Living with ADHD and Dyslexia

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    • #73815

      I’m sorry I cannot stop crying. I feel so alone. I’m very depressed at how things are in my life. I have ADHD (combined type) and dyslexia. No matter what I do, people never seemed to appreciate the efforts I put in. I’m taking Adderall for my ADHD but it’s never going to perfectly fix me into a neurotypical person. My ADHD symptoms does come out sometimes but I never meant to hurt anyone. I don’t think I’m a bad person but people make me feel like I
      do things intentionally to make them feel bad even after I apologized. I showed them books and articles about ADHD, they say they understand but then it’s the opposite when something is actually occurring. I always trying so hard, most simple things are difficult for me. Everyday is a struggle.

      Right now, I put my passions of art and poetry aside for a 9-5 office job. I really hate it, to be stuck in a routine, in a cubicle whole day and having to deal with paperwork all the time. I get distracted so easily because it’s an open office and my coworkers are just loud. I talked with HR and they cannot do anything else for me except a noise canceling headphones. The dyslexia make it harder to read paperwork too. I cannot quit because I’m the only one working now and NYC is so expensive. My husband does not have a job and he just give me extra stress. I wish he would get a part time job to help out a little but he said he never do that, he is too proud. I put my art and poetry business aside (I want to sell greeting cards with my art and short poetry verses) and use the money I’m earning to help him. He wants to start his own business which I have no interest in but I have to help him since he’s not fluent in English or else he gets mad. He makes me feel like a very bad person when I’m over stressed and I get ADHD. It hurts a lot.I feel as if nothing I do is good enough. I like to be ADHD and dyslexic because it helps me to be a very sensitive and creative person. But I wish I was born without it so I can get along with most people, especially my husband. I feel like it’s all my fault and everything would be nice and rosy if I was born with a normal brain.

    • #73825

      Hello, wings.

      I’m so sorry about what you’re going through and feeling. I know there’s nothing I can really say that will change anything, but please just keep trying and holding on. Sometimes we have to make hard choices and it sounds like you have a few of those coming up, but I hope you will do what’s right for you. Please don’t give up.

      I stumbled across this while google searching how to fix my life lol so I can empathize with you on a lot of things you said here. Especially that part about you not thinking you’re a bad person but people making you feel like you’re a bad person… and feeling like your efforts aren’t being recognized or appreciated. It’s like some people don’t truly understand how hard everything is. Everything is so hard.

      I truly am sorry for what you’re having to go through. Things can get bad and change is hard but you just have to keep determined to achieve your goals.

      Also, please don’t be weirded out by this, but I made this account just to reply to this message. Sorry. I don’t know why I’m posting this.

      Good luck.

    • #73833

      Hey, Whisperingwings. Listen to me!!
      You are not alone and we can all help you. I have personally been dealing with the same thing as you for all my life (I am 56, a man, a scientists with ADHD and Dyslexia). I have been to hell and back many times. This modern world and I just do not fit each other. I live in the UK but know NYC so well so I understand your world. Everything you have said makes complete sense to me: boring 9-5 administrative job with little if any creativity, wanting to do art and poetry, being distracted with those horrendous open plan offices, HR don’t understand, nobody understands, impulsive nature, trying to educate people who see ADHD as a modern excuse, challenging relationships where the partner does not see your world as you do, nothing is good enough for me.

      You must now stop and make some thinking space. You must find a calming place, and watch, and enjoy and be grateful you are alive, unique and a wonderful human being.
      So can I help you break this down and manage the individual parts because to an ADHD person the sum of all there’s parts can be overwhelming and destructiveness making you jump about hopeless in the ocean with little sight of land. But you are not alone and others see your world and you will find them.
      I walked around Greenwich Village only 4 months ago. I visited some of the art galleries, the minimalism made me feel so calm, just to stand still and look at the artwork and think. Ordinarily, my mind is so mushed up!!!!! A millions thoughts, ideas. You must now find that space, that wonderful ocean of calmness that is inside you. I cry, but with happiness of who I am. After all these years, I am so happy to be alive but like you I still struggle at times, hell is never far away.

      Let’s start with some basic tips I can suggest to break this gigantic volcano erupting in your world.
      I carry a small note book around with me in my back pocket and write my millions of thoughts down, then return later. They are not lost anymore, just await my return to either forget or work with them. I have a list of the wonderful things in my life in my note book. My memory is bad, I forget good things, forget how happy I am. So I remind myself with little phrases, affirmations (i am so lucky to be alive) , I remind myself of my beautiful 2 children, my lovey home in the country, my travel, my ability to paint, making furniture, my creative brain.

      Like you, I also have the most amazing imagination. I think like no other. I see what others can’t see. I have such a wonderful ADHD brain and my Dyslexia has allowed me to paint the world with mind maps. Mind maps are the best way to deal with my Dyslexia.

      For creativity, I am on Spotify on all my Ipads. phones, Mac’s and a pair of Bluetooth headphones. I have all my wonderful music, Thomas Newman, Sting, Vivaldi, Kate Bush, Coldplay, Vangelis. At any moment in my life, when I feel I am drifting, loosing myself, in the car, on the train, cycling, I put on my music. Alone in my head, I calm down and play with my emotions. Film theme music is wonderful for that. Go to Grand central station. a café on Broadway, with your headphones on and a note pad, sit on a bench and watch the world. Enjoy all the people just walking by, who are they, what are they, imaging their worlds. Write down you creativity, your poems, your artwork. With Thomas Newman in your ears (score to the film, thank you for your service), or other music, let your mind play.

      Read ‘Fidget to Focus'(ISBN 9780595350100), a book that will explain why your brain is at it is….You will learn not to fight yourself.

      Whisperingwings you are unique and wonderful and you have a world ahead of you that no one else can see. You hold so much power within you but are surrounded by boring normal lemmings in automatic mode, just falling into the same consumer trap. Don’t let them drag you down.

      These are just snippets of my world. Now to work, and play, dealing with the normalness of life: Knowing what is enough, finding your own limits, managing that partner, being happy who you are, helping others to help you, holding your head up high, finding the right job for you, setting ADHD goals.

      If I’m making sense and with your pemissions, I can continue??? When you wake up in NYC and read this, reply and lets all start making you that happy little person again, remember her (or him?)..JB

    • #73837

      Sorry whisperingwings, you’re definately a her as I re read your post. You see, Dyslexia gets blamed for everything 🙂

    • #73884
      Penny Williams

      First, you must recognize that things are never “nice and rosey” for anyone — even neurotypicals have their struggles. Second, stop equating struggle with something being wrong or broken with you. You are simply different, not deficient.

      It would be very helpful if you could find a job that plays more to your strengths or interests, and depends less on areas of weakness and that you find less tedious. The ADHD brain will always perform better in tasks and environments that are of interest to you. I’m not suggesting there’s a job out there where you’ll be 110% happy every moment, only that there is likely a much better fit for you.

      How to Align Your Career with Your Passions

      Can you work on art and poetry as a freelancer on the side right now? You could potentially build up enough freelance and commission work to one day no longer need the traditional job to sustain you. With sites like Etsy and Redbubble, there are great opportunities for freelancers.

      It also sounds like you should contemplate your marriage more, possibly. It’s damaging to accept a relationship that makes you feel bad. Would he go to couples counseling maybe?

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #73911

      There are voice dictation apps that will allow you to do a lot of your writing just by speaking. That could be helpful with your dyslexia.

