Breaking the Cycle of Failure

Home Welcome to the ADDitude Forums For Adults Emotions & Shame Breaking the Cycle of Failure

This topic contains 36 replies, has 23 voices, and was last updated by  Linda Mercurio 10 months ago.

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  • #75762

    rpeustace
    Participant

    I have been through a number of transitions lately. Changing jobs, ending relationships, substance abuse, etc. has made me feel manic and completely unfit for handling my daily activities. That being said, when it finally dawned on me that all of my chaotic, neurotic behaviors were byproducts of an atypical ADD brain, the pieces began to fall into place (figuratively). Once diagnosed, I began to realize why so many “normal” and “nuanced” tasks were so difficult for me. No matter how hard I tried, or pushed or blamed myself, my brain is not wired to handle mundane tasks. I struggled my whole life with details, and forgetting tasks and appointments. I always felt bad, disheveled and completely at fault for all of my errors. Somehow I managed to complete a Masters in a field I no longer want to be in. I forced myself to get a degree that was never a strong fit for my ADD weaknesses, in order to prove to myself (and others) that I was capable and intelligent enough to be successful. I now have a job which requires detailed, nuanced data entry, and management of obtuse projects. I’m not doing well. Despite being capable, intelligent, and widely over-educated – I have struggled to perform even the simplest of tasks. It’s infuriating that I can understand the abstract concepts of the projects at hand but as soon as I have to do detail-oriented task, it’s like I am on another planet.

    All of that being said, I am tired of what I call the “Cycle of Failure”: starting with high hopes, doing well and then in a few months feeling completely bored/zoned out/out of touch/disinterested/etc. -> looking for something new, and starting all over again. Keeping my attention on anything, has proven to be difficult and messed with my career goals/relationships/health and well-being. Adderall has helped me focus, as has exercising. But regardless of all of the treatments, at the end of the day – if the tasks isn’t stimulating, I fail at it.

    I have read all of the articles on ADDitude about finding the right career path, and acknowledging weaknesses, and strengths. However, I am looking for some companionship with fellow ADD-ers who have struggled on this cycle. I am hoping to break the pattern, and find something that works for me – and not forcing myself to work for something else.

    All the best,
    Rory

  • #75808

    Ntjhu
    Participant

    Well Rory I would hardly say you are a failure, a masters degree blows failure out of the water! Being able to focuse can be challenged also, you sure are focused on what you think you havent done. There sure are allot of positives in that story of yours, sometimes we ADHDers or ADDersdont always see them, so writing them down helps? Did you see anything when you did? When I’ve wanted to start over and over and over I’ve put blocks in my way, friends? Doctors? I’ve worked to learn new habits, I’ve told my husband what I’m doing so he can stop me, help me. Sometimes what I needed was attention from the person I love and just saying I need you to hug me, I need you to listen to me, was all I needed to do. Instead of making huge decisions that affect my life so people HAVE to stop and look, I make smaller scarier ones and ask for help, hug, love. Just something I’ve learned in my life, might not be anything to do with what you are going through, I could have read this all wrong?

    • #75816

      rpeustace
      Participant

      Natalie Hudgins thank you for your kind words and story! I am constantly trying to assess myself for my errors, the small nuanced details I always miss, but often forget the bigger picture. Thank you for reminding me of my success and to count my wins over all my losses. I love the support you have, and I have enlisted my boyfriend to help me progress forward (though he is currently in the process of getting adderall himself!).
      Thanks again!

    • #76125

      bigguy1221
      Participant

      if possible, look at what it was in all the things that got you interested in the first place. There is probably a common attraction. start looking for things with the attraction. then figure out what it felt like when it went from fun to boring and not worth doing. there is likely something common at that end too.
      the hard part is to recognize the blind alleys sooner, not to give up your enthusiasm. if you are curious about life you are going to hit dead ends and that’s ok as long as over time there are fewer and they are less of a surprise. if you start a few less things or go into them with more realistic expectations the crash at the end won’t seem so abrupt. if you get out before you hit the wall, you will be way more in control of what’s happening and i suspect you will feel better because it will be your decision and not a hopeless situation that causes you to rethink your plan. if you are like some of us you may figure out what the common thread is while you are sleeping or driving or walking and not thinking about it at all.
      one other good thing is having friends who appreciate you as you are. i don’t mean people who “tolerate” the problems your mind causes. I mean someone who laughs with you at that stuff and appreciates what you can do rather than pointing out your failures. you have a good side too. if people appreciate that the other stuff isn’t as difficult.
      if possible, put as many of the things that make you nuts on autopilot. there’s an app for most of those things. Good Luck with it.

