My Forum Comments
October 15, 2019 at 10:52 am in reply to: How do you manage to run a household & family without going crazy!! #131395
These hints have been great; sometimes just reading what others are going through can remind you to be kind to yourself. I once told my daughter that she will have to recover from her childhood like everyone else–there are times when ANY child (or husband, for that matter) do not get what they need at a particular time. Just because you are the mother/wife, doesn’t mean THEY are ENTITLED to live a life free of frustration and struggle. We try our best like every woman. ADHD is just one thing that makes it harder. But people who are bedridden, who are in a wheelchair, who are blind or missing limbs can manage households (God knows how, but they do!). We just have to find our groove. And apologize sincerely when we fall short.
2 constructive ideas for helping manage things:
1) Call a family meeting (and allow kids to be able to do this too). Ask for assistance where you need it and suggestions from them to resolve issues in a better way for the family as a whole (e.g.”What can we come up with to take care of the laundry better, because I am just not able to keep on top of it?”). When you work as a team to manage everything there is to be done, people are a lot more forgiving–you are not the only one responsible
2) One of the voice home management data systems(i.e. Siri, echo, Alexa, etc). My daughter is now 25 and got me Alexa for my birthday last year. It takes a little bit to set up and get used to, but it is a surprising tool. So useful! Anytime I need a timer for the laundry, I just say “Alexa, set a laundry timer for 45 minutes,” as I breeze by from one room to the next with basket in hand. These devices are great for setting reminders, telling you measurements (“how many tablespoons in a quarter-cup?”), and a whole host of other things. It is like having a personal assistant–she will even tell you a joke or give you a compliment if you ask her. Playing trivia games and 20 questions helps me get through boring tasks like dishes or mopping floors. Helps keep you in the moment and not beat yourself up about the next thing that you haven’t gotten done yet. The kids are even willing to pitch in when you make it fun.
Good luck and hang in there….empty nest is a real thing and it comes so fast! Enjoy as many moments as you can and treasure even the disasters that happen in every family. These are the stories you will repeat over and over and become family memories. And pay attention to the other comments to be kind to yourself. Society tries to push us to be a woman who can “do it all”. They forget to tell you that perfectionism in one area takes time away from other things. Think about priorities and let that guide you.September 23, 2019 at 9:48 am in reply to: I can’t concentrate on my job – colleagues constant chat! #128787
are you allowed to use headphones or earbuds? Sometimes streaming music (only you can say what kind will not distract you) can be enough “white noise” to block out chatting as your brain concentrates. I personally need to literally do 2 things at once to keep my mind focused. Sounds weird, but when I am in a meeting I have to doodle, when I was at my daughter’s basketball games, I had to crochet or do cross-stitch. If I am in a distracting environment, I am under constant stress internally unless I do this. I even requested to have my desk turned to the wall. Many people won’t interrupt unless necessary when your back is turned. Your boss needs to know about your difficulties (not to mention your overly “Chatty Cathy” next to you!) before it becomes a productivity or accuracy/deadline problem. But come prepared with a way that you think will help–bosses are much more receptive when you have a solution they can buy into. Be sure to stress the “increased productivity and accuracy” vs the “personal issue”. Coming out to your workplace with your ADHD is a slippery slope.
Our brains prefer chaos to stillness. So true. Thank you for that.
