I totally understand your frustration. I have adult ADHD that was not diagnosed until my mid 40s. I am not hyperactive in the classic way. I never was. So no one ever considered I had it.
I trained as a high school teacher after a failed career as a researcher in biochemistry because I couldn’t organize myself, keep up with my notes, and motivate myself to do the boring parts of the work without artificial external deadlines.
I was lucky to be a high achiever. School was never hard for me. But when I hit college I struggled with the increased demands and workloads. I got less good marks than my friend, not because they were smarter but I would cram instead of having a regular pattern of working and studying.
I guess my smarts and my creativity helped me cope for most of my adult life — along with the artificial deadlines created by my new career as a high school teacher.
But I have constantly struggled with self-esteem, wondering why I can’t do the simple things like filing tax returns on time, returning library books on time, and cleaning my house.
Fact is, when I got a family with both my kids having special needs — one with ASD and a generalized anxiety disorder and the other with ADHD combined subtype, ASD and Misophonia — well my life fell apart.
I’ve struggled between depression and anxiety. I’m finally on meds that have stabilized me somewhat, but now I can’t get my employer to try and accommodate some of my needs, even temporarily.
The fact is, balancing work, a home life, and dealing with all the extra hurdles caused by my kids’ needs as well as my husband’s health issues and suspected ADHD is more than I can cope with, and something always falls by the wayside. 🙁
What I’ve worked on that is truly helping, though, is myself. Self-care, which I denied myself most of my life is helping me cope. I also found an amazing therapist that managed to turn my vicious cycle of blame, shame and guilt over not being able to do everything like “normal” people into a realization that I am working my butt off and I should acknowledge that.
Then, somehow, the anger, frustration and guilt aren’t so strong and I can manage to motivate myself to do more. That’s how I worked my way back up out of my latest bout of depression.
Hopefully you’ll find the right therapist that will make you see the good in you. There are ADHD superpowers. And acknowledging that makes you live with it a little more easily. The bad days don’t seem as bad, and you can focus your energy on what you CAN do instead of what you can’t.
I know I sound preachy and new-Agey. Believe me — that is the furthest thing from who I really am. I’m just happy I’m finally learning to gain some balance in my life after 48 years of frustration. 🙂