  • #75812

    shanhall372
    Participant

    I am completely on the same page as you and I have almost identical struggles/ can really relate to your experience in so many ways. I am beyond frustrated and frankly just completely FED up with being stuck in this cycle I want to break the cycle too and fast, been trying and feeling like I am failing for weeks now and want to get on the right path to success and happiness etc asap! Would love to chat with you more about this and share ideas/ solutions! I new user to this website, just recently found it(and love it), but I am not sure how it works yet fully, so hope to connect with you somehow!!

    • #75817

      rpeustace
      Participant

      Shanhall372 thank you for reaching out! I feel like the more conversations I have with others who are facing these struggles, the easier it is to manage. If you want to email me, please feel free to email me at rpeustace at yahoo.com

  • #76034

    sean123456
    Participant

    I don’t really have any advice, but I share the same struggle. In fact, I often think about whom I might have been without the ADD. (Not very productive, I admit.)

    But please do friend me on FB (Sean Hoade) if you’d like any ADD brotherhood for when you’re down.

    Hang in there.
    Sean

    • #76070

      rpeustace
      Participant

      Thanks Sean! I will add you soon!

  • #76036

    allicat668
    Participant

    Sounds as if you are talking about me!! ADD us really a big load to carry. I always wonder what I could have accomplished if only I didn’t have this. It’s incredibly frustrating and exhausting. You’re not alone

  • #76038

    andysomos
    Participant

    Feb 8 2018
    Dear Rory:
    Thanks for your reaching out into the wide world and within that the narrower world of ADD – to those of us who struggle to understand and work within the confines of our universe.

    Feel free to be a pal – contact me on FB under name: Andy Somy. Check out my approach to the world via the themes I tend to on my page. You will find my inner being via the subject matters of choice on my FBk page. They are ‘stream of consciousness’ that is, they are wide-ranging as are my interests from psychology, our current world and the constraints we are faced with and so on.

    As to the topic and your subject of how to excell or be satisfied with what you do:

    As a fellow ‘high-level’ ADD sufferer – I have much experience, some success and some otherwise in the process of living.

    In very general terms – select what your activity is at work – if it dpownt suit you – change.
    If you dont know what field of activity youd be happy in, ask me. I can see through your story and the hangups that ney be occurring here or there. and it downt cost you anything.

    Personal message me via facebook or facebook messenger or via email through ADDitude Mag.

    Possibilities incl talking with me via phone line of one sort or antother.

    Go!

    Best regards,
    Ndy

    • #76071

      rpeustace
      Participant

      Hey Andy! There’s a few Andy Somy’s on facebook, feel free to add me: Rory Eustace.

      I look forward to talking!

  • #76048

    bcliffordearly
    Participant

    Hey Rory, just thought it was easier to copy and paste the part of your post that I felt was written about me, so, see below….

    I have been through a number of transitions lately. Changing jobs, ending relationships, substance abuse, etc. has made me feel manic and completely unfit for handling my daily activities. That being said, when it finally dawned on me that all of my chaotic, neurotic behaviors were byproducts of an atypical ADD brain, the pieces began to fall into place (figuratively). Once diagnosed, I began to realize why so many “normal” and “nuanced” tasks were so difficult for me. No matter how hard I tried, or pushed or blamed myself, my brain is not wired to handle mundane tasks. I struggled my whole life with details, and forgetting tasks and appointments. I always felt bad, disheveled and completely at fault for all of my errors. Somehow I managed to complete a Masters in a field I no longer want to be in. I forced myself to get a degree that was never a strong fit for my ADD weaknesses, in order to prove to myself (and others) that I was capable and intelligent enough to be successful. I now have a job which requires detailed, nuanced data entry, and management of obtuse projects. I’m not doing well. Despite being capable, intelligent, and widely over-educated – I have struggled to perform even the simplest of tasks. It’s infuriating that I can understand the abstract concepts of the projects at hand but as soon as I have to do detail-oriented task, it’s like I am on another planet.

    All of that being said, I am tired of what I call the “Cycle of Failure”: starting with high hopes, doing well and then in a few months feeling completely bored/zoned out/out of touch/disinterested/etc. -> looking for something new, and starting all over again. Keeping my attention on anything, has proven to be difficult and messed with my career goals/relationships/health and well-being. Adderall has helped me focus, as has exercising. But regardless of all of the treatments, at the end of the day – if the tasks isn’t stimulating, I fail at it.

