June 5, 2018 at 6:58 pm #85602jrw09eParticipant
I’m a recent graduate of Florida State. I always excelled in my academic work, and never struggled with “school work” or passing classes my entire life….EXCEPT…it took me 2 extra years to graduate college. It’s not like I wasn’t understanding the material; I was just more and more lost, as I was about to graduate. I stalled myself because all of these feelings of “uneasiness”, which came out of nowhere. It made me feel inadequate and diseased to a certain extent. I understand that I’m not incapable of doing things, I just had a rush of “WTF” at a crucial time in my life. I needed to gain answers, but at the same time I had no idea what was happening to myself internally.
I always thought I knew what I wanted to do, but with graduation creeping closer and closer, the more self doubt i possessed which led me into depression. I’ve struggled with this depression for quite some time now…The good news is….I’m not depressed or ashamed of myself anymore…the bad part is..I’m still not answering these internal questions as to… “why I am I still struggling with making decisions, and why is it so hard to stick to decisions I make.”
I view decisions big and small, like I’m about to be enslaved by something. I understand that it’s totally irrational, but within myself it reins true. I’m wanting to go into commercial real estate, because that’s what I want to do and would be great at. I have experience working for my dad, but complimented my older age, it makes me seem like I’m a “Leper” amongst candidates.This could be all internal, I’m just being transparent as to how I feel.
I’ve been really nervous and hesitant to start a thread, but I believe today is my cracking point. I’m extremely personable, motivated, and great with numbers, as well as my own friends “personal therapist.” I know you’re probably thinking well make yourself better…if it was that easy, I wouldn’t still be struggling with finding answers.
I just want to have guidance and help to start my career. I was never worried about anything relating to my career, because there was no cause to. Now all this negativity surrounding, “my situation”, seems to be my “new brand” amongst people which really affects myself moving forward. I feel like I’ve been wrongfully branded because of confusion and my ADHD symptoms taking over rather than myself. I take full responsibility for my actions, but if I had a better understanding of what was going on…I would’ve changed them tenfold. It makes me feel like, everyone I know is tall enough to ride Space Mountain (a roller coaster), and I’ve been a few inches shy of going on the ride for 10+ years now. Essentially, I’m painting a picture, “I JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO ANYMORE.”
. I know this is grammatically incorrect and I don’t care, because that’s not the point. I just wanted to share my frustrations, and hope someone can help me by any means. If I’m being one hundred percent honest, I just wanted someone or some mentor to take me under their wing and just say, “hey life isn’t over it’s just starting. I don’t think life is over! I’m just saying, it’s hard to deal with this myself for any longer, and at the same time dealing with people thinking you’re becoming a flake or failure.
I’m not a failure nor am unmotivated, I just need help from people who will understand what I’m going through.
June 6, 2018 at 8:28 am #85617JBoomParticipant
I’m almost 50, I’m still not sure what I want to do with my life. I’ve always felt that the perfect career opportunity was just a hair’s breath out of reach. And yet, I have a wonderful career in software engineering.
Unfortunately, part of ADHD is often that sinking feeling that you’re missing out on something better. Which can prevent timely decision making. There is a great hypothesis out there that ADHD is the expression of a “hunter/gatherer” gene, as opposed to the “farming” gene. That is, humans had an evolutionary split when a genetic mutation gave some people the ability to settle down, focus on learning to plant food and raise animals rather than being constantly on the move hunting and gathering food. If you think about all things that make a great hunter/gatherer vs. all the tings that make a great farmer, this hypothesis makes a lot of sense.
You didn’t mention if you had sought treatment for ADHD. Medication and/or therapy can be very helpful in learning to live in a farmer’s world.
June 6, 2018 at 8:37 am #85620Penny WilliamsKeymaster
Congratulations on graduating from college! THat’s a big accomplishment!
It sounds like you may have quite a bit of anxiety — anxiety that you’ll make a bad choice. The thing is… life is full of bad choices/mistakes. That’s how we learn and grow. I know though, having anxiety myself, that it’s hard to turn off your worry brain, even when you know it’s irrational.
You will very likely be most successful in the field that you are drawn to, in the work that you really want to do. Follow your instincts.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
June 11, 2018 at 12:52 pm #86101majeanParticipant
I break things down into small decisions. If all I have to concentrate on is this smaller step, it’s easier to handle. Like instead of “I need to get a job,” I only concentrate on the first part of finding places to apply, ignoring what comes after for the time it takes me to complete that one task. Then once I’ve collected those applications or links to jobs, then I only concentrate on applying, one by one, until they are all done. It often helps me to think of things like a game and completing tasks is like earning experience points. There’s actually an app out there called Habitica that essentially turns your life into a video game that has really helped a friend of mine. You put in tasks like “ate breakfast,” “drank water,” “read a book,” “applied for a job,” or anything else you want help accomplishing, and when you complete them, you get gold and experience. When you don’t, your character takes damage.
