Kendall, I’ve read this entire thread. I’ve lived the life for over 50 years, as a wife for 39 years to a husband with ADHD and sons with the problem, each at a different level of difficulty. I have no great final solution or anything close, but I do have a suggestion. If you hope to help others, learn how to ask questions and then write down the answers you get. Everybody in the whole world is interested in themselves. ADHD affected people seem to have that problem in spades. You appear to be a high IQ individual as was my husband and two sons are. That makes the situation even worse I think because if your senses are in overdrive, so is your brain and your analysis of yourself. You have a headstart in that you have worked with medication and understand to some extent what is happening in your awareness of the world around you.
Start at a very simple level in person or by telephone with a family member, put a time limit on it. Write down on a piece of paper the person’s name, age, relationship. Ask a question that focuses on that other person, not on what is going on in your head. Tell them it is an experiment for class or something like that. Ask something you can be comfortable with, anything from what did they eat last to if you are you talking too fast. Stop. Write it down. Do not justify yourself or explain yourself or evaluate yourself. Remember, it is about them. Do that one at a time with as many people as you are comfortable with. Move forward slowly from that simple start to a day or week later increasing the time limit. Write down the words they tell you. Do not obsess with the question(s) or answers. That will be extremely difficult for you I think, but those dealing with your problem probably had it difficult dealing with your situation, and you can learn to live with a new kind of difficulty. The biggest obstacle I’ve encountered in living along with ADHD individuals is their inability to see someone else is in the room. You need to learn how to do that if you want to help others.
I could write three books on what I’ve lived through over all this time. Life goes on and we can’t escape it. The high intellect ADHD part can make a relationship mentally very rewarding at times but the roller coaster can bring an interaction from very high to very low faster than the brain can safely process it, resulting in stress that is overwhelming. I understand what others have written in this thread, and if I had long term answers for others I would share them. At this point in my life it becomes how I am going to deal with the next hour without cracking.
(Other writers, have you found it difficult to fully open the space where one replies in order to review what has been written?)