View Full Version : Shocked/Relieved to realize I'm ADD


Delphine
10-14-15, 09:39 AM
Hello. (First post) I'm 56 and while outwardly I'm told I seem quietly confident and together, inwardly I've spent most of my life feeling a mess, like I couldn't quite keep up or get it right no matter how hard I tried. I could never seem to manage to organise myself the way other people do and too often felt muddled. I grew used to apologising for being 10 mins late, forgetting invites, procrastinating, lack of motivation at times etc.... I couldn't understand what was wrong with me and often felt ashamed of being lazy and disorganised - - which I would then try to balance by pushing myself to get things done until I was exhausted. Or desperately trying to "hide the mess" - hoarding things in junk spaces in the house, hoping nobody opens that door, and feeling powerless to get my act together. It felt just awful!! Things that were relatively easy for other people seemed impossible for me to cope with - I felt criticised and cringe-y inside.

Then 5 years ago my life fell asunder (due to outside circumstances), which forced a certain degree of introspection and soul searching. I have rebuilt a good life now, but only this week feel somewhat shocked to realise I am most definitely ADD and have been since childhood!! Being somewhat reserved, it is not immediately obvious to anyone else - they think I am 'creative'.
It is also a great relief to finally comprehend that there is not anything "wrong" with me as such - only that I need to learn to work with the way my brain is wired. :)

On the plus side, I am very creative and sporadically do very well when I get around to expressing that side of my nature. At times like that, life is good! But settling down to finish a project can be a real challenge.... and I am surrounded by uncompleted projects :/

I've been listening to binaural beats online for ADD and find them comforting. I've also learned over the years that meditating helps me a lot.... but the Catch 22 is that it is sometimes hard to organise that! Learning to live with this is going to take me a while I'd say.
I'm currently doing my best to reframe the negative labels I've put upon myself. I'm not sure if I will seek medical help, perhaps I will see how I get on with this new approach first.
It is a huge relief to share here and know that there are lots of wonderful people enjoying everyday life despite this great challenge. Thanks for reading this far. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated :)

Delphine
10-14-15, 05:22 PM
One area I could use advice on right now is exercise. I have small dogs who need daily walks as much as I do, yet I find it so difficult to motivate myself to do this one small thing every day. I pep-talk myself into taking them first thing in the morning and might keep that up for a day or two, but sooner or later fall back into procrastinating all day and losing motivation!!

I feel so bad about that. It's not just me that's affected, it's them too. I have hired someone to take them out a few times a week until I figure this out. I know guilt doesn't help but I can't help feeling guilty - of course I do. They are dependent on me for this and I can't get my act together.

Anyone else got any tips on how to motivate themselves to get basic exercise? Or how to keep up the momentum? I would have broken through a major barrier if I could just manage this one small thing!!!
It sounds simple.... make a rule and stick to it. Why I can't organise this is beyond me, and most frustrating :(

Abcdef
10-14-15, 09:36 PM
I don't know how your diet is but if you have ADHD it's probably not the best (I can't speak for everyone, but healthier food requires more prep and effort so it's probably not the best)

With good diet-exercise usually follows...they go hand in hand.

This will improve your symptoms, but most likely won't eliminate them....that's where meds come in.

You need a good balance of all three of them to have a sense of well-being.

If you have an excellent diet and exercise regime before you start meds you will stand yourself in much greater stead in regards to something which can be a long and emotional journey.

I wish you all the best.

Pilgrim
10-14-15, 11:33 PM
One thing with exercise is the hardest thing is to walk out the front door.

Delphine
10-15-15, 04:39 AM
That's very true! My diet can be all over the place. I never thought why! I also drive myself nuts by buying good quality supplements, taking them for a few days and then forgetting all about them! But making a priority of preparing fresh, nutrient rich foods would be a great start. I love cooking anyway, so this gives me a reason to enjoy it. :)

Setting priorities, deciding whats important, that can be a real challenge for me. It helps a lot to know why it's important. I'm a bit scared of meds. Think I need a bit of time to adjust to the idea.

"Getting out the front door" makes it sound a lot easier, Pilgrim, thanks. I'm inclined to make mountains out of molehills in my head (I hate that!). Truth is I always enjoy walking and feel great afterwards, but getting out that front door probably is the hardest part.

TangledWebs
10-15-15, 07:28 AM
You have ADHD. You're not ADHD. ;)

Have you tried drinking coffee before you work out? That always works for me. I also find working out on stationary equipment terribly boring. Fast-paced work out DVDs or bouncing between different exercise machines seems to help with the boredom. For example, I'll do ten minutes on the treadmill, ten minutes on the bike, and ten minutes on the rower.

