ADHD and Me: a story

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    • #104700

      Hello there,

      TLDR: parents divorced young, mom remarried and I struggled in school. Made some bad choices as a kid but managed a military career, a divorce, and completed college. Now have good job and pretty happy, and with a diagnosis at 39, feel a sense hope.

      I am 39 and living comfortably. I’m married, have a dog, kids, have a good job in business development, and I own a home. On paper it looks like I have things together, but not really. I’ve told my brother that I’ve always feel like a guy stumbling up a staircase!

      I was born in 18 months after my brother. My mom was young, 21, but not that young. My parents divorced when I was 3 but I don’t really remember it. My mom met my step-dad to be when I was 5, they married when I was 6, and I became a “military brat”, traveling the world.

      My academics weren’t impressive. Teachers always said I was very bright but I was held back in 1st grade because my reading was below average. For the rest of my schooling through the end of high school I was the kind of kid that always failed spelling and excelled in the subjects I loved but everything else pulled my grades down to a low C. However, I got my high school diploma, along with a baby on the way and young wife. Panicked, I joined the military!

      Basic was a breeze and I finished with honors, and then I went to technical school and discovered I loved electronics and low and behold I could excel academically, graduating with the second highests GPA in the class.

      I became obsessed with work and worked so hard that my marriage crumbled. Also, it turned out that my wife had her own issues that were too much for me to handle but we held it together barely for 10 years and a daughter added to our first born son.

      By that time my military career was slowing down. My performance was always going up and down and I ended up being elected to be an instructor. I spent 4 years teaching and managed to complete my undergraduate in business with a high GPA and honors just after my teaching stint was finished.

      About a year after my divorce I started another relationship and a year after that got remarried. She also had a divorce under her belt and 2 kids.

      With her support I completed an MBA program, again with honors, and finished my military career. Less then a year later I’m working at my new job in business development and on paper I’m doing better then ever but I felt like my life was falling apart. For years my wife had been telling me that she couldn’t understand how I could be so smart and yet couldn’t seem to complete simple things she wanted me to do, along with man other issues. I’d suspected for a long time that I had ADD and we’d talked about it for years, but I always used the military as a reason not to try and get diagnosed and treated.

      I finally bit the bullet a couple months ago and got a diagnosis. I was surprised to discover that they say I’m ADHD because I never saw the hyperactivity. The diagnosis was actually a relief and gave a sense of hope that I hadn’t ever had.

      I’ve been taking medication now for over a month and I’ve been supported at how much it help, but also disappointed that it doesn’t fix everything. I’m also seeing a therapist that wants me to starts using an ADHD workbook to start working on building skills.

      I just found this site a couple weeks ago and finally decided to register and say hey. My life is still not the organized and smooth one I thought it would eventually be when I “grew up” but I’m starting to give my self both some credit and some forgiveness and I work to adapt to my strengths and weaknesses.

      Talking with my doctor and my therapist, I’ve been surprised to find out all the ways they tell me I’ve worked really hard to overcome my issues and they tell me I’ve been more successful then I realize. I just wanted to put my sorry out there for what it is and say I’m happy to know now that this site is here and I feel like I’ve found a place that gets me.

    • #104776

      Welcome and I think it is a good thing for you to be able to share your story and connect with those of us that also have ADD/ADHD as adults.

      I also did not get dg. until later in life even though I had known for many years that I had it. I have two sons that do also. When they were dg. and I started reading and asking the Drs questions to help them I realized that I had always had ADD but when I was in school (many yrs. ago) kids with ADHD…. we’re thought of as either lazy, not smart, or troublemakers.. So I like you also had trouble in classes with the subjects I liked I did well and others I barely passed. I decided finally to seek a formal dg. just this year and am now even though my kids are grown to take meds and I am so glad I did. I wish I would have done it many years earlier.

      I like you wish that the meds helped me in more areas of my life, but I also have found that I have found other ways over the years to compensate. In some ways that is helpful and others maybe not, but I too am looking for help through this site and therapy to find more answers.

      Best of luck to you and keep seeking.

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