    • #73956

      Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy lives to reply and try to help me. I am doing art on the side. I don’t have much time because of my 9-5 job. I would stay up until 3 with my art and then wake up at 7 to leave for work. I always have thousands of thoughts and images going through my mind. It’s very comforting when I can finally put it down by drawing or poetry. When I write poetry, I don’t have to follow logic and I can be free to write in my style and connect unrelated things together to make meaning. If it’s ok, I would like to share one of my poems here.

      I started carrying my ipad with me to work so I can spend my lunch time drawing. I don’t have any friends. I cannot carry on conversations with people and I easily get bored. I am very bad with faking interest and people will quickly know I am bored. I feel guilty and selfish for being bored. But whenever I go to an ADHD or dyslexia support group, I find myself being able to focused. Dyslexia makes it hard to speak with people. Words doesn’t come out of my mouth quickly and my sentences are grammatically wrong. I have the pictures but I have to convert it to words and that’s slow when talking in real time. People would think I’m stupid. On some days, when I read or write, the words become animated or fading and it can take me 30 minutes to write a simple email in the office. I re-read things multiple times before I understand it. I want to use voice dictation apps but I worry that more people will know I have dyslexia. I feel embarrassed at myself. I’m the only person who cannot sit still at meetings and everyone is so adult like and disciplined. Some coworkers already tease me and copied my behavior (I look around a lot when I cannot concentrate) thinking it’s a joke. When I could not spell a simple word, they burst out laughing at me. It hurts a lot. This is how my brain functions but I’m not a bad or stupid person. I could not defend myself and end up crying at home. People are only nice to me when they need help solving a problem. I’m so sensitive. Even going on the subways is a struggle because of too much sounds, movements, lights, etc.

      Does anyone else take Adderall? I try to decrease the dosage because I want to be myself. As for the dyslexia, I don’t think there’s much I can do now since I’m an adult. I will not be able to afford the special training.

    • #73985

      Whisperingwings. I do not take Adderall but Concerta XL. It helps me focus. It is difficult to know if it still works as one forgets the original symptoms existed and can’t compare fore and after. If it helps you and without it you struggle too much then unless you planning to change your lifestyle and become a freelance poet or artist, you may need to continue for the moment. I too do not want to take medication and await retirement to come off it and be myself. The un medicated me is very spontaneous and butterflies continuously. The only way for me to stop the spontaneity and butterflying is doing physical exercise. I need to cycle, run or build something big in my garden to physically exhaust myself. Alcohol only works for the duration of the drink and an hour after so I don’t try that anymore. Long fast paced walks help a lot. Ten blocks down Manhattan, on a less crowded avenue, surely would wear you out to the point when the brain slows down to a peaceful pace. ADHD’ers have a challenging time with serotonin, the feel good chemical that is secreted in the brain for excitement and feeling good. I need medication to sustain a regular output so I do not keep seeking more serotonin by doing risky and exciting things. My bored brain is constantly making situations to secrete more of it, normally meaning I become controversial, annoying and even rude. On medication, I can control these compulsive thoughts so I don’t seek excitement to feed my insatiable boredom.
      To manage boredom, I split my day up into manageable chunks using a time plan and easy reach range of goals. Can you take tea breaks for 15 minutes? That gives you four or five breaks in the day. I don’t know about in the US but in the UK we have laws about staring at a computer screen for too long. Fidget to Focus, the book I mentioned can help you on that front, keeping you mind focused while doing something else. I find having music in my ears helps me to retain information and concentrate. For instance, I am listening to Peer Gynt Suite in my headphones on Spotify, easy listening classical music while I write this. I sort of hear the music but my mind is clear to write. Having different goals across a range of activates helps to stop my boredom, including a break and a walk down the office.
      Your thousands of thoughts can be challenging. I too have many thoughts but have learnt to focus on one thing. Again, I stress the ‘fidget to focus’ and music in the ears, a real powerful tool. Everything we do can be turned into fun and excitement. It’s how you think about it. Even repetitive work can be fun if you set yourself a challenge. Some ADHD people love challenges. We love to meet goals and beat them. Set yourself a goal and try it. If you are typing, set yourself a goal to increase your word count. Set yourself a goal to read slightly faster. Set a goal to understand a bit more that last time. Speak to more customers on the phone. Ask them more questions. Develop how you ask questions to extract more value. Do you keep a note book? Why not draw your notes rather than write them. If you need to keep notes then small innocuous doodles is getting close to mind mapping. It’s fun and creative. Software called Inspiration for Ipads ($40) is a great tool for mind mapping. A thousand thoughts can be put down on one page rather than in the linear conventional fashion, which Dyslexics hate.
      Boredom. This is a big one. I get bored listening to people whittle on about nothing. I go into a fog and have developed the skill to look interested but be thinking something completely different. I pick out a few words from there speech to pretend to reply with Interest! Sometimes, I get a bit shirty and ask them to get to the point, which is perceived as rude and arrogant. I often treat them like Judge Judy does, hurry up and make you point. I always reckon I would have made a good judge as I can see the point and distil the waffle from the chaff. Boredom comes from a very good brain. A fast processing brain that needs constant stimulation. Do you know why you are like this? There is an evolutionary reason why ADHD’ers may exist in about 5% of the population. You are one of those 5% and are very special. ½ a millions years ago on the planes of Africa, early hominids probably lived in groups, hunter-gatherers, finding food and shelter as they roamed the Savannah. One or two in the group where ADHD and were inquisitive, risk takers, seeking reward, often natural leaders and the groups followed them. Those few would seek out new pathways, climb over mountains, swim round headlands, and try new fruits and berries. Without them the group would have stagnated, stayed still, a risk in such a world. Survival then was about keeping ahead of the crowd, finding new sources of food when supplies were low. ADHD’ers were the innovators, the early adopters, the risk takers and rewarders, pushing the group to bigger and better things. Of course some ADHD’ers were eaten by tigers or drowned on the sea. ADHD’ers were masters of risk and having Dyslexia as well was an added advantage still. They were experts at processing chaos, with extra abilities in disseminating colour and movement in chaotic scenes; They could see the tiger in the rushes, the snake in the grass, the carcass in the mud pool, the hunter in the bush speer pointed at them. Reading is a modern concept and the brain was never designed for it. The modern human has evolved parts of the brains processing centres and redistributed the usage to accommodate new skills, reading, maths etc. The human brain was designed for a very different purposes and while 95% of people who are not Dyslexic or ADHD have adapted to this modern world, your brains still craves the risk and reward, the excitement. The boredom you feel is that dichotomy manifesting itself. Your fidgeting, unable to sit at meetings, is your brain trying to stimulate itself and use the processing power stimulated by the brain chemicals, rather than stagnate. You see why you are very special now. You are in the wrong time. You are NOT stupid in any way or form. You have skills that far exceed your surrounding environment and you need to play to those strengths. You will not change yourself and you should not try but remould your world to fit you rather than mould to the other 95%.
      I ask you a question, you say you reread multiple times before you understand. Is this because you can’t concentrate or you don’t understand the words or context or struggling to process the information? Is it just so boring you can’t be bothered? These are very different issues and Dyslexics with ADHD’ers have a double whammy on that front. What do you feel when you try to read? Remember Dyslexic naturally read more slowly (unless you have coping mechanism) as that part of the brain pathway processes differently to others. However, bear in mind normal is a very dangerous word so by normal I do not mean clever or stupid, I mean what it feels like to you? If you work in a predominately wordy and ready workplace then you will need to manage that. Once you find the right tool, you will excel beyond the crowd. What have you tried?
      You mentioned your partner does not understand. You mentioned other work peers do not understand. How could they ever understand! Of course they can be sympathetic. I have seen many therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists who do not have ADHD or Dyslexia but have read all the books and met the people. They are experts in their field and good for them. They supply you with models developed at Harvard and they do help sometimes. They make you feel good about yourself and give you tools to cope but they don’t feel the constant battle we face. Unless you have ADHD and Dyslexia preventing you from functioning to the level of your peers (as dictated by their metrics), why should they ever understand? Unless you’re in ADHD and Dyslexic shoes, don’t expect people to understand you. Sympathy maybe forthcoming. After all, you look normal, therefore you must be normal and Dyslexia is an excuse not to work (that’s what people say to me) !!!! I am a scientist and know lots about the atom, but I am not an atom and will never know what it is like to be an atom. I only know what it like to be an ADHD’er and a Dyslexic and my recent specialists was completely clueless at what it feels like to be me.
      You can’t distance yourself from your partner if he does not understand. I have been married 30+ years and I can tell you about partner survival living with ADHD. It can work but it need a special methodology. If you really love him then he needs your help as much as you need his.
      Finally, software is not the be all and end all. It works for some but not for others. I am often too impatient to learn and use this new software as my brain works too fast and can’t get the most out of it. Finding what is right for you will take a bit of time.
      Keep writing and the help will come. JB

