I’m a high school teacher (24 yrs) who was diagnosed 16 yrs ago at age 35. I have experienced a lot of the focus/lack of focus frustration you seem to have. I’ve also dealt with the debilitating shame of not living up that dreaded ‘potential’ – both external (family, society, professionally, etc), and my own internal. I really loved your image of the ‘importance line’ – I’ve seen that throughout my life. My ADD has been on ongoing struggle – as a teacher, and most importantly in my marriage (now 25 yrs). Dealing with the years of anxiety and shame that built up was even more important than the diagnosis and medication.
I thought meds (I take 54mg Concerta once daily) was enough to ‘fix this ADD thing’; I thought it was just about my distractibility – even though I too made it through graduate school. I’ve found over the last 2 yrs (and another near-marital catastrophe) that what must also take place is work with a trained clinician. Are you working with someone other than a psychiatrist? They’re great for meds, but a trained therapist can help get at the other pieces of this diagnosis. I’ve got a great therapist now, and it’s made all the difference. I couldn’t tell from your post if that was part of your overall treatment plan – maybe give it a look?
I applaud you for the real success you’ve achieved so far – it speaks to such a wealth of natural ability and perseverance! I hope this helps you a little, and wish you well on your journey. I’ll check back to see how things progress…