January 15, 2015 at 6:17 am #126422
blackdogMemberJanuary 15, 2015 at 6:17 amPost count: 906
Okay, I made it here, with only a couple of detours along the way. This is what I came here to do. It’s actually what I originally came here to do, whenever it was I first came here (sometime in 2013, I think?). I came here because I was sad, and lost, and didn’t know what to do. And nothing has really changed.
I’ve been up all night, even though I went to bed feeling exhausted and really wanted to sleep. For some reason I got up, probably to go to the washroom, and just never got back. I tried, but I just started to cry and thought it would be better if I got up and did something.
I’m just sad, about everything. Mostly about how I have ruined my life, and the lives of everyone around me. All of the things I never did, and never can do now. All of the things that they wanted and were never able to have and can’t now, at least partly because of me. People like to say “it’s never too late”, but that’s a lie. There are some things you can just never make up for. And some things do have a very definite expiration date.
My dad is gone and my mother is starting to talk about dying- little things, like saying that she has lived a full life and doesn’t need anything now, and that this might be her last Christmas.
My husband desperately wanted to have children. Now he doesn’t even talk about it anymore. And I didn’t even realize that it’s too late until very recently. (To say I’m time blind is a colossal understatement.)
How can you make up for all the things you never got around to doing for someone after they are dead? How can you make up for robbing someone of their chance to have a child? How can you get back 20+ years of your life? Wasted years in which you accomplished absolutely nothing except staying alive.
I have nothing to show for my life. And I mean nothing. I have never done one worthwhile thing. And I have no idea where I’m going to go from here, much less how to get there. Right now I don’t feel like I will ever get anywhere.January 17, 2015 at 2:15 am #126441
blackdogMemberJanuary 17, 2015 at 2:15 amPost count: 906
Well, I guess I’ll reply to myself, since I pretty much talk to myself all the time anyway.
I was briefly better, started doing normal everyday things and felt fairly content. I wasplanning to come back her and downplay my original comment and say it wasn’t that that bad and maybe it was just a hormone imbalance or because I upped my meds too fast (titrating up again after having to stop due to illness).
But today, I lost it again. I could barely keep it together long enough to get some grocery shopping done and manage a halfhearted smile to reassure the husband every now and then.
The problem is the same as always: reality has reared her ugly head again and I can’t cope with it. Mom talking about dying just hit it home that 3 years have passed since dad died and I have still made no progress. If anything, things are worse now. And soon I’m going to be completely on my own (husband is sitting beside me right now playing a video game completely oblivious) and I don’t know how I will survive.
I guess that’s it, in a nut shell. I have pages, and pages, and pages of notes in various note books and on the iPad, about everything that is going through my head, at least what I can get down while I still remember it. But that is just par for the course. I have been here many times before, sitting up all night writing and writing. and going around in circles until I finally shut down again and go back to just getting through the day on autopilot and forgetting all about it.
And nothing ever changes. Which I guess is why I am writing this, because I need to get outside of my head somehow. I need help. And this time I think I’m ready to ask for it.REPORT ABUSEJanuary 17, 2015 at 3:07 am #126442
hondaMemberJanuary 17, 2015 at 3:07 amPost count: 15
I felt compassion after reading your post. Tried to come up with something wise and helpful, but couldn’t think of anything really good. Just want to say I care. May you be free from your suffering. May you be at peace and at ease.REPORT ABUSEJanuary 20, 2015 at 8:28 pm #126478
blackdogMemberJanuary 20, 2015 at 8:28 pmPost count: 906January 20, 2015 at 9:35 pm #126479
seabassdMemberJanuary 20, 2015 at 9:35 pmPost count: 119
I know the feeling. It’s like, when is all the work going to stop. When will I finally find something that gets me to the other side where I can do life and find rest. Sometimes you just feel weary and tired and sad. Another list to write, another day to get things checked off…people to please and hoping at some point, some day you’ll be on the other side. There’s this overwhelming feeling of exhaustion and your just so tired so so tired. I know where you’re at.
I remember reading something in one of the books I read that sticks with me…something like “the one thing those with ADHD must remember is to be resilient.” The author was talking about how we see setbacks in all or nothing terms and how we should not throw in the towel but adjust and retweek when setbacks come because they will come. If we’re exhausted then why? Are we expecting too much from ourselves? Are we needing something or missing something in our lives? Overwhelm is what we’re talking about here. We have a tendency to put our heads down and charge forward working harder and harder until we crash and burn. Step back from the situation, get some perspective…calm a bit then regroup. Pressure, anxiety, worry, depression, when we start to feel these things building…step back, show yourself some compassion and forgiveness.
