ADHD and the Fear Factor

Each and every day, I am in constant fear that these symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder will cost me my job. It's happened before.
ADHD & the City | posted by Jane D.
Jane D.

The symptoms of adult ADHD are back again, fighting the clock, being late. Last night the two roommates and I drank wine and made a toast to the belated birthday of the one who just turned 30. Thirty sounds so young now. I can say this as I inch towards 35.

I recall a passage in Peggy Noonan’s book, What I Saw at the Revolution, where she wrote about experiencing "poorism" in her childhood. One example is this: For a child, homemade popsicles frozen from Hawaiian Punch may sound delicious and fun, but really it’s the romanticizing of it, thanks to the creativity of a parent or guardian. I see this in this new chapter of my life with these two roommates.

Some things don't change though, like the challenges in getting to work on time—despite having much of the morning to myself. Today for instance I ended up winging it with a cabbie, only he took a wrong turn and we landed in traffic. I sweated bullets as we waited. Then, with three minutes remaining, I called the boss and told him I would be late. There was a sigh. Now he'd have to get in the pool with the kids, and start the class for me, he said, his voice lined with annoyance.

What is wrong with me? If I trick myself and set a false time, would I be able to make it? Probably not. In the back of my mind I always fear getting pink-slipped or reprimanded. I've almost become used to it. I was lucky in that the kids had a great time this morning, and simply loved to play. The four-year-olds can always make my day with their smiles and laughter.

The boss and I then chatted for a while about his upcoming trip away. I will run the pool for a week on my own, and the feeling is both frightening and liberating. I vow that I will be on time—something seemingly small but huge in the ADD world.

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