June 28, 2012 at 12:52 pm #90839
g.laiyaMemberJune 28, 2012 at 12:52 pmPost count: 116
i’ve always had “loner” tendencies, but despite this have made some great friends over the years. i don’t see them very often, but when we talk on the phone, or those rare times we meet in person it’s usually great, and we pick up without dropping a beat. i’ve lost some friends too over the years….guess they were too disappointed in me/my behavior, i let them down in some unacceptable/unforgivable way, or just didn’t want me in their life anymore….it’s hard to accept, especially when i’m not all that sure what i did, or realize i did something but not til it was too late, never had a conversation to let me know what they were thinking or to give me a chance to apologize or make amends……yet still have some “keepers” that accept my quirks, the bad with the good and such….
well, the last 3 -4 years i’ve gotten much worse about isolating. about 4 years ago our marriage took a nosedive, pretty suddenly around the time our 2nd child was born. first it seemed mostly fiancial stress. then i fell into an extremely stressful and time/energy consuming job but was making decent money(effectively taking away the financial stress from my husband)….and then it became more and more clear that my husband was having an affair. and i was in such pain, and so confused as to what to do…..i guess the details will be another post….just wanted to give a little background on my emotional state…
though things have improved considerably the last year or so, i don’t know that we’ll ever be able to go back to the deeply connected and loving relationship we had years ago…..or at least that i had felt deeply connected and in love…..and also not working at that job anymore so the financial stress issue is back….which again is a whole other post. anyway, when i’m not in a good place i avoid talking with/spending time with people close to me. i just kind of go into my shell until i get things somewhat sorted out within my own mind.
a dear friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer.i’m thinking maybe it was about 6 months or a year ago?really not sure of the timing. anyway, i hadn’t seen her in years. we had talked very sporadically, but she called to tell me what was going on, that she was awaiting surgery and then would have chemo. she was prepared, and confident she would beat this thing. she had her brother on board as advocate/supporter/mediator/coordinator, who is a pharmacist(so knows/understands all the meds/treatments) to insure she was getting the best available medical treatment, she had lots of other people surrounding her to give their love and support too, which was great, but not surprising with someone like her.
i went to visit her sometime after her surgery, an unfortunately brief visit because we had just cut it too close to when i had to leave for work…i have been wracking my brain trying to remember when that was….i also spoke with her on the phone later, and remember her telling me she had one last chemo to get through…we were saying we would get together after she recovered from the last one, that i would bring the kids after too since couldn’t risk with kids getting little colds all the time which could be devasting with her weakened immune system….
i thought of her often, but it never seemed the right time to call for various reasons or i would forget until it was too late at night and just figured i’ll try again tomorrow….it didn’t seem like that much time had past, but the truth is i can’t remember….i can’t remember the even approximate date i had spoken with her, i know i had sent a bday wish for her in march and pretty sure we had spoken on the phone saying we’ll be taking eachother out for belated bday lunch/dinner when she felt better….can’t remember if/when we spoke since.
finally i texted her, i was feeling really badly that i hadn’t made it work to talk with her more, and i was poking my head out of the shell again – i wanted her to know even though we hadn’t spoken for a while i was thinking of her and wishing her well and hoped to be able to talk soon. yesterday i was finally alone at home so i could get some things done that are just hard when the kids are there – including talking to friends. i tried her mobile but found she’d changed her number. when i tried the new number i got a strange beep and disconnect. i went then to facebook to message her about the phone problem, hoping against hope to find some positive updates.
instead i got the worst news, that she had passed already. and it wasn’t even days or weeks but months. friggin months had gone by. i am such a f$%^ up. she was this incredible woman, she lit up the room where ever she went, she touched the lives of so many whether you knew her for 10 minutes or 10 years – or more….she was that kind of person.a beautiful, loving,giving spirit. she was so very very loved – by me as well as many others, but you certainly wouldn’t know by my actions.
the funny thing is, i know she would forgive me, i just don’t know if i can forgive myself. i feel devastated. i feel like a defective person. i am so angry with myself, and so saddened by this loss. i wish i could have given her 1 last hug, to tell her how sorry i was for not being there for her more. to let her know how truly sad i am that we won’t be able to do that belated bday celebration, that there will never again be an op for me to hang with her in a studio, or just at her place…or anywhere……….ever. to tell her what an amazing person i think she is. i’m sure i have told her that in the past, but i would have liked to tell her again.
i’m exhausted, i’m hoping i can sleep some before going to work today. last night (well, actually early this morning)while trying to sleep i kept being aware of this deep sadness, i would feel my face contorting from the grief overwhelming me even in dreams…..REPORT ABUSEJune 28, 2012 at 2:31 pm #115021
nellieMemberJune 28, 2012 at 2:31 pmPost count: 596
Well where to begin?
