Stress & Anxiety

ADHD Sleep Deprivation

When you’re unemployed and 33 with ADHD, any efforts to reinvent yourself can be tricky.

It is 2 a.m. and I am sleepless. I wonder if it’s the post-swimming dinner of Argentinean empanadas, courtesy of a good friend-or if it is the worry over the taxes, the symptoms of adult attention deficit disorder (ADHD), and the life search that looms over me, day and night.

In the past two weeks, I learned that two former colleagues, part of the layoff entourage, have found work in our field again. I wonder if they beat me to the punch because they were more focused on the job search.

There is a line in the movie Revolutionary Road that sticks with me. Leonardo DiCaprio’s character wrestles over whether to take a promotion versus searching for what he really wants to do. “What you have, what you need, what you can do without, that’s inventory control,” says the tortured DiCaprio.

And that is what I struggle with, too: inventory control. Right now things are slightly above water, but there is the feeling that another wave of storm is approaching. I am bracing myself for the worst.

[“Jobless, and Slipping From Reality”]

There are plenty of days when I don’t want to surface from sleep and only want to sink deeper into the sheets. I battle not only the layoff, but also the questions and challenges that come with having ADHD and being laid off. My confidence, already as fragile as a china glass bowl, has been shattered.

The one thing that has changed is that I have been dating more. I have decided that in good times and bad, one needs love and a sense of being loved-even if the feelings are false. I continue to juggle a trio of men, two of them potential husbands.

One is the Intellectual, a fellow in his mid 40s, an Ivy League graduate who is unhappy with his job, and keeps texting me about vacationing in a hotel in New York for a night.

The other is the Italian Stallion, who I met via an online dating service in late December. Dating is indeed an escape from the reality that I now face.

[16 Good Jobs for People with ADHD]