Remember we may be making progress in the right direction, but we just don’t see it. We think we’re stuck but we’re actually making progress. Also remember that our minds love drama and difficulty, it’s something I know I use as a way to generate that adrenaline fix.
Also remember that we actually get more done without all the drama and anxiety it’s just that we’re so darn use to it that we fall back into it time and time again.
I’ve been reading your posts off and on for a while now and I know that you’re making progress. I know that you’ve helped people and that you are active within these forums.
Lastly, we are people of great faith and hope. We’ve slayed a lot of dragons, we’ve stumbled numerous times yet we prevail. We are strong and courageous even if others may not understand or if we lose site of it ourselves from time to time. You are moving forward, don’t let that sneaky part of your mind tell you any differently.
Much love and peace.REPORT ABUSEJanuary 21, 2015 at 1:37 am #126483
lailamoon786MemberJanuary 21, 2015 at 1:37 amPost count: 18
Blackdog, thank you so much for sharing! Since my diagnosis a few months back, I’ve had my share of ups and downs. I’ve been going through a grieving process: Why did it take sooooo long to figure this out?!? I want my time back – I’ve been robbed!
Man, I was feeling low! Demoralized, deprived, depressed. I didn’t want to talk to anyone about it (I didn’t think non-ADDers would understand anyway), but I read somewhere that it’s important for ADHDers/ADDers to remember the good things and aaaaaallllllll those times we’ve been resilient. This could be done through a:
– Gratitude Journal. For those of us who need to get things out of our heads and onto paper, a Gratitude Journal is a way to remind ourselves of the good things in our lives. It’s suggested that we write in the journal before going to bed. As Seabassd noted, we move forward but sometimes it’s hard for us to see this – by writing things down, it helps us to see for ourselves the progress we’ve made. Blackdog, since you express yourself by writing – and you’re a good writer, by the way 🙂 – maybe this is something right up your alley?
Another thing I’m trying to do these days is to reach out more (not an easy thing for me to do!). I’ve taken a step towards finding a:
– ADHD/ADD Coach. I’ve checked out the Coaches link on this website and have sent a few e-mails to find a coach. There are even some coaches-in-training that are willing to do this pro-bono!
I’m also keeping my eyes open for online ADD resources. Recently, I came across:
– ADD Audio Library (http://www.addaudiolibrary.com). They have tons of podcasts and webinars, including one on “Getting a Good’s Night Sleep Despite Your ADD”.
Blackdog, please know that you’re not alone. We’re all in this together. Thank you for your courage in posting. It truly makes a difference!
Laila xoREPORT ABUSEJanuary 21, 2015 at 11:42 am #126485
seabassdMemberJanuary 21, 2015 at 11:42 amPost count: 119
Another thing I was thinking about that may be on topic, though I’m not sure. Sometimes I forget that I’m not on this earth to be some efficient perfectly organized analytical machine. I tend to fall into the trap of overcompensating for my deficiencies by trying to do things the way others do or by constantly monitoring my performance based on some standard that comes from, I don’t know where. This always drags me down into depression. Like for instance I could be reorganizing my work space when I have pending projects or requests that need to be done. Sure, it may not be logical to do the organizing at that time, and it may even be some form of procrastination. The reality however is that I may need to do that at that moment, damn the logic. Emotionally I may need it for some reason. I don’t overthink it or over judge. We forget that emotional needs do not fit into some tidy form of structure. We might make an “A+” on some project but feel emotionally empty after all is said and done. It’s not that projects and goals aren’t important, I just think that we sometimes look for peace at the end of a completed to-do list. This is why accepting the way we are and our own style of dealing with things is so important. When I’m overwhelmed I’ve usually forgotten this. My goal isn’t perfection, because that’s not necessary for peace and happiness. We don’t have to be perfect, nor do others to be deserving of love and our place on this earth. We’ll leave that to the robots and anal retentive psychologists.
