Guest Blogs

“Back to Square One”

Am I relegated to a life of lost and found, apologies, and what could be called the Valley Girl syndrome: totally clueless.

Is it completely hopeless? First I lost the phone on the island during the race, then the scarf at the theater the other night, then the moleskin notebook while watching Bee Movie with the sister. I know the dad says that I need to adopt the “less is more” mantra. If I did less, carried less, worried less, wouldn’t it just solve this ADHD thing at the snap of a finger? I wish.

I had a sense that the magic pills (aka the meds) had worn off about three or four weeks ago, when things became harried, and I began feeling tired, jittery and back to my old self once again. I started feeling like a beheaded rooster as I taught swimming the other day, running in and out of the pool in turnstile fashion and screaming at the students, “kick harder, try harder, what is going on here!!?” I felt like the Meryl Steep character in the Devil Wears Prada. In this case it should have been the Devil Wears Speedo. Maybe I was really yelling at myself, frustrated at myself for making so many F-ups. I sometimes wonder what is the better or worse or two evils: fracturing your spine, being half deaf, or living the rest of your life with a scattered brain, and on top of that, code orange anxiety.

Over the weekend I forced myself back to the parents’ home upstate, not wanting to call anyone, answer the phones, wanting to be a hermit because I am in this unexplainable funk. It’s part ADHD, part anxiety, and also part realization that at the cusp of 32 I continue to be in the dugout when it comes to the search for Prince Charming. I do not want to be a cat woman, enter the spinster society, or be a lifetime Quirky Aloner.

Earlier today I had a meeting with the kind-hearted OB/GYN doctor, a woman who looked me in the eye after examining and said: “You might want to talk with your doctor, and tell him to adjust the medications, because even in talking with you here there’s a high level of anxiety, I feel it.”

It felt like a punch in the stomach. Imagine having a friend tell you have bad breath, you might want to try Listerine. But bless her soul — someone needed to affirm my feelings of fear and depression. The sister said I just look tired. The stepmother says I have too much on my plate. The father says I need to kick the Diet Coke. There was a time when I somewhat enjoyed it, now life feels as thrilling as taking out the garbage.

I’ve been seriously considering canning the Buddhaman (a.k.a. the Indian psychiatrist). I want to pink slip him, and not go to him anymore, how is he helping? I go to him and he tells me the same thing: you push people away out of fear, you feel like you don’t deserve to be loved. Yes, I know I say, but how do you turn the Titanic around.

He clicks down the Bible-thick book of different drugs that he can try on me. There’s even this crazy one that you pop 15 minutes before a scary meeting, and it strips you of the fear in Houdini fashion. I want to tell him that life was better when I was ignorant, and thought that ADHD was some disease where kids bounced off the walls.

Bottom line, it sucks in that I feel like I need to start all over again, after a year of searching for a psychiatrist, seven months of the magic pills, of telling myself I would not fear talking with she-boss, it has proven to be three steps forward and four steps back.

The only glimmer of hope today was returning home, goggling down the Chinese take out, and fixating on the encounter with the GYN doc today. “There is nothing wrong with your body, everything is fine, but fear is controlling your life. It’s learning how to release, relax, I know you can do it,” she said.