    I have read all of the articles on ADDitude about finding the right career path, and acknowledging weaknesses, and strengths. However, I am looking for some companionship with fellow ADD-ers who have struggled on this cycle. I am hoping to break the pattern, and find something that works for me – and not forcing myself to work for something else.

    Cliff

  • #76050

    blueheron852
    Participant

    TODAY I GOT FIRED….AGAIN!! I’m very intelligent, have a bachelors degree, have many good skills, and ADHD has really derailed me. I was diagnosed a little over a year ago. I have worked hard to prepare myself for getting and keeping a good job but didn’t even make it past 90 days, AGAIN.

    I know all your pain. I know we aren’t bad people but I’m so confused on why this is so problematic. I don’t understand. I do think it would be helpful to know I’m not the only one as all your notes confirm. I wish you all the best and pray for you all to experience success!!!!

    Sue

    • #76099

      djpgosew
      Participant

      I am sorry to hear of your job loss. After my recent job loss in August my Doc said to me, “You did not fail the job, the job failed you.” What those of us with ADHD need to do when looking for a job is look closely at jobs and look for one that will support our unique skill sets and still allow us to work in a successful way for us and the boss. That may take a while, it has for me, however as I look back at jobs I have had, I did have good situations.

      Check out several of the webinars on this site, one of the best ones I found so very helpful was How to Get More Done with Less Stress, the presenter has a very helpful form and helpful info and tips. Also, check the one on how ADD affects our “over-emotion” very insightful.

      I’ve learned from my last job, that most of us with ADD don’t do deadlines the same way the rest of the world does. There are several suggestions on how to find a process that will work for you, look to see what you can find.

      We get lost in the trees, the weeds and any number of items. What is often difficult is to remember what the bosses or the assignments important issues are and related deadlines. So that we can meet them and be successful because we truly can!

      I know the pain of “another” job loss. TRUST ME! You are just practicing for the real job, the one you are meant to have and it’s out there waiting for you. In the meantime sign up for temp work, that helps bridge the gap. Also, Starbucks has great benefits, I did it for three yrs.

      I have a BS degree (prelaw and hated it) and higher IQ and fast on my feet in figuring out issues at any job, very flexible, I’ve been told I’m overly creative – but hey it works for me. Oh and did I mention I’m dyslexic, add that to the mix 🙁 when you have a boss who wants it all perfect.

      My point is considered med’s if you are not on any. There are some very helpful ones out there that work and help. Get hooked on healthy things – physical exercise helps, DO NOT go to drugs or drink that’s too easy, and we’re all better than that for sure!

      God doesn’t make junk, he makes each of us unique. You are not alone, this site has lots of great help.

      Hang in there….Donna

  • #76055

    laurcorc1983
    Participant

    Rory, your story is identical to mine (aside from the whole finishing college thing haha. Im currently oon the 18+ year plan) Ive been working in an autism classroom with kiddos with very challenging behaviours, and after getting fired from most of my jobs for tardiness or general disorganization, I think I found a job that is interesting and stimulating enough. Ive been pursuing a 2 year occupational therapist assistamt degree for 6 years now, but I also find that stimulating… Because in a roundabout way they both apply to me and help me learn about myself. Im sorry to hear your disappointment in yourself, I know it well. Just remember that theres no reason you need to stay in one job, and you can put everything you have into something and then move on and that is not failure, and its not wasted time. If you keep it up, you will end up being well learned in multiple fields and even more adaptable and flexible than Im sure you already are. Dont feel dissapointed when you lose interest in something that you were passionate about, its up to you to decide when youre done.
    Embrace the next passion unapologetocally until youve gotten what you need from it; Passionately pursue another degree, and then change majors at the last minute, or wait tables, become a possum rehabilitator, whatever. It’s your life girl. Youre gonna be the one with a million random skills when youre 90, not the haters. (Sidenote, my career list includes lifetime college student, possum rehabilitator, waitress, adult toy stoy manager, magician, carpenter, romance e-book writer, and now Ive been in the Autism field for a few years. Im proud of the spectrum of bizarre situations that I can thrive in. You should be too. The people who are great at functioning and staying happy within a routine for an entire lifetime, are the ones that jave extreme difficties when they are faced with an unfamiliar situation, and we come to their rescue. We are just the ither side of that coin… Embrace it!!!!! Also, reach out if you want to know more reasons to live like you want to 😬😎👊 laurcorc1983@gmail.com !
    Laura

    • #76072

      rpeustace
      Participant

      Laura! Thank you for sharing your story! I am very excited to change some things in my life and focus on the new things. I actually know a number of people in most of those areas you are interested in, and I think we can have some great conversations! Hope to talk soon!

