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Diary of a Complicated Mind

“I’m sorry for not being able to control myself. I’m sorry for not being able to express my noises and emotions as words. I didn’t mean to confuse you, or hurt you. I didn’t even really mean to be me.”

I don’t need sympathy; I need to be heard.

I have been diagnosed with six disorders, four of which I have had my whole life. The other two cultivated themselves out of my situation, I’m sure. Writing is the only way I can explain what is happening. It stays on the page, in existence, long enough for me to remember what I was doing, or saying.

Mental disorders have always been stigmatized, and they will continue to be so until someone can explain what is happening. Explain that we are not to be feared. I imagine most people think of someone screaming, strapped to a bed, frothing at the mouth. I do none of these things. In fact, I have two bachelor’s degrees and have been praised for my intelligence many times.

[Free Resource: Dealing with Tough Emotions]

Most everyone I have met has described me as “adorable”… that word exactly. I’m loving, sometimes funny, always sympathetic. On my good days I like being held, hugged, talked to. I enter into debates with my friends and family. We play lots of games together. It’s nice.

I can’t say I have many good days.

Oftentimes, I have dreams where I show up to a stadium, where not only am I the main event, but I was never even told what to say or do. Everyone else has practiced meticulously, and is now waiting patiently. Is it a play? A song? Why are there so many costume changes? This is the mood of the rest of my days.

Like many people with ADHD, I often go into rooms and forget why I went there. This isn’t just an inconvenience for me. If I can even remember where I am, I become paranoid. What was I doing? Was someone following me? Did something important happen? Where is everyone? I’m frozen to the spot, unable to retrace my steps. I make noises for someone to come get me. I hope the someone I’m calling to still exists.

[Steps Towards Banishing Negative Thoughts]

Reality isn’t stable for me. I feel like the world that I’m standing in could disappear at any second, that someone will jump out from behind a corner and tell me I’m actually locked away somewhere, deep in the recesses of the earth where I can’t bother anyone.

I’m fairly locked to my house as it is. I sleep around fourteen hours a day just so I’m not fuzzy. I’m on a strict food regimen because any contamination from certain foods means I get a full dose of unpleasantness. Beyond the violent coughing and spasms, my mental disorders take center stage for at least a few hours, if not days. I’ve had jobs. I actually like having a schedule to my day and activities to keep me busy. But with nearly every job I’ve had I’ve had to quit because my mood disorder became so terrible that I’ve tried to kill myself in order not to go. Nine months is about the extent of my capabilities. And then I get to where I am now.

Right now, any group of people beyond about four is too much for me. I get panicky. I fear they are trying to trap me, or humiliate me. Shopping is fairly terrifying. If I go, someone has to be with me at all times, or I start to swirl into a self made hell of anxiety. I couldn’t even tell you most times what I’m anxious about. My mind is moving too quickly. The thoughts in my brain are often just sounds and emotions. I can’t even talk to myself to discern why I am frozen to the spot, unable to speak or react to the environment around me.

Sounds are a mixed blessing. Songs are amazing for me. Rhythm and cadence are soothing, understandable. Repetitive noises, however, make me physically nauseous. My body seizes up, and I need to do something. I need to get away from the noise. It feels like it’s attacking me. Why does the thing making the noise want to hurt me? What did I do? What am I being punished for?

[Silence Your Harshest Critic — Yourself]

Sensations have the same issue. I love to snuggle and hug people. But on days that my skin becomes even the tiniest bit sensitive, I can’t be touched. Everyone around me becomes fire, an element ready to destroy my personal bubble. And I can’t quite express that I’m upset about being touched, because when I become upset, over anything, my words become noises. I whimper and growl, or I might just burst into tears. It may seem erratic to the outsider, but to me I have been as patient as possible and have reached my limit. And I am so sorry.

