Reply To: ADD in Retirement!

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Having been diagnosed with ADHD at 65, three years after my dear husband passed away and my being diagnosed with severe depression, has caused a disruption in my life that I do not know how to fix. For 11 years, I was a math professor at the University of Phoenix but was laid off just before my husband died. I ten worked full time as a math enrichment tutor for Math Corps, but they did not renew my service for years 2-4. I made some errors that had nothing to do with my ADHD or severe depression, so I cannot blame the loss of my job on that. The last attempt at a full-time job ended painfully, as I realized I could not absorb the material in the training class. The trainer went too fast, there were too many distractions in the classroom, and I was unable to make any sense out of the material we were being taught. I forgot material we had covered the previous week. I tearfully left the training class. It was going to be a perfect (I thought) opportunity to work from home where I had few distractions. Even after a month, I am still having nightmares about that time.

I have a “friend” who is extremely judgmental and is angry that I keep canceling plans with her last-minute. Because of her “loud” lectures when we’re out and the attention she gets because of that, I cannot tolerate spending time with her. I’m afraid to tell her that, because I know if I do she’ll have a “poo poo” attitude and tell me I need therapy (which I do, I know, but not her kind). I also have fibromyalgia, a cadaver vein in my left leg due to arterial blockages (the surgeon keeps saving my leg, thank God; seven operations); Meniere’s disease that’s progressing; osteoarthritis affecting my entire spine; herniated disks pressing on nerves in my back from a fall down a set of stairs in 2007 (pain controlled by pain patches); insulin-dependent diabetes; and other physical ailments and limitations.

I have been spending quality time at home, trying to dig out from clutter and bad memories. One of my hobbies is baking, and I enjoy creating goodies for my neighbors and celebrations. A friend is helping me come up with a price list to actually sell my creations when ordered, rather than asking neighbors to bring the ingredients to me. I would enjoy that; it gives me something structured to do and the ability to earn a little extra money, too. It also gives me accountability to the people who want my baked goods. Another hobby is reading. I also like to paint, but I don’t have the space to paint like I used to.

My life is a mess. I’m buried in paper, clutter, bad decisions, bad memories, and debt. Thank God for my two dear cats, although one is 15 years old and quite ill. He’s such a snuggler and my days are filled with trying to get him to eat enough. The six-month-old kitten is a challenge to both of us, but she was a rescue from a neighbor, and I just don’t want to turn her over to the Humane Society. She’s so happy here, and I enjoy her company, too.

That’s my life in “retirement,” which I never saw coming. My doctor is no help. My RLS is under control, thanks to finding a doctor in the area that was highlighted in the RLS Association. He’s been a God-send to me! When I sleep, I have much better quality. However, I find it easier to take naps than to sleep at night; possibly because of my cats’ schedules.

I apologize for the length of this post. When I saw the title for this thread, I had to add my experiences. With ADHD, I cannot think of this time of my life as “Retirement.” Retirement is not supposed to be filled with stress, but rather enjoyment for a life lived. But the day-to-day challenges are what keep me busy. I look forward to anyone posting their successes to motivate me to a happier life.

Thank you.