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 12 months ago by _addprodtest.
      • This reply was modified 3 years, 12 months ago by _addprodtest.
    • #74089

      Is there any way we can change the title of this post but keep the content? It’s not so pessimistic anymore. Thank you for sharing your insights with me. You explain things very well and with creative, vivid story lines. I’ve been ADHD and Dyslexic since my earliest memory. All of my elementary school teachers tried to help me but my mom could not accept the idea that I have a “learning disability.” She was too proud “Your father is a surgeon and I’m a chemist, it’s impossible for you to be stupid!” Even now, she cannot accept my ADHD and Dyslexia but can admit that I’m a good artist. I didn’t know the term “ADHD” or “Dyslexia” when I was a child but I just knew I was very different from other children. I was always day dreaming in the day time but very hyper at night, jumping on the bed at 3am, drawing or creating stories when everyone else was sleeping. I could not read easily unless I memorize the word as an image. I could not understand school work or daily life tasks like tying my shoes unless I create a story. Everything have to be connected with metaphors in order for me to get it even now. I felt very behind and dumb. Even my so called childhood friends teased me and said I cannot read and that I just pretended to read. I found out that I have ADHD and Dyslexia 3 years ago and everything suddenly make so much sense. I started crying but out of happiness, knowing that there is a name behind all this and I’m really not alone.

      I feel that I have trouble reading mainly because I cannot picture certain words in my brain and then I get stuck or I misread the word by connecting it to something else in my memory. I misread and mispell a lot of words especially if they look similar. Today, I caught myself making mistakes with “any” “and” “her” “how.” “notice” “notify” “ryan” “cry” things like that. I have a habit of using “thing” a lot when I talk because I cannot retrive the word quickly. Numbers can also be torture because my brain automatically flipped them in all directions. Sometimes concentration is a factor too, it gets worse when there are distractions. I carry a Bose noise cancelling headphones with me all the times but it’s not always effective with city life and open office environments. Music helps a lot. I enjoy British rock (big Beatles, Oasis, Liam, Noel Gallagher, Babyshambles, The Libertines, Pete Doherty, Muse, Radiohead fan) and classical music. Nowadays, I use google to correct my spelling and writing. I have to learn excel for my job and I did it all alone. I try to make sense of everything by using visual images in my brain. I Try to understand the spreadsheet and its elements by capturing it in my own way with images in my mind. I think I’m doing well with the excel even though it’s difficult because my manager and boss always gave me priority work and trust that I can do it.

      It’s a challenge to be around most people because I get bored easily and I can be talking about many different things in 5 minutes. They get tired trying to catch up with me. The Additude site is very helpful. I feel “Aha” moments almost everyday when I read the articles or people’s personal stories. I want to share my most recent poem that I wrote for the 2017 Holiday.

      My wish ascent to the winter sky and cross over
      The snow falls down, memories piled up in my heart
      Carried by the wind to the joys of tomorrow
      My projected dream is colored by
      this enchanted scenery
      Looking to the sky,
      stars twinkle and sing
      Holiday lights illuminate our paths,
      onto the new year

      I have a question about our brains and the prefrontal lobes but I should really log off now. I still have to follow a typical 9-5 routine and should eat dinner. Tomorrow is finally Friday and I can really be myself on the weekends!

      Thank you for reading and your kindness! I really appreciate it!


      • #74118
        Penny Williams

        I can change the post title for you if you let me know what you want it to be. 😉

        ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

      • #74949

        Unless you are adopted, your mom or your dad or both are quite likkly also ADHD. It’s the most inheritable trait next to height.

    • #74125


      Your stories of a past childhood bring back memories to me. I did not know I was Dyslexic until 35 and officially diagnosed as ADHD until 55, 12 months ago. I have caused so much havoc in my life; teachers standing me on the table to read out aloud at the age of 10, staying awake all night traumatised by the thought of being shown up to my peers. Like you, I am quick to change the direction of the conversation and can talk on many subjects. I flit about like crazy and people often laugh as I can extract great humour from most situations. In fact, comedy is a great outlet for ADHD’ers as we have the wit, the ability to see the bigger picture and bring together often-unrelated events and facts to make a coherent amusing story. ADHD’ers are spontaneous and often inappropriate in what we say because we process fast, are often three sentences ahead of the conversation, dropping in comments apparently unrelated, in reality seeing the direction of flow well in advance. We pre-empt the direction we want the conversation to go to remain interested. Boredom forces us to look about, notice every noise, see every movement, respond to other people’s conversations butting in inappropriately. Boredom forces us to think of many things until one grabs our attention. Your poem is like this, a big, multi-dimensional, exploring the world. It is written by a flock of birds each one wanting to speak. You are so aware of your world that your poetry wants to say many things all at the same time taking you away to a better place. You jump from your body to the sky, from your emotion to pain. You wish to fly away and engage with the world. You are a big picture person with an amazing smart brain. But you have a bit of self-esteem building, like me, and probably many ADHD’ers and Dyslexics, rebuilding what was taken from you as a child by the ones who were there to help you. It’s a life long pursuit.

      You may find this next bit hard to grasp but….Your father is a surgeon, a craftsman, a technician of the body. Your mother is a chemist. I am sorry whisperingwings but take them of their pedestal. They are mum and dad and all your world; you love them dearly but they are not geniuses. In the USA and UK these professions may be considered smart, because they demand the highest entry qualifications to study so attract high achievers. I can tell you, I know surgeons and chemists and they are the same as you and me. (Some surgeons are ADHD as this fits with the excitement and risk profile). Society has decided to inflate their status, and wage, as they deal with the most important thing on the modern day agenda, life and survival. They may earn good money but they are not up there with the big boys. Ask them a question of medicine and they may know the answer because they read the books, hear it at a conference, found it on the net. Can they write a poem that really hits the heart? Can they put colour to paper and make something new that makes people feel good. You are up there with them, even so ahead that you left them behind when you were a baby. Creative thought is the most intelligent of all. Nobody told you this as a child and surrounded by the 95% of mundane rat racers (a bit cruel but you get my point), how would you know otherwise. We are all a creatures of our environment. Humans mimic their surroundings. A basic psychological need for humans is to be part of the crowd, to fit in, not to be seen as different. The whole of the modern 1st world is designed to produce clones of ourselves. Our education systems produces clone civil servants, typists, surgeons and engineers. We are all taught the same things and told to behave the same way. We preach ‘No change is good’. Don’t mend it if it ain’t broken. I once heard a well known Dyslexic say how our education system damages creativity. How true is that!