Delphine
10-15-15, 07:54 AM
Thanks TangledWebs for this important distinction. Makes all the difference! :)

pixie cut
10-24-15, 11:19 AM
I had the shocked, relieved reaction too, and seem to be going through a grieving process of sorts . For all the things that might have been. Feel I'm coming out the other end and starting to look forward though. I am working on building more acceptance and bits of structure into my daily life( reminders, timers, more clocks, more creative outlets and walks. As far as diet, if it wasn't for trail mix, raw veg, yogourt and eggs.... The public library has been a godsend for me for informing myself about adult ADD. all the best with your journey.

Socaljaxs
10-24-15, 01:27 PM
One area I could use advice on right now is exercise. I have small dogs who need daily walks as much as I do, yet I find it so difficult to motivate myself to do this one small thing every day. I pep-talk myself into taking them first thing in the morning and might keep that up for a day or two, but sooner or later fall back into procrastinating all day and losing motivation!!
I feel so bad about that. It's not just me that's affected, it's them too. I have hired someone to take them out a few times a week until I figure this out. I know guilt doesn't help but I can't help feeling guilty - of course I do. They are dependent on me for this and I can't get my act together.

Grr. I just write out a bunch of stuff and my iPad went nope and deleted everything.. Grr oh well lucky for you it will be shorter now :lol:

First I want to say I think you hiring someone to do it instead Is awesome and shows a sign of an awesome dog owner. That isn't something to be ashamed of. It's awesome you are still getting them what they need. :yes::)

I personally wouldn't find walking my dog around a block very enjoyable either.. Sounds like a choir to me personally and not like a "woohoo dog walking time" activity... Maybe, if you have near by a dog park or dog friendly outdoor places take them alone as well.. I'm in Los Angeles so dogs are everywhere and everything these days is dog friendly. At the mall or restaurants dogs are always around and it's not uncommon to see dogs in strollers:eyebrow::eyebrow: or check out meetup.com.. They may have dog walking groups and if you're a social person it may be an option to try and usually bonus free..

Anyone else got any tips on how to motivate themselves to get basic exercise? Or how to keep up the momentum? I would have broken through a major barrier if I could just manage this one small thing!!! It sounds simple.... make a rule and stick to it. Why I can't organise this is beyond me, and most frustrating :(

Exersise needs to be enjoyable to be sustained long term. You have to find something that interests you and will motivate you to want to keep doing it... I read once it takes 21 days to make something a habit.. I'm like nope 6 months maybe.. Which I've also heard. But for an ADHD/ADD person like myself. It has to keep me entertain... Like I can go on a machine at a local gym and force myself daily to do it.. But it won't ever be sustained because I don't truly enjoy it. So even if I did it daily for a year, I doubt I would be like "woohoo machine time".. It's not for me...

I had a conversation about this recently with my roommate. Which really applies here as well.. You need to find something you enjoy,doing.. It is a process and may take time to find the sweet spot for you... Once you do find an exersise routine you love and when you start to enjoy what you are doing its stops being a dreaded "ugh don't wanna" time and an ugh "I Must do choir". It changes to personal fun time doing an activity you love and/or are passionate about.. Maybe, just walking the mall is enjoyable or having a friend and you set time to catch up walking together verses just talking on the phone.... Or if you prefer being at home, go online to YouTube or if you have on demand or a roku box or similar device to work out from. Different exersise Videos on there and all levels and abilities and the safety of your own home and usually free...

But write down any activities you've done in the past or now currently sound fun to you and start there.. Like do you like group settings? Group sports p.. Solo sports or activities. Like swimming or Do having the same faces daily help to bring you back to a place? Or do you prefer solo time. And go from there.. Check out meetup.com for groups on exersise some are based on age groups some just on activity of choice.. some like a kickball team is all ages.i know where I live we have a walking groups some for new moms some for dogs owners some for just cause. Or if you live in a city with classpass(Google classpass or classpass competitors or even help) from your budget allows. It's an awesome program to try out a lot of activities.. Here where I live it's $99 for unlimited per month.. Only 3 classes per studio per location.. But you really get a huge variety of options.. So if you like Pilates. And find it enjoyable but one studio doesn't feel right we have like 50 other studios to choose from as well.. And if you sign up for a class and don't go they charge you and for somepeople losing money is enough to motivate you to go... But try out new things and try everything.. Once you find what you enjoy doing it really becomes easy to work out.

Delphine
10-24-15, 02:16 PM
Thanks Socaljaxs for these words of encouragement and affirmation! I feel better just reading this! :)

There are some lovely, leafy riverside walks very close by and a few parks too... and the weird thing is, once I fall into the habit of it, I love walking around there with the dogs and meeting people...... but when I fall out of the habit, it's sooooooooo hard to get into the swing of it again!