I don’t know why this post came in my e-mail this morning when the original was written in May , but it was like talking directly to me. 1/2 hour late to work today AGAIN. I too have suffered from the “get-out-of-the-house” struggles. Taking my meds 2 hours before I need to get up has helped. My boss is pleading with me to get it together so she doesn’t have to write me up. She also shared that I have not been given certain tasks (that would progress my career and include traveling-which i love) because of my inability to be dependable enough. Interesting irony is that I never have trouble getting up when I am out of town, probably because it is new and requires a lot of my attention. Today the reason was that my first alarm didn’t go off, which meant I did not take my meds early and had to literally force myself to get out of bed and into the shower. Once I am in the shower, it’s better, but getting there is so-o-o-o hard and requires a lot of self-motivation and focus. This job is the best I’ve ever had for ADHD–involved and varied with few fast deadlines and new projects all the time. If they would just let me set my own hours, all would be well. I do put more than 40 hrs/week into my work, and it is mostly computer chart reviews. So why must our society demand this rigid requirement to the clock? I MUST adapt to this one limitation at work to enjoy the job I love.October 15, 2018 at 2:17 pm in reply to: I’ve lost hope, will and desire to go on and keep trying #101548
Hello and congratulations on reaching out! I don’t know about Mexico but the U.S. has a fair amount of treatment options for both substance abuse and ADHD. The difficulty is that the issues do feed off each other. I struggle with addiction to alcohol, caffeine, shopping, on-line surfing,video games, etc, etc. The problems seem to be the worst when I am missing something in my life or trying to fit into others’ descriptions of proper behavior. If money is the issue, you can reach out to 12-step programs, on-line support groups, and civic or local community outreach groups. Take what you can get from the other people, don’t focus on the differences you have from them. Many people in the programs have anxiety, depression, ADHD, etc and use the support to work on their particular problems. No one says you have to buy into EVERYTHING in the groups. I saw much of myself in your story even though there were many differences and my main problem is not drug use. Think of drug use as a symptom of your needs not being met, and sometimes you can work it out for yourself. I try to get rid of the “I should….” attitude and shoot for a middle ground I can live with. I am a 52-year old overweight female with an elderly mom I need to help care for. I am never going to be a beauty queen, be rich, or jet-set around the world. But I am a good person, with a small group of people I can trust, and I like myself. Some days more than others. You are a good person and sound like you’re “sick and tired of being sick and tired.” Be kind to yourself. You are worth it, even if just to find peace within yourself.October 15, 2018 at 10:38 am in reply to: Frustrated I can’t do the most simple things as a mum. Any advice please? #101490
Please please quit dwelling on the negative sides of ourselves!! We so relate to this post because it reinforces how we all feel as people with ADHD, mothers, and women in general. We are pulled from all sides and judged by others and ourselves constantly! Every mother I have ever spoken to feels inadequate. But don’t forget about our strengths!! Are you creative and fun with your children? Can you dream up new ways to do one boring thing and make it exciting and new? Our children will not suffer because dinner is pizza once or twice a week. In fact, why aren’t they helping you with the menu and the cooking if they are so fussy? Even a small child can rip lettuce into a bowl or bring things from the fridge/cupboard. sometimes if we show them the time and effort involved, they stop being so fussy. My rule at my house with my kids was that they had to take at least one bite of everything, every time it is served (because tastes change and sometimes it is prepared differently). If they don’t like it, they have 1 go-to choice, relatively nutritious, like peanut butter and jelly sandwich with raw veggies. Or hummus and whole wheat crackers. Or whatever. One choice, every time. And as soon as they are old enough to make it themselves, they need to make it, when they choose not to eat what you’ve prepared. Believe me, they will suddenly start thinking that what is served really isn’t all that bad. It is giving a choice, and teaching consequences of that choice. As long as you run your house like a restaurant, with you the cook, purchaser, clean-up, and menu planner, you will be frazzled.
You have great strengths that are not always appreciated–use them and love them. Ask for help when needed, such as: “Honey, I have to focus on this for 10 minutes. Can you set the kitchen timer and then come back to me?” Then make sure you put down whatever it is (whether you’re done or not) and focus on your child. It goes a long way to teaching your kids to appreciate themselves, other people’s limitations and their ability to work with these situations. It also helps you to manage time better and focus on one thing at a time. And manage priorities: childrens’ minds, hearts, and emotional needs MUST come first. But we are only 1 person. So kitchens may get dirty or laundry rewashed (I am NOTORIOUS for this!!), but the children feel love from you always. That is a GREAT mom. And I agree with the other comments–there are tricks and things to try (I am partial to kitchen timers all over the house–one by the basement door to remind me to change the laundry!), but there is no grade for good parenting. They will learn their own way in life if you teach them the basics. And your desire to improve for your kids shows you are a good mum.