  • #76056

    bhartwig1099
    Participant

    Hi Rory,

    The Cycle of Failure struggle is no joke, one I have accepted as “unpredictably inevitable” in my life. Honestly, is it really necessary for my brain to ask itself:
    “why is yellow yellow?” when I’m just trying to get laundry sorted?! And laundry is but a small struggle. On the topic of success and adulting, while I haven’t seen myself through a Masters or anything close (SERIOUS props!), I have certainly enjoyed a lofty accomplishment or two… but then deliver underwhelming results in the most monotonous of life’s basics. My intentions are right, the purpose of the basics understood, the consequences blatant… and yet, I proceed to disappoint myself and others. Family and friends find the paradox entertaining! High-functioning, out-of-the-box, impressive accomplishment: SUCCESS, in my sleep, with my hands tied behind my back; Low-level, necessary, everyday obligation: FAILURE with a side of WTF.

    By no means have I conquered this yet, but I have found a promising approach for myself. First and foremost, ADHD is a gift, truly, with unique aptitudes and an impressive capacity/hunger for complexity and skill-building. It is NOT a deficit. I have the utmost confidence in my capacity to analyze, attempt, and accomplish things found to be intimidating to everyone else. ADHD has been responsible for every achievement and praise I can recall, thus its tendencies have become my comfort zone. So, I’ve concluded that I “believe” in myself, which is a beautiful thing indeed… it’s the thing everyone else in the world is chasing and nurturing.

    But, believing in myself is NOT the same as trusting myself. I don’t trust myself because I can’t rely on myself… and not trusting myself is sabotaging that sought-after luxury of believing in myself. So the moment I find myself attempting something exceptional/complex/new, I give myself a “yes, you are a bad-ass” pat on the shoulder and remind myself that I’m probably creating a diversion for an easy task that will still be waiting for me, but now with an extra dose of drama. And then quickly ask myself what I “should” get done, so I can get back to fully-enjoying my ADHD without guilt.

    In short, I am making the discipline of “doing first what I want to do least” mandatory, and the belief that “trusting myself” is the best achievement yet, better than anything I’ve accomplished thus far. Most importantly, the very moment one of life’s basics pop-up, I immediately get it done before my “gifted mind” has the opportunity to compose some deceivingly-productive distraction.

    My personal ADHD slogan: If I stay a step ahead of myself, I’m that much closer to catching-up to myself. 🙂

    • #76073

      rpeustace
      Participant

      First of all, wow! Loved your post! Lots of emotion and clear understanding of your gift and how this wild thought process is actually a benefit!
      I have to say, I have been finding a lot of love and acceptance in the stand up comedy community. That group of people tend to have similar ideas and thoughts lol!

      Add me on facebook if you want!

    • #76195

      rnphil
      Participant

      I absolutely love that motto about staying one step ahead of yourself that is so cool! I am actually starting to pride myself on the variation of jobs that I have gone through. I had felt like a failure, but after I learned about ADHD, and I sort of turned it into a superpower, I started to find the jobs that fit for me. I knew that working inside all the time was literally going to kill me. I knew that doing the same thing every single day was literally going to kill me. And I knew that having to do something involving math was also going to kill me. So once I figured that out, I I started to see what fit for my personality, skills, energy, and interest. Teaching worked, for a while. Working in the film industry on movie sets worked, for a while. And then being a stay at home mother worked, OK that is still working because it is the most awesome job ever. But the toughest job ever. But the most important job ever. But I guess what I’m trying to say is it is absolutely OK to test drive careers. It’s just as important to find out what doesn’t work for you as it is to find what does. ADHD can be a super power Once you have learned to harness it. I’m still working on that one. Have fun with life!!!
      Nikki

  • #76061

    thorowgoodj
    Participant

    If is good that you have flagged this problem. My experience is that if you are in the right occupation and supported to do what you are best at, it is possible to keep going. When work becomes or includes a burden, things fall apart.
    My solution is to find a practical approach. Ideally that would be one or more of: getting someone else to cover off the tedious work, getting a coach (paid or a volunteer, finding more absorbing work. It maybe you have reached the point in your career when a total review is needed, or at least to examin what aspects of your work you are emotionally attached to. If you combine what you love, what your good at and what pays, you might find you are on track to solving the problem.
    If you would like to explore the above I would be happy to talk you through some ideas.
    Looking through all the replies, you have certainly found an issue that affects many people, and I hope you find the right guidance.