I like the "21 days to make something a habit" thing! It appeals to me to write it down and make a point of forming the habit. I think it will take a bit of deliberate focus and attention to break through this mental barrier.
I need to make it important.

I'm really enjoying reading your suggestions. Heading out for the evening now to meet some friends, but am already looking forward to reading this again later.

Thing is, diagnosis itself has already changed my way of looking at this, a little bit anyway.

Instead of feeling draggy and self-critical, as the days go on I find myself more thinking along the lines of..
"Now that I know I have ADHD, how do I want to deal with this? How do I want to structure my day? What supportive habits can I develop to help?"
- and reading here, your suggestions and others, is really helping enormously.

Makes sense that exercise needs to be enjoyable! Sounds so simple when you put it like that, but I have indeed been looking at it as a chore, a "must-do" - so of course I 'don't wanna! :)

Thanks so much!

Socaljaxs
10-24-15, 03:18 PM
Makes sense that exercise needs to be enjoyable! Sounds so simple when you put it like that, but I have indeed been looking at it as a chore, a "must-do" - so of course I 'don't wanna! :)Thanks so much!

I find when something is rationalized in my head as a "choir"or "must do" my head already views it as a negative. I wil find my self doing anything and everything else but what My head says I should be doing.. . What can I say. I'm a rebel and rebellious against myself :faint:.. :giggle::giggle:

I've had this conversation of "find something you enjoy and it makes a world of difference in terms of activities" with a few people over the years.. My roommate found Pilates she loves it and goes 3-5 days a week and loves when she accomplishes and progress from where she was a week prior...it keeps her going. She went to many studios before settling into the one she goes to know. She loves her instructor and the proximity of the studio and times available... It works for her but took months of testing places and activities until she found her "sweet spot"..

Another friend fell into spin and went as far as now she is an instructor at a studio... I have actually 2 people I know that did this and are now instructors. 1 for Zumba and one for golds gym.

For me, Muay Thai and MMA fits for me.. I found it randomly in college. Hungover or maybe even still tipsy from the night before, walking to breakfast with friends. I pass a MMA gym and was like ."oh that sounds fun" talked to the owner. Came back the following Monday fell in love with the sport. I've been to a few gyms since but it's the only thing I've found that I have no problem ever getting ready and out the door for.

Bottom line there are so many options but finding the one that works may take time but once it is found its like how did I not do this before kinda thing

Socaljaxs
10-24-15, 04:19 PM
.. Disclaimer I'm writing a novel.. sorry, i'm just really passionate and excited when it comes to fitness and physical activity and really want others to find it as enjoyable as it is should be, as well as gain the health, mental and emotional benefits as well I found my exercise passion, and also know too well the struggle of doing and finding motivation and interest to work out Sorry~~~:D:D;)

Also, besides classpass (or similar competitors) or meet-up.com (or similar sites) or walking in the pretty parts near your home (yes, I have hiking trails and beaches near by, but what you described sounds so tranquil). you may wan to Check out groupons or living social (or competitors of them) by city or a for a one stop shop website or even a daily email, or apps that exist, you may find looking into a site that's s deal aggregators like yipit or similar for deals from all groupon type sites to test drive studios and classes and local gyms and activities.. It's another way to not spend a fortune finding an activity. Testing everything to see what works can get costly which brings in a stress factor that isn't gonna make this a positive journey(Google yipit or similar deal aggregators in your city) also yelp has plenty in regards to reviews and also deals you can purchase as well from places and Yelp per city may have talk sections for activities and ideas that may spark an interest as well.

Also, local gyms may be perfect for you as well... places nearby that are smaller gyms not big chains I've seen have like 3 months or 1 month trials at small to low costs or 14 days free trials...Some people I know love women only gyms, also places like a planet fitness (here runs about $10-$20 a month.) or some chain gyms (you may enjoy the eye candy of watching yummy looking people or people in general, that motivate and inspire you and it's a great way to make more friends) or another option Costco's type places seem to usually have in their gift card areava pay upfront deal cards I saw one a few days ago which was like two years for like close to $300 -$400 ish and came out to like $14 a month.. For a very popular huge chain (24 hour fitness) and lot of location gyms near by...

Lastly, since you said you are a social person. Do any of your friends or family or neighbors want to be a workout and accountability partner with you?or use Facebook accountability groups or Facebook friends to find people that are interested as well.. Yes there are also apps out there for this as well lol.. Maybe, having a friend or several friends join you especially in the beginning will be perfect to get you started and also bonus, what can be difficult to find time to see friends and loved ones when life is hectic especially now since we are coming up on holiday time a double win. Only caution with friends is if they flake you need to still do you.