Your post is very touching on so many levels and certainly brought a tear to my eye when I read it. From an ADD perspective though it really underscores so many lessons.
I have done exactly what you have, and still do, that is not make the effort to connect with family and friends because the more pressing demands of daily life are standing in front of me and demanding my immediate attention. For that is part of what your current experience so poignantly demonstrates to us. The deeper lesson here is “life is short” but how on earth is that something someone with ADD can truly understand until they are forced to on an immediate basis -such as when someone dies unexpectedly?
It is not uncommon for those with ADHD to have issues with deeper connections with others and it seems like a viscous circle. We tend to deal with things when the adrenaline rush of time constraint is involved and the reward is close at hand. Long term plans with friends are far too vague. Birthday party on Friday – no problem deciding.
Please know you are not alone in what you have experienced and take the time grieve for your friend. Really – allow yourself to be sad. There is no escaping the feelings of grief and as much as we with ADHD like to avoid and procrastinate, this is one of those things we must deal with.
Perhaps your friend has given a gift far more reaching than one would imagine – from reading your post and identifying with your experience it brings home to all of us the need to act now on the bigger things in life.
There’s a book by Sue Welch called 10-10-10 ( or maybe it was Cathy Black) anyway.. .the title represents the question: How will I feel about this decision in 10 minutes, 10 months and 10 years? It is meant to highlight the value of a decision in the short and long term and how to prioritize.
I have family members (a mother and daughter both now deceased ) who might have made use of that equation. They had unresolved issues and while they spoke on the phone occasionally ( they lived at opposite ends of the country) they really never connected with one another. When the daughter sent the mother airline tickets to visit her , the mother told her she couldn’t come because she had to do her taxes and all sorts of other inconsequential “stuff.” They didn’t see each other for at least 5 years. One day the daughter was killed in an accident. The mother flew across the country to retrieve the body in less than 24 hours. I’m sure the mother, who died several years later as well, never recovered from the guilt.
So, g.laiya, so sorry for how you are feeling but thank-you for reminding us to stop to water and fertilize the garden so that we may continue to have the pleasure of smelling the roses.REPORT ABUSEJune 28, 2012 at 7:52 pm #115022
TiddlerMemberJune 28, 2012 at 7:52 pmPost count: 802
I’m so sorry to hear this and I understand your hurt.
A friend of mine died of cancer at 14 years old. I didn’t visit her when she disappeared from school for the last time.
You’d think I’d have learnt my lesson. No.
I lost a dear friend’s address just after I moved house too so wrote to her old one with a return address on it, several times, hoping she’d get my mail. She never wrote back and I fear the new people just binned the letters. She died at 24 years old and I didn’t even know she’d been ill. It had been 2 years since I’d lost her address.
I kept not getting round to writing to another, house bound, friend and eventually the letters stopped and she disappeared. I believe she lost her fight with anorexia and I hadn’t been there to support her.
A decent person would make sure they never let someone down like that again, right?
Well, not me.
I have a friend I have known my whole life. We were born 2 weeks apart and knew each other from being babies together. Despite living many miles apart as adults we managed to keep in touch. He wrote regularly and I replied more often than the mails actually made it to the post. Email helped but eventually I didn’t respond often enough but he always sent me a Christmas card even if it had been months and months since he’d heard from me. We saw each other about 3 years ago and he told me he had a brain tumor.
I haven’t heard from him for the last 2 years and I can’t track him down.
I can’t tell you the amount of friends I’ve lost because I just don’t call back, even though I want to, or I lose their addresses that were on scraps of paper screwed up in some pile that ends up in the bin.
