Reply To: Financial mess and shame

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I understand that your financial situation is serious, but I think in order to address that (in addition to any medication treatment), it will be important for you to work through the emotional despair and spiritual exhaustion you describe. (I understand, because I’m going through a set of setbacks/disappointments that have been similarly overwhelming and paralyzing.) I’m currently reading the book “Focused Forward: Navigating the Storms of Adult ADHD,” by James Ochoa, and I find that he describes the emotional distress of being an adult with ADHD more completely than I’ve seen in other work by ADHD specialists, and he suggests ways to address that despair, shame, and pain. Many of the suggested techniques are cost-free. I have no connection to the author or anything–I’m just finding this particular book helpful–or, at least, I’m hoping it will help me develop the courage I need to stop avoiding the big scary mess I’ve made and to assess and try to begin to repair the situation. I’m not there yet, but I’m more optimistic that it’s possible than I was before I read his book.

Most important, I think, is to accept that ADHD is real, and the ways it has led you off track are not evidence of your being a bad husband or a failure, etc. It’s just a set of circumstances (that result from a brain that works in atypical ways) that you’ll be able to confront and address once you can ease the overwhelming sense of shame and fear.

I can assure you that you’re not alone. I wish you lots of luck through this difficult time.