Guest Blogs

“ADHD People Like Me”

I’ve traded the ADHD medication and therapist for a 3-month workshop with fellow adults with ADHD like me.

The following is a personal essay, and not a medical recommendation endorsed by ADDitude. For more information about treatment, speak with your physician.

I have arrived at an awakening.

It has been six days since I’ve been off the med, the 20 mg. of Adderall. I still take a half a pill of the Lex, for the sake of simply saying I am doing something. The difference is that I feel calmer, even if I’m more disorganized.

Today, as I wrote and pecked away, I found myself mismatching first and last names, and sent the wrong text message to someone. Good thing I said nothing bad.

I’ve replaced the meds and the therapist (who really isn’t helping me since chatting with her has the same effect as talking with my girlfriends). We have a guy-bitching session and she usually agrees with everything I say. Bad deal. I am paying $35 a session to have someone agree with me and nod-but I am not getting better.

I sometimes joke that I might as well go to a priest, because they, too, would provide sympathy or empathy. The only difference is they would tell me to say the Hail Mary ten times. No problem.

For the past four days, I took the rest and respite getaway to the island. Water usually has a calming effect on me, a natural happy pill, if such things exist. I went last year, same island, same getaway, the same azure color in the ocean, same pink-colored sand-only this year, things seemed quieter, like the calm after a storm. The unhappiness didn’t entirely lift but there were moments when I sat by the water, and I felt like I were in another world.

The sister came along, too, working hard on her tan. She said that at the ripe old age of 26, she’s discovered that life sucks. All of the signs of suckiness are there, the reality check that, in the real world, there is politics. People use others, friends are net-workers, most of the time you get one chance to make things right; and fat and ugly and forgetful people usually get the short end of the stick, unless they are related to some trust fund family.

When I returned, I decided that I had done the right thing. I decided to replace the meds and the lackluster therapist with a 3-month weekly workshop, a group of fellow adults with ADHD like me. I decided that I would pay the grand and make that investment in myself.

There are seven of us and a psychiatrist facilitator, a woman with a wide smile and a high tolerance for humor. I like the way she welcomes laughter. I like the way I can share my experiences about everything from the challenges of doing mundane tasks like tackling dirty dishes, and struggling to complete projects at work, to walking around feeling stupid when, in fact, I know I am a “bright 30-something year old woman,” with a higher than average intelligence for words, that according to the official Mensa-type IQ test I took last month.

It is as if the real world-the non ADHD, non anxious, non melancholic world-were like the Moon and the minority of us were on Earth. It feels good to be on Earth amongst people like me. I did not want to leave.