Always Struggling

Home Welcome to the ADDitude Forums For Adults Always Struggling

Viewing 3 reply threads
  • Author
    • #140321


      I am in my late 20’s, male and, goes without saying, have ADHD. Before I get to the point I feel I need to a summary of myself. I was diagnosed in the first grade and went to a school that specialized in learning disabilities for most of my elementary school years, although I’m not sure I learned how to control my ADHD. After high school I went to college and earned my bachelor’s in psychology. I went on to get my master’s in social work after struggling to find work for a year. After graduating I was able to quickly earn employment at a homeless shelter but my ADHD symptoms and the natural stresses of the job caused me to look for a new one after only a few months. I then spent over a year trying to find work.

      It was grueling and painful. During that long window of unemployment I had many interviews but no successes. I have always had low self-esteem issues and the struggle caused me to believe that “I” was the problem and that living a successful independent life would be unlikely. I am intelligent but things come slower than me. My loved ones would tell me that finding work was always a trial and many went through similar phases. They would also say part of the problem of my old job was the stressors of working at a shelter and while I partly agree with them I still believe that the real reason was internal.

      A little over a year later and I finally thought I had my big break. I got a job as a social worker at a nursing home and started the the week after. Unfortunately this job was doomed to end like the last one. I was disorganized, had little to no training, and difficult residents to handle. Everyday I felt so anxious that I didn’t know what I was doing and that I would end up unemployed again. Immediately I had trouble sleeping, felt exhausted all the time, and would spend an average of 9.5 hours at work a day. Again I left the job just before Christmas. I left feeling more depressed than the last one and had little to no clue what to do next. It was clear to me that social work wasn’t the right path for me but I didn’t know what other alternative there was.

      Thankfully a social worker who I volunteered with during the last period of unemployment contacted me and mentioned there was a job opening for an activity assistant at the nursing home where she worked. The job payed severely less but I was desperate and thought that I could start at the bottom and work my way up. I have kept my job for almost a year now and am happy. I enjoy the work as I have always liked the elderly and making people feel comfortable. However, throughout my employment I struggled with feelings of inferiority. Feeling that I am only successful as an activity assistant because it is a very basic job that anyone can fulfill. I have been trying to make myself more necessary at my job by doing resident assessments and using their online data registry system. I have also been trying to control my symptoms at work. I recently got on Vyvanse and that has helped me stay alert but not necessarily solved the problem. I still have problems keeping myself organized no matter what I try: notes, reminders on my phone. I feel that there is so much to do and not enough time to do it. Then the anxiety comes and I feel as if I am inferior to everybody. My friends, family, coworkers and even my girlfriend are supportive and believe I can be successful in higher capacity jobs but until I can get a handle on organization I feel like that will never happen. No matter what medications or methods or support I get I feel like I am struggling with an impossible, unbeatable beast. So now I get to my point and I want to thank any who are still reading for putting up with my ranting. If anyone has had similar struggles and was able to overcome them could you tell me how you stayed organized and kept the anxiety from keeping you down. In addition, if you know of any support groups made for adults with ADHD could you please let me know. Thank you for your time.

    • #141078

      My son has the same issues, he’s 16. I hope you get some responses. You are not alone

      • #141454

        Sir or Ma’am,

        Thank you very much. What kind of problems is your son having if you don’t mind me asking? Organization? Anxiety? Or inferiority?

    • #141435

      I am so sorry you are having these difficulties. You are wrong I believe when you say anyone can do your current job. I think it takes a special person to work with the elderly. I am 70, and was a nurse for many years, so I have some experience in this area. I am on this website because my 23 yr. old grandson who has ADHD, learning difficulties, and developmental delays lives with my husband, and myself, and also 2 of his aunts. I worry about his ability to even qualify for a job stocking in a grocery store. Hopefully, one day he may be able to. I’m not at all trying to make lite of your difficulties, but please give yourself credit for all that you have accomplished to only be in your late 20’s. I know you have a degree in psychology, but do you have a psychologist that you can talk to . I think it is so helpful to have someone that is not a relative or friend to talk to. My grandson has had a psychologist since he was 7 yr. old. Be proud of yourself, and I hope you find someone you can talk to. John’s Grandma

      • #141453

        John’s Grandma,

        Thank you very much for your encouragement. I do have a therapist who I have seen since after Graduate school. I haven’t seen her since last spring but after reading your post I am thinking of reaching to her. I haven’t found a group yet but this website has been very useful to me in planning and improving myself. I am starting to feel hopeful again. In the meantime it is uplifting to get support from someone who also has a loved one going through similar challenges. I can’t say that I have all of the obstacles that your loved one is facing but I hope this website can give you some ideas. Thank you very much again for your kind words and I wish the best for you and your grandson.

    • #141533


      I can relate to your struggles with organization and feelings of inferiority. The only thing that helped me was to find a good therapist who is trained in ADD issues; after 3 sessions, I felt much better. I could not solve these problems myself, and my medication did not help with this. Now it is actually getting better. As I get organized, my feelings of inferiority are decreasing. I think that you can overcome this also.

      It’s not about your job, but about reaching your potential and climbing to the top of Maslow’s hierarchy :-). Do the best job as an activity assistant as you can, and then keep going towards something in which you feel that your potential is fully realized. If you want to continue as an activity assistant, there is nothing wrong with that, although it sounds like your income potential is limited. There is honor in every job, especially when you work with the elderly and do a great job at it. Social work is never easy, so commend yourself for committing to that field in which you tirelessly help others.

      I want you to know that no matter what your job is, unless you nip the feelings of inferiority in the bud, they continue. I’m a university professor, doctorally prepared, and there is always that undercurrent of not being good enough, and it torments me and affects productivity immensely at times.

      You have enough insight and you’re young enough and intelligent enough that you can get this fixed relatively quickly, with someone who is trained in ADD therapy.

      Good luck. We care!


Viewing 3 reply threads

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.