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Bill D discovered he had ADHD while in a 12-step program to overcome his alcohol addiction. It has been a long, winding road for managing both conditions, but he moves forward. Bill D. shares his struggles and victories in learning to accept his addiction and ADHD.

posted: Thursday July 18th - 2:56pm

Saying No to Shame

Stigma, Discrimination
I don't feel a social stigma when I admit I'm an alcoholic. That wasn't always the case. Admitting it to myself was probably the biggest challenge and then, for a long time in early sobriety, I squirmed, coughed and choked out the word. That's passed. I don't wear it on my sleeve or anything but in the right setting, with a person I trust, I don't...
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posted: Monday January 28th - 10:36am

Finding the Limits: My Meds' and My Own

"My biggest concern in taking medication is not that I develop an abusive reliance on the medications I'm taking but that I start to think that because I am addressing my ADD, I don't have to work my recovery program as diligently."

There are some in the recovery community who view medication for things such as ADHD or depression with skepticism. The idea, I suppose, is that it is dangerous for a drug addict or alcoholic to rely on a substance. I understand the concern. I have felt the out-of-control desire for a substance. I have done stupid, hurtful and irresponsible things in order to use. I understand...
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posted: Friday December 7th - 1:09pm

Asking the Write Questions

I like to write. It’s a fun hobby, a creative outlet, and I’ve always had hopes that I could get some fiction published. Since starting my ADD medication though, I haven’t felt as driven to write. I’m trying to determine if that’s a good thing.

Toward the end of my drinking career, I would find time — or make the time when I needed — to smoke, nip off a bottle of vodka and write in my little spiral notebooks. It was an escape. I wasn’t writing anything readable. The novel I was working on at the time was about an actively alcoholic journalist but I didn’t make the connection...
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posted: Sunday October 28th - 3:31pm

We Are Everywhere

You know when you buy a new kind of car and suddenly start seeing them everywhere you drive? Or when you become a new parent, it seems like babies are everywhere? I relate to that phenomenon in a new way lately. Actually, in two new ways. First, I’m amazed at all the people I run across in social situations who don’t drink. Who would have guessed? Before...
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posted: Thursday October 11th - 9:02am

Time for Treatment

With two years of sobriety under my belt, I'm (finally) looking at treatment options for my ADD.

I haven't written in a while. I've been distracted. Big surprise. Actually, I've been ignoring my ADD and, as you might have guessed, I found out that doesn't make it go away. Recently, though, I've met with a doctor and am discussing treatment options. I'm excited and optimistic to be moving in this direction. There are a few things that have happened that have helped get...
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posted: Wednesday May 2nd - 12:00am

Not Your Fault, Kiddo

"Coming to terms with my ADD has been eye opening. It is an amazing realization to know that it is not my personal failure that makes it hard for me to stay on task."

It's no wonder they call flash card practice "drills." To get my seven-year-old son to go through his math cards with me after dinner brings to mind other dental metaphors, most notably "like pulling teeth." But the other night I heard myself tell him something that seemed a rare display of healthy messaging and, perhaps, good parenting. I attribute it to my understanding of ADD, my...
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posted: Wednesday March 7th - 10:26am

C'Mon Feel the Noise: ADHD & Productive Static

A healthy dose of white noise actually quiets my ADHD mind, allowing it to focus on what's important. Telling a good buzz from a bad buzz hasn't always been easy, though.

I don't have time to write this blog. And if I did, I'd never get it done. It's good to know that about myself. I feel more productive with three balls in the air and a bit of drama or self-inflicted crisis in the background. The "noise" of deadlines and anxiety helps me focus, and I dare say I'm not the only ADHD adult who performs better...
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posted: Friday January 20th - 5:55am

Are You There, God? It's Me, Bill.

Meditation and prayer are a challenge for my ADHD brain.

adhd man practices yoga and mindful meditation
My wife came back from a weekend trip to Arizona with loads of goodies for the kids – t-shirts, cacti seeds, and lollipops with dead scorpions embedded in them – cool stuff. She got me a gift too, which is an answer to prayer in and of itself for a guy whose alcoholic bottom almost drove her away. It was not the manliest looking gift. It...
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posted: Thursday December 29th - 12:48pm

I Resolve Not to Resolve

New Year’s resolutions, I've always said, are nothing more than a set-up for failure. Now, after my ADHD diagnosis, I'm taking a hard look at those annual attempts and why they failed in the past.

What do I have to show for a lifetime of New Year's resolutions? A trail of abandoned best intentions -- and not much more. Whether it was quitting smoking, exercising more, or getting more organized, all of my former resolutions went by the wayside -- usually before February 1. I understand that ADHD involves a lack of sufficient blood flow to the important part of the...
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posted: Tuesday December 27th - 6:07am

What's the ADDifference?

As a teen, I used alcohol and drugs to minimize the idiosyncrasies of my ADHD brain. Now in recovery, I'm finally ready to embrace them.

You hear it in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings all the time: That story of adolescent awkwardness -- of not fitting in with family, classmates, the "in crowd." Feeling different often precedes the first fateful drink. And alcohol too often becomes the Number One escape because it alleviates that uncomfortable feeling of difference. The type of drinker who ends up in an AA meeting feels like they...
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