“I’m Sick of My ADHD! There, I Said It!”
I know there are lots of positive things about having ADHD, but some weeks when the mess and forgetfulness is too much, it feels just plain awful.
I’m tired of it.
I know there are a lot of positive things about attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD). I’m a creative thinker; I can multi-task. I can hyperfocus. I tend to get obsessed about things, which can be both a good thing (crocheting sweaters is a productive activity) and a bad thing (collecting hand-woven infant wraps is not). I have good qualities, and some of those good qualities are partly my ADHD brain’s neurochemistry. I appreciate that.
But I’m sick of it.
My husband cleaned out my car last week. That sucker was clean. You could see the floor. He’d chiseled off the Splenda packets dried into the cup holders. He scoured out whatever the kids had dumped in the back that had brought the fruit flies. He rescued gummed-up library books. That van was clean.
It stayed that way for five days. By then, the kids were dropping French fries again, seeding the back with Snappie Peas and half-empty juice boxes. They brought in books and left them there, then dropped things on top of them. Their ukuleles were tossed haphazardly in the back for anyone to pick up and play.
My front seat bristled with drink carriers, and Chick-fil-A cups, and bags, bags, bags: a big purse, a small purse, the kid’s activity bag, the dog’s bag. Receipts and straw wrappers had begun to congregate under my feet-in five days. That’s all it took. Now, two weeks in, it’s messy and shoe-filled and impenetrable and somehow has a bargain-sized load of Charmin Ultra filling the extra kid seat. French fries fall out when I open the doors, along with Wendy’s French fry containers.
It will stay this way until I clean it again. When I stand back, and gaze upon the totality of mess in my van, I can’t think of where to start. As other people with ADHD know, if you can’t figure out where to start, you have no hope of completing a task.
This would not happen to a neurotypical person. They’d just keep the damn car clean in the first place, and remember to carry things inside.
I’m tired of it.
It’s not just the mess in car and the house-specifically my bedroom and bathroom, where you can’t see the floor. I had promised a friend I would watch his son one day. This was a big deal, since he was a dear friend from college with whom I’d just reconnected; his son is the same age as my kids. It was a giant favor to get him between daycares.
Chris told me he’d drop his son off at noon, and I thought, I’ll have to have him drop off Bert where my kids, Blaise and August, take their music lessons, since they have ukulele lessons from 11 to 12. This is the last time I had that thought. Even though it was Tuesday, even though the boys always have ukulele lessons at 11 o’clock on Tuesday morning, I never recalled it again. That is, until their teacher texted me on Tuesday at 11:05. “You coming this morning?” she asked.
“No,” I had to say. So I’m out $40 for missed lessons, all because I can’t keep my damn dates straight.
A neurotypical, organized mom would have remembered to tell Chris he had to drop Bert off at my boys’ music lessons, not my house. Or she would have sent her husband, who’s home for the summer, to take the boys to their lessons while she met Chris at the house. That neurotypical mom would have done any number of things. But instead, I’m an ADHD mom — as usual, I can’t cope with basic planning skills.
I’m sick of it.
Basic planning skills escape me. We went on vacation the other week. I tried so hard to pack everything. I organized my makeup. I organized my other toiletries, and packed my medicine. I remembered every single item of clothing I’d need, and then some.
But I forgot hairspray, and I forgot detangler — the two indispensable items for untangling my youngest son’s longish blond hair every morning. So he ran around for five days looking like an unkempt, dreadlocked hippie spawn. My middle son had flat hair because I’d forgotten his hair wax; my oldest had Back to the Future locks without the aid of detangler and surf wax. They were dressed. They had clean faces and appropriate shoe wear. But their hair said call social services.
A neurotypical mom would have seen the hair-care stuff on the vanity and swooped it right into the toiletries bag. She might have remembered their toothbrushes, too. And their toothpaste.
I’m so tired of it.
ADHD may give me many good qualities. It may set me apart, it may make me who I am. It may help me out once in a while. But sometimes, ADHD just feels like a disease, a neurological dysfunction. It screws me up. It makes me messy. It keeps me from doing things that neurotypical people do without thinking. Tomorrow, I’ll go back to my positivity, to my delight in hyperfocusing, to my joy in creativity. Today, I’m going to let myself be sick of ADHD.
Thank you for reading ADDitude. To support our mission of providing ADHD education and support, please consider subscribing. Your readership and support help make our content and outreach possible. Thank you.
Updated on August 3, 2020