Laura

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Laura 2012-11-13T13:00:41+00:00

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  • in reply to: Severe Procrastination #105226

    Laura
    Member
    Post count: 11

    I SO feel for you. We have all been exactly where you are now. When you’re so far deep in the hole, then first thing (and the absolute hardest, for me anyway!) is to ask for help. For me, this brings up HUGE anxiety and even close to a panic attack, but it’s the only way to start digging your way out.

    I had to withdraw from classes one semester. My husband looked at all my back-logged work and said the only way out of this is to withdraw. (I was 1000s of pages behind in reading and weeks of papers–and I was too ashamed to let anyone know. Plus, I kept “planning” to stay up all night, for several nights, to finish it all.) I never saw withdrawing as an option — only saw more organizing ideas and beating myself up for not doing what I clearly wanted to do. He actually wrote the withdrawal letter for me because I was flipping out. He even asked for a medical leave so I could work on the coping skills to finish school (I’ve managed a 3.8 GPA in graduate school) I read it then sent it. My professors were so understanding. The registrar’s office gave me the leave for an entire year so I could concentrate on therapy! I lost all that semester’s money, but regained sanity. Now, in therapy, I’m working on all those presuppositions that caused me not to seek help in the first place.

    I should have asked for help LONG before the withdrawal point. I’m telling you — you can read and study all kinds of self-help books and amazing organizational websites but sometimes you just simply need someone to take your hand and walk you through it. Ask your husband, a friend, a pastor, or hire an ADHD coach and tell them you don’t know how to get out of this hole. And they WILL help!

    God bless you and you will get through this — just ask someone!

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    Laura
    Member
    Post count: 11

    KrazyKat, I’ve read that even the perimenopausal NON-ADHD woman can experience ADHD-like symptoms like forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating, plus other stuff like anger, anxiety, depression…so for us ADHD-gals, it can definitely complicate matters!

    Here’s a short article from Patricia Quinn, MD (http://www.addvance.com/help/women/hormones.html).

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    Laura
    Member
    Post count: 11

    Quizzical,

    My ADHD got worse when I hit my 40s (married with two boys, also ADHD). My usual coping techniques, like staying up all night long to finish what I’ve put off, didn’t work anymore. Staying up all night makes my ADHD 10 times worse for the next 2-4 days! Also, at 45, I’m peri-menopausal — hormones are all over the place — also making my ADHD worse. Plus graduate school has a lot more reading than college — it’s impossible to take notes on 1000s of pages each month (note-taking worked great as an under-grad) — and more big projects requiring more planning.

    I finally got help through meds. They really make a world of difference. Getting things done takes less effort. I didn’t realize how much effort it took just to get through the day, until, with medication, life became easier. Counseling definitely helps with coping and beating yourself up for all those years, but not with all the other stuff…at least with me.

    I love Dr. Edward Hallowell’s book, “Delivered From Distraction”. He says in the introduction, “You have struggle heroically your whole life. Now it is time for you to receive the medical treatment you should have received many years ago” (p.xxx). AMEN!

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    in reply to: 'God' is punishing you #103641

    Laura
    Member
    Post count: 11

    Bill, just read that “Awesome ADD” thread…VERY cool. Where would this world be without us? πŸ˜‰

    I hate to add a “yea, but…” to all this ADD glory, but…since my husband is the only non-ADDer in our family, I would force myself to listen to him when he thought something was too dangerous. I love the thrill of danger, so sometimes I can put myself into situations that aren’t healthy…or thought through. It’s REALLY good to have him by my side! Most every time, I end up thanking him for stopping me (though I might be really ticked at first!).

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    in reply to: add and social skills #104390

    Laura
    Member
    Post count: 11

    Damnyoud, I was the same way!

    I was painfully shy, but then around 12 or13 I began asking myself, what the heck are all these people talking about? I thought it had to be ground-breaking/earth-shattering insights in order to actually speak and how are all these people coming up with this stuff? Well, I just started observing (like no-dopamine!) …like a social science experiment. You know what I discovered…they were talking about nonsense! Something funny their cat did, losing their shoe…they would also sometimes lean in and laugh to sort of encourage the response they hoped for…and the listeners loved it! They laughed and joined in with their own stories!