      I deal with the best brains in the world, the smarted, biglyest (sorry that my ‘Trump’ bit) educated scientists and I can tell you, repeating what someone else tells you at school, in a book, mimicking a skill that others have shown you, going to university and getting a med degree, or whatever is not the intelligent bit. Intelligent is NEW unheard of unexplored ideas, concepts, bringing together unrelated facts to make a bigger better more valued thing, joining disparate research to make a completely new imaginative idea. Thats what you do at a PhD level. Intelligence is seeing the world in a completely novel way. Painters and Poets are very intelligent but the modern world values those skills less than Chemists and Medics. The emotional quotients, about 7 in all, represent the true breath of intelligence. But modern society picks out the ones of value for today and focuses on them at school with less emphasis on the rest. The most intelligent people in our modern world you’ve probably never heard of; James Clark Maxwell, the man you explained electromagnetism out of almost thin air. He saw the world from such a completely different angle. Michael Faraday, (definitely Dyslexic and probably ADHD) the man who brought us electricity. Those you may know: Michael Angelo, Richard Feynman, Pablo Picasso, Albert Einstein, Stephen Spielberg, real creatives and geniuses. These are the ones I really believe are clever. Not my GP, my manager or my accountant. Creativity is intelligence, not repartition and technical skill and those people have no right to tell you otherwise. What people are actually saying is ‘I earn more money than you, are treated with greater respect in society than you, looked up to by my peers, I am a good person’ so go to college, learn what I learnt, and earn what I earn and you will be a good person. Next time you face you mum and dad, you look at them with your head up high and remind yourself that you think brand new thoughts that no one has ever thought of. And when you look at your work colleagues, you remind yourself that you have more creativity than all of them put together. You would be the one who saved the tribe from disaster ½ a millions years ago by warning of impending danger, well in advance. Sadly, in this world, often people are educated to wield power over those around them. See how a graduate says to non-graduate, I have a degree. See what power that has to a dyslexic who struggled at school. Those comments can be very debilitating, reinforcing the belief that one feels stupid, knowing that we are not, but not being able to prove it. This is why ADHD’ers and Dyslexic must choose their friend, and careers wisely.

      My father was an Architect and designed new spaces to live and work in. He was miles ahead of the crowd. My mother was an actress, probably ADHD, beautiful Kinaesthetic learner and an amazing eye for colour and fashion. They did not know I was Dyslexic or ADHD. They could not help me as a child and I suffered for it at school. Now I have learnt who I am and my children (one daughter who is Dyslexic) have made their world fit them. With my and my wife’s help and guidance, we nurtured their skills to the full. My eldest was in NYC 2 months ago planning a Broadway show as she is a set designer in theatres. You should see her design work, all from that creative dyslexic brain.

      Microsoft Excel. Become the best Excel person ever. Read the book and find new ways to do what you already know, a great goal. Become the best Excel person in the office and slowly the others will come to you for help. YouTube training!

      I can’t spell but if someone else asks me to spell a word, I can spell it for them. Strange but it shows the different pathway the brain uses to process data. Processing in the brain is a very complex mechanisms and the simple fact that I try to remember a word needs a different route to the one when some else asks me to remember that word. Prefrontal lobes, what about them? JB

    • #74198

      Hi Penny, thank you. What about “Living with ADHD and Dyslexia?”

    • #74201

      I’ve been thinking about articles that I came across many times saying that our prefrontal lobes and other parts of our brains are smaller, delayed, and less active. My question is since the frontal lobe is seen as the part of the brain that is responsible for high cognitive functioning such as intelligence, creativity and problem solving, why do ADHD and Dyslexic people (as history shows) excel at this better than people with a regular size frontal lobe if that part of our brain is actually not functioning well? I find that people with “regular frontal lobes” are always running to ADHD and Dyslexic people when they are facing a crisis. They are stuck, they shut down and they give up very quickly. I’m confused. It makes me feel that ADHD and Dyslexic people are inferior when that’s really not the case. Society look down on us.

      Too much value is place on language and left brain skills. I really hope to launch my art/poetry greeting cards business this year and follow my true passion. Most of the greeting cards at the store are boring. I usually find myself spending a long time and to leave the store with nothing special but just forcing myself to buy it because there are no other options. So I started to create my own cards with my poetry in it. Not long poetry, short but meaningful and can touch the human heart. I also want to create posters and prints with my art and short poetic verses, to inspire children to always hold onto their imagination. I always wanted to be an artist but my mom never supported me and she wanted me to be an accountant. i don’t know about my dad because he passed away when I was a baby.I’ve been at my current office job (work for the government) for almost 4 years now but I never get respected because I cannot give presentations. The dyslexia prevent me from speaking smoothly. The people who can do good presentations are quickly promoted even if they are there for less than a year. The problem is they are not presenting their ideas. They are your typical “mundane rat racers.” I contribute a lot but many people just take advantage of me, steal my ideas and treat me like crap. Do any of you feel that way too? I created an auto populating ticketing system with excel for the office because they don’t want to buy an online ticketing system and it’s making them look good at important, official meetings. I am always the person they go to for problem solving, emergency situations, they even admit they like to “pick my brain.” I know there will not be any improvement because I’m different and the only solution is to leave and do what I really like.

      Thank you for reading!

    • #74205

      Whisperingwings. Firstly I was not aware of your father passing so young and misunderstood the context. My apologise for mentioning him in my post and I hope I did not offend you. But I feel you got he context which relates to all people. Sorry.

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 12 months ago by GlobalThinker.
    • #74207

      It’s ok I’m not upset. I’m just very stressed with my day at work with people. I hope I can get out of the job soon.Please don’t worry about that. Actually, thank you for lifting my mood. I was feeling so bad at the office in the afternoon and then I check my phone and saw your positive message about my poem and my potential. It gives me hope that I don’t have to be stuck in the office forever to survive in this world.

    • #74216

      Hey whisperingwings. I love the business idea. Cards in the UK and so boring. I also buy one because there is little choice. I even started painting my own greeting cards in water colours, scenes of Oxford University, near where I live. But nobody realised they were receiving a real water colour painting so I stopped it. I really like your cards with meaningful poems for every special occassion. Go for it. People steeling ideas. It’s happened to me many times but I think a lot of people can argue that experience. Humans are natural theives sadly. Most of us will at some point take someones idea. Just watch your back, mark your territory or idea so others will know the true inventor. Assume all your ideas will be stolen and manage that risk accordingly. Even if you sell on line, someone may steel your idea and make money out of you. I had a business for 10 years and I had many of my ideas stolen, having to go to court to get some punative damages. That’s business life I’m afraid. So think very carefully when you sell on line about how to protect your cards as copying is seen as a legitimate business model in some countries. There are many ways to protect your printed idea.

      I am off to Switzerland Skiing for a week so may be off line but I am working on this frontal lobe question. I am not a neurologists or psychiatrists. I have never read about differing frontal lobe sizes equating to intellegence so do post the link so I can read it. I am very aware of the number of neurons a brain has and the brains capacity, through its plasticity, to make new connections for cognative development. I am never surpised how brains can reconnect aftr strokes or damage. Maria Montessori, the creator of the montessori schools, researched on improving the intelligence of low IQ or brain damaged children through unique exercises. She showed how low IQ could be improved by training and exercising specific parts of the brain using very specfic tasks tailored for that part of the brain. When applied to so called normal IQ, equally improved cognitive capacity was forthcomming. Recent research has even discredited the left brain right brian concept so you’re not wrong in appreciating the waste of focus on one or the other.