    • #76075

      rpeustace
      Participant

      Thank you!! Yes I would love to have a conversation! My heart is full at all the responses of similar stories and support. This whole diagnosis has led me to be true to myself and learning to acknowledge my strengths and weaknesses. Can’t wait to get going with it!

  • #76062

    lararice18
    Participant

    Yeah, that’s kinda frustrating, I really know how you feel right now, me too, have this kind of thinking why is this happening to me, how I got this kind of disorder, when I was a teen I tend to have those questions on my mind circling everyday until I fall asleep, but my parents are very supportive and guide me to everything I do, its just me that don’t
    have that courage to push through, until I was college, I ask myself what can I do about this disorder, what I did was go with the flow, I read somewhere that so called 5 second rule, it goes like you have that 5 second countdown to push yourself to do one thing at a time, it helps me alot though, until now I’m still doing that rule to get my self doing the thing I want, its on the process, its on the way upward, just think on the bright side of things, I’ve been reading books, doing outdoor sports, I read blogs about this disorder and get insights from, I have to focus to matter what, and pray too..

    • #76063

      andysomos
      Participant

      lararice18

      read about your frustration, the roadblock

      Methinks Ritalin, the medicine would help you very substantially.

      I really think, from my own experience, there may be NO OTHER pragmatic way.

      I know drugs and particularly ones relating to psychological or mental processes have a rather negative connotation, but once you hit on the appropriate one – its GLORY ever after.

      And I AM serious.

      Best
      Andy

    • #76077

      rpeustace
      Participant

      I have not heard of the 5 second rule! I will have to try that and let you know 🙂

  • #76078

    rpeustace
    Participant

    Everyone! If you want, check out my Medium post that goes more in depth about my further revelations on ADHD. Writing has helped me a great deal!
    https://medium.com/@rpeustace/forcing-normal-with-adhd-e75824e2df82

  • #76086

    nerdygirlsus
    Participant

    Hi!

    I MORE than understand what you’re going through.

    I am a career coach, and have ADHD (among other comorbidities). I’d be happy to work with you for no charge, if you are serious about wanting to forge ahead and make changes. I’ve done this my whole life and recently turned it into a business. Folks I’m working with have approached me from my past (ex-employees). That’s what prompted me to start doing this full time. I work with those who need guidance with college, career choices, getting careers going and professional development. Having personal experience with ADHD adds a level of approach that others might not have in your situation. At least, that is what I have found when speaking with others who are neurotypical. 🙂

    If you are interested, please let me know the best way to contact you.

    Whatever you decide, good luck! I know you are capable of reaching your goals with less struggle.

    Susie

  • #76089

    gregorje
    Participant

    Rory,

    You have much support here.

    I am the mother of an ADD 22-yr old and have been involved in his development since he
    was diagnosed at age 5.

    I understand the struggle and certainly everyone’s struggle is not the same.

    I chose to treat him with behavior modification instead of drugs, which is life
    changing as I had to work from home and devote time to his academic and personal
    needs for years. Attending conferences such as CHADD was instrumental in guiding
    me along the way with his diagnosis.

    I realize you are older and your circumstances are different from our own.

    He is graduating college next month with a Bachelor in Recording Arts. I tell you
    that because of all the academic degrees we explored, this one was adaptable
    to his ADD. I’ve written before how the use of headphones has made a significant
    difference in his academic learning and now his career path. Headphone-work helps
    him to focus and gives him the opportunity to hear something he needs to remember
    over and over. It was a gift when I realized in 5th grade he could remember much
    better and stay on task if he was hearing, without distraction that which he
    needed to know and accomplish.

    Difficulty in remembering tasks was a problem. So I would often record on an
    iPod or similar what needed to be done in the order it needed to be done. He learned
    to read that way too because reading meant concentration and focus but if he could
    follow a book with audio, it made all the difference.

    One more piece that made a considerable difference in his life was to learn how
    to ask for help. It was baby steps getting through the teen years learning how to
    reach out without embarressment. It’s hard enough to admit he needed help But
    eventually, he has learned to do so successfully.

