The Price of a Makeover

I can spend hundreds on a new suit and a new coach, but my gut tells me to invest more in myself. Can an adult with ADHD afford not to do that?
ADHD & the City | posted by Jane D.

I met Lisa A. at an unemployment group that I am paying to attend. She is a fellow victim of the current economy, who on top of that has bipolar mood disorder. She looks a bit like Bea Arthur and has the natural peace and calm of the Dalai Lama. That we hit it off as friends — her yin, the BMD, to my yang, the ADHD (adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) — isn’t surprising to me. She also has a positive disposition, and—this may sound depressing—next to her I am the sour grape.

I am shelving over $300 for five meetings in the group and another $160 an hour for a career coach. Somehow though my gut sense is that I need to invest in myself in order for things to happen. As I jokingly tell one of the roommates, it beats attending layoff camp or competing in the Unemployment Olympics. I wish I had gone and tried for a gold medal in the phone toss or cubicle demolition. Okay now I am being facetious.

What has changed since the relay race in Florida is that I feel a push to move out of the city. We ADDers are dreamers and idealists, and although the vision — an apartment by the sea — didn't seem so far off when I was in Gatorland, maybe I am just looking for an escape.

I look around at people my age and wonder how anyone does it. How people sustain relationships, get married, have children, keep jobs. Everything about my life is fleeting.

I shared this rant with Ms. Z, my new career coach. She seems to understands where I'm coming from. She said that the most important thing is learning more about myself, my likes and dislikes and how I can communicate better with others, and be assertive rather than aggressive.

She noted that the layoff in December was pretty traumatic, and that I was "unwittingly sabotaging my job search efforts." I have not yet told her about the ADHD because the career crisis was bound to happen, given that I've never spent the time accessing my career and myself.

We planned the next steps and here it is:

  1. Work on your Two-Minute Pitch. Let’s start with the basics and take it from there.

  2. Make a list of your previous freelance assignments — who it was for, what type of writing you did.

  3. Provide me with your resume.

  4. Make a list of the writing you have done on your own — what it was/is about, whether you have posted it online, are shopping for a publisher, etc.

Every feat, no matter how small or long overdue, is a step forward, right?

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