      So the field of neuroscience, a field I am ever in awe of, is ever changing showing how little we understand how the brain works. Professor John Stein of Oxford university has done much research on the Dyslexic brain and you should google his work to read the latest developments. I am priviliged to see him lecture regularily here in Oxford. the work of Vilayanur S. Ramachandran is the best I have read on the brain and how it actually works.

      ADHD often accompanies other so called neurological ‘advantages’ like Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalcula and other speech related conditons. Like super tasters who can taste 25% better than me and long distance runner who have inate abilities to store carbs, work to your advantage rather than swim against the tide. Don’t change what you are but do what you are. Then it will be easy and you will sail to success. Happy Googling in NYC. Globalthinker

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 12 months ago by _addprodtest.
      • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by Penny Williams.
    • #74379

      Hey whisperingwings. I love the business idea. Cards in the UK and so boring. I also buy one because there is little choice. I even started painting my own greeting cards in water colours, scenes of Oxford University, near where I live. But nobody realised they were receiving a real water colour painting so I stopped it. I really like your cards with meaningful poems for every special occassion. Go for it. People steeling ideas. It’s happened to me many times but I think a lot of people can argue that experience. Humans are natural theives sadly. Most of us will at some point take someones idea. Just watch your back, mark your territory or idea so others will know the true inventor. Assume all your ideas will be stolen and manage that risk accordingly. Even if you sell on line, someone may steel your idea and make money out of you. I had a business for 10 years and I had many of my ideas stolen, having to go to court to get some punative damages. That’s business life I’m afraid. So think very carefully when you sell on line about how to protect your cards as copying is seen as a legitimate business model in some countries. There are many ways to protect your printed idea.

      I am off to Switzerland Skiing for a week so may be off line but I am working on this frontal lobe question. I am not a neurologists or psychiatrists. I have never read about differing frontal lobe sizes equating to intellegence so do post the link so I can read it. I am very aware of the number of neurons a brain has and the brains capacity, through its plasticity, to make new connections for cognative development. I am never surpised how brains can reconnect aftr strokes or damage. Maria Montessori, the creator of the montessori schools, researched on improving the intelligence of low IQ or brain damaged children through unique exercises. She showed how low IQ could be improved by training and exercising specific parts of the brain using very specfic tasks tailored for that part of the brain. When applied to so called normal IQ, equally improved cognitive capacity was forthcomming. Recent research has even discredited the left brain right brian concept so you’re not wrong in appreciating the waste of focus on one or the other.

      So the field of neuroscience, a field I am ever in awe of, is ever changing showing how little we understand how the brain works. Professor John Stein of Oxford university has done much research on the Dyslexic brain and you should google his work to read the latest developments. I am priviliged to see him lecture regularily here in Oxford. the work of Vilayanur S. Ramachandran is the best I have read on the brain and how it actually works.

      ADHD often accompanies other so called neurological ‘advantages’ like Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalcula and other speech related conditons. Like super tasters who can taste 25% better than me and long distance runner who have inate abilities to store carbs, work to your advantage rather than swim against the tide. Don’t change what you are but do what you are. Then it will be easy and you will sail to success. Happy Googling in NYC. Globalthinker

    • #74451

      Hi GlobalThinker, here is a link to one of those articles:

      Thank you for the positive feedback on my business idea. I’m also worry about another thing. I have severe Dylsexia especially when I speak and I don’t know how I will deal with that if I run any business. Currently, most people make me feel stupid or they don’t want to be around me because I cannot pronounce certain words, my speaking is slow, my reply is slow and my grammar is bad. I’m just slow when it comes to language skills. I really want to say to them “I have Dyslexia! Please don’t judge me!” but that’s not possible. ADHD and Dyslexia causes problems daily. The Dyslexia embarrass me. I cannot find words quickly or they just don’t come up at all so I have the habit of saying “You know what I mean…” “You know, that thing…” Sometimes, it will come across as rude but I never meant to be rude. The ADHD makes me appear immature because I’m always fidgeting and I cannot focus, everything in the environment will quickly grab my attention so my eyes are not at one place. I’m 32 and I want to stop moving. I came from mixed heritages. My father is Japanese and mom is English, Burmese and Chinese. The Asian culture is so strict that woman should have more self control.

      Thank you for reaading!

    • #74902

      Hang in there. Your thinking will show up at a time when most needed and you would really be surprised how much of a difference you have made in someone else life already. Quit struggling, You have nothing to apologize for.

    • #74917

      I know exactly how you feel. If you want to
      Talk more about issues. You can email me directly
      and I can help.

    • #74974


      I feel I can relate to your story very well.
      My movements is always slow even if I do my best.
      It makes people think I am unmotivated.
      This gave me feeling of stress and incompetent.
      Last year I switched with my wife and now she started working full time while I try to start my own farm.
      I do so my best at home but never can reach even small amount of the quality my wife delivered at home.
      Now she is stressed about me and thinks I am uninterested and selfish. She knows about my ADHD and Asperge but still gets disappointed and angry at me.
      I regret getting close to other humans.
      As a cargo-train driver I was working alone and living alone. Living between my work and my virtual gaming world I was atleast not a bother to other people.

      At this moment I can’t give advice because I myself feel also down. But I continue to think about the song “my way- frank senatra” because I done it my way. Even if people don’t think I done something good

    • #75026

      I can relate to whisperingwings challenges. I’m diagnosed on the moderate to severe spectrum. Right now, I’m on the severe side as the combination of reduced physical activity influenced by helping my recovering wife, managing the household and kids, and a chaotic contract job, sent my head spinning. The good news is, my contract ended early, and my wife and I took that as a blessing for me to get some much needed rest.

      I can relate on a number of factors. Skeptical spouse, being fidgety, signs of dyslexia, boring jobs, business idea that seems just out of grasp, easily distracted, difficulty talking to others. While I don’t have answers, I can share what I’m doing to adjust my expectations of myself and others.

      My wife has had life long health challenges that within the last few years, and after 2 kids, consumed more and more of my time, reducing the time I had for activities that unbeknownst to me at the time, were things that moderated me. It was in 2015, shortly after our second child, that she had surgery with an unexpected lengthy recovery, during an economic down turn in the oil & gas industry. Thankfully my employer at the time had a employee crisis line to call. As someone who excelled and thrived at overcoming difficult situations, while logically I knew it was the right thing to do, emotionally, whether it was pride, or thinking “this too shall pass”, or thinking that “yesterday was a bad day, and today will be better”, it took me 4 months until I dialled the number and stayed on the line to talk. As silly as this sounds, that was one of the hardest things I had to do. Shortly thereafter, I was put in touch with a psychologist who after several sessions, asked me questions about my childhood and other experiences that I had not revealed to her previously, that then led her to say “I think you have ADHD”. That was the beginning of my diagnosis. I went on to get a more formal diagnosis, and have now hired an ADHD coach to begin working through issues, starting with routines and sleep. Upon initial diagnosis, I was relieved, pissed off, very sympathetic to my wife’s complaints about me, and scared for my kids all at the same time. My wife’s initial reaction was unsurprisingly one of rejection of the diagnosis, and without me saying or inferring anything, immediately rejected the notion the kids have it. Several years later, some conversations, helpful links, her initial reaction has softened, yet still very skeptical.

      To overcome this, I am scheduling my wife to join me with my coach, who is neuro-typical, to have my coach discuss and relate to her situation. I’ve learned the hard way that it sometimes takes a 3rd party to help. The time off while I’m looking for a new contract, has allowed me to rest, and we are actually talking more, and I’m trying to open up more. There’s a couple’s retreat, based on the Gottman approach, in June, that I’m going to sign us up for. My wife has struggled for years to figure out why I do the things I do, and has done everything she could to help. I can see why she has resentment, and it’s up to me now to carry this forward, so she doesn’t have to feel like she’s parenting “the 3rd child”.

