Struggling with motivation, relaxing, and focus

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    • #90224

      I am 40 (ugh) and was diagnosed almost 20 years ago with ADD. I have been on Vyvanse for the past 4 years. I’ve tried every medication and Vyvanse is the only one that works. I am a school teacher and during the summer my doctor drops me to a lower dose so I don’t build up a tolerance. I suffer from sensory issues, a lot of noise can drive me over the edge. I also have problems with focus, motivation, and believe it or not being ok with doing nothing. I find it so hard to allow myself to sit and do nothing. When I try to force myself to do nothing I become aware my mind begins to race towards finding something to occupy it. I cannot begin to explain how much time I spend trapped in a vicious cycle and battle with myself because I feel like I waste time trying to find something to do. I cannot just sit and do nothing but, I desperately want too. If I do sit and just watch TV, I become increasingly agitated with myself that I am wasting time that could be used for something more productive. There’s almost an underlying anxiety that I am wasting my precious time on this planet when I could be discovering something new or exploring my creativity. I could be writing a book or going for a hike or exploring a new art medium. Yet I become overwhelmed with ideas of what I could be doing and then I end up doing nothing but mentally beating myself up for not just choosing something to do and DOING IT!
      I have been practicing mindful mediation for the past 5 years and at times I find it helps but other times I end up in a downward spiral. The summers are also difficult because my life is so unstructured. I look forward to my summers so I can recharge my batteries and creativity however every summer that rolls around I end up in this same paralyzing situation. I often look back in reflection each day and become so upset that I wasted a whole day perseverating on wasting this gifted unstructured time…something I long for all year. Or wasting precious time I have with my own 2 children because I am preoccupied on finding something I can “accomplish” but not knowing what it is. My dream would to lie my head on the pillow each night proud of what I accomplished for the day, whether it was a hike in the woods, creating something new, going on an adventure and discovering something new. I see time and the clock as such an obstacle in my life, as if every passing tick of the clock was another moment I wasted of my life. I have never put these thoughts and feelings to words to share before and I am just looking to see if anyone else feels this way? Is this part of my ADD or is it something more then that? What can I do to help myself? It’s slowly crippling me. I just need to know if I am alone in this?

    • #90237

      Medication isn’t just for work/school performance or being able to follow rules and instructions. It helps all areas of life that ADHD affects. Therefore, by decreasing your dose during the summer, you may be increasing symptoms.

      Tolerance to the therapeutic effects of stimulants is actually rare. You might want to consider talking with your doctor about keeping the same dose during the summer in order to meet your goals for the summer. Also, it helps to think ahead of time what you want to do with your summer. Indecisiveness is a bigger deal when trying to decide in the moment.

      • #90703

        You should not be so hard on yourself. KUDOS to you for being a school teacher. The fact that you made it trough college is something more that a lot us with adhd couldn’t do. You are able to hold down a job that in itself is something I have never been able to do. I agree with the other person who replied to you. You might want talk with your Dr about not lowering your dose just because you are not working for the summer. Maybe try a hobby that you can do with your kids. That might be stimulating and fun. I can relate to the feeling of being useless. I can lie in bed and think about how much I love art, but actually doing it nearly impossible when I just can’t seem to get started.

    • #90263

      JBoom- thank you. I really appreciate you taking the time to respond. I think my dose drop has brought a lot of old symptoms out of the closet- it’s funny when you step back and reevaluate from time to time. You often forget the little things. I think I was so scared of becoming tolerant of my dosage because I was on a higher dose and no other medication seems to work for me. It makes me anxious even thinking about losing the positive effects I’ve received since introducing Vyvanse into my daily routine. I do need structure and routine in my life (even though I despise it) and perhaps creating a schedule for myself would be beneficial- thanks again-

    • #90564
      Mama@ 5~HERBS

      Agree 100% with JBoom. I am always on my meds for inattentive ADHD and cannot imagine not being the best me that is the one who is at a therapeutic dose year round.

      It is such a popular misconception that I have shared so much lately and tried to dispel – that ADD/HD is only something that has to do with doing schoolwork and focusing on listening. SO NOT TRUE. It has everything to do with your ability to focus and determine your daily tasks, and prioritize them appropriately – and to get a project started and finished – even if it is so difficult to begin. That is your best you. And taking your medicine gets you to that place, just as someone who can’t see the chalk mboard in school need s GLASSES to see their best.

