Guest Blogs

“Can I Afford ADHD?”

My ADHD is costing me a fortune. Will any of this work?

This morning, I felt dead at work, my spirit flat, my soul restless. I can find no joy in calling up bankers and asking them the details of the deals, they make a ton of money but so what? They all sound like they are constipated.

I juggle incoming emails, I answer phones, I feel chained to my seat, but this morning I had the luck of meeting with Karla from Columbia. We were never friends but somehow I feel connected to her. She and I had a lot in common, creativity, we seek autonomy, we are strong women. I met her inside one of my favorite hangouts sitting by the window staring at the sidewalk passerby. I told her about my fears of going it alone, Jane, what is preventing you from doing that? Who would pay for my healthcare and shrink and the growing amount of meds I’m taking? Would I be disciplined enough to work, and who would handle the accounting and technology? I’m a numbers phone and technophobe, how would it all work?

Karla said that she heard things from me that weren’t healthy, I kept comparing myself to “other people.” What do “other people” have to do with me? She asked and then she heard fear, fear of failure, fear of not making it, if I was constantly tied down with these fears I’d have no place to go but fail. I came away from that coffee feeling exhausted and yet enlightened.

There is one thing that I’ve noticed about the magic pills lately; always during the middle of the day I feel blue, a low that is indescribable. I become so locked in work, and the task at hand that I don’t move, I fear moving, I am glued to my seat, I don’t even pee. I don’t talk to anyone, I am locked in my own world. I wonder if my fears are visible, if the uncertainty if obvious, I look over at Mary, cute, adorable, very peppy woman, a guy magnet, lucky gal has it all: the guy, kid, goldfish, cats, the two-bedroom pad in the Upper East Side. What more could a girl want? There I go again looking into the other lane, it’s so easy to lose focus. The one thing that I believe in are angels, like the Michael Landon on that old ’80s show “Highway to Heaven.”

Yesterday I interviewed this Indian guru who basically helps Wall Streeters de-stress. After a crackly connection on the phone I ask him what he teaches the Wall Streeters and high fliers who pay him big bucks to give them life tips. “get smart, get intelligent, think about the present rather than the past and the future, people spend so much time regretting the past and fretting about the future that they neglect the present, it’s about discipline and focus.”

But let’s get real. In a big city like New York it’s also about money. ADHD is costing me a fortune and I’m starting to wonder how I’m going to afford it all, there’s the time doctor who I’m going to work with for a month for a whopping $150 an hour, after working with her maybe I can be a coach myself and charge something equally as ridiculous, there are the notebooks, calendars and all of the gadgets that I buy to make myself believe that I am getting organized, there is the Buddha man who is costing me $25 a session but without the job at the rag I would be forking over $200 for 45 minutes, there are the meds courtesy of Eli Lilly that is $60 a month, but really it’s $300 plus a month without healthcare, there is the ADHD support group that is costing me coffee and testing my patience.

Mostly there is the uncertainty of whether any of this will really work?