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Frank's an ex-TV writer, now sandwich-generation ADHD homemaker with a wife, two kids, a dog, and an eighty-something mother-in-law in a house that won’t stay clean. He writes here to try to figure out what’s going on there.

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Archives: December 2009

posted: Wednesday December 30th - 11:05am

ADHD Fireworks

My ADHD-self apparently doesn't like fireworks exploding around him – the loud noises trigger an anxiety attack.

It’s New Year’s Eve, 2003 and I’m curled up in our bed in a fetal position, eyes closed, hands over my ears. I’m working on calm, deep breathing – trying hard to not hyperventilate. I’ve been in this position before when I had some panic attacks, and completely cracked up and had to put in some serious time with the doctors. Cracking up feels exactly...
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posted: Wednesday December 23rd - 6:46pm

Under the ADHD Christmas Tree

Our poor Christmas tree just couldn't stand up to my ADHD impulses.

The clear glass angel shines and sparkles. It’s in the perfect place, with a blue light right behind it. It’s not hanging straight though. It’s caught up on a lower branch of the Christmas tree. If it was hanging free it would look a lot better, more like an angel is supposed to look. I can’t reach it yet. If I scoot back under and...
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posted: Wednesday December 16th - 1:18pm

ADHD Stories My Mom Never Told

When I read my mother's poem now, I imagine her as a young woman trying to work through the frustration and fear of raising the mysteriously difficult ADHD child I was.

But no escape, my darling, No turning place to hide. I offer you no amulet, No stone to fell Goliaths. These mortal hands protect you Only as my shadow halts the moving sun. Believe the trust you give, I will not Betray you. A shadow is a shield. -Berna Deane South (my mother), from her poem “For Trey” In my last post, I was in the middle of trying to fight off an episode of...
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posted: Thursday December 10th - 1:43pm

Seeing ADHD from the Non-ADHD Point of View

After reading her words, I realized, on a whole different level, how hard our “normal” loved ones work to help us ADHDers.

Former Hollywood writer Frank South describes his late diagnosis with attention deficit disorder
"I have one final fall-back strategy for those times when my brain fails me, when I can’t come up with a parenting strategy effective enough, fair enough, creative enough. It’s love. I simply hold (read: restrain) Natalie, make sure my hands, cheek, or lips are touching skin, close my eyes, and concentrate as hard as I can on filling her with love. Does it help?...
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posted: Monday December 7th - 8:47am

ADHD Dad, Lost in the Supermarket

Like a good ADHDer, I have a shopping list, but it never does me any good. I always forget something important, because eventually, the list goes in my pocket, and then it might as well be on Mars.

I’m in Safeway trying to get my shopping cart past the fresh-baked oatmeal raisin walnut cookies and into the produce section. But I’m stuck. I don’t know what to do. This is the weekly grocery shopping, and before you ask, yes, I have a list, and I remembered to bring it with me. It’s right here in my hand. Not that it does any good. I always...
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