    Keeping the IEP open during college also meant he could reach out for tutors
    successfully and without embarrassment. Some people close out the IEP at age
    18 but I recommend leaving it open.

    He reaches out to me just to review his grocery list or talk about expenses
    and always my replies are met with encouragement and compliments so he doesnt’ feel
    like he’s failed. And when people around him criticize, we’ve talked about how
    to turn around these critiques and use them a way to expand instead of deflate.

    The last tool that has made him feel a true sense of accomplishment is to help
    others who have the same ADD/ADHD issues. He was a camp counselor for many years
    and understands the triggers particularly when it comes to chidren. Perhaps
    you could use what you know about the condition and pay it forward. There are
    organizations that could use your insight. There is great satisfaction, as you
    know in helping others and being an expert in something you have overcome.

    I wish you well.

  • #76091

    thorowgoodj
    Participant

    Hi Rory,
    Thank you for your reply (copied below so you know which one it is). How is best to connect?
    Jeremy

    February 9, 2018 at 3:35 am #76061

    thorowgoodj

    Participant
    If is good that you have flagged this problem. My experience is that if you are in the right occupation and supported to do what you are best at, it is possible to keep going. When work becomes or includes a burden, things fall apart.
    My solution is to find a practical approach. Ideally that would be one or more of: getting someone else to cover off the tedious work, getting a coach (paid or a volunteer, finding more absorbing work. It maybe you have reached the point in your career when a total review is needed, or at least to examin what aspects of your work you are emotionally attached to. If you combine what you love, what your good at and what pays, you might find you are on track to solving the problem.
    If you would like to explore the above I would be happy to talk you through some ideas.
    Looking through all the replies, you have certainly found an issue that affects many people, and I hope you find the right guidance.

    February 9, 2018 at 8:42 am #76075

    rpeustace

    Participant
    Thank you!! Yes I would love to have a conversation! My heart is full at all the responses of similar stories and support. This whole diagnosis has led me to be true to myself and learning to acknowledge my strengths and weaknesses. Can’t wait to get going with it!

  • #76157

    Dumpuf
    Participant

    Hi Rory.

    When I read your post, I was completely blown away by how precisely you seemed to be describing me and my life! I have 2 pretty much worthless BA degrees and I finished a Masters of Science in 2016, which likewise has panned out to be yet another degree in a field I can’t land a job in. I don’t have the right certifications/license, or I don’t have enough of the work experience to go with the degree, or my personal finances are sub-par such as to pass a public trust screening (see a whopping student loan debt amount and a long history of late payments from underemployment/unemployment)… While my education looks pretty good, there’s the fact that for the last decade, the longest I’ve been able to hold onto a job was 2 years and 3 weeks- before I was fired from said job for “not being a good fit”. Truth be told, I wasn’t the perfect employee. I had been late to work on a number of instances, I was chronically struggling to complete documentation on time, the organization of materials and files I used in my area made sense to me but not to other co-workers, and the work culture was very cliqueish and I never really fit in anyway.

    Even though I was only ever fired once (from the aforementioned job), throughout my adult life, my average lifespan at a job is about a year, although some positions lasted for only 4 months. And then, there were large gaps between jobs. As for paying the bills, my fall back for about 2 decades was that of a self-representing artist. I had an online business and I did the regional art show circuit. Actually, the most I ever made in a year was through art, but that’s sporadic work which isn’t good when you have children and need to maintain health insurance and a commitment to stay in place so you don’t disrupt your children’s school schedule.

    When I got divorced in 2010, my art business was dissolved. My Ex created and maintained the website that brought in most of the sales, and he was always far better than I at the sales portion of the business. I’m not, nor have I ever been temperamentally suited to do sales. We learned early on that the best way to run our booth/business at shows was for me to sit at a station and work on art, or I’d teach a mini-class during an art show, while he dealt with the customers. So, in all fairness, my Ex did deserve his fair share of the business.

    After the art business was dissolved, I’ve never been successful in starting up a new one. The story I’ve been telling is that I haven’t had the time, or money, or the resources to do art. While that is true to a point, I think the real impediment is that I just can’t (or won’t) follow through. I’ve got dozens of projects but all of them are unfinished. It seems that no matter what I do, I end up sabotaging myself, whether it’s in my career, personal life or just even trying to get through the day.