I’d do anything for anyone. I had a friend phone me from 4 hours drive away to tell me that there was a mouse in her cupboard and she was scared, could I help? I was there 4 and a half hours later. With a young baby in tow. Another friend needed somewhere to stay but she was going to arrive at 3am – I stayed up to greet her. I’m someone people call to ask to look after their kids because they know they’ll be well looked after and the kids will have a great time.
But this stuff? Even though I KNOW how important it is? Well, I just don’t do a good enough job and that’s something that has broken my heart at times.REPORT ABUSEJune 29, 2012 at 9:21 pm #115023
AbbyNormalMemberJune 29, 2012 at 9:21 pmPost count: 37
((((g))))., so sorry about the friend you lost. Your post brought me to tears because I can feel a little bit of how much that must hurt. I can also identify with the feelings of self-dislike and disappointment with yourself. I honestly don’t know how to get past those feelings because I still struggle with forgiving myself for even small embarrassing slips of the tongue and things like that. We tend to perseverate on those mistakes over time, but we’ve got to eventually give ourselves a mental Get Out of Jail Free card, and I hope someday you can do that for yourself.
I’ve done the exact same thing, am doing it right now, in fact. I have an aunt whom I used to talk to a lot when I wasn’t working but things fell off since I started getting busier. I haven’t called since January because in the past when I did remember to call, she’d tease me and say, “Nooo, it can’t be you!” And she sends complaining messages through my dad how she never hears from me, so I avoid the repeated admonitions in a very weasel-like way by continuing to not call. Oh, did I mention she just went through her second occurrence of breast cancer, complete with radiation treatments? Ya, Person of the Year, that’s me.
I’ve heard others on these forums say similar things like, “I have trouble remembering to stay in touch with friends and family.” So true, for so many of us, I’m sure.
You’ve been through a lot in life, it seems. Keeping in touch with others is difficult to sustain when you’re faced with pressures and sadness at home with your immediate family. I’d love to hear other forum members advice for a way to prompt ourselves to keep in touch with those we don’t see regularly. I know with myself it’s Feast or Famine. You either hear from me a lot (too much? who knows, no one will say) or hardly ever (guilt feelings from forgetting to contact someone in such a long time perpetuates the delay because I don’t know how to explain the lack of contact. Saying “I forgot” sounds so hurtful, doesn’t it? And then, what if they’re tired of waiting and don’t want to talk anymore?). I don’t do “somewhere in-between” very well, in anything, if you get right down to brass tacks.
Take care, thanks for sharing, and hope you feel a bit better about things soon.
AbbyREPORT ABUSEJune 30, 2012 at 12:22 pm #115024
AnonymousJune 30, 2012 at 12:22 pmPost count: 14412
I so understand this thread – the losing touch with friends because of my own neglect, and the overwhelming guilt that goes with it when it’s someone who needed support. But the laying on of the guilt as some are inclined to do does NOT result in positive results.
I have a list of my family and friends that have concerns – there’s at least a greater chance that I’ll pop an email off to them, maybe pick up the phone. It keeps them in my line of vision.
But on the spur of the moment if someone calls me for help I’m the first to drop what I should be doing and go listen to them, take them where they need to go, make them a casserole …REPORT ABUSEJune 30, 2012 at 6:00 pm #115025
WgreenParticipantJune 30, 2012 at 6:00 pmPost count: 445
It’s interesting. When people think about ADDers, they think about forgetful people, or hyperactive people. Or disorganized people. Of course, all of that is true. But surely one of the most devastating consequences of ADD is alienation.
ADDers typically have few good friends. Let’s face it, we can be difficult to love. And to make matters worse, it’s hard for others to understand why we struggle with so many of the things most people find easy. When you try to explain ADD to people with well-regulated lives, they often just give you a blank stare. It all seems so far-fetched. And so we often walk alone. Or if not alone, then unable to resonate fully with colleagues and the people we care about. In the second place, we live such distracted lives we frequently overlook the needs of others. ADD is a form of forced multi-tasking; our minds constantly shift gears without a clutch. Not only do we live in a confused present, we constantly fret about the future and we can’t help obsessing about the past. Because we have a hard time focusing on life’s here and now, we’re usually not terribly productive. And perhaps as a consequence of managing our agendas so poorly, it’s hard to find the necessary time to build and maintain friendships. We’re just trying to hold our own lives together. At least that has been my experience.REPORT ABUSEJune 30, 2012 at 9:32 pm #115026
AnonymousJune 30, 2012 at 9:32 pmPost count: 14412
I was diagnosed with ADD last Nov ’11 and fortunately I have responded well to treatment.
