View Full Version : Scared!

01-19-04, 12:40 PM
I'm finally on Ritalin. (If you've read any of my past posts, you'll know that it was a bit of a battle to get back on it because of some other health issues)......but I've got to tell you that I'm scared.

I'm unemployed. I've got some money to carry me. (But not a lot). I've got some resumes out. Seven in all. (But only 4 with cover letters. The other three, I delivered by hand). This is what really scares me:

I have a really hard time catching on. A hard time learning new things. Once I learn something, I do OK, but it takes me a long time to learn something. (I'm would call myself a slow learner). I'm not stupid. My IQ tests put me far from it, but there is something that is just not quite right. Maybe it's the ADHD. Maybe it's something more. (I suspect it's a combination of the ADHD and one other thing that is an official diagnosis-- but I won't go into details on this post because it's insignificant right now). Suffice it to say that it causes problems.

In the Spring of 2001, I worked at a registration office at a university. I thought I would do well because the job involved working with computers. (I do well on the computer). The problem is, it was an old system. Not WINDOWS. I did terrible. It actually was Windows (per se) but had it's own program within windows and that program was archaic as can be. (Arrgggghhhh). I was expected to learn it very quickly. I was moved from desk to desk, so I couldn't put little notes up for myself. (Cheat notes). I was given a lot of new things to remember....and as I said, I was given a short time to remember it. I failed miserably. I broke down and cried all the time on the job. (And not on purpose).

I was on Ritalin at the time. Off of Ritalin, it would have been even worse! Another woman was hired the same day that I was. She caught on so quickly. (It was awful). I would have been fired had I not found another job. The other job was as a teaching assistant. This was in a large city. I've applied for teaching assistant positions here in town-- but no openings. No luck-- and I even have a teaching degree.

I have since moved (for too many reasons to go into). I now live in a small town and there aren't many choices out there. I had a job last Spring at a Dairy Queen. (Not on Ritalin). Again, I failed miserably. I couldn't remember where things were. I couldn't catch on. I couldn't remember how to do things. I couldn't catch on to the routine quickly enough. As I said at the beginning of this post, it isn't that I can't learn things. I can.....but I take longer to learn things than most people do....and no one seems to understand that. (And I mean NO ONE)!!! It drives me nuts!!!

I see a counselor who talks nothing but positive. I know what he's doing. He wants me to think positive also. But somewhere between positive and negative is REALISTIC. He tells me that I'll do better this time (compared to Dairy Queen) because I'm on Ritalin. I forgot to tell him that I was on Ritalin at the University job. (I'll bring that up next time).......but I have a feeling he'll overlook my statement and just keep telling me that "I can do it." Problem is, I know my limitations. I know that I catch on slow.

I work with DVR (vocational rehabilitation). There is a possibility of working with a job coach if I can find an employer that is willing to also work with one. (That might be difficult in a town of 8,000 people). I'm so scared! I've failed so many times-- even on Ritalin. My brain is like a turtle when it comes to new things.


01-19-04, 04:36 PM
Sandy... I feel your pain and fear. I have been there too.

You are right, I think, to say that people can't help you solve this by just telling you to "think positive".

I know it's not easy to get up and bash your head against the same wall when it has been your head that got hurt, and not the wall, the last seventeen times.

We're here for you and we understand.


If you want my 2 cents... perhaps when you start your next job, you might consider being assertive with your boss, saying that you NEED Post-It notes, or to be able to ask a lot of confirming questions, or whatever. Tell them it is because you take the job very seriously and want to be sure that you get it absolutely right. Employers generally don't mind perfectionism in an employee... it sounds to me like your last few jobs have been fast paced environments where the boss didn't want to bother training you anyways.

01-19-04, 04:56 PM
Sandy: Hang in there. The one thing that is different now, it seems to me, is the fact that you're on Ritalin....GREAT!

Yes even if you were on it before....perhaps things will be different this time....Perhaps the catching on slow will be doable, acceptable in your next job.....There ARE jobs where this doesn't matter....You will find it if you just keep being honest.....

You can say that it takes you a little longer than most to catch on to things -- but that once you've caught on -- you're golden....

