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The Secrets That We Keep

Every day, I’m destined to take a misstep of one kind or another. These hiccups — no matter how brief or minor — get stuck like bubble gum on the bottom of my mental shoe. They fester and corrode my own self-image with time. They are invisible and impossible to explain, and just one of the many ADHD secrets I keep hidden from absolutely everyone.

20 Comments: The Secrets That We Keep

  1. there’s nothing wrong with ADHD we are advanced- evolved, someday we will all be ADHD we just dont fit into this man-made artificial 9-5 existence created purely for slavery

  2. I almost cried as I read this because I relate to almost every point. I’m also almost fully responsible for everything with my kids. I’m exhausted all of the time from trying to keep everything up. I’m sad because I don’t have the ability to live an organized life and model that for my kids. I’m lonely because, while I have friends, I don’t feel super close to any of them – like I don’t feel included or invited to things. My daughter, I think, is more extreme than I am and I don’t know how to help her. She’s highly gifted, but in the 5th percentile for processing speed. She has social problems at school much like I did. We’ve tried so many meds and different dosages and she’s in talk therapy. Many of the psychiatrists and psychologists I’d like to see don’t take insurance. I feel like I’m letting her down. I’m at a point right now where I’m not functioning well because I feel like I’m carrying all of this weight.

  3. Dang! I hit the “Enter” key before I was ready!

    June, You are the BEST at describing those inner thoughts and feelings. Talk about feeling like a fake! I have been an attorney for 20 years and I used to be afraid of people finding out. I have come to a point where I don’t care if people know about my ADHD. Not long ago, I was about 15 minutes late for court. I had at least had the presence of mind to phone ahead and tell the judge’s judicial assistant that I was running late.

    When I finally got to court, the judge said, “Mr. Sullivan, Why are you late?”

    I said, “Your Honor, I don’t have a good excuse – ADHD.”

    He said, “We all have that nowadays.” Of course, he probably thought that I was just being funny. However, he didn’t chew me out.

    I have told many of my colleagues about my ADHD. Most of them at least look at me like they understand, but many times, I can tell that they don’t. They think that I’m just giving an excuse for my scatter-brained ways.

    I can’t advise everyone to be as open as I am about their ADHD. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. But at my age (59 years old), I’ve just found that truthfulness works for me.

  4. Aaaand, this is why anxiety (as well as depression) are the two most common co-disorders of ADDH. Learning how to cope with ADHD is one thing. Learning how to cope with the Anxiety (or depression) is a whole different ball game that many docs don’t seem to deal with. Or worse, they treat anxiety and not the ADHD.

  5. Sugar me..this is me..i never intend to hurt anyone in my family. I dont want to a burden to anyone, i want to contribute the best may i can.why feel think so much..i have so much drive but..inside is the fear of myself quitting. Why so hard..i have childreni need to focus on, i also want some self fullfillment, i want everyone around me happy. Am i being unrealistic? I make sure my dreams align to what is possible plus hardwork and commitment. Im my own worst enemy.

  6. Oh dear…. I feel exactly the same in every letter of what you said but with an aggravating: after 2 pregnancies in a row and being on maternity leave for a while I’m finding extremely difficult to get my brain back to work and all these symptoms described by you get so much worse in my every day at work… I wanna know where my mojo has gone…

    1. You can click the print button to see all the contents at once. Maybe print it to a pdf.

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

  7. Thank you for sharing ! I have never before read such a detailed and clear description that mirrors almost totally what I too experience. I have and still at age 68 feel guilt for wanting to be alone to regroup and recharge. I am planning on sharing your insights with my family and close friends with the hope that they gain a better understanding of my inner life in the world of hyperactivity. Thank you again.

  8. Sounds just like my life, but at least I know that it has an actual name instead of going year after year not knowing exactly what was going on with me. I can especially relate to calmness on the inside and feeling lonely a lot.

      1. I apologise in advance, but I didn’t understand the slide about the husband. He seemed abusive. What’s that to do with the author having ADHD?

      2. My husband is that way, and is severely ADHD and Borderline bipolar. Never been physically abusive, but the irritability, rapid mood changes, and not knowing what to expect each day is abusive in itself. Although he takes lamotrigine, he will NOT get help for the ADHD and I know there are combinant therapies that could help. It is just wearing me down but at 63, it is hard to seriously consider leaving. And when he is living and apologetic, I try to remember it is the condition causing it. But he is the only one who can make the decision to get help.

      3. Omgoodness! I also apologize but I thought the same exact thing when i read this. I even scrolled back up to make sure I was still reading the same article or that it was about what I thought it was about. Granted it sounded exactly like my ex who absolutely was abusive to the point I had to flee, but I don’t think that was because I have add. Although I think it made me vulnerable to that type (people-pleaser, believes the best in people, low self-esteem). I got to laughing so hard when I read your comment and the reply to it, I had actual tears streaming down my face and my chest hurt. I did this for at least ten minutes. Granted, it was 430 and I had been up, unable to sleep, fearing i would be late getting my son to pre-k again and it’s the 2nd week. I was supposed to be getting dressed and bags packed but instead was reading about why I have trouble doing those exact things (hmmmmm). Anyway, I think your comment, and the reply, made me feel a bit normal. Or I lost it. But I haven’t laughed that hard in a really long time so I wanted to write about it and say, “Yes the one about the husband was odd and seemed very out of place. He was 100% abusive and no amount of counseling would resolve that kind of behavior. Why it was in this otherwise spot and on and insightful article is puzzling”.
        Otherwise, I love this article btw! I even bookmarked it to read my boyfriend the one about being a quitter who finishes. I have never seen that particular terrible habit of mine referenced before. Since this has been an ongoing issue between us, I wanted to show him this article. He gets so upset when I do this. I tried to explain that it’s just something I do . I reach a point and then I just quit, I quit what I’m doing, where I’m going, my job, him, myself, life, and then fling myself sobbing onto any available spot like a toddler who didn’t have a nap. I sulk, and whine and talk about how I can’t do anything or how everything seems to go wrong all the time. I will argue with any objection or point he tried to make, no matter what it is. The sky is blue? Not today, not right now, it is obviously periwinkle so What is the point ? And then I get over it, I think about it, i get up, and I go get it done. Depending on how long my tantrum was, I may now have the last minute adrenaline rush deadline working in my favor. It drives him nuts. I get its bc he feels helpless and I’m being childish and so unlike the normally happy go lucky, go with the flow, strong woman he fell in love with. Thx.

      4. I have said almost all of these things at one time or another. Most days I wish I could just stop the merry go round from spinning so I can jump off. I often feel like I’m a fraud or pretending that I have my act together. However, on most days I’m sure that it will become evident to everyone that I shouldn’t be trusted to manage a business. I’m in the process of opening a satellite office that will cost about six million dollars, and the stress of dropping the ball or screwing it up is enough to make me physically ill. At home, the “Welcome” sign on my front door mocks me because as much as I’d love to welcome guests to my house, it’s a hot mess. I’m terrified you will show up unannounced. My family deserves better; my employer deserves better. I’m trying my hardest, but more often than not, I feel like a giant failure.

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