Rock Bottom made me realize something was wrong

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    • #84800

      Hello everyone,

      I was recently Diagnosed with ADHD. After a lifetime of failures I decided there had to be something wrong with me. It all started in Grades cool of course, terrible grades, forgetting assignments, no recollection of the notes I wrote (when I wasn’t daydreaming or doodling ) for tests. I remember at one point around 3rd grade, during a private parent-teacher conference, one of my more intellectual teachers spending the better part of an hour trying to convince my mother to have me see a Psychiatrist, To which my mother must have been in some strong denial, because she laughed it off. Not my kid, there’s nothing wrong with my son, it’s the other students bullying him that need to see someone. Oh how things might have been different had I known then what I know now. My life has been an absolute disaster in every sense of the word. And then something changed, I moved to California at 22, and for the first time in my life I got a job that I enjoyed. I had zero self esteem all my life, and even starting this job in HVAC, I was terrified, but I faked confidence, and went into the interview with only a nice Polo and khakis on. I didn’t know this at the time, but the whole family that owned this business were scientologists, and pretty hardcore manipulators.They knew i had no self worth from the beginning,They taught me everything about heating and air repair but secretly they were molding me. Into what I don’t know still. But what I do know is I never sold anything in my life, and then suddenly I was fixing any problem, and selling new equipment weekly. I became their goldmine, and that’s when I experienced real confidence. I met a woman and 6 years later we married,life couldn’t be any better. Something funny about ADHD, when things are good you become the best at everything that interests you, and your hyperfocus is almost constant, at least mine was. I was always in the zone, because I couldn’t wait to go to work the next day and find out what adventures the day would hold. And then.. a chain of events started that ultimately landed me where I’m at now. Fighting with everything I have left just to have a normal life again. First my mother got really sick, and the constant worry I was experiencing being across the contry, caused problems in my marriage, I was too concerned for her about the life of my mother and best friend that was quickly declining. Everytime I would fly out to see her, she just looked worse and worse. Soon after she lost her legs to diabeties, slipped into a coma, and was gone the night before my emergency flight to Chicago to be with her. I became extremely depressed, or maybe I was always depressed and this time it was just so overbearing I don’t know really. But I had my first extremely intense anxiety attack since childhood. That is when everything began to unravel. Life had no color, no sensation. And what I thought was grieving, was my ADHD, anxiety and depression unraveling everything that I was, my impulsiveness skyrocketed, and I had no idea what was happening. My marriage was falling apart because all I did was work to hide the pain, one day I came home early and found my wife was cheating on me. I should have ended it there. But impulsively I cheated back with her Co worker, the Rush I got from it was something I never experienced before, so I kept doing it, with over 15 different women. As screwed up as it sounds, it took away the pain I felt when I saw my wife in our bed with another man. Eventally I filed for divorce, because I couldn’t live with her anymore. After a very stressful divorce, I was free I thought. But I completely forgot that when I’m alone I have no control over my impulses, I began to drink heavily, and seeing the downward spiral, I decided to move back to the Midwest, for a fresh start. I still didn’t know it was my own brain I was trying to run away from. I moved in with my father for a few months, and then got my own apartment. I was feelung so alone and depressed, all the while drinking to hide both symptoms and pain. I would drink so much I would black out and wake up not knowing where I was, one night I met a online date at a bar and I woke up in a field at 3am,bloody from falling multiple times, clothes torn, and a police officer standing over me. My car was parked in a strangers driveway and I was in his bare cornfield, my date was gone. I was charged with a DUI, because among all the rambling and incoherent things I said I mentioned driving. I woke up in Jail the next day. 7 months later another blackout, another DUI. That is when I knew I had to stop drinking. And I did, and have been sober to this day over a year later. But when I became sober, I realized how I couldn’t do anything right anymore, I felt like I did when I was a kid, like im walking thru waist deep mud everyday and can’t compete with anyone else, I just fail everything. I decided it was time to get help, and that is When I was diagnosed with Adult ADHD. I don’t need a doctor to tell me I’m also severely depressed and have frequent anxiety attacks, but I’m going in to get that taken care of too. I’m going to ask the court to drop the charges on my 2nd DUI, with the understanding that I will remain in treatment for my disorders, I hope it works, now that I am on medication for ADHD, I can think so much more clearly, it’s like I’ve been reborn, and now I have to use this rebirth to try to take my life back. My father was diagnosed with Cancer shortly after my diagnosis, and I need to be there for him and myself. This is my story. And it’s stories like this that should really show the world what extremes undiagnosed ADHD can do to a person. This is why childhood diagnosis is so important. So what happened to me and I’m sure many others, won’t happen to another person.

    • #84808
      Penny Williams

      Yes, untreated ADHD is a risk. Many self-medicate with alcohol or drugs. I’m glad you’ve found your footing and are seeing a great improvement in your quality of life.

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

    • #84851

      Bravo to you in your efforts toward sobriety! I know the feeling of being reborn as an adult with a diagnosis and medication; I try to describe it to other people as ‘that was then, this is now’. I also know the feeling of regret and sadness over missing diagnostic opportunities when we were growing up.

      While you may still pass through some dark times, I hope your new understanding of yourself will sustain you and your family.

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