    So I experimented…and it worked! Whoo hoo! Now I could say whatever popped into my head! Oh, yea, I screwed up, too. Sometimes people would look at me like I was from Mars. I just added that to my list of “what NOT to say”.

    Now, what I still have problems with is keeping in touch with old friends that live far away. Why don’t I DO that?!?! I’m great if I have to see you (like through work or church) but to actually get in touch with someone I haven’t heard from in a while is rough! Or just to get together without some purpose — can’t seem to just meet for the heck of it! Then I feel guilty. Ugh…One more thing to work on in therapy… πŸ™„

    Do you all know of a book for ADD’ers practicing social skills? Not just the generalities (like a chapter in a book) but the nitty-gritty? I need one!

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    in reply to: Inconsistent Performance…a major roadblock #103823

    Laura
    Member
    Post count: 11

    Oh man! When you figure that out, let me know!

    I’m toying with the idea of getting an ADHD coach. I’ve put that off because they are so expensive, but now I’m realizing I might just have to look at coaching as a business/life expense. With a coach, I know I’d get more done in less time (which would really increase my self-esteem!) so it might be worth it.

    Something that HAS helped somewhat is EMDR for anxiety. It’s helped tremendously with getting to the root of why I was believing I am screwed up and worthless and now I can actually say “I’m a blessing” without cringing.

    However, I still am a work in progress…I too become afraid to attempt certain things (like writing/designing classes) because I’m afraid of the intense concentration required and the fact that I’ll have to stay put at a computer for HOURS…alone! (Ok…I know that’s an exaggeration, but honestly that’s what goes through my mind! When I get into it, it’s never as bad as I thought). I’ve learned through therapy that I have “all-or-nothing” thinking, not even recognizing the miles in between. So I wait ’til the last minute (like an hour before I have to teach). Everyone loves my teaching (I’ve never gotten a bad review — ADDers can be pretty good at winging it!), and I’m invited to many different venues, but I know if I spent more time, I could sell books!

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    in reply to: Can't do anything right. #103564

    Laura
    Member
    Post count: 11

    Oh, that IS the classic mantra, “If I was just more disciplined…; if I was just more organized…; why can’t I set the same time each day to [exercise, study, practice, etc.]; what’s WRONG with me?”

    Here’s another idea that helped silence my self-damaging inner voice — EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, http://www.emdr.com and http://www.emdria.org). You basically sit back and let your brain wander, albeit if you go too far off the beaten path, the EMDR-trained counselor will get you back on track. It’s not hypnosis at all, but a way for your brain to heal itself — to process and file away those disturbing life events so they don’t continually mess up the present. Eventually I honestly no longer believed I was intrinsically a screw-up anymore, but that I was a good person who screwed up sometimes.

    But, as far as procrastination goes, it didn’t help me. I think meds plus cognitive behavioral therapy is the way to go.

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    in reply to: 'God' is punishing you #103633

    Laura
    Member
    Post count: 11

    Ugh…why do people SAY things like that?! I’m so sorry valerie102.

    God has actually USED my ADHD for his benefit! How many “regular” people would give up life in North America and go to a third world country with just a suitcase? My family and I (everyone ADHD except my husband) lived for years in dangerous situations because we felt God asking us to do so AND WE COULD HANDLE IT!

    ADD’ers are pretty dang good in the midst of crisis.

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    in reply to: 1 month trial with Focalin XR #103433

    Laura
    Member
    Post count: 11

    Hi cwinesette. So far, no personality changes at all (yea!), but I’m barely noticing any improvements with motivation and attention. I’m on a very low dose (30mg) so that might have something to do with it. I also had a hard time going to sleep for the first 2 nights…this Vyvanse lasts much longer for me (about 10 hours) compared to Focalin XR. But that can be bad too. I realized one day at 11am that I forgot to take my pill, so I just skipped it. For me lack of sleep really exaggerates those ADHD symptoms. So…I’ve got about 3 more weeks at this dose, then we’ll see!

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