Delphine
10-24-15, 09:39 PM
Socaljaxs, I so appreciate your time and attention to this.

In the past few days, I've been pondering the "attention deficit" factor in ADD.... and been thinking about the attention-deficit dimension.

Because I've been finding attention-support from these posts enormously helpful.
...kinda like, seeing as my own attention is deficient regarding these lacking areas in my life....
isn't it interesting that the generous support and attention of kind and caring posters really helps? (My wish is that I too can offer attention and support to other posters who find their own attention to themselves difficult to get-in-place right now.)

I love your suggestions. You are opening my mind to options and ways of thinking I may not have considered up to now.

I am sure that many or most of the things you suggest are options for me, just not ones I've considered or thought of up to now.

Funny thing is, before this.... when I thought I was just a 'lazy, not-the-exercise-type-of-person".... I wouldn't have considered any of this.
But now - knowing ADHD is a major factor.... knowing I need to rethink how I go about my life....
I'm listening.

All of the ideas about the 'type' of person I've always thought of myself as.... all up for re-evaluation...

stef
10-25-15, 02:43 AM
re your earlier post up here and "getting out the door":
the night before, or just at some point in the day, pur the dog leashes and your bag or whatever you bring walking and your shoes by the front door, and lay out your clothes ( including socks they are so annoying!) .Then when you get a spark of energy you're almost ready to go!

lots of good advice here, reinventing myself also :grouphug:

Roundmouth
10-25-15, 03:40 AM
You have ADHD. You're not ADHD.


How can you tell from reading the posts? Me I don't have ADHD, I am ADHD.

Delphine
10-25-15, 08:51 AM
That's a great idea, Stef .... getting all ready the night before. By nature I am not the kind of person to do that - I'm more the rush-about-at-the-last-minute type of person...
But it is very pleasant to think of breaking this down into small steps, and being all ready to move at the slightest motivating thought! :) Thanks

stef
10-25-15, 09:05 AM
its the only way I can get tôthe pool in summer! but i usually go late afternoon so i pack up my bag before we have lunch.

aeon
10-25-15, 09:43 AM
Getting stuff ready the night before means the difference between WTF-OMG and speeding and a more gentle WTF-OMG, and that can mean the difference between being totally flustered and being able to fake a modicum of self-composure.

YMMV.


Cheers,
Ian

RarelyObscure
10-26-15, 11:23 PM
I started crying midway past your second sentence.

I feel you, and all your frustration.

Thank you for sharing and putting so eloquently all of our misery.

Thinking back...your mother/father/grandparent was also A.D.D?

Delphine
10-27-15, 05:23 PM
....... can mean the difference between being totally flustered and being able to fake a modicum of self-composure.

YMMV.


Cheers,
Ian

Ian - How delicious it sounds to experience a 'modicum of self-composure' (even if faked!) rather than being totally flustered. :) "Totally Flustered" feels way too familiar. Am weary of it.

RarelyObscure.... good question. I suspect at least one of my parents struggled greatly with this - which made for a colourful, often chaotic home-life with plenty of last-minute fluster. Quite distressing really. Plenty of love too, somewhere in the middle of all that - but there was always a sense of tumbling through life somehow and making the best of things.

Suspect a few of my siblings struggle with this too.... but won't open that discussion with them until I've gotten my head around my own recent diagnosis. (I imagine they might be defensive if I enquire - one of two of them anyway.)

I'd always imagined that once I started a life of my own that I would handle things with a lot more ease and self-composure, and was dismayed to find myself tumbling through just as much as they ever did - without ever knowing why it was so hard to get my proverbial act together!!

Thank you for the compassion and empathy. It's lovely that we all get each other here and can feel for each other - and offer validation and support.

Helps sooooooo much :)

Fuzzy12
10-27-15, 06:28 PM
I'd always imagined that once I started a life of my own that I would handle things with a lot more ease and self-composure, and was dismayed to find myself tumbling through just as much as they ever did - without ever knowing why it was so hard to get my proverbial act together!!
:)

I still think that..:lol: though if history is anything to go by, I am very unlikely to ever handle anything with ease and self composure :)

Maybe we just need to change the act, hm? :grouphug:

stef
10-27-15, 06:32 PM
omg i thought the same thing. never happened! still tumbling through :)

Delphine
10-27-15, 07:19 PM
:) "Change the act", I like it! Order can be over-rated anyway. 'Some of my best friends...' etc... xx