View Full Version : Help - Need a kick in the pants

04-13-06, 01:10 PM
Hi everybody,

New to this forum. Just registered. Need to talk...

I have been a recovering alcoholic for sixteen years. In that time, I have read ALOT of self help/spritituality type books. Never retained anything. Prior to that, in school, in college, always described as someone with lots of potential, but needed to apply himself more. My professional career has taken place almost entirely while sober, yet I have still struggled, BIG TIME. I'm a bright guy, and I enjoy the subject matter of my work. But, I don't do so well. For eight years, I was in a job that had many deadlines. I was a disaster. I just never kept up, was always in trouble with my bosses. In spite of all this, they kept me because every now and then I was inspired, and did great work (but not often!).

About seven (!!!) years ago, I picked up a copy of "Driven to Distraction". Oh my God. It described me so well. It was the kind of knowledge that stayed with me, even though I started to to experience some success in life. I took a job which has very little structure, I got married, and had a little boy. Life's been good.

However, it feels like things are unraveling for me. The unstructured job has come to an end, mostly no fault of my own, but my job search has brought up all sorts of feelings, and an unflattering look in the mirror. So I've re-read "Driven to Distraction", taken a bunch of adhd questionnaires online, and really want to try to address this ADHD stuff.

I have seen a therapist for years, have taken antidepressants, and I'm frustrated by healthcare professionals that don't listen to me. Kinda like I've read in DtD, I get so frustrated when I know ahead of time that a discussion is going to fall on deaf ears. ADD is like this (I say ADD as opposed to ADHD, as my condition doesn't have the hyperactivity, although it did somewhat when I was a kid - and I know the corect term broadly now is ADHD). My parents don't want to hear it, my therapists don't want to hear it, and even my recovery friends don't want to hear it. So I'm thrilled that this forum offers a hopefully more understanding venue.

I'm actually in the midst of a move, as my wife has taken a new job in Charlotte (a move from Atlanta). She, fortunately, has zero focus and attention problems. I plan to find a good psychiatrist that has a knowledge of ADD and addiction. I have tried Strattera, and it did nothing except give me bad dry mouth . I want to try a stimulant, but wanto work with someone closely, in light of my addiction issues.

Thanks for listening. This is my first post on this site. I hope I posted in the right place. There seemed to others in the same area making "Intro's".

04-13-06, 01:16 PM
Welcome to the forums! :) A number of recovering addicts with proper medication and counseling or close work with their doctor have been able to benefit from stimulent medication for ADD. I hope you find someone who you feel comfortable working with. Nice to have a life partner too who doesn't share your focus issues -- now why didn't I think of that?:rolleyes:

Hope you find lots of good information and support of the forums!


04-13-06, 02:06 PM
Welcome to our family!
I'm a recovered addict too. My parents think ADD is B.S. and even though I'm 42, I wish I had their understanding. I only got dx'd a couple of years ago. My doc laughed at me when I asked him if I could have ADD, my therapist said I couldn't have it. I kept pushing though because a friend of mine with ADD insisted I had it, and I knew SOMETHING was wrong with me.
Finally I went to a psych that specializes in ADD and turns out I have severe ADHD. Grrrr. Stupid doctors. :p
Some of them just aren't informed on ADD.
By the way, in adults, the H in ADHD usually shows itself mentally, not physically.
Maybe instead of your life unravelling right now, you're actually entering a wonderful new phase of understanding where you'll get your get control of your life better than ever before :)
I wish you luck and look forward to future postings from you.

04-13-06, 02:25 PM
Scattered and Chameleon,

Thank you both for the welcome, and the kind words. As in the rest of life, I just need to have some courage and do the next right thing. In this case, try to shrug off some less than great experiences with docs, and find a good one, and make sure he/she listens to me. Yep, probably this is yet another opportunity for growth! Yippee!!.

04-13-06, 02:33 PM
I hear ya' John! I went through a few voodoo docs and poo-pooers before finding a "believer". I definately think you're on the right track in looking for a doc that specializes in ADD. Even pediatrician ADD docs will sometimes see ADD adults to help them, since they know there's still a lot of docs that don't believe in or understand ADD in adults.
Make that appointment John! We're right here to cheer you on! :D

04-14-06, 01:07 AM
"By the way, in adults, the H in ADHD usually shows itself mentally, not physically"

Hey Cham !!

I wish my 'H' only showed up in 'non stop brain chatter'- but I still 'zing', physically, too.

(who doesn't mean that she's almost running all the time, LOL- but that she just can't ever sit still for more than fifteen minutes without HAVING to get up and do SOMETHING !!!)

04-14-06, 01:09 AM
Yeah Nova, that's why I used the word "usually".

04-14-06, 01:18 AM
Welcome Johnc. I agree with you, stimulants should be given a trial run.

04-14-06, 01:59 AM
Whoops !!!

Skipped right over it !

I'm so sorry !!


04-14-06, 02:04 AM
You know...I've gotten other meds on a 'trial' basis before, to try out before I'm due back for my second visit to an MD.

They weren't for ADHD though. But it was awesome to have the option to 'try before you buy'.

04-14-06, 11:16 AM
You know...I've gotten other meds on a 'trial' basis before, to try out before I'm due back for my second visit to an MD.

They weren't for ADHD though. But it was awesome to have the option to 'try before you buy'.That would be great! Especially when you are going through the phase where playing around with meds and dosages. It's a lot of money when they may not be right for you!

My "H" factor is in fidgeting, impulsivity, mind that works at supersonic speed, and the random urge to do pushups, running, or jumping! ;) (always getting strange looks when I would say "I just feel the urge to get up and run around the building. It took until college to realize people were giving me weird looks when I would say this and they didn't get the same urges!)

I hate to say it, but if both my grandmothers hadn't been alcoholics, I might have gone that route too, my parents always made alcohol out to be the devil. I never saw my mom or dad have more than one beer or glass of wine. I also heard my parents talking about how hard it was to be the child of a single parent who was an alcoholic. I just did binge drinking, which would quiet my mind a bit and I would feel more settled and relaxed, basically a less safe way to feel like I do with meds. The sad thing is I had friends who said they liked me better when I was buzzed. Guess that was a hint something is wrong with my "friends." (BTW no longer friends with those people.)

Food has been my drug, of course my mom is obese, so that is a motivator to keep my eating in check. I just end up binging and then eating less later on to compensate, or even forgetting a meal once in a while ;) (most people find it strange to forget to eat, but it happens!:eek: ). Hey, never been larger than a size 8, so I must be doing ok... I also try to keep junk away so that if I eat too much at least it's too much of a lower calorie food! ;) My eating from boredom is much better with the meds. I just eat when I'm hungry now.

I have heard of doctors being wary of putting people with a history of addictions on stimulants, my doctor asked me about addictions before prescribing. I have also hear that although a person may have been an addict before, it is typically to self-medicate. If you were unknowingly self-medicating it may be better for you and help keep you from relapsing. Of course, you doctor is the best one to make that decision and working closely and honestly with your doctor is a no-brainer. The only side effect I have had from stims was a bit if jitteriness and dry mouth at first, but that went away for me. I actually sleep better at night too since it quiets my mind!

Good luck and keep us posted on how you do!!:D