And P.S., I also had the problem getting up in the mornings. It caused me jobs, missed performances at school, missed field trips, you name it. I am on ADHD stimulant medication and learned to set one alarm for 2-3 hours ahead of when I needed to get up. I keep the meds and water at my bedside, take the pill, and go back to sleep. By the time my second alarm goes off, I am able to function way better. And as you feel more successful, you won’t dread getting up and starting the day so much.
You are very smart to be reaching out so early for help–it is the best way to be successful in life–to realize there is a problem and seek assistance. Geometry is different in that it is a visual/practical use of math from the numbering/calculating type. It is less a matter of memory than of application of those concepts to solve problems. However, this forum is not for math. Your expert is your teacher–it is their job to teach you the concepts. See him/her after class privately and tell them you are having a lot of difficulty. They have lots of different ways to teach, using tools that may make better sense to different students. I have a feeling a different approach will make you have an epiphany-type moment, and you will suddenly understand what the concepts are saying. When you get to college, there are actual posted “office hours” by teachers who encourage students to come in when they are having difficulties. This is because the focus is (and should be) on learning the concepts of what is being taught, not just passing a test or getting a good grade. It sometimes helps teachers too, to realize where they may not be making things clear enough, especially if many students aren’t doing well. That being said, when you are in high school, it can be seen as weak (by other kids) to not be understanding what “everyone else” seems to understand (this is NOT necessarily true!). Also, some teachers are more receptive to students than others. If your teacher makes fun of students, shames them, or embarrasses them in front of the class, going to them may not be helpful. In that case, you may want to involve your guidance counselor or student dean. And parents, maybe, depending how supportive they are. Believe it or not, they are all supposed to be there for you when things aren’t going well-they want to help.
Another thought I had is: why do you “think” you have ADHD? If you are noticing things that lead you to that conclusion, have you ever told your parents, doctor, or teachers/guidance staff? There are tricks, treatments, and supportive reassurances available to you now (some of our forum ideas are very helpful, as you have obviously seen because you have been prompted to write about this). Also, physical ailments (sick/headaches) can be a host of things, especially around the anxieties of being successful in school, friends, future career planning, etc, for anyone at your age. Feeling “different” and alone is practically a rite of passage for high school. (And personally, sophomore year was by far the HARDEST year I have had in my life!) Headaches and “sick” sounds more like anxiety. Thinking you might have a diagnosis that is working against you will only make it worse. Ask for an evaluation and tell someone what is going on. You will feel less alone.
Again, taking the courage to open up about this to us is a great thing, and I hope you get lots of good ideas. High school will seem like forever, but hang in there, it gets better and there is a whole world out there that will accept you if you build and develop the tools to function to the best of your ability. Good luck and keep checking in with us!September 25, 2018 at 10:42 am in reply to: Why does Hydrocodone Help my ADHD, and Adderall XR does not? #100080
Not sure this will answer the question you asked, but I found it interesting because hydrocodone is the only pain reliever that works for severe pain for me. I have had loads of dental problems and a couple ankle surgeries and tried many different pain meds, depending on my doctor’s favorite remedies. But even morphine (which is in the opiate family) and plain codeine (which hydrocodone is a synthetic version of) make me more sedated than relieved of pain. Because I am an RN, I am very aware of the dangers of addictions and opiate attractiveness, but I have not felt it makes me “high” at all. I am very careful about this, because if it is the only pain reliever that works for me, I am terrified of needing actual pain meds for a surgery, etc, and if I am addicted to a narcotic already, it will take massive doses to make a difference. So I take it very rarely. And they are coming down hard on narcotics prescribing, so much that even people in actual pain are having trouble getting it.
