How ADHD saved Me from.. well, Me.

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    • #51381

      So this isn’t really a question or an answer, its more of an story of an epiphany. Im 53, and only recently diagnosed as having ADHD. Yesterday my Doctor sent me here looking for blogs in regards to ADHD coaching, without really going into why I should. What I discovered about me in half an hour exceeded almost everything of the sort from my lifetime up to that point. Impressed, I went to “join” and found my usual username was already used, not a first but uncommon. Then I realized my email was already used as well, so I reset my PW and logged in. This is relevant in a kind of prophetic way.

      You see, just prior to me being diagnosed ( I now suspect there’s more of that to come), I and a friend of some years had a falling out. That friend Also has ADHD and so sometime in the past I probably came here looking for understanding her better or advice or both. In the process I must have signed up for a login and forgot about it.
      The reason we had a falling out was a direct result of my undiagnosed ADHD. Months have passed since we last communicated and I have been busy trying to get up to speed with my new found self, and so took my time thinking about whether or not I even wanted to try re-engaging with her. As much as I missed her( I could never quite place what drew us together), there were things I wasn’t sure I liked about her. Then I read this in an article here;
      “People from the ADHD world have little self-awareness. While they can often read other people well, it is hard for the average person with ADHD to know, from moment to moment, how they themselves are doing, the effect they are having on others, and how they feel about it all. Neurotypicals misinterpret this as being callous, narcissistic, uncaring, or socially inept. Taken together, the vulnerability of a person with ADHD to the negative feedback of others, and the lack of ability to observe oneself in the moment, make a witch’s brew.”
      One word triggered an immediate realization that perhaps I was applying incorrect methods of reasoning. Narcissistic. I was interpreting her behaviors, which had almost exclusively defined the parameters of our interactions, and like I was a neurotypical mind with neurotypical reasoning decided she was just too narcissistic, on top of all the ADHD helter skelter behaviour.
      I immediately took action and sent her a text looking to reconnect. It might not happen any time soon.
      So here’s something Interesting I have realized also. As if to prove the quoted article’s point, not knowing I had ADHD and applying that perspective on both our parts was a huge part in our blow out. Ironically, just a few days prior to that, I had mentioned to her about me being tested for ADHD and her reply was ” No way you have ADHD, I would know. That’s my disorder, get your own.” Which to both our best knowledge, I already had. I have a diagnosis of Schizo Typal personality disorder as well, for which there is no real treatment and was what I was seeing my doctor for prior to the ADHD diagnosis. Yeah, I score very high for both. So I now have an answer as to what it was that we had in common but wasn’t able to pinpoint in a tangible way. We already knew we were two crazies on a tear, we just didn’t know we were the same kind of crazies, we always assumed it was differences that allowed us to put up with each other most of the time, and argue some of the time. While she has Adderal to work with, she only takes it when working or driving long distance. So you can imagine the kind of antics that can come from having 2 adults with unmedicated ADHD behaviors out in the general public. Good Times!

      Now where I depart from that article is where it mentions how people with ADHD have little self awareness. I have developed a large amount of it. As there is no effective treatment or drug therapy for STPD, and due to its nature, I have had to develop self awareness just to deal with the major symptoms to some degree. Unfortunately, it was all directed at STPD mainly due to the large amount of effort it required not to become a full time hermit or knife wielding madman, pushing my boundaries and to not succumb. I’m beginning to think that having ADHD actually is what allowed me to succeed in that where so many others could not. And here I thought it was pure intellect. Then add the ADHD symptoms on top.

      It may sound strange, but I am very lucky to have ADHD. Perhaps, between the two disorders there was just enough complimentary forces at play to be able to maintain self awareness. Enough to survive 3 years living in a homeless shelter when most STPD victims would have imploded, exploded or ran for the hills. Enough to recognize all SSRI’s and MOAI’s they were trying on me either had zero effect or turned me into a very dangerous man (I’m trained in combat martial arts, which also contributed to self awareness but also fear of what could happen). On the other hand, ADHD had me so focused in that effort that there is or was nothing left over for interpersonal relationships.
      So in some circumstances, self awareness can exist with ADHD and I can see how “zoning” can play a big part in that. Now that I have a medication to alleviate at least some of my symptoms, I expect even better success with my reconstruction. For the first forty-ish years of my Life, I can see the negative impact ADHD had, and despite that I did manage to have a decent if interesting one. The last decade however, when the STPD began its major manifestation, took any success I had managed away. I now see how ADHD gave me just enough focus and awareness to fight back against my mother’s legacy (STPD is genetic) and I can rebuild. I never thought I would be so excited about being diagnosed with a disorder. Me 2.0. On speed.

    • #51386

      Congratulations! It sounds like you are in a good place in your journey. In general, I found that ADHD people have good problem solving skills, an awareness of the variety of life, and an ability to look behind the noise to the root cause. These are very helpful attributes no matter what issues we tackle. Seeing other people through the prism of our own strengths and weaknesses is human, since it’s the only reference point we have. Few people (ADHD or neurotypical) can truly transcend that, but every step is a victory.

    • #51485

      You wrote an amazing piece..I identify with so many things you said and kuddos to you for seeing the upside and downside to having an ADHD brain.

    • #54023

      Hi there – I’m almost 40 and was just diagnosed in the last month. When you wrote, “What I discovered about me in half an hour exceeded almost everything of the sort from my lifetime up to that point” – that really resonated with me. The diagnosis has been bittersweet – but I agree that I have learned so much about myself and why I do things over the past month that it’s….well…incredible.

      Carry on and keep strong 🙂

    • #199627

      Wildly interesting considering I too have received the same diagnoses’. Reading your post has enlightened me about myself and specifically at least one if not more relationships that have suffered due to similar realities. Thanks for your info, if you see this response please IM me, I’d love to hear more from you

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