Guest Blogs

“Flying Through Life by the Seat of My Pants”

School, home, romance, the shrink – as the days whiz by, I’m so discombobulated I’m amazed I get anything done.

Uh-oh. It is happening again, this feeling of unrest and angst. I am now nearly two months into this life-changing chapter, the mega adjustments of making this bi-continental move, going from working professional to student, juggling a life that now includes shopping, cleaning, and budgeting.

On some days it goes swiftly and I can reflect on a week and say, “Wow I did it on my own,” which by the way sounds almost as if I am a five-year-old who has tied her own shoes. On many other days life feels like I’m flying by the seat of my pants, as a boss once said of my work. Everything gets done, just kind of sloppily (or on bad days poorly). And did I mention that I’ve been dating a guy at a distance for nearly a year, and while he’s been on the whole encouraging, I haven’t mentioned the ADHD to him at all, only perhaps saying once in passing that “I’m so frazzled and discombobulated sometimes that it feels like I have ADHD”? He responded with a stony silence, a sign that I should not continue.

So mostly I’ve tried to keep the disorder and the deficiencies at bay, especially as I’m surrounded by high-achieving colleagues with babies and husbands to deal with as they juggle work and study.

I am flying solo and it often feels like a minor miracle that anything gets done at all. In frustration, I’ve found a shrink, a pseudo-shrink who is a blend of social worker and counselor. I went in once and dumped all my troubles onto him, and told him about my bout with breast cancer, ADHD, my fears of being single and growing old and dying alone, and my fear that I’ve made a big mistake by attempting to become a student again at my vintage. What was I thinking? The shrink just sits there, feverishly jotting notes, and listening. …Or is he really listening? Nonetheless he’s all my healthcare plan will cover for now.

“It sounds like being a student again is triggering all of these other aspects of yourself that you are unsure and unhappy about, the ADHD, relationships,” he says. “I would just take things a season at a time, focus on the next three months.”

The advice is so obvious and yet hearing it briefly brightens the day. I’m just barely hanging on here, but I’m still here, and things continue to move forward.