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“Untreated ADHD Almost Cost Me My Wedding Ring”

My jeweler’s untreated ADHD meant delay after delay in getting my dream wedding ring. The most frustrating part of it all? As an ADHD coach, I so badly wanted to help him.

After two and a half months of marriage, I finally have a wedding ring.

Back in early October, when Shawn and I started talking about getting married, I contacted a custom jeweler about making rings for us. He was very personable, and I was impressed with his work samples and approach to custom design. He appeared to be a gifted and talented artist who understood exactly what I was looking for. He said he could have the rings done in 10 days, tops. So I hired him.

Ten days turned into two months. Shawn and I decided on a New Year’s Eve wedding. I was starting to get nervous about not having the rings in time. The jeweler gave me one excuse after another: My water heater broke. A storm blew over my giant bougainvillea plant. Another client needs her rings ASAP to show her parents when they come to town. Oh, and by the way, did I mention I have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD or ADHD)?

It actually made me feel better when he mentioned his ADHD. Then I knew we were talking about time-management difficulties and not fraud. He suggested that I call him every day to check on the status. Need the reminders, he said. So that’s what I did. After about eight more phone calls, he said the ring was finished and I would have it in two days. Two days came and went, so I called him again. “Oh, your package got lost in the back of my wife’s minivan. It’ll go out tomorrow.”

The ring finally arrived 10 days before the wedding. And it didn’t fit. I was nervous, but agreed to send it back. He promised to re-size it, make a minor correction to the setting, and overnight it in plenty of time. “It’ll take two minutes”, he said. So back it went.

More daily phone calls. I got an e-mail on December 29 at 3 a.m. telling me he had just finished the ring. It arrived on the 30th, the day before the wedding. My beautiful powder blue stone had been replaced with a piece of junk that looked more like coal than a sapphire, and it had a chip in it. The setting was worse than before.

I was horrified.

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When I called to find out what happened and what he was going to do about it, he confessed that he had waited until the very last minute, and, in his haste and fatigue, broke the stone. This was the only thing he had on hand. “Send it back after the wedding, and I’ll fix it for you.” We set a date to make sure he had room in his schedule and the ring wouldn’t be sitting on a shelf. And back it went again.

A week went by. Then two. I started calling and e-mailing him daily, since that had worked before. All went unanswered. I started getting angry. Finally, I threatened legal action. I had my ring a few days later. It really is a beautiful ring. A one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry. There are a few flaws, however — evidence that he rushed through the job.

Perhaps the most frustrating thing about all this is the untreated ADHD. Not so much my own ordeal (although that was very frustrating!), but the knowledge that this guy is doing absolutely nothing to help himself. As an ADHD coach, that breaks my heart. I can’t see how he will be in business for much longer. This guy could be a millionaire. Instead, he’s losing money and pulling his hair out. Which is really a shame, because he is passionate about his creations and has the capacity to bring joy to a lot of people via gems and precious metals.

I really want to coach him. He needs to develop skills, systems, and strategies that work for him. For example, a system for scheduling jobs. To learn how to prioritize. To not over-promise. The ability to estimate. To designate specific times of the day to respond to customer inquiries, and times to produce his art. To return phone calls, or hire someone to interface with customers. To reduce his procrastination. To take care of himself by sleeping, eating well, and fitting in time for exercise. To consider medications and supplements. Instead, he thinks this is how his life — and his business — has to be.

He would be so much happier if he could rein in the chaos! And I would have been a happy customer, telling the whole world he’s the man for custom jewelry. He’s that talented. If only he would do something about his ADHD! Sadly, we talked about it a few times, and he just laughed it off.

The moral of this story is that having ADHD is only debilitating if you choose not to do anything about it. There are solutions. Things will only improve when you decide to start looking for them.

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