01-19-04, 05:04 PM
The scarey part, though, is that I was on Ritalin 3 years ago at the university (registration office) and I still couldn't catch on.....but I was given a short time to learn a lot of stuff. The thing is, lot of jobs are that way. :(

Waywardclam, when I had the job at the university they knew that I had ADHD. (I was working with Voc Rehab at the time for that reason.....and as I said, I was on Ritalin). I had post it note put up where I was working each day. I got moved around each day but I'd just put up new ones each day. I was told that I needed to take them down because they looked "messy." ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGG GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG GGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And this was at a university where they should have known better! :mad:


01-19-04, 05:12 PM
Sandy, I wish I could give you some really good advice, but I really do not know anything to help. I think you are being very honest with yourself and that will help you a lot. I would make sure what the expectations are, how quickly you will be expected to learn your new position, and what kind of training they do. The more you know ahead of time, the better decision you can make. I would choose a job that is going to be able to train you so you can do the job. I gues what I am trying to say is make sure you are confortable with the atmosphere of work place and confident you can do the job. Well it is much easier to say these things than to do them when you really just want a job.
good luck,
I will be thinking positive thoughts.

01-19-04, 05:12 PM
You know what I'd really like to do?
I love art. (Like my calligraphy). And I like computers.

I'd really be good at graphic arts. DVR might be willing to pay for me to take classes. I already have 4 years of college. I don't know how much more it would take.


01-19-04, 06:26 PM
If you want my advice, don't go to school for that... I took 1st year Multimedia, which includes graphic arts, and the entire class was geared towards getting people to start their own business, as there are no "stable" jobs in the field, only contractors.

Unless you would enjoy being a contractor. But even then, your portfolio means more than the letters after your name.

01-19-04, 06:40 PM
I ask you Sandy

when you do catch onto something , do you always know and remeber it.

I also can be very slow at catching onto things I dont really want to do ,which is what most jobs are.

Do you have a good car and sence of direction

I find this hard to beleve but in a town of 2000 people I deliverd Pizza for a year (part time) more for something to do than the need for the money

Based on how much you acctully do the money was stupid

I could very easily make 100 to 150 dollars and have my gas paid for just for driving around town at night for 6 or 7 hours

Just a thought

Gives you lots of time to think, lots of walking to and from the houses , good exersize, and cheap pizza to offset all the exersize you get

Best of all it was all tax free money

By the way When you say you have failed so many things

Turn that around and say

Iv had the chance to try out so many thiungs and I sure dont want to waste my life doing something like that all the time

Since you have got here you have kept us going over and over with your entertaining little games

you say you are a teacher

what about babysitting for other people who have to go to there boring mundane jobs every day

I bet you would keep the kids busy from start to finish each and every day and always with something knew

Winston Churchill said
"Never Give Up"

You just need to find what suits you and not try to change yourself for what suits the "JOB"

01-19-04, 10:22 PM
GARY, besides ADHD, I also have epilepsy. I don't have major seizures very often. I've not had a generalized (grand mal) seizure in about 20 months now. I usually just have simple-partial seizures. Once in a great while I have a complex-partial (but even that's been a while-- about 16 months). The simple partials are pretty regular though. (That's the reason it was so hard to get my doctor to agree to put me on Ritalin).

I don't have a drivers license. This really limits me when it comes to jobs. It limits me with day care too. For two reasons. One reason is that I would be expected to drive. The other reason is, DO I DISCLOSE??? As I said, I've not had a complex-partial in 16 months. I can hide my simple-partials well. They're no big deal. I could be having one in front of you, carrying on a conversation with you even, and you wouldn't even realized what was happening. I can't hide the complex-partials or the generalized (grand mals). I don't own a car, so I suppose that would be reason enough not to drive their kids around town........but do I disclose????

