Reply To: ADD is Ruining My Life

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“I did all of this to myself and I know only I can fix it, but I see no way out, and what’s worse is I don’t feel I deserve another chance.”

You sound just like me. I moved out of my parents’ house at 24, and moved back in at 25. I’ve been living with my mother ever since, and if it weren’t for her I don’t know where I’d be. And I understand family problems. My family does believe ADD/ADHD exists, and they believe I have it, but they don’t seem to accept that any of the ADHD related problems I have are because of my ADHD. They just think they’re personal flaws I need to work on, such as not being lazy and not procrastinating. Or if they do, they think I just need to learn to not be lazy or procrastinate.

Let me begin by saying that whatever choices you made were yours, but you did not choose to have a condition that results in having a myriad of jobs or taking a long time to finish you associate degree. Or many of the other problems you’ve had in life. None of us did. And no, it’s not that only you can fix it. Even without neurological or mental health issues, nobody makes it through life on their own. Don’t think this. Only you can choose to fix it, nobody can make that choice for you. But you can’t fix it on your own. If everybody tried to fix everything on their own, the human species would have died out before we discovered fire. You’re not Hercules, though your trials may be as hard, so don’t try to do it on your own.
Second, don’t ever let yourself feel like you don’t deserve another chance. This may be the wrong forum for this, but I’m Christian and one thing I’ve learned is that God always gives us another chance. It’s Satan who doesn’t want us to feel like we deserve the Chance God gives, that’s why Christians call him the father of all lies. You may not be Christian, but the same still applies. You always have another chance, as long as you keep trying. And if you don’t believe in Satan, then believe that whatever makes you feel this way is your own personal Evil One – depression, anger, self-doubt – these are the Evil Ones you face, and they will lie to you. They make you believe you aren’t worthy of another chance or that nobody will give you one. I started college 4 years ago, and got my associate in the first two years. but I had trouble keeping up. I made 4.0 my first semester, and it started dropping after that. Last semester, I failed a class. I’m on Pell and loans, so I could lose these and have to quit. But when I moved from the 2 year college to the local university, I read something about ADHD on the internet that made me look it up. I started talking to a counselor there and got diagnosed last Spring. I’ve had a hard time of it, and I stopped working on behavioral things this Summer – for one, I work at the university’s cafeteria and they close in the Summer, so I’ve been looking for a job for 2 months now – and the Adderall sometimes makes me more hyperfocused so I don’t always get my assignments done on time because I get busy on other things or I get to focused on the details of the assignment, and a few I never finished. I took a drawing course this Summer and never finished the last assignment. I made a 75 in that class. But I know if I give up, I’m giving in to those things that want me to fail – depression, anger, self-doubt.
As for your friends and family, reconciliations can be made and friendships can be mended. But just like everything else, you have to make the choice to do so, and you can’t do this alone. They have to choose to mend those friendships as well. But they have to understand that you do have a neurological condition, and your friendship will not be easy, for either you or them, and they have to be strong to be your friend; just like you have to be strong to be a friend to others. And your family will have to accept that, whether they believe it exists or not, these attributes of your condition make life harder for you, and they wont be changed easily, or without their support.