      Much love as you get yourself to that place!

    • #90705

      I am a high school teacher (23 yrs) who was diagnosed 16 yrs ago at age 35. I can SO identify with your summer struggle! I, too feel like I waste precious time figuring out things to do. I have found that summer employment really helps. I work in a summer golf program, working wit young inner-city kids. It’s engaging, fun, with none of the pressure that teaching brings (you know – prep work, lesson plans, correcting, etc.). It fills just enough of my summer time so that I have some structure to get the other things done.

      Also, I continue with my medication and therapy schedule. I find that’s the thing that I SHOULD NOT change. I need the consistency and stability brought by this, so that I can attend to my relationships and other commitments. I’ve had periods where all of these have been put in jeopardy because I thought that meds or therapy could be cut back/cut out. I’d encourage you to maintain that balance that we so desparetely need throughout the year. I wish you well on your journey – and rest up as we prepare for our school year!

    • #90794

      The chronic boredom like feeling and the always worried I’m focusing on the wrong thing is totally apart of my adhd!! Like I hesitate to start anything, out of fear it’ll be a waste on time and not lead to anything fun and innovated and imaginative, so I bounce around (usually in regards to my studying of computer programming and machine learning math stuff—self taught and have a job jn the field, but I have to learn on my own bc a six time college dropout , usually for those same reasons of feeling like a waste of time plus in tech world degrees valued less than experience). Anyway, I’ll start doing self study on my own time, and constantly start a class then say “omg this is not what I want” or “ok this is ok but what if I should be studying something better I haven’t found yet” or “this is fun but williy Be relavemt to my job” or “this is amazing, and it’s same methods as my job but application more awesome! And could be part of on one day, OR a career of my own I.e I live internet of things with healthcare and Ggenomoc data science, but do business data science now)…and I’ll be like, what if I Mercer pursue this, ala it’s a waste of time and should be doing work” and then also worry the opposite! You know how much time I waste bouncing around? Then I get angry at myself and stop altogether. Chronic impending anxiety if doing wrong things than what I want to do, and apathy thinking nothing is stimluating enough. Actuly, adding a second adderral xr j take after my afternoon run (which I take run after first wears off) helped me sleep better and be more rational! I take the second Xr at 6 Pm, asleep like a baby by midnight lol. I didn’t think I needed the med at my home life, well I was wrong. Everyone noticed I was more yhroghtful. In the past doca thought my racing barons was bc of the stimulant in the Am, and so they decreased and added strong sedatives at night and it made me worse. Who woulda though at second one and ThAT late would HeLP me sleep!! I waste less time lolli-gagging, so I don’t get as mad at myself!!!!!!! I’ve even skipped it and don’t sleep. If I miss my 6 Pm time I said “I should skip” and it kept me up until 4a bc I skipped it!!! Happened again later, and I tried to skip, and was erratic and awful adhd rebound. 8 pm, and my bf said “Becca you can’t skip it!!” Took it, asleep by 10.
      You are not alone in the “fear of wasting time”. And now I know neither am I!’

    • #90976

      I constantly feel like this. I will be trying to relax, watching a movie with my girlfriend and a part of the movie I don’t find interesting will come about and I will look something up on my phone! Even if I find the movie interesting I will look up something they have discussed in the movie that I didn’t quite understand and become an expert on it. The amount of times my girlfriend will say “I wasn’t expecting that” and I will have missed 30 minutes of the movie and not have a clue what is going on. I always think I need to be doing anything other than what I am currently doing. I have a child on the way and I’m undiagnosed and on an 18 month waiting list, but the procrastination and time wasting fills me with so much guilt and regret that it causes me depression and anxiety. I don’t know how I’m going to cope with a baby and show them the right way to live because I don’t have a clue myself. I would go private to speed the process along, but I would feel guilty for using money that could be used to support my girlfriend and baby! The worst thing is that no one in my life seems to understand the struggle I’m going through and I’m good at hiding it, most of the time. So, no, you most definitely aren’t alone! I just wish I could relax and it makes it worse that I can’t sleep when I need to! Feel like I’ve gone off on one ha!

    • #91035

      Newly diagnosed 54 year old….of course told that meds were all that were needed. Trying to learn new methods. One thing I did do is print out my newly created mantra(SLOW DOWN…..LIFE IS NOT A RACE) Trying to learn to concentrate between not and hyperfocusing….good luck to us all!!!


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