Keep in mind that this is a small town. (Only 8,000 in population). People know people. People talk. If I didn't disclose my health situation, it wouldn't take long before someone (who knows that I have epilepsy) would make a comment to a parent of one of the children that I was watching. What sort of situation would that put me in??? Or even worse yet, what if I were to have a seizure while watching one of the children.....not having first told the parents? Am I now looking at a lawsuit? I don't see how I could babysit w/o first disclosing that I have a "seizure disorder." :( It is fairly well under control, but even the Department of Motor Vehicles won't issue me a driver's license because of my simple-partial seizures.....and I refuse to lie in order to get a driver's license.....and in the state where I live that's exactly what I'd have to do because every 6 months I would need to get a statement from my doctor saying I've not had ANY seizures of any kind. (And simple-partials count). :(

Just the same, they're mild enough where SSI is not attainable. Though they limit me from many jobs, (driving, heavy machinery, jobs with swing shifts-- because goofing up my sleeping often brings one on, and things like daycare), I am still able to work. It sure would be nice if the stupid ADHD didn't complicate matters, though.

I wasn't very good in the classroom BTW. I couldn't manage the classroom. Talk about multi-tasking! The kids got the better of me. As much as I've read in the area, I'm not a good disciplinarian. (I'm not an assertive person). The "other" diagnosis that I was referring to in post #1 is "HIPPOCAMPAL SCLEROSIS." It is related to epilepsy. It can cause noticeable problems with word recall (intermittent aphasia) and name recall. I recall my 2nd year teaching. I had a small classroom, (only 12 students), and yet I couldn't remember their names. I knew them (if it was multiple choice for instance), but their names wouldn't come to me when I needed to say them. A student would raise his/her hand and I couldn't say the name. It was so embarassing!

WAYWARD, I once knew a woman who worked for a store like WalMart (but more local) and she was one of the people that designed the advertising page (that gets put in the newspaper). She drew quite a few of the pictures even. How does a person get into that sort of work? What sort of training?

I know that I'm talking nothing but negative here. I actually could do well in an office setting but only if I'm given time to catch on. I do well once I get the hang of things.....but if I'm pushed to learn to much to fast, I don't because I can't. Knowing that, it only upsets me because I realize that I'm "doomed for failure." Now the average person might read this and say, "Well there you go. You fail because you have the attitude that you will."

I would answer by saying, "No. I simply know my limitations and when I'm put in a situation where the expectations are higher than my abilities.....and where the employer is not understanding toward my limitations, it is unreasonable to meet those expectations........and I get upset." I guess the only part of that I can change is the latter phrase-- "AND I GET UPSET." But I don't get upset on purpose. It's hard not to when society has expectations and they are considered reasonable expectations but for reasons that many don't understand (and many don't desire to understand), I have some limitations. That's what's difficult.

I have a way of teaching things to myself. I taught myself calligraphy. I taught myself American Sign Language (with a book, a VCR tape and getting to know some deaf people-- I'm not proficient though-- as in a job, :( ), I practically taught myself the computer. (With a little help from my sister). I taught myself how to play the piano, guitar and mandolin. You should see me on a 5-string banjo. I play music by ear. (Again, teaching myself). If you put music in front of me, I'll go nowhere with it, but play a song for me enough times (repetitively.....over and over again) and I'll catch on to it. I'll get the hang of it. On my own. I have my own way of learning. I have my own tricks. My own methods. And let me tell you, It may have taken me about 10 month, BUT I CAN PLAY A MEAN "FOGGY MOUNTAIN BREAKDOWN" ON MY 5-STRING BANJO!!!

I do believe that there's a light at the end of the tunnel. I am a Christian. It is nice to know that at least someone out there (God) understands what is going on. He understands my weaknesses and limitations. He also knows my strengths. :) Others may expect more out of me than I am (at times) able to give. For that matter, others may (at times) think of me as dirt. I just bought the book "The Purpose Driven Life" last week. It is reminding me that I was created for a purpose.


01-19-04, 10:48 PM
Oops. I double posted.

01-20-04, 04:33 AM
Sandy, it sounds to me like you are more interested in what I would term "Desktop Publishing". English or Computers or possibly Journalism are all school programs that would lead you in that direction... and I daresay there ARE jobs availalble out there for that sort of thing, although a school could advise you on this better than I could.

Come to think of it, if I ever have to go back into computers, I would love to get a job in that field... hmmm....

01-20-04, 11:27 AM
Yep... taking longer to learn something requires learning something longer, an dusing cheat notes (carry a pad?) and other ways to reinforce over longer periods of time, and no you don't need to beat yourself up because they might be things you don't "want" to learn or are not "nteresting." The problem is the problem. it isn't a moral issue until someone makes it that way. Don't do that to yourself.

