January 1, 2019 at 7:14 pm #106051damnmouseParticipant
I just joined because I’m struggling with performance issues at work. I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was 15, I am an adult now, I get through life by schmoozing and using a self-deprecating sense of humor. I’m good at many parts of my job, but the paperwork is important too and if I don’t succeed there- well, I have to succeed there. I feel like the only thing that has kept my life from falling apart completely is the kind and forgiving nature of others and being a moral and supportive individual. Sometimes when people talk about ADHD symptoms they do not discuss my commitment to morality and my tendency to care about the needs of others, and it pushes me away from treatment when that happens. I usually use a sense of humor to don the outfit of a quirky, determined individual who never fails but “succeeds awkwardly” when my symptoms are fully visible to others, I think this has saved me from getting fired before. It’s randomly really important that people like me as a person so I spend a lot of time thinking about what other people might be feeling or thinking at a given moment and why, so that I might help them feel more comfortable around me. My love life is funny and not the cultural normal, but it causes me no distress.
I presently work with once-homeless adults who struggle with alcoholism. I used to be an EMT/Firefighter, and have developed cumulative PTSD from that time period. The area in my life where I suffer the most is work. I am good at making friends but I’m awful, awful at keeping commitments, doing paperwork, focusing, sitting still, remembering meetings, ect. I’m like the worst at all of that. And when it’s apparent to others a profound sense of shame and self-loathing overcomes me, and I start worrying about everything- whether I’m liked by others, whether my parents would be proud of me, so on so forth. Sometimes I have suicidal thoughts when that’s going on for me. Work is a major trigger as I am in a field I am passionate about (and in some core areas, am really good at) and the thought of failing over some of the minutia elements of it fills me with a form of shame and dread that I have no words for.
I’m terrible at following through on psych appointments (usually I just forget when they’re happening) and ADHD coaches cost like $125 an hour that my insurance and salary won’t cover. I’m hoping maybe this is a way I can unload some things off my mind and feel good about supporting others who have a similar experience as me.
Feel free to tell me anything your experience with ADHD, I look forward to joining discussions with you!
January 2, 2019 at 8:03 am #106077Penny WilliamsKeymaster
Working on the shame could help you tremendously. You’re not defective, you have a different brain. You have a different way of doing things that are outside of the “norm.” And that’s ok as long as you get the job done.
The key after working through your feelings of shame is to find ways of achieving what you have to that work for you. This is what ADHD coaches facilitate, but I know it’s not an expense everyone can manage. You may be able to find a job coach (in the public employment office?) that can work with you on this as well.
You listed your sticking points as:
“keeping commitments, doing paperwork, focusing, sitting still, remembering meetings”
So, start brainstorming some out-of-the-box ways to keep commitments, get paperwork done, remember meetings, etc… Then keep trying different tools and strategies until you find what works for you. A calendar with alerts/alarms? Setting a schedule for doing paperwork (like every day from 4-5 pm is paperwork, for instance)?
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
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