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.

posted: Friday September 25th - 10:41am

The Pale Kid by the Coke Machine

My daughter, Coco, diagnosed with ADHD, rises to the occasion, and makes my wife and me smile.

ADHD and Anxiety: Overcoming and Rising to the Challenge
In drizzling December rain on the shoulder of I-85 South in North Carolina, a Good Samaritan stops behind our overloaded minivan to help my wife, daughter, and me with a blow-out. The rolling hydraulic jack he pulls out of the trunk of his Oldsmobile makes quick work of getting the blown tire switched to the tiny donut spare. The guy, Mike, won’t take the $20 I...
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posted: Tuesday July 21st - 9:30am

ADHD Road Trip, Part 3: Stay Calm and Breathe

We’re almost home, but what would be an ADHD road trip without several bumps a couple of potholes.

Staying Calm and Managing Anxiety During Crises with ADHD
On and on, she just keeps on trying, And she smiles when she feels like crying, On and on, on and on, on and on. – Stephen Bishop Thump. Thump thump. Thump thump thump. “Dad, that sound. Hear that? There’s something wrong with the car!” yells my teenage daughter from the far back seat. “Don’t hear anything, car’s fine,” I say. “Try not to worry so much.” I do...
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posted: Wednesday June 3rd - 2:57pm

Procrastination, Hyperfocus—And Oh, Yes, a Story

I thought I had both under control, but I don’t. That’s why this story is so late.

Hyperfocus, Safe Driving, and ADHD
This is the fourth and, I swear, the last of this series of posts covering my family’s 2013 Christmas road trip from Georgia to Delaware and back. I also swear on a stack of diplomas of all the therapists I’ve ever had that I’m never doing a multi-part blog post again. It’s torture for all of us. I don’t know why I started chopping a story...
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posted: Thursday April 23rd - 2:14pm

ADHD on the Road: Lots of Fear and Blame Behind the Wheel

It doesn’t take long for anxiety and worry to bubble up in our ADHD brains, does it?

ADHD Emotions: Dealing with Fear and Blame
I’m behind the wheel of a 2006 minivan, over-packed with luggage, presents, pillows, blankets, trip food, and beverages going 70 miles per hour on I-70 North somewhere south of Atlanta. We are on our 2013 Christmas trip that is seared my memory. It is the prime example of everything warm and life affirming about family, and, at the same time, of the personal misery and terror...
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posted: Tuesday March 31st - 10:28am

Travel for ADHDers Is Always a Trip

Part 2 of a long day’s journey into ADHD fright.

ADHD and Anxiety
Part one of this story left off a year ago, January 2014, the first day of the second semester of my daughter Coco’s senior year of high school. After a crack-of-dawn drama filled with false starts, in and out of the car back-tracks, U-turns with “Sorry, I forgot” and “OK, got everything?” Coco and I, both wound-tight, edgy-tempered ADHDers, are finally rolling through the rain...
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posted: Monday February 9th - 10:57am

Blowouts and Triumphs: An ADHD Success Story, Part 1

Talking my ADHD daughter (and myself) off the ledge of her fears.

ADHD Teens
My 19-year-old daughter, Coco, and I have similar ADHD symptoms. We’re hyperactive, quick to get overwhelmed, forget things, procrastinate like mad, get confused, lash out at others while blaming ourselves for everything. She and I have worked hard at developing coping skills, therapy, and all the rest. She’s had the added challenge of conquering her dyslexia. There is one difference: My ADHD teen daughter is more...
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posted: Sunday March 23rd - 10:24pm

Dog Is My Co-Pilot

poodle doodle
Going on midnight on a Tuesday night in the middle of last December, I’m rubbing my eyes, scratching my head, and doing that neck-rolling stretching thing to try to stay awake and focused. Sitting next to me in our living room, her feet propped on the edge of the coffee table, my 18-year-old daughter Coco flips through her textbook on the cushion beside her, checks something on...
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posted: Monday March 17th - 1:43pm

Caution: Road Work Ahead, Part 3

In the wake of my father's death, facing up to her loss, my mother needed me — obsessive, distracted me, in all my imperfect weirdness.

“We can’t, it’s not right...,” my 91-year-old mother wailed between sobs. I held her in my arms as this harsh rogue wave of grief rolled through her heart, splintering the careful defenses she’d built up stick by stick since my father died last March after the three years of his mental and physical deterioration that nearly killed her too. Still sobbing against my chest, her wails began...
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posted: Friday January 3rd - 11:03am

Caution: Road Work Ahead, Part 2

On this family trip, I'm tailed down the highway by my old companions of the road: anxiety and grief.

packing for a road trip
Recap: It’s last July. My wife Margaret, my seventeen-year-old daughter Coco (who, like me, has ADHD with extra-sharp temper and impatient, edgy edges), and I are in our mini-van heading north from our home in Georgia to spend a three-week vacation at my 91-year-old mother’s house. My dad died last March and now Mom needs help going through my dad’s stuff. Plus my brother Rob is...
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posted: Friday September 20th - 10:47am

Caution: Road Work Ahead

I bucked my attention deficit and mapped out this road trip well — but even the most detailed plan wouldn't let me leave grief behind.

View from the car on the road
About a month ago, I had it nailed. My wife Margaret, my teenage daughter Coco and I were driving up to Delaware for a two-week vacation. We were going to stay with my 91-year-old mother and help her clear out my dad’s study and closets that she hadn’t touched since his death last March, so it wasn’t a carefree poolside resort holiday. My brother Rob, his...
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