@blackdog, As you may be able to tell your post has hit home with me. I’m so grateful that you shared. I know a lot of people don’t believe in faith and God these days but sometimes things just feel like more than coincidence.REPORT ABUSEJanuary 26, 2015 at 9:59 am #126507
Rick Green – Founder of TotallyADDParticipantJanuary 26, 2015 at 9:59 amPost count: 473
@blackdog, I found it so hard to read what you’ve written because I’ve been there myself. And though my story is different the emotions you are experiencing are familiar to everyone of us I suspect. Regret. Anger. Despair. Glimmers of Hope. Then waves of hopelessness. Frustration. Exhaustion. One step forward and two steps back. A feeling that nothing is getting better… even though others around you may see improvement. And even dismissing every step forward as a fluke or no big deal. Or not enough. Not meaningful. Nothing to be proud of.
When this happens to me there is only one way out. Getting out of my head. Speaking it aloud to my coach, or my wife, or even just doing what you’re doing and writing it down. And then taking apart each sentence I’ve written, questioning whether it is in fact the immutable truth, or could there be a better explanation, or a better perspective.
I wonder also if there isn’t a streak of idealism and perfectionism in most ADHD folks, and whens something doesn’t work out exactly as we imagined, we deem it a failure, or rather, we deem ourselves as failures. For a long time I could barely stand to watch a lot of the television shows I made because they were never as good as I’d hoped. Or if something really did work, it only made me think, “Why couldn’t it have all been as good as that? I should have tried harder. Or planned better. Or done another draft of the script…”
I do know that when I worry alone it gets worse and worse and worse. When I can speak it aloud even to myself, it sounds different. And when I speak it to a good coach or therapist who doesn’t try to convince me that, “Hey, it’s not the end of the world. Look at the bright side,” but instead gets that, “I can see this is really upsetting you,” which is true, then I’m willing or able to see that while it’s true that I REALLY am feeling despondent, the thoughts that lead me to this feeling may not be true. They may just be an interpretation based on a lifetime of seeing the glass half empty, of trying to measure up and be like everyone else, and having these lofty goals and ambitions which are find and dandy, but which make me miserable.
Dunno if any of this helps. But I’m really glad you found the courage to share your thoughts. You did a very good thing here. And I know thousands of people will read your post and hear themselves.
Please keep us posted.
RickREPORT ABUSEJanuary 27, 2015 at 9:25 pm #126511
blackdogMemberJanuary 27, 2015 at 9:25 pmPost count: 906
Thank you for you kind words and encouragement. I would have responded sooner but I haven’t had the time to come back here.
You hit the nail on the head- when will all the work stop? That is exactly the problem I have. And I have been tired for as long as I can remember.
I’m not sure how many dragons I’ve stayed though. Probably quite a few if you count the ones in my head.
I may be making progress, but it’s at a very, very slow pace. I used to think of myself as the tortoise who would eventually beat the hare through perseverance, but after awhile I gave up, crawled inside my shell and made a nice cozy bed in there. And every time I come out, something happens that reminds me why I like it better on the inside.
Your second post is right on topic, or at least on target. It may not be what I was talking about here, but it is a huge stumbling block that I keep tripping over time and again. It’s kind of where it all started.
I had this idea of creating the *perfect* Christmas, because it may actually be my mother’s last. But I procrastinated, goofed off, got distracted… etc. And the job was bigger than I realized it was. This house is so cluttered that there is just no place to put anything anymore. I was staying up all night, either cleaning or working on one of my other projects, which were creating more stuff to clean up. I got irritable and started snapping at people, and eventually came down with the flu, and gave it to my mother- right on Christmas Eve.
So instead of creating the *perfect* Christmas I completely destroyed Christmas. And after it was all over I realized what would have made it perfect was just spending time together, not all those things that imagined would make it perfect.
Its those high expectations, the way I think life *should* be, that got me into this mess, because I never committed myself to this life. I sat around brooding about what life should be like, what it would be like, if only…. I spent so much time trying to figure out how to get out of this life and into one of the ones I imagined I should be living that I never got around to living at all.
And now in hindsight I realize that all I ever needed is right here. If I had just been content to live my life then some of those things that I always imagined would happen, or wished would happen, might have actually happened.
There is a Buddhist belief that all our suffering is caused by wishing that things were different than they are and that everything is exactly the way it was meant to be. We are living in paradise, right here, right now. When I first read this I looked up from my book, looked around my dirty, messy living room, and said “Nope, this is definitely not paradise”.