      Fidgeting? Whether it’s bouncing knee, tapping fingers, or conversations that go off somewhere, you name it. It’s an unconscious outlet to burn off excess energy. For me, recognizing this and looking inside as to what’s causing it helps to moderate.

      Dyslexia. Not sure whether I have this or not but I notice, after the fact of course, that I will transpose numbers or words that I read or read to me. I used to survey roads years ago and after working 10 hours, I was entering in numbers backwards; 10.437 would become 734.01. You mention using the word “thing” in place of a word that you should easily remember, but can’t recall in the moment. I’m just like that. I get creative when that happens to create humour and overcome the shame and embarrassment of forgetting. For example, “Where’s the thingy thing that changes the channels on the TV?”, response “Do you mean the remote control?”. Or, when I am completely blank, I’ll make fun of myself and say “Where’s the thing thingy that things things?”, response “Huh?”, my response after my memory starts working, “Oh yeah, the thingy from Walmart you asked me about”

      Boring jobs and distraction. It’s not that I’m in boring jobs, it’s that there’s an administrative aspect to my job that often causes big headaches because the procrastination and excuse monkey takes over. Logically I know I need to do those things, however, I try to make a schedule and routine that allows me to complete these things in as minimal time as possible. Part of making this part of the job suck less, is to actually get creative and figure out how to make it suck less by figuring out how to make it fast and/or fun. eg; I had to fill out timesheets in a new SAP timesheet system that was slow and unintuitive. After the timesheet police and by boss got really on my case about it, I set about figuring out how to deal with this. I learned I could copy the previous weeks entries so I wouldn’t have to renter the codes and the times. In addition, I found out that I could retrieve my time entry data through the data portal and spent some time setting up a dashboard comparing my estimates to my actuals. This was initially rewarding as it made this activity really quick and less painful, and over time, allowed me to see where I was spending my time so I could ensure I was using it wisely. Eliminating distraction is paramount. In cube farms, I try and find the place that balances me with less distraction, yet, keeps me around people so I don’t get hyperfocused. As for email, turn off all those stupid popups, and put in rules to filter out noise. I have a personal guide that after 3 emails, I pickup the phone, schedule a meeting, or go meet the person.

      Business Idea. I’ve got a business idea that I want to try, yet is always just out of reach. Right now as I work on my next contract, my coach suggested I get all those “to-dos” out of my head and write them down. I’ve done that, and have started to complete them. I put a few bar charts to visualize my progress as a way to contextualize what feels like an overwhelming list. As an ADDer, time and linear thinking don’t come easily. I just started on things on the list that were really easy, and that got the ball rolling. Before I knew it, I’ve got about a dozen things done! Why does this matter to my business idea? These have been perpetual distractions that if I don’t tackle somehow, will continue to be there and distract me. The trick is not to get sucked into a new project, write it down, sit on it, then evaluate it’s priority! With the weight of these todos starting to lift, I feel more motivated to pursue both the creative aspects of my business idea, and the necessary yet boring aspects of it. In this last week, I’ve felt much more motivated to reach out to people, attend business sessions, research the “necessary boring stuff”, and even conceptualize what the “business to-do list” should start to look like.

      As I read through the posts here, I can empathize with the folks on here. I also smile because I see the same things, such as REALLY LONG POSTS, as I’m prone to do. 🙂 As was pointed out earlier, part of the feeling different is that we do think differently, and evolutionnarily, for good reason. We’re not deficient, ADD is labeled as a disorder by those that think we all need to fit in a nice bell curve. I’ve learned to manage through physical activity, socializing with neuro-typicals to understand their world, socializing with like minded people to fulfill the “social acceptance” which helps to reinvigorate and maintain the energy required to deal with the world. Believe it or not, there was a time when left handed people were forced to use their right hand because somehow using the left hand was wrong or the devil’s work. Despite the acknowledgement that being left-handed is a hereditary trait, and some accommodation such as left handed scissors, left handed computer mouse, left shooting golf clubs and hockey sticks, the reality is that the world is right hand dominated, and that’s unlikely to change. I am reminded of this when I find a smaller selection of left handed hockey sticks at the store, or go to rent golf clubs, only to have none, or the crappiest left handed clubs while the right hand ones are new. Even my fancy new smart watch believe it or not, does not have a left hand oriented setting! Since this reality is unlikely to change, I have had to change my expectations, and to make fun of these situations. The alternative is to fall into a cynical, bitter view of the world, which is extremely toxic. Now that I’ve had my diagnosis, enlisted some help, I’m getting better tools to be more aware of my negative triggers that so I can better use my desired ADD characteristics in ways that benefit me and others.

      One last thing, I can empathize with the cultural biases. I have family that is old-world European, and friends that are Polish and Chinese. In the old-world European mindset, there’s a lack of acceptance for anyone that’s different or perceived as “defective”. Unbelievably, in this day in age, I see that still persisting, even here in Canada, in these communities. When my grandparents were alive, I remember talking about these topics, how quickly they would dismiss it. As for Chinese, in talking with friends emigrated from China, or 2nd generation, I hear the same strict “proper behaviours” that one should undertake. It might be my oppositional defiance disorder talking, however, I reject those strict definitions of what is proper or not, and openly challenge them. My grandparents being very conservative and old-world European, I was pissed off at the current conservative government in power years ago, so I voted for the most leftist party, and then used that to challenge my grandparents assertions that the only good government was a conservative one. My point was not to be a “pain in the ass”, but to point out the fallacy of labels, ideology, and blind adherence to authority and cultural norms. It was only when my grandparents were in their last years and their bodies were failing them, did they realize the uselessness of the facades they purported their entire life. It wasn’t their fault, it was the time and generation they grew up in. My grandmother would always put on makeup before leaving her room. As her arthritis kicked in, she was unable to do it herself, and was very angry when she was wheeled out to the dining hall with the other residents. When my wife and I explained to her that almost everyone there couldn’t see or their minds were not present, did a huge sense of relief come over her that none of them cared! It only took her 87 years to realize that!

      I hope that helps you whisperingwings, and the others here on this thread.

    • #75089

      I…Oops, I meant “Hi,” but missed. I can see yha (that) you all can relate. I am (almost) purposfully not using the corrections sujested by the spelling and grammer police on this yyping window. not so LOL on me. –Oops again should have said “purposfully (almost),” but I dyslecticized the words. …I have made some corrections now.–

      I understand all of what has been discussed (unfortunately so much ofthe negative things).
      Whispering, so … oops again!–I mean “do” and not the word “so”, do not give in to dryer people in your life. I call them dryer people because in my many many sojourns on the psych ward because of misdiagnoses, and also co or multiple coexisting conditions with my newly diagnosed ADHD at age 59 (ut (it) DOES explain ssooo much, as has been pointed out by others. Anyway,…focus, focus, focus…) when I would find people crying or hugly distressed on the ward or anywhere, and I would find them saying “I just want to be normal,” I would take them by the hand to the laundry room and show the(m) the place on dial on the dryer that said “Normal.” “This is ‘normal,'” I would explain to them, pointing to the setting. I have now coined the phroase “Do you aspire to be a setting on a dryer?” LOL, Whispering, I guess that would not make a good greeting card catch phrase… (Ah, coming back to this, the correct word is “jingle” it thimk, maybe…oops, get m’s and n’s mixed up too) LOL!! or maybe it would, for those of us who understand. You probably would not make your first $million from it though…
      Whispering, your poetry is brilliant. Encapsulating of visual/emotional impressions into words. I write in much the same way… sample line….
      Squeezed out of a drowning brain, the words lie like

      Your words expressed the capturing of hope and beauty as well as your memory of pain. Thank you for sharing your hope and pain.

