Hi, amb. I have a lot of trouble beating myself up too. Don’t do it. You’re different, not bad. Having ADD does make a “standard issue” life harder. So why bother trying to fit into that mode? Your life is unique. I’m not being flip. You’ve received a lot of good advice about doctors, medicine, etc. through the replies. Now, you think nothing positive has happened, it’s all been negative. But I bet there’s been some good even though it may be hard to find in your present frame of mind.
It sounds like you are the kind of person who cares about his family even when they are not being understanding. You’ve been able to make friends. Some of the friends have fallen away or you feel like you pushed them away. Maybe that’s true but you can make new friends and you have learned from your experience what some of the issues have been. And, don’t assume other people are perfect so that makes you bad. Lots of people don’t know how to be friends with people like us and that’s not on you.
Your post demonstrated that you are a great writer. Trust me, I edit people’s writing as part of my career and MOST people are not. ADD people have a way of analyzing issues and seeing the connections to solve a problem that others do not have. This is a positive.
ADD people are smart. We are creative. We can see things big picture and small. Part of having a click-along brain is we see what to do, or the end result in clear view, but then we struggle with the stick-to-it to make it happen. I once had a therapist tell me that I am always going to have a Lot more ideas than I will Ever be able to carry out. That really stuck with me because I would have an idea, get started on it, and 3 months later all the materials and the 1/4 of the way finished project would be piled on top of the one before that or after that. Then I’d call myself lazy or a dummy or someone else would. So now an idea comes along, and I say, hmmm, another great idea. How about that? So I’ve learned not to trap myself that way.
ADD people are funny. I bet you are too. We are the ones who can see the patterns fast enough to make a sarcastic comment in a split second. Sometimes that gets me in trouble and I’m guessing it does you too. I’m still funny though, even without the sarcasm. (Just roll your eyes inside your head.) I like to make my friends and family laugh. People need humor in their lives. Just don’t tease and it’s all good.
ADD people are brave. We say the things other people wish they could say. Not a lot of beating around the Bush with us. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. But I would rather do that than listen to people mewly mouth so you have no idea what their point of view is.
I have also found that sometimes people are jealous of those of us who can see big and small, who make quick connections, who can see solutions in just a few moments thought. Those are the kind of people who will bring you down in the workplace because they didn’t think of it first. Also, most people think you have to dither about a solution. If a thought out decision can be made in 5 or 10 minutes, then it must not be the right one, right? So it’s rejected, a not ideal decision is made instead, and you later have to hold in the “I told you so.” So sometimes I pretend to give something a great deal of thought before coming back with a solution introducing it step by step so they think they thought of it themselves. It’s a pain in the a** but it’s just part of the standard issue world. I just want a good outcome, I don’t really care about how I get there. I was recognized for my idea ability and promoted to a supervisor position at one job. Hated it. I got so stressed I had to quit for my own health. So now I just work, enjoy it, and go home.
You’ve got enough sense to ask for help. Also a positive. Think about all the judgmental people who think They don’t need help. Lots of “normal” people screw up their lives and never think to consider the role they played in disaster. Thus, they will not learn. You are able to take responsibility and learn. Good for you.
Don’t dwell on the past. Yes, it’s there, you can’t change it, but it does Not totally control you. Every day is new, freshly made just for you.
ADD people have to start over a lot. But we do it. You’ve done it. That is a positive right there.
Make a list of what you consider your positive traits. Forget about ADD for the moment and just think of you as a whole. I bet there are more than one or two.
Write your life story. Consider that it has been unique. You’ve probably seen and done things that lots of people haven’t. This will probably allow you to see your life in a more humorous way. Maybe you could even do some standup comedy gigs around town….
You’re only 42. You’ve got a lot of life left in you. Make it your own.