    Regarding ADD- Since I’ve lived in so many different places, my medical records are now not complete. Somehow, the ADHD diagnosis I had about 20 years ago (and my childhood diagnosis of Hyperkinetic Impulse Disorder- before it was called ADHD) have dropped off of my current medical records. My parents were anti-medication and raised me to believe that my problem(s) are just a matter of poor or weak will, and that I simply had a character defect. All I needed to do was be “responsible”, stop procrastinating, finish tasks once started, and get organized.

    So now, I’m in my late 40-s, and I’m frankly terrified to try the medication route. I’ve tried diet and exercise (no help). I’ve tried piles upon piles of organization strategies, affirmations, and so-called “self-help”, which completely doesn’t work. I’m afraid that if I do get re-diagnosed with ADHD and start meds, that this will show up in my medical records (right now I’m looking for a job and am very likely to have to take a pre-employment drug test). MY MS degree is a specialized Public Administration degree and I’m worried that no one would hire me for a management or public service position if it was known that I have ADD. Then again, I can’t seem to get a decent job anyway, so now what? Since I was about 5, I’ve bought into the idea that all of my “problems” are because I am lazy, or I didn’t try hard enough, or I said/did the wrong thing, or made bad choices, or procrastinated, or was disorganized, or I didn’t pay enough attention to something. I’m supposed to be “smart”, but I’m a “flake” or I’m a “ditz”.

  • #76202

    radunski.saul
    Participant

    I recognize the same cycle you all recognize in yourselves and I honour the enormous amount of work that you have put into doing and being what you have become. Having had to contend with ADD I have had to manage PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) as a comorbid condition. I am seeing the light after a life spent wondering when the joy would return and the internal conflict brought about by ADD would end. This is what I found, the pharmacology is helpful, I did not respond well to the stimulant type medication, only when ‘Strattera’, Atomoxitene came available could I suppress the powerful effects of the ADD. But I wanted that to be an intermediate remediation.
    I see you speaking of the difficulty of ‘consistency’ a consistent remedial behaviour that could ameliorate the effects of ADD. That for me was a relative impossibility. I did find activities that interested me and led to a successful business life although not altogether satisfactory one since the ADD seemed to make it difficult to effectively separate business/work from personal lives.
    Everyone has struggles and big challenges some perhaps more difficult that ADD, but that takes compassion to see. After years of struggling with ADD our reserve of compassion and empathy gets depleted and without these friendships remain challenged.
    I have found from what I’ve read and experienced is that the comorbidities ie those conditions and tendencies that grow up to dealing with the stress of failure and rejection are just as much a hurdle as the ADD.
    The conditions take as much attending as the ADD.
    However I started with consistency which is a discipline and is the toughest and near impossible thing to achieve, much harder than for the typical brain.
    What has worked and is working for me is ‘neurofeedback’ not just any neurofeedback, in my case coupled with psychotherapy. But the neurofeedback is the key for me and needs to be delivered in line with the work done by Sepbern Fisher and separately the work of Bessel Van der Kolk, (two of the most imminent neuroscientist psychologists in the field (see them on Youtube), i.e. very low frequency exercises (not automated high frequency peak style’) mind work outs, that allow your neurons to exercise themselves in the brain towards the neural pathways of the typical brain at your own speed.
    This can be seen to happen over 10 sessions usually at around $80 a session.
    The effect for me has outdone the effects of all self medicated drugs like alcohol and grass. Far better. It may take anything up to 40 sessions for long last effect and perhaps more…..but it is non intrusive and non invasive. Your brain drives the process….
    After many years of looking I have found this method and it works, the ‘insulted’ brain begins to lose its torment and the real, fearful and loving, often intelligent person emerges….and those who’ve genuinely loved you can now be free to do so or not, but they’re no longer waiting to pick up your pieces instead of enjoying the really accomplished human in most of us.

  • #76207

    monicatrav
    Participant

    Hi All. When I read all of your posts its as if I am hearing the frustration and pain I have been experiencing all of my life. I feel that you are speaking from a very similar place professionally. I am currently struggling with having invested in a career and feeling that I am failing at it. I have been aware that I have ADHD for some time. I cope well, most of my jobs have lasted 2-9 years, but have had to leave a job that was very stressful and could no longer cope. I started off on my own and feel that my symptoms are getting really bad to the point I’m considering medication in a last stich effort to improve something. What I really want to is to tailor my strengths and find a better work title. I hate paperwork and I’m afraid all jobs require some of this nowadays.
    I saw Susie offer coaching in this area and I would like to know if you would extend this to me as well. I’m trying to remain hopeful.
    Thank you
    Monica

  • #76209

    Existentialist
    Participant

    Look at my UserName! Welcome to the “Club”. At 59 years old, I am still wrestling with the same issues. Getting a diagnosis was the first step. I made it through a double major in undergraduate (instrumental music and English – the 6.5 year plan), a joint degree in graduate/professional school (journalism and law), and half another Masters (English) = educated way beyond my intelligence. My first career was teaching, primarily a band director. I taught for seven years and my second job, as an assistant band director, was awesome. I loved it!

