Thursday, May 22, 2014

Calling it for what it is

This. I'm doing this.

For whatever reason, today I just know I need to stop ignoring my inability to be on time ANYWHERE, no matter whether it is important to me or not.

I am tired of feeling overwhelmed at life.

I'm not even talking about grief here, or running a successful business, or any of the big stuff.

I'm talking about remembering to return library books without racking up a $25 charge every time. (Is this public service really supposed to be free???)

I'm talking about remembering to call the insurance to get my daughter her vaccines on time. (And I'm only 4 months late on that one.)

I'm talking about not spending at least an hour a day looking for missing keys, phone, wallet, driver's license, our cash budget, shoes, etc. (MY shoes btw. This doesn't even cover all the kid's stuff I lose, or they lose.)

I'm talking about remembering what I was saying, and being able to complete a sentence. Those of you who know me well, know that I often lose track of what I was saying and will more often than not, be unable to complete a sentence. Or a thought.

Or I will complete them with a word that has NO relevance whatsoever to what I was saying. For instance, the other day I was trying to get Maddy to pick up her back pack. I kept saying, "Maddy, get your jacket" (while pointing to the backpack.) Shoot. Wrong word. "Maddy, get your sweater." (still pointing. Still wrong word.) "Maddy, would you just get . . . . it?"

"Mom, do you mean my backpack?" she asks, following my finger with her eyes.

"Yes, that! Please get it."

It would be funny. Except it happens all the time. And sometimes the wrong word isn't just wrong. It's flat-out-embarrassing.

I'm talking about not walking into a room MULTIPLE times for something, but always forgetting what I need the moment I walk through the door.

I'm talking about being 100% overwhelmed by clutter in my home. I hate it, but I don't know how to deal. It's enough to send my into a "tight ponytail hair day." Paperwork is my nemesis. My ARCH-NEMESIS.

I'm talking about booking an important phone call, and remembering all day to do it, then 5 minutes before, forgetting and that important phone call is not made. This will happen over, and over, and over again. It's not just that it's important in general. I mean, this phone call MATTERS to me. And yet, I'll still forget.

I'm talking about having a friend I've known for years, then suddenly forgetting their name in the middle of a conversation. This happens. Often.

I'm talking about finally remembering to write thank you notes. And then losing them. And then finding them years later.

I'm talking about having NO sense of time.

I'm talking about the fact that I'm either a tornado, or a zombie. There is no in-between with me.

I could go on. But I won't.

I'm not trying to "create" a diagnosis if there is none. I'm just saying I'm tired of coping, tired of pretending I can function normally, when half the time, I'm looking at all of you with absolute wonder in my eyes. "How do you DO it??"
When my parents first approached me about it possibly being ADD (as it does run in my family), I looked at them like they had just each grown a second head.

I mean, ME?? ADD?? I was the one who always helped my ADD brother through his schoolwork. I was the one that always got A's in school, and was a "star" student. I'm the "over functioning" person that always juggles a billion things at a time.

But as Ryan and I sat down to go through the book they suggested, I started seeing it. I had Ryan take the test for me, and I scored pretty high. I took the test separately, and we both saw the same things.

So I've finally made up my mind. I'm going to pursue this. If it goes nowhere -- great. If it does go somewhere, then at least I know. At least I can maybe stop mentally beating myself up over every single time I'm late, forget something, forget a word, overdraw my account, lose my keys for the 4th time that day, and forget your name. At least I can start to figure out coping solutions.

You are so OK to comment. Please just don't tell me that I'm making this up, or that these behaviors are normal. Sure, they may be normal sometimes. But when these things interfere constantly with the quality of your life, it's really not normal. (And I promise, it's not due to sleep deprivation. My kids have slept through the night for the last 3 years.)


  1. I am sure you have already had all this checked, but it sounds a LOT like a thyroid/hormone imbalance issue to me. Maybe something sub clinical that won't necessarily show on standard tests. I hope you can find some answers or at least some strategies to help yourself!

  2. I just wanted to say that I was a star student and always for straight A's and was very successful in school. I was also diagnosed with ADD as an adult and I take medication for it and that medication changes my life. It's true that everyone deals with disorganization and forgetfulness but it's not unmanageable or affecting their daily happiness. It is for those of us with ADD, and it's okay to admit it and to seek help. I hope you find the support you are looking for. Feel free to email me if you want to take about this more. I'm at esperanzasays {at} gmail {dot} com.

  3. Rachel the things you are describing are definitely on the ADD spectrum. Attention to detail us often the first thing to be lacking.

    It runs in my family too and I definitely have a shadow syndrome of it myself. It manifests itself a lot like what you are describing.

    Medication can help. Plus often people who struggle with these things but are still deemed successful - like you described about school/grades are able to cope due to high intelligence. But it is exhausting.

    One thing I have found that helps is to create routines that I follow closely for getting in/our of the house with everything I need. Sound it the same (putting things in the same spots) every time really helps me.

    But I totally identify! Just wanted you to know you are not alone and you are a high functioning person no matter what you unearth.

    1. *Doing it the same ( putting it in the same spots)