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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.

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.

Support
“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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posted: Monday June 24th - 10:06am

Pushing through Panic with ADHD

Gardening, Wheel barrow
It’s Memorial Day weekend and I’m at the bottom of our hilly Georgia backyard, raking up piles of dead leaves, pulled weeds, tree-killer vines, and trimmed branches and piling them into the wheelbarrow. Full load, so now back up the hill to add to the mountain of dead vegetation at the front curb. Hope to God I pulled the gate closed after the last load or...
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posted: Friday May 24th - 2:39pm

Career Day: I'm a Writer, and I Have ADHD

Open Book
It’s Career Day at the middle school where my wife, Margaret, teaches. I’m here to tell these sixth, seventh, and eighth graders what it’s like being a writer for a living. I’m standing at a lectern in an empty classroom waiting for the first group of students to file in and I feel the sweat soaking through the back of my shirt. I fiddle with the...
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posted: Sunday July 8th - 9:37pm

Running on Empty: Part Two

In last month's Part One post I was down in an insomnia-fueled, no-joke, no-metaphor, black hole of depression so deep, so wide, and so all-encompassing that there seemed no possible way out. As an ADHD guy who can sometimes make hyperactive look like standing still, I didn't stay holed up in my bed with my dark hopeless thoughts brooding by myself. Heck, no: I brought them...
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