This ability of a specific drug to correct/enhance a unique person’s chemical imbalance is an interesting thought because I definitely have ADD (re: focus, not hyperactivity) and was also diagnosed as an adult. I have found Concerta works for me, although I still have to be very accepting of the ADD symptoms that like to break through and cause me trouble from time to time. I try to embrace wholeheartedly the differences in me that make me special; it is a way better philosophy than beating myself up because I am not like the “normal” people in the world. That attitude is a result of years of bullying, victimization, and shame for me as I am. As kids, ADD/ADHD wasn’t a “thing” until the later 70’s, and the boys got most of that attention. Despite this, I have felt the need to try a few different ADHD meds before settling on (the right dose of) Concerta. Give it a try and if your doctor isn’t with you about trying different options after a 4-6 or 6-8 week trial, get another psychiatrist. One treatment does not fit all. *** Researchers? Interesting study drug for ADD—hydrocodone?
I SOOOOOO related to your comments!! I have learned to be kind to myself and the biggest block to my success is in fulfilling others’ expectations. You’re starting a process of how to adapt your life so it fits you, whether you get that diagnosis or not. The diagnosis only gets you meds and insurances to pay for it. Even after starting meds, systems that work for you must be put in place. It’s not magic and it won’t make you “normal”. None of us can tell you WHAT to do, everyone with AD(H)D (or without, for that matter) needs to learn and identify their strengths and weaknesses and learn how to use them to their advantage….and YES there ARE advantages! In the beginning, just name your top priorities and then just do the best on those. Use lists and alarms, have friends call you with reminders, set your clocks ahead, etc. Sit in your pajamas all day in a dirty house if the small numerous rituals and other “things I ‘should’ do” are overwhelming. Not every day. Just on the days you need to focus–cut out those distractions. Turn off the phone and the TV and the e-mail. Tell people you’re unavailable. Use games and music to motivate you. I have a whole LIST of things that may be silly but they work for me–for instance: I am going to wash dishes for every commercial when I am watching a program. You’d be surprised how quick I jump to do it when that chore is in 2-3 minute blocks so I don’t miss my program! (Better yet, invest in DVR technology so you can pause/rewind live TV and then won’t miss anything if you just have to finish those last 3 forks!) After I had to re-wash numerous loads of laundry (and throw some away because of the mildew) I started setting a timer which I keep right at the basement door for that purpose. Try that for your soda in the freezer–keep a magnetic one right on the freezer door! And yes, I still forget to set the timer, but even if I remember it 3 out of 4 times, I’m better off than I was. And if the dishes don’t get done that night, I drain the water (or let some things soak) and try again the next day. I have kept my pill box and even car keys in my refrigerator where every morning I go in to get my drink before I head out of the door. There is no governmental or finite law that says there is a standard for what you do, how often you do it, or when you do it. The word “SHOULD” needs to be evaluated every time you use it. Who made these rules that things “should” be done this way? Does that person think like you do? Do they have your same obligations in life? Do they have your strengths and weaknesses? If people criticize, just tell them, it wasn’t on the agenda for this week. Or this month. Or this afternoon. The other thing is-we ALL do make mistakes, like forgetting an important birthday. We do have to sometimes apologize and make amends. As you begin to quit beating up on yourself for feeling inadequate, you will be surprised how many people start to accept you as you are. But you need to accept yourself first, and every day, every hour, every minute is a gift to do that. Keep a list of 2-3 awesome things you did that day even if it is just taking the stairs instead of the elevator, giving a compliment to someone, or cleaning the toilet. Keep a list of and surround yourself with the joy-giving things in your life. I personally enjoy certain smells, songs, and can see beauty in many things that exhilarate me when most people just walk on by. So I made a playlist in my I-Tunes folder called “JOYLIST” and listen to those songs when I need to feel great! My favorite tool at my office is a stuffed cat grinning ear to ear in a smirk that also shines with contentment–he makes problems seem to look a lot smaller when I truly take a moment to look at him. Be yourself. YOU ARE GREAT!!! and you will get there….. 😉