As I have moved from the fog I have gained a lot of insights and not staying in touch with friends and isolating
is a big part of my past. It hurts to think about it and seems overwhelming.
I am determined to move forward and do better. Right now am reaching out to friends from the past and fortunately
have received a pretty positive reception. Also I write things down and put reminders in the phone calendar to call and I am trying
That’s what I think is important …….just keep trying
Ps I am not good with paper …. Evernote has helped a lot (blackberry , laptop) take notes everywhere i goREPORT ABUSEJuly 6, 2012 at 9:53 am #115027
g.laiyaMemberJuly 6, 2012 at 9:53 amPost count: 116
thank you, everyone, so much for your responses, for sharing your pain, your experiences, your sympathy and empathy, your nuggets of wisdom and counsel. i have read them over and over as i have been processing this.
i’m doing a little better now…a little calmer, beating myself up a little less, i guess sort of tucked it away, a bit, because i can’t let myself drown in it….not quite a “get out of jail free card”, but survival.
and, i guess it was the proverbial straw…. it made it really hit that i just don’t want to continue the way i have my whole life.it’s not just personality quirks, these are real problems…i need help, i want help. i do. i finally spoke to my ptp to get a psych referral…ironically found i didn’t need to speak with him to get the referral….i also contacted a lifecoach who had been recommended to me.
thursday i met with the lifecoach, very nice guy, sounds like could be helpful….just not sure how i’m gonna get through the initial paperwork – yikes!there’s a lot….
today i met with the psych. i guess it was an ok start.gave him some of my history/background. he said although he needs to do more evaluation before giving me a dx, that i do seem to fit the criteria for add, and he did also mention that the depression and anxiety i experience can come from that too, as well as the difficulties with sleep, with work, with relationships, with overeating, and on and on…
he said that he wants to deal with a number of issues with me, and that if it is determined that i do have add that he knows some good psychiatrists he can refer me to for meds.
my brother has also been telling me about a group called “underearners anonymous” which i guess tries to help you discover your roadblocks to success and find ways to remove them, that sounds like it could be beneficial. he said they even have a special group or meeting within it that deals with “clutter”, so think it’s worth it to at least check it out.
now i’m wondering if maybe i should just make a separate appointment with a psychiatrist right away. i mean he/she is going to want t do their own eval anyway even if a psychologist has dx me with add – or anything else – right? or no? i’m just not sure the benefit of waiting for the one to come to a conclusion when the other will also have to make a separate conclusion. should i call him and ask for a referral right away? or ?REPORT ABUSEJuly 7, 2012 at 4:14 am #115028
nellieMemberJuly 7, 2012 at 4:14 amPost count: 596
IF the psychiatrist is only prescribing medication then perhaps he/she will rely on the psychologist’s report. Actually you can have a family doctor prescribe medication so don’t actually need to see a psychiatrist. Why don’t you just ask the psychologist? It would seem expensive to me to have both evaluate you. Like you, I would be inclined to go the fastest route.REPORT ABUSEJuly 7, 2012 at 8:09 am #115029
RobboMemberJuly 7, 2012 at 8:09 amPost count: 929
I’m glad this came back up. It’s important to not be too hard on yourselves you guys, very, but in my case it’s also a reminder to follow up on the more current situations that are very much the same.
I have a very close friend who I really need to visit. Every time I think about it I feel guilty. Thanks for sharing you guys, it’s very helpful for not only me, but the rest of the peoplefriends in our lives that each of us need to follow up on. We do have friends. I’ve just become willing to actually write down “visit friend” in my planner. It kills my pride to write a reminder of something any normal person would never forget. But my pride is a dang liar. It’s my enemy sometimes. My pride has turned me into a very alone person.
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