      I let my ADHD brain have unfiltered exposure at the beginning of this text, Whispering, because, there is always hope. Hope means that even if you cannot change the picture you are looking at, you can change the way you choose to look at the picture. “Feeling” trapped is a “feeling” and it is possible to make changes. Today is my 63rd birthday. I have made many changes in my life, and even under the wrong meds and diagnoses, I continued to fight for and pursue what I knew was right for me. I still strive to accept that my “brilliance” that, like you, makes me the go to person for problem-solving, also makes me appear way, way, way, different from those who choose to pick my brains. I am good to be around when I am useful, but much too difficult to accept and give space to be me in, when I am not of use.
      Whispering, people make fun of what they fear and do not understand…and who they are jealous of. They will not take the time to know the you that makes you brilliant and beautiful because they cannot keep up with the beautiful way your mind works. You were not created as a dryer person. It is not your job to do only the mundane things in this world in order to survive. You are meant to be
      “Carried by the wind to the joys of tomorrow
      My projected dream is colored by
      this enchanted scenery
      Looking to the sky,
      stars twinkle and sing”

      Find a way to bring people into your life to help you do the “dryer things” to start your business souring… You can find and use people who are as good at doing the mundane things that need to be done for your business dream in the same way that the business you work for has found how to use you to do the creative, problem-solving things in Excel that they need doing.

      When you research the ADDers who have soared, they have WORKED to find people they can Trust to fill in the dryer places in their lives. I encourage you to find ways to make this happen… keep texting, keeping building your understanding that you are brilliant and beautiful and worth risking getting to know. Socially awkward does not mean socially impossible. Your co-workers who mock you are to be pitied, because they are less socially mature than you are…. Imagine how small of minds they must have that they have time in their dryer brains to think up such time-wasting silliness. Imagine what must their other small thoughts be like… While you are soaring and thinking beautiful words and seeing the way amazingly different and divergent ideas go together, they can only think of mocking someone they cannot take the time to learn to understand, even a little. While it is Very difficult to live in my brilliant brain that has no off switch, I would not want to live with their small, small stagnant thoughts… In your compassion, learn to see their fear and limited imaginations that prevent them from seeing as clearly as you do… And continue to teach yourself compassion for yourself, and for others who think differently than you do. Just as it seems “not fair” that you were not born neuro-typical, it is equally “not fair” that they were not born to soar the way we can….
      While you can soar into the sky where the stars twinkle and sing, your co-workers, your partner, and the rest of the world, walk on the ground. The sky and ground may never truly understand each other, however, they can meet at a place of compassion and desire to understand…a place where newness can begin…where the sun rises. At the horizon… Can you imagine that? Be encouraged. I am 63 years young today. I will never give up. I have many years of life to live and give life in… Be encouraged Whispering…

    • #75091

      I think I can relate to your feelings
      this is what helped me

      I believe God created this great universe and everything in it. from the large planets to the tinest particles.
      So I leave my affairs to Him. I do the things that I’m capable of and the rest I depend on Him because He runs this life And whatever He says goes
      Reading the Quran takes those clouds away from my heart and when I pray my five daily prayers I tell God about my feelings and what’s bothering me that day and I go on doing my best to please Him because He will and has always been there for me and He is and will for you too if you just ask. He loves you and He is waiting for you.

    • #75151

      Thank you for sharing your stories with me. I really appreciate your thoughtfulness. Even when things are not working out so well for us, this community is very important. I still have my bad days but the additiude group is helping me remind myself of the positive traits that I do have when someone teases me, I cannot read, speak well,spell, walk straight, accident prone, cannot do simple things, feel bad for being different, etc. Today, I was forced to sit with a colleague and learn about the phone aspect of our job. He’s a neurotypical. We were talking to a vendor on speaker phone but he couldn’t figure out what was wrong and we stayed on the phone with that person for about 30 minutes. I took my adderall and luckliy it was helping at that moment or I would be boiling with impatience! I had a solution since the beginning but scared to say it because I thought he’s like a teacher to me now so it’s disrespectful. I finally suggested my solution and it quickly fixed the problem in less than 5 minutes.

      Do you feel that you can quickly see the answer before other people? I try to control myself from blurting things out because I don’t want to be rude. But it’s very difficult because your brain is screaming “It’s right there! Can we get to the point and move on?!” Also, I cannot engage in small talk. When people say to me “why you don’t socialize?” I really want to tell them “Because you’re so boring, I rather be daydreaming and escape you.” And I get comments like “You’re always in your own little world” I would want to say “Because the real world doesn’t stimulate me enough”

      Talking about cultures, my mom would say to me when I lived with her “Girls/Women should be organized, why you cannot organize?” Then we would get into these big fights because I procrastinate and she threaten to kick me out, actually did kicked me out one winter snow storm in NYC.That was one of the most difficult times in my life, didn’t have any family and I really thought it’s the end but I passed. I was 24 at that time. I’m 32 now, will be 33 in March. I know I will outlive my father even if I do things my way. (I also like song “My Way,” especially the rock version)

      Again, thank you for reading my post.

    • #75158

      I love to have problems to solve. The problem makes me feel stressed but I enjoy solving them. The most enjoyable times as a train driver was when things went wrong.
      Now I am working in a shop behind a register and have trouble to stay focused.
      The fights with family sounds very familiar to me and also broke almost all contact.
      When I speak people don’t understand me and always get the wrong idea.
      I say something out of kindness and people get angry and frustrated.
      Now my focus is on learning how to speak more to myself and less to others. If I don’t talk to others, they can’t get angry (I hope?).

    • #75203

      On most days, I do feel like I would be much better if I an alone. I feel that people gave me a lot of stresses since I cannot filter anything and I feel too much. When I am upset, I will blurt out extreme comments. Most of the times the other person don’t know they upset me. At the same time, I also feel guilty that I gave people a lot of trouble with my impulsiveness, sensitivity, procrastination, and a very low tolerance for boredom. I try to keep to myself and don’t talk so there’s fewer chance of misunderstanding. Well, there will be misunderstanding anyway with neurotypical people. They will see me as rude or uninterested no matter what. And they will always bore me very easily too. My speech is slow and it’s not smooth when I speak but my mind is very active with images, videos running all the times, ideas, patterns, etc. I cannot slow it down and I get angry when people tell me things like “slow down, you think too much.” I should tell them to “speed up, think more so you are not boring” but they will surely get offended.

    • #75561

      @whisperingwings. Yes, I often arrive at the solution or answer before others. I still do blurt out, although I’ve gotten better at this. What I’ve also learned too, is that my solution or answer is not always right either. If the urge is too overwhelming, I try and phrase it in away the reduces negative feelings such as, “Excuse me for the interruption. May I suggest a quick resolution to fix the phone?” This way, I don’t come across as being a pushy know it all. And if I don’t know all the steps to resolve, at least phrasing it this way gets others to provide their input too making them feel like their helping.

      I too find it hard to socialize unless the topics are of interest to me. Generally, I’m exhausted (still working on sleeping issues), and when we do visit friends, I’m often passive, but do make an effort at least to move from group to group/conversation to conversation to appear sociable, pass the time, and mostly, in hopes to engage in conversation in something interesting. Celebrity gossip, nightly news, “reality tv”, and most popular stuff, will bore me. If I’m in the right mood, I’ll go into a tirade and disspell the myths of the crap that they are discussing. If they are good friends, they often appreciate the alternative point of view or tell me to shut up with the conspiracy stuff and we laugh! If these are new people, I have to try VERY HARD to bite my tongue.