I’m sorry for not being able to control myself. I’m sorry for not being able to express my noises and emotions as words. I’m sorry for laughing at inappropriate times, or hyperventilating at equally inappropriate times. I didn’t mean to grab for those, or break that. I didn’t mean to confuse you, or hurt you. I didn’t even really mean to be me. But I came in on opening night without having practiced at all, or even knowing the event. All I have is my improvisation. So if that doesn’t work, you’ll just have to work around me, and I’ll hope for the best.

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    1. I agree with you! None of us should ever feel alone no matter how many disorders we have, if any! There is no status quo for human behavior and therefore, there can be no definition of “normal”. We are all one of a kind and should be appreciated for that!

  1. You are not alone, but there are limits to what the non-illness partner or parent can handle, too. As the wife of a adhd/depressive/anxious husband and adhd/anxious son, there’s no stigma in the disorder(s) or symptoms, but there are days or moments that I just don’t have any sympathy, empathy, or listening or coping skills of my own left. What you might not realize is that mental illnesses are hard on everyone, but in different ways. All the listening in the world cannot make me fully understand what you are going through, or what it’s like to be you, and how powerless I feel in trying to help you feel better. I will listen as much as I can, as often as I can, and try to be there for you. But, some days, or some hours, I just don’t have anything left to give. Please give me a chance to step away for a little while so I can recharge. It might come at a really bad time for you, and for that, I’m so so sorry. I’ll try to be there and be strong for you, but sometimes I’m going to crash and burn and say something hurtful or insensitive or just not be there in the way you need me. I’ll be back, but this is challenging for both of us.

    1. This article and your comment explain everything I can never explain. Although all of our tendencies or symptoms (whatever they are) are a little different, I can never put what needs to be known into words. I myself have ADHD, GAD, & manic depression. I’m pretty sure it just started off as ADHD but over time everything else came on. I have 4 children. My oldest has Epilepsy, ADHD, Anxiety, & Depression. Next in line has severe anxiety, anorexia, and depression. My 3rd has OCD, anxiety, & anger/depression (I really don’t know how to explain it). My youngest is legally blind, has separation anxiety, & starting to show signs of depression. There father is bi polar schizophrenic & usually incarcerated. I’m trying so hard to rewire myself & my kids and it’s a daily struggle. I was a shut in about 4 years ago but still can’t go anywhere alone. But the worst thing out of everything I go thru mentally (I’ll tell you that my kids are the ONLY reason I’m still alive!), The guilt if not being able to explain to them how my brain works or that I need things a certain way or the fact that each one of them has major issues that need strong support…. I caused it all and can’t even do what I should half the time. The guilt eats me alive! Reading this article and hearing what I live from other people makes me want educate people even more. I can only imagine what my poor mom deals with daily (she lives with us). It’s hard to keep going most days but Im always going to try.

  2. triple thumbs up for this blog. It’s disgusting how society wants us to go against our own natures, even when we have the best of intentions. Even when we explain ourselves in the best way possible and speak from the heart, it’s never good enough. We may be sensitive, but it is also a strength that affords us a high degree of compassion for others. At the very least, we know in solace we are slow to seek retribution and loathe hurting others when we are hurt ourselves. Those non-ADHD that actually give a rats-rump about us with ADHD, we appreciate for their deep wells of patience. We may not know each other and may be miles apart, but we can know in faith that we are in this together.

  3. You mentioned noise – how many of us are super-sensitive to noise to the point where it feels like a violent attack, and floods us with stress hormones? I am afraid to step out of the door in the morning, for fear of noise, so I wear ear-plugs for as long as I possibly can.
    Does anything help this hyperacusis?

  4. Thank you for sharing. It is strange how ADD traits express in ways they are valued by those who live with us. We are encouraged to be productive, to be the cheerleader for the family or other group we’re in, to be the one who looks for and finds a pony in the room of manure, the idea generator, direction finder. Being with us lets others slack off because we will always be there. Because we are so valued it is hard to disappoint and every mistake gets magnified. ” If you can do that, why can’t you keep the kitchen tidy?” Or “why can’t you be on time?” Our ADD brains tell us we need to try harder.

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