But when you think about it, it’s a good philosophy to live by. To be content with what is and stop looking for what can not be.January 28, 2015 at 12:37 am #126512
blackdogMemberJanuary 28, 2015 at 12:37 amPost count: 906
Thank you for your response. I was actually feeling embarrassed and wishing I had of waited instead of posting all that. Seeing your comment helped to make me feel better about it.
I know what you’re going through. I’ve been saying the same thing since before getting my official diagnosis. How did I lose so much time? It’s not fair that people half my age have done twice as much and I’m still spinning my wheels.
But the answer to my question, about how you can make up for things you did, or didn’t do, is : You can’t. All yo can do is pick up the pieces and move forward. I was looking at it all wrong. What I need to focus in is doing what I need to do to out the past behind me and be able to get on with my life. If it’s too late for something, then it’s too late. don’t waste time or energy on it.
It sounds like you’re off to a good start, reaching out and finding those resources. The gratitude journal is a good tool, if you can remember to keep one. I used to occasionally write out a list before going to bed of “What Was Good About Today”. I tried to always put down at least three things, even if it was just something like “it was sunny” or, on really bad days, “I’m still breathing”.
Another thing you might want to try is keeping a list of accomplishments. They don’t have to be big, just any little thing that you did right. Some of my recent accomplishments are:
*Made the bed
*Made lasagna for dinner
*Tried to fix shelves, gave up when it became frustrating and was taking too long
*Took down the Christmas decorations
That last one is unprecedented. I never get the Christmas decorations down before the end of January. (I actually left the tree up until June or July once.)
Like everything else, I don’t do this consistently, because I keep forgetting. But it helps to put you in the right frame of mind, looking at the things you did right instead of the things you did wrong. I counted the fact that I gave up trying to fix the shelves as an accomplishment because I have a problem with knowing when it’s time to quit. And I did fix those shelves a couple of days later, after I had some time to think about it and come up with a plan.
i am literally falling asleep now so I have to stop there. Thanks again for your response and good luck. 🙂REPORT ABUSEJanuary 28, 2015 at 12:41 am #126513
blackdogMemberJanuary 28, 2015 at 12:41 amPost count: 906January 28, 2015 at 11:10 am #126519
sheilabridgetMemberJanuary 28, 2015 at 11:10 amPost count: 5
You’re getting there kiddo. There is so much I need to do, just to clear my head and guilt. Why is it so hard? Because we don’t want to do it! (I don’t.) It’s hard, and boring……really boring.
Try not to think to much about the things you can’t go back and undo; it’s a waste. It’s a lot of anxiety, (sometimes exacerbated by lack of enough sleep, esp in my case!) and it’s not worth the energy. I am on a small dose of anxiety meds and it helped me. I am able to get a full nights sleep, and not worry to much about the pointless stuff.
Good luck. We’re pulling for you!REPORT ABUSEJanuary 28, 2015 at 8:10 pm #126526
Patte RosebankParticipantJanuary 28, 2015 at 8:10 pmPost count: 1517
When you’re having a bad day, just think of this, and your day might not seem so bad: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-devon-31017567
We humans are supposed to be the most intelligent, and probably the only truly self-aware species on the planet. Sometimes, I wonder if it might not have been better to have been born a cat, instead of a human who has to think about ADHD, and living up to my potential, and making a real difference in this screwed-up unfair world, and HOW old am I now???
Then, I think of something silly or sparkly, I’ve created and I realize that I couldn’t have done that if I were a cat.REPORT ABUSEJanuary 29, 2015 at 7:46 pm #126538
seabassdMemberJanuary 29, 2015 at 7:46 pmPost count: 119
@blackdog , Sounds like you’re on the upswing now. Glad to hear. You mentioned being embarrassed about your post. I feel that way just about every time I post something. Well, maybe more like worried. Although I remember I hit a pretty rough patch a few months ago and then decided to post about it…then I was embarrassed. It was like displaying a weakness in my armor I guess. But man did I feel better when the responses started coming in.REPORT ABUSEJanuary 30, 2015 at 3:40 pm #126539
kc5jckParticipantJanuary 30, 2015 at 3:40 pmPost count: 846
So . . . about a week before Christmas, I walk in the house and see that my wife had put sticky hooks on the wall in the shape of a tree and hooked the tree lights on them. “I see you got the tree decorated.” What else can I say?REPORT ABUSE
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