June 11, 2018 at 6:28 pm #86173ADHDinPGHParticipant
“I view decisions big and small, like I’m about to be enslaved by something.”
I totally relate to this feeling. I get so much anxiety around making decisions that, even if they’re “big”, aren’t irreversible. It’s hard to rationalize with yourself when your brain is being irrational but you already understand that’s what you’re doing! What I do when I catch myself having an unproductive internal conversation about a decision is to remind myself that there is no bad choice. Every choice just leads to different learning opportunities. And at the end of the day, even if people think you are flaking out because of your ADHD and anxiety (hey, maybe you are? So what), it’s not going to matter in a year. Or maybe even a month.
As the person above said, break it into small steps. First try just catching yourself having those thoughts and practice debating with that thought — try rationalizing with your irrational inner voice. From there you can start to reframe the conversation with yourself to be more positive.
But really, you already said it yourself, “life isn’t over, it’s just beginning.” And that’s totally true!
June 11, 2018 at 7:08 pm #86181impudentminParticipant
Congratulations on your graduation!
Just by asking for help, with such honesty, you show that you have the maturity to listen to others in order to make good decisions. This, and your slightly older status, will make you stand out amongst other graduates as a quality employee, I’m sure you will find work in a place that values you, even if that isn’t the first, second, or third place you apply to.
I wish I’d been as self-reflective as you are at your age. You are really getting to know yourself, and that is key to living a satisfying life.
You’re quite right, making decisions is not a ‘sentence’. Try to identify how much of that feeling comes from external pressures. Even in movies, people graduate and stick to their career for life, but that’s a social construct for a story, not a picture of reality!
There are so many ways you can satisfy multiple interests. Night school, or online learning, for example. I’ve had many, many jobs, and now I’m at peace with constantly moving – it’s unconventional, but I enjoy it. I’ve studied language at night school whilst working as a cook, with vocabulary lists posted up in the kitchen, so that I could travel. You sound inovative, find your own way! Volunteer work, clubs, all sorts of possibilities exists for you to make the most of your varying interests and curiosities.
So, enjoy the opportunities your graduation brings to you, and take time to enjoy the freedom between now and a career. Keep on reflecting on what is important to you, and recognise when you need a change. Sometimes little changes, such as finding a new route to work, can be enough to help new ways of seeing things to emerge.
June 18, 2018 at 11:23 pm #86696Big LParticipant
I was just recently diagnosed with ADHD, and I’m almost 57 years old. While discussing this with my counselor she gave me something that made so much sense to me. The ADD/ADHD brain is amazing at making snap decisions. However, if it’s something that needs to be meditated on or researched we can get lost in information gathering, and weighing all of our options. She gave me the acronym, NICU, (New, Interesting, Challenging, Urgent). Something new grabs our attention, but, if it isn’t interesting to us, we will become bored with it and move on to something else. If it is interesting we have the ability to super focus, the same goes for Challenging. Urgent describes our ability to make snap decisions. After this was described to me I reflected on my life and the jobs I have held. Military for 17 years, Truck Driver, Computer consultant, Terminal Manager, and Operations Manager. Each of these jobs goes along with the NICU explanation. I could never work on a production line or as a secretary in an office, I would go crazy. In school, I always wanted to move forward instead of going over, and over, what was being taught. So after the first time going over something I would start drawing until something new was being taught. That didn’t always go over well with the teachers until I repeated back to them what they were teaching. Attending school was very boring! Ok, so on to what I would do and have done my whole life. If an opportunity for something presented itself I would jump into it. No thinking about it, just do it. That makes it New, Interesting, Challenging, and Urgent which activates our brains. I had no idea that this is what I was doing to cope with my ADHD, that and always bouncing my legs when I was bored and had to focus. Jobs that are great for people with ADHD would be jobs such as, police officer, paramedic, doctor, lawyer, manager, and others that require quick thinking and decision making. I don’t know commercial real estate so I can’t say that it would be something I would do. But, if you like it and can get lost in it for hours then it will work for you. I love spreadsheets, I start working on building one and can be lost in it for hours and hours. Forgetting to eat and sleep. Anyway, sorry for my long-winded reply, thanks to everyone for the support that is provided here.
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