      Two events stick out in my mind where I really bit my tongue hard, and, where I couldn’t hold it in. I was visiting the head office in a different city and was out with colleagues at a bar and the topic turned to the troops in Afghanistan. It was early in the evening, and we just ordered drinks so this wasn’t the liquor talking. Being a new group of colleagues I just met and that they were passionate about this topic, I kept to myself and listened. However, when one guy said “these people don’t appreciate what we’re doing for them, why do they hate us?”, I lost it, but in a assertive way that commanded attention. Essentially, I explained they don’t hate us, they are denied similar opportunities to live a good life, and out of frustration, anyone or anything that makes them feel like they belong and can achieve those dreams, they will listen too. Another time, I met my boss and his wife for dinner. As we were talking she quickly discovered I was not local and asked if I was from Minnesota, and I said I was Canadian. That turned on her switch to say that Canada had let in all the terrorists for 9/11, etc. My blood was boiling at the misinformation she was saying. I could see my boss was uncomfortable as well, which somehow managed to keep me from going off. Somehow, I managed to get in a word about the only documented terrorist from Canada was in 1999 and he was caught at the border and jailed. This relieved my pressure, however, the one sided conversation continued and I tuned out.

      I’m often in my own world, and constantly reminded of it. I have explained to my wife I generally don’t hear other conversations if I’m focused, I just hear background conversation. eg: If I’m checking on a text message and my little son asks for a drink, I won’t hear what he asked for, just that there was talk. This frustrates her because “I’m not paying attention” to our son. This is technically true, however, it’s not out of selfishness or malice. This is the part neurotypicals have a hard time grasping. Our actions are construed as negative, as if we are intentionally out to hurt others. It was only a few years ago did I realize that my wife, and others see me in a negative way because it’s the undesirable aspects of ADD they are seeing, and that they don’t know, as I had just realized, that the ADD traits are not personality traits, but, behavioural traits influenced by ADD. What makes it even more difficult to comprehend, is that there are times I can hear my son clear as day, from across the busy grocery store, which contradicts the many times I can’t hear him next to me. It’s difficult to reconcile these two extremes, for ourselves, and others. For the longest time, I would say “I don’t know” which was true because I didn’t know I had it, and couldn’t explain it. My wife is partially convinced of my diagnosis, still very skeptical, and is unwilling to listen to explanations when’s she’s frustrated in the moment when I forgot again what she just said. Bit, by bit, I’m making progress on helping her to understand, and find ways to work with it. As I mentioned earlier, I’m bringing her to my ADD coaching appointment to get a 3rd party neurotypical to explain it in a way I can’t or needs that other voice to convince her.

      Our parents have expectations of us, based on their experiences and influences. Given the times they grew up, or where they grew up, or who they grew up with, really sets in place, the lens or filters on how they interact in the world. As they became adults and had us, they projected onto us their expectations, both consciously and unconsciously. Only when they see that we are deviating from their expectations, is when the problems set in. I always heard from mine, “You should do this or be like that”. eg: “Why can’t you listen to the music on the radio instead of that heavy metal stuff?” or “Why can’t you dress nice instead of always wearing black clothes?” or “Why can’t you play with your toys nicely instead of always taking them apart?” These are continual little hints that I am not like others, and it builds up a wall. I did not have any such threats of being thrown out, and while I was not easy to get along with, I guess by not getting into drugs, alcohol, gangs, or jail, they felt I was doing ok. It is those “coulda, shoulda, woulda’s” to this day, I still cannot stand I instantly “tune out” or the odd time, lash out, when my parents and I talk. It’s a hard thing to overcome, I don’t hate my parents, I’ve learned to accept they did what they could and don’t know otherwise.

      I think what helped me turn a corner is when I realized how my actions were being received or perceived by others, I immediately talked to my wife. It was when I learned what “listening” really meant, that I talked to her about this. Listening is not simply the act of hearing with our ears, it also means we are listening with our heads (information storage), and our hearts (empathy). I talked to her what I had learned in the “7 habits course of successful people” about listening and a light bulb went off in both our heads. She has always said I don’t listen, and she correctly understood that I was busy forming a response in my head and sometimes blurting it out before she finished. It was this act of reacting that caused my brain to go into overdrive, unable to physically hear, less likely to store information, and nearly impossible to empathise with her. I too hated it when people didn’t listen to me and interrupted me, and here I was doing it to her without realizing it! No wonder she was feeling frustrated, and felt I was selfish. I started to understand how she was seeing me. My thoughts wanted to get out as quickly as possible, hence the blurting, and in the process, I was talking over her and others, and making them feel bad, and forming a negative perception of me. Because I despise not being heard just like her, I was able to actually empathise and feel what she was feeling. Most importantly, I apologized, and I acknowledged how she felt. While her initial reaction was “isn’t listening obvious? It’s just common sense!”, I explained to her that “it is not common sense to me as I am just learning about it and realizing how I’ve been making you feel.” She saw that I was genuine in my new discovery of listening and sincere apology for making her feel that way.

      It’s not that you shouldn’t try to help others understand, we just might need to find a different way, or realize that person is not worth the effort. The challenge is the different brain characteristics, spectrum of behaviours, contradictory behaviours, that make it difficult for people to accept and understand, neurotypical and ADDers alike. By asking others how they feel when we blurt out, shut down, etc, we can then acknowledge how they feel, and learn how to deal with it better.

      Being upset at others because they don’t get you is frustrating. Use that creative brain to be curious about why they aren’t getting it. Somehow, Einstein was able to get his theory of relativity published, quite a complex concept, with which we are all the better for today. He didn’t give up that others didn’t get it. He found a way to explain space-time and gravity in a way that most people can understand, and we can now actually see or measure the effects of. Use the response you get as a tool for feedback, the more you do it, the less agitating these responses become and the better you’re able to handle these situations.

    • #76226

      Whisperingwings, I like your poem. A bit of warmth on a cold day.

      Loisfysh, I like your attitude. Your idea of writing the way you think is great. I do the exact same thing. Before there were computers with editors I would have failed miserably at writing.

      To everyone on the forum. I’ve never felt like I belong to a group before this one. All the things I read here just make sense to me. The trials. The heartache. The emotions both high and low. The chaos of writing. That’s me.

      Unfortunately, I can honestly say I’m still afraid of making a call to a doctor. I hear so many stories about years of misdiagnosis. With that and my insurance, this could just be a very costly waste of time.

    • #76730

      I have ADHD and dyslexia as well. The struggles are real.

      3 things that have been helping me lately:

      1. I heard an expert describe focusing better when moving, and also focusing better while talking (vs. interacting with text). So, I’ve been trying this out at work. I take a walk at lunchtime and dictate to my phone while walking (I use the google doc app). When I get back, I only need to edit the document and organize it. This is much easier than sitting in front of a blank document and typing. (and it just looks like I’m exercising and talking to a friend on the phone, so that’s a normal lunch activity)

      2. I have discovered a great book and podcast! They take you step by step along the journey to work with your ADHD not against it. It’s great! (This also relates to the many people on this thread who would like to transition to making a living with their creativity e.g. the episode from Sept. 19, 2015 – but you should listen chronologically and give it a chance because it takes them a few episodes to get good at doing them).

      3. Medication for ADHD is helping my dyslexia. One of my challenges with reading/writing/language is very weak working memory. It’s hard to pull up words for things. It’s hard to write the second half of a sentence because I can’t remember the first half. etc. I has been hard to find meds that work for me, but as I’m getting closer I see that they really help with all this kind of stuff!

      Good luck everyone!!

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