Reply To: Spouse is Sick of the daily grind how do I help?

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Ugh… I know how both you AND your husband feel! Like your hubby, I’ve always struggled in the job arena and I couldn’t ever understand why until I was finally diagnosed with ADHD a couple of years ago. The more research I do, the more I come to understand how ADHD affects me today as well as in my past work and personal struggles. I haven’t found any “magic” solutions yet, but it does help my feelings of being trapped in less-than-awesome work that often leaves me frustrated, bored, and tired.

Many years ago when I hadn’t really understood what I was struggling with and why, I used to get really depressed and desperately search out “something different” because there just HAD to be a perfect job for me out there! (Somewhere… in a galaxy far…far…far away…) I had thought it was because I wasn’t as smart or capable as people told me I was, or that maybe I really was just a hopeless, messy, disorganized, and lazy loser. I knew I wasn’t really any of those terrible things… but it sure felt like it when I couldn’t seem to land anything better than a retail job.

Then I finally did land some more challenging work that was a heck of a lot more interesting… and nearly fell flat on my face and developed a generalized anxiety disorder for my troubles. Sometimes it’s hard to decide which felt worse… feeling like I wasn’t getting the chance to stretch myself and doomed to working retail or cleaning toilets (sooooooze)… or getting the chance and realizing that I didn’t have what it took to do the job well and not be able to really understand what I was missing or why I couldn’t do what my coworkers could do? I had finally won the chance! Now why was I still so bored and so incapable of staying on task?

After my diagnosis I read just about everything I could get my hands on. It helps. It at least fills in some of the blanks. The knowledge doesn’t “fix” anything for me, at least not yet, but I am growing to at least understand the “why” of my troubles, and how ADHD likely factors into them. Has your husband done much reading into his condition yet? Is he active in understanding how your daughter is being treated and working through her challenges in school?

One big reason why I struggle in work is because I have to feel like what I’m doing matters somehow. That what I’m doing is making some kind of positive difference or contribution… to myself, my loved ones, to strangers… doesn’t matter. I have to recognize the “importance” of it beyond that it’s a paycheck and health benefits. Does he enjoy volunteer type stuff? Or community service? Sometimes the only thing that gets me through a rough (or just plain DULL day at work) is that fact that I get to go home and do something purely for fun like play online with some friends in World of Warcraft. To keep from developing the “I don’t wanna work anymore” feelings (because I certainly get those), I forcefully remind myself WHY I’m feeling that way (because I’m bored, etc) but that I can’t do the fun stuff I like without earning it by doing the “boring” stuff too.