    However, I wanted to make a “bigger” contribution, so I went to law school. During my third year of law school (a “3L”). I decided to get a Masters degree in journalism because I love to write. Because I also love to teach, I recently finished eighteen hours in graduate English so I can teach English at the junior college level.

    I have practiced law now for a little over twenty years. Most people have a false impression that lawyers are rich, mainly because we can charge upwards of $200 per hours or more. In some cases, they may be right, at least many of us can make a good living.

    However, think about being an attorney with ADHD. Most attorneys in my relatively large county would say, “Yes, he’s a good lawyer,” but the problem is that I suck as a businessman and with finances. I have lost two marriages, the last to a wonderful woman because I am so terrible with finances and am so damned distracted. My brain too often shuts down because of the many cases that I have to juggle along with my everyday life.

    Here are some things that I’ve learned about life and career:

    1. Accept yourself with all the blemishes, unconventional ways, and imperfections (A good book is The Spirituality of Imperfection by Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketchum. The basis is AA principles, but it has a much broader application). Imperfection is hard for us to accept but it is a reality and many of us are more than “good enough.”

    2. Learn to live in the Now. Dr. Hallowell reminds us that we humans with ADHD have two basic time zones: Now and not now. Mindfulness meditation is a great practice. For me, at least, consistency is an issue, but again, staying after it albeit imperfectly is crucial. That is, if you fall off the wagon, get up and get back on (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by John Pirsig helped me here).

    3. If you can’t find your niche, do something, even if it’s wrong. God knows how many jobs that I have applied for in the past twenty years – with other firms (I’m a solo practitioner), government jobs (In my city, a large segment of the population is employed by the federal government, besides the usual city, county, and state jobs), teaching jobs in public and private schools, etc. ad nauseum – only a couple of interviews in the past 20 years. I have taken minimum wage hourly jobs to give me a break from the stress of law practice. But the point is that I will keep on trying.

    Especially with ADHD, it is a journey, not a destination. With the above outlook, I more often have peace in my journey.

  • #76214

    ljdeltamom
    Participant

    As a family member with 3 generations of ADD and a spouse with it. I totally can relate. I have a mother who in her 70’s has just gone on medication…she can’t believe the difference it has made, her interest and ability to focus on her interests and learn new things ( photography),has really stood out. Also she is more alert..not napping, not eating excess sweets etc.Life altering. She has “metamorphosed” she said. I totally recommend trying medication it is never too late…discuss with your doctor ( for those who have not yet).
    Meanwhile my brother is not doing so well…if only they new when he was a kid …now on the streets… Now that my mom knows she and he have ADD she is going to tell him to get help. As for my son I am doing whatever I can to help him…supervision, support, coaching, everything…he is stuck…but he is funny and still smiling…I will never give up.

    • #76216

      gregorje
      Participant

      Existentialism,

      Please advice who Dr. Halloway may be. I see the name
      but no reference, unless I have missed it.

      Thank you.

  • #76312

    Existentialist
    Participant
  • #76350

    lararice18
    Participant

    Hey guys,

    I’m so glad to hear your stories too, It’s like my strength to hear your thoughts too, thank you
    btw, I’ve been reading blogs from a website too, https://www.adhdcentre.co.uk/blog/ it really help me alot just like ADDitube website.
    hope it could help you too

    Thank you.

  • #76361

    Linda Mercurio
    Participant

    I’m 70 years old. I had a beautiful townhouse that I loved. Because of my failure to not spend money I’m an emotional spender I lost my townhouse because I couldn’t afford the taxes anymore. The house was paid for. But I have credit card debt over 40 thousand dollars. My mom trusted me to save the family home and I didn’t. I failed the one person I didn’t want to hurt. I’m having a hard time forgiving myself. I can’t afford to do anything because I have very little money. I don’t know how to forgive myself. Thanks for listening.

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