to do. My husband asked me “Is there anything we can cut out?” and I said quickly “No, everything I am doing I have to do.” but then the more I thought about it the more I realized that is not true. Yes all the things I do seem like good things to do but there are actually things I don’t have to do. I just have been telling myself I should be doing them (see Stop Shoulding on yourself!) so I thought about it like I would with finances. Small things add up and every little thing you can cut out will make a big difference when put together.

  • I don’t sort my utensils anymore .
  • I don’t fold my kids pants and pajamas when I put them in their drawer.
  • I am no longer going to parent help while I have 3 kids at home. There really is a time and place for everything and who knows maybe I will never get to that place.
  • My kids don’t need to be in every activity.
  • I don’t have to have play dates every week.
  • I don’t have to make every holiday 10 times harder than it needs to me, St. Patrick's day my kids wear green and that is it.
  • I use paper plates/cups more than I use glass.
  • I don’t have to give my kids a bath every night and most nights they don’t change into pajamas.
  • I can let my kids get themselves dressed even if they don’t match
  • I don't have to have a bedroom for each child.
  • My kids don't have to have every toy ever made. Therefor I don't have to clean up every toy that was ever made.
  • I don’t have to be perfect.

What can you cut out?I promise there is something and you don’t have to feel guilty for it!