Amidst Uncertainty

Getting through an ADD day is like walking a tightrope. Wound up, tense, fearful.
ADHD & the City | posted by Jane D.
Jane D.

How much of the darkness is imagined, and how much is real? I met the new shrink, the Buddhaman’s replacement. Thank heavens she is a woman, because, lately, the dating escapades have turned south, and I've lost hope (or amusement) with the litany of "Y chromosomers."

Looking back at the past year, I can see that the two men I gave my heart to clearly weren't emotionally available. A friend kindly calls them "social retards," and I think it is much simpler than that: It takes two to tango. If an ADDer meets a social retard who just isn't all that into you and the two date, what do you get? A World War III of broken hearts.

I am perennially late, and the socially retarded guys are uncommunicative and rigid. My impulsiveness, impatience, or overexuberance must drive these super-planners insane. I try to see it from their shoes, but somehow it doesn't work. Both of these men, as of this week, have fizzled from my life.

On the bright and sunny side, I found a new shrink. To be honest, the Buddhaman left me thinking that all shrinks chat on cell phones or nod off while you spill your guts out to them. Needless to say, I was weary going into the next patient-shrink relationship.

The replacement shrink, Dr. M, is cool, her voice steady, and without a sign of insanity in her. I was surprised at the silence in her office, no buzzing fax machines or ringing phones. She held a clipboard and jotted notes, her expression attentive. I felt like I could trust her; she would not nod off and I would not feel pressure to entertain and embellish.

I told her about the frequent moves, the boredom, and the inner turmoil eating away at me. Getting through a day was like walking a tightrope. I was wound up, tense, fearful of always making a mistake of tripping. I said that, after more than a year of working with the Buddhaman, I lived an existence of apologies and guilt. It was overcommitments and a litany of “I am sorrys.”

I can forgive again and again, but most people who don't understand the mishaps of ADDers can't. I waited for her to say something, to indicate, "It's OK, I'll help you." But she only jotted and sat as still as a sphinx. As I wrote out the co-pay, I couldn't take it anymore.

I asked, "Dr. M, so do you think there is hope for me, because I've talked with friends and they think it's hopeless." The mysterious friends are the voices inside me. I need reassurance; I need someone to tell me, “Hey things will be OK.” Right now, it means frequent calls to the stepmother, the sister, the friends who are just as confused as me—but hopefully one day I think I will be able to fly on my own.

Outside, the weather is a dreary gray, the sky heavy with what looks like rain. Tomorrow, I'm set to once again swim in the open water, most likely the last race of the season.

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