October 3, 2018 at 9:47 am #100748
Ok, this will be an interesting one for you guys, but I’m going to give you a TL:DR at the bottom, because this is going to get long.
I am a British Citizen living in Norway, and I’m going through the diagnosing process for ADHD, with an appointment with a specialist next month. I’m getting married in just under a year to a lovely Norwegian girl. I’m working the best job I’ve ever had in a country I love, with a salary I could only dream of in the UK. Aside from the general issues ADHD causes me (mainly concentration (like how I’m writing this now instead of working), attentiveness and impulsivity) my life is utterly perfect.
On the other hand- Brexit. I face a very real risk of being kicked out of the country in the event that the UK decides to leave the EU without making a deal. This would mean that I lose all protections I have against expulsion on the 29th of March 2019. Norway could very well decide to kick me out on the grounds that I’m a British Citizen, with no further qualifications applying. This would result in me pretty much definitely losing my job, my home and possessions (because no way could I afford removal), and me missing my own wedding. My fiancee couldn’t sponsor me for a visa, because she doesn’t earn enough to do so, and the same issue would apply for me sponsoring her in the UK.
I face potentially losing everything I’ve ever wanted, everything I’ve worked for, everything I’ve achieved in spite of the challenges presented to me by ADHD, all because of a bunch of little Englanders who still think they have an empire spanning the globe. I’m already under threat of losing my job (funding issues), and the meagre protections initially offered to me by the diplomatic process of the UK leaving the EU (such as a 2-year transition period that would have granted me permanent right of residency) are gradually slipping away. I’ve broken down hysterical every day this week. I have visions of being poor in the UK again, seeing some brexit supporter bragging about ‘getting the immigrants out’ and just outright physically attacking them (go impulsivity, go!) for everything they and their ilk took from me. This is the worst thing that could happen to me, and it looks like it could.
The worst thing right now is the feeling of total powerlessness about everything going on in my life. I started the ADHD diagnosing process so I could get control over the elements of my life that hold me back. Now, maybe that will help, maybe meds and counselling will give me the tools I need to control myself at least long enough to ‘keep calm and carry on’, but that won’t happen until at least a month from now. Today, this week, I’m angry, and I’m scared, and I’m utterly powerless to do anything to protect myself.
Just to give you guys a shortlist of solutions that will not work because of the specifics of my situation
– Accelerating the wedding will not grant me any additional rights here, nor my fiancee any additional rights in the UK
– I am not a skilled worker, and as such cannot apply for a skilled worker’s visa
– My fiancee is disabled, and cannot get a job with more pay to sponsor me for a visa
– My highest salary in the UK was less than 70% of the needed income to support a foreign spouse
– My holding onto my current job, or getting a better one, will not grant me any special protections
It’s not all doom and gloom. My grandfather was from Ireland, so I should be able to apply for Irish Citizenship through ancestry. It could mean I have to leave Norway for a short time, but I could come back, because I’d still be an EU citizen. i’m in the process of getting the documentation together to give this a go. If it is unsuccessful, then I AM back to doom and gloom. My only hope would be to do a conversion degree or course of some kind to make me a skilled worker, then pray I could get a job in that industry before applying for the correct Visa.
Now, on to the reason I wrote this post in the first place: how the hell do I cope with this level of stress? How do I keep concentrating on my job (given that I’m an unsupervised researcher in an office by myself)? When I’m home, it’s easy, because I have video games and books there, and I can just immerse myself in something or other, but at work, all I have to comfort me are music, which I use to provide background noise so I can concentrate, and my computer, which is just filled with tabs full of statistics about old people(not the most stimulating material in the world, I assure you). How do I keep up the motivation to take care of myself (my fiancee is currently on a restricted diet, and I’m skipping meals because I’m tired after cooking for her)? At the very least, I can still sleep, though my motivation to do so is minimal, since that means accelerating my return to the research box with nothing but my thoughts. How can I stay ‘normal’, by which I mean ‘even’?
TL:DR How do people with ADHD deal with overwhelming stress regarding a situation over which they have absolutely no control that could heavily negatively impact every single element of their life?
(Incidentally, though it sounds very much like I hate my job, I don’t, it’s fantastic, it’s just that when I’m as stressed as this, concentrating on it is about as appealing as eating my own foot)
October 10, 2018 at 9:30 am #101207
Here are some stress management tips for individuals with ADHD:
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
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