Wondering whether to seek treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) from a psychiatrist? Unsure how to talk about ADHD with loved ones? So is adult ADHD blogger Jane D.
The List sits in front of me, tempting and taunting me. The List of psychiatrists who specialize in ADHD, and the many related disorders -- offshoots from the mothership. It is somewhat dog-eared and tattered, but readable, from my days in the Guinea Pig Group. The leader of the group e-mailed out the list with the hope that we would take advantage of some of these resources, and that treatment would not end with group therapy. I saw a We got along like oil and water, our personalities clashing. I stopped going to him until I started to wonder recently if it was I who had made the mistake and cheated myself out of healing.
Part of me wants to be ready to call some of the names, the first step towards actually doing something about tackling the disorder and the problems that come with it.
Long struggles at work with the ADHD Boss, the politics that comes along with the territory, and a job that requires a set of skills that I am perhaps poorest on -- the art of the C.C. I can't keep track of the tsunami of e-mails that come in -- more than 100 a day -- and filing them into neat folders in the Inbox and then again on the desktop. The Inbox is busting at the seams and will unravel at any moment.
A massive fight with the Boyfriend. Once again, it's me seeking assurance from him. Will he take care of me? Will things be okay? The fight ends poorly, with me rambling about wanting some affirmation, in tears and him silent.
And again, I'm reminded that the Boyfriend has a stressful job too. But, there's something new: The boyfriend has been backing out of things. Then comes a phone call, and he's telling me he's unsure about us and whether we bring out the best in each other. This changes the dynamic of the relationship. I need to move on, or consider other options. This is not good. This is a sure sign that I need to once again open up the search box. Not a good sign.
My sister's voice surfaces once again in my mind, "Would you rather be loved or feared?" I cannot force someone to love me, to understand me.
The morning after the fight the Boyfriend doesn't call or text and, in fact, ignores a barrage of these from me. "No don't call!" my sister's screams at me. "You know your real worth when you just let things be," she says. "See if he comes back to you."
So when he returns the calls. I tell him. About the search for the disorder and the disbelief that my disorder exists even today -- that this is real -- and about the struggle to find the right ADHD medication. I know better than to expect him to respond a certain way, the way that I want.
I had a vision in my mind that he would embrace me, and tell him about happy he was that I told him and that he loved me no matter what. Being perhaps that he is an M.D. we talk about my ADHD in a professional way, What are you taking, is it working?
Why tell him? Because in the end I wanted to be free of this and frankly I do not care anymore. For months I've been chasing him, and dancing around telling him, and I need that to stop. And so, at last I tell him and that is that.
And it is as if he were reading my blog all along and expected it, or that he had already given up on us. The chase and the mystery are over.
I cannot change the ADHD Boss, the boyfriend's stressful workload, or mine, but I can change myself, how I react to these things. The List sits in front of me, tempting and taunting me. Part of me wants to be ready to call some of the names. Part of me wants to forward the List to the Boyfriend. Will either of these actions lead to the assurances that I need?
Stay tuned for next post. The Boyfriend and I talk about how he views me as separate from my ADHD.