No don't disclose. Not widely. let it come out in natural need to know circumstances preferably where everything is already taken care of.

Your seizures are just more obvious exhibition of lack of "reliability" than ADHD people usually provide. I thin the lack of reliability of ADHD is very seizure like. During a seizure, regardless of the importance, "can a person drive a car?" No. why is this so hard to understand about ADHD? Answer: it isn't hard for me to understand.

Follow what you are good at. DO IT. get into classes that have practicums. Do what you like doing for organizations around town. work with someone as a backup so when you NEED to bow out, they aren't left holding the bag.

Enter with the expectation of "doing for free for 6 weeks, then seeing what it would be worth paying for it..." Set a date certain, not a relative time alone. don't pressure but ask questions as you go. Think about doing Calligraphy for Wedding invitations? Signage?

Offer your services on the Web.

Follow your interests. Respect your requirements. Arrange for your needs. Do don't talk about actions that have potential for good. Talk don't do about those which have potential for negative consequences.

Good luck.

(My testing showed i had retrograde digit span loss... that I tested average on average, but that my worst performance was well below average if it were my best. i got tense, so it was attributed to being tension induced, without realizing that i "lost it" FIRST and got tense "SECOND." ) Even very smart people act very stupid... they are TOO CONSISTENT... exactly what they say we are enough of !

07-30-06, 01:54 AM
I found this post when making a search online and thought I'd post an update. This is a long post and I tried breaking it up into short paragraphs to make it easier to read. If you pass on reading or just skim it, I understand all to well. ;)

I'm no longer on Ritalin, (it brought with it too many seizures), but have been working for Head Start for almost a year and a half now. I started at the bottom of the totem pole as a bus aide. It was the only opening at the time and I took it. The bus driver quit in December of last year, though, and I've since been helping out in the kitchen and the classrooms as an additional aide (where needed) and also as a substitute for the aides when they weren't able to come in or took PTO.

A teacher aide position opening came up for this coming school year. I applied for it, interviewed about a week ago, and got it. It doesn't pay great, but it's full-time, (I've only been working 4 hours a day), and it also has health and dental insurance. Something I've been without for a while.

Recently, a head teaching position has come open. The teacher who is leaving that position (and whose classroom I'll been subbing in as an aide much of this summer) suggested that I interview for her job. I suppose I stand a chance at it as I have an education degree. It's elementary education, not early childhood education, but many who teach Head Start still don't have their degrees. That's the eventual aim, but it doesn't pay well enough for that to be very practical. For that reason, I think I'd be considered qualified, but still I don't feel ready-- not yet.

I haven't subbed in the head teaching position, and I haven't been subbing as an aide all that long. (Most of the subbing has been this summer). Maybe if such a position were to come up in a couple years I would feel more prepared. The position brings with it many new responsibilities that go beyond the classroom. I don't want to bite off more than I can chew and then quit the job after a few months. :eek: (One step at a time).

My health has been pretty good. I did have a seizure once in the kitchen, but those have been mosty limited to happening at home and in the middle of the night. (Nocturnal seizures). I'm still not driving, but it's only a 20-25 minute walk from home and I like to walk. (I used to walk that distance everyday on my treadmill before I had the job).

I still take a while to catch on to new things (the main reason that I don't want to try for the teaching job just yet). I also have a terrible time remembering people's names. (Even with people that I know well). I've explained that there's not much I can do about this and it's related to my medication. (It's also related to having temporal lobe epilepsy. I didn't go into details though). They're pretty good about understanding my limitations in that area. They also don't rush me into learning new things. I'm a hard worker. I don't slack and work fast. I've been available to sub in the classroom and in the kitchen and have been told by my superior how much that's appreciated. :)

I'm pretty patient with the kids and get along well with them. I know some disciplary techniques for working with challenging kids. Techniques like the broken record technique (so as not to get side tracked when a child doesn't want to cooperate and argues with you). Techniques like giving them 2 (acceptable) choices when they are making poor decisions (which amount to misbehaving). It doesn't hurt that I have 2 kids with ADHD and one with autism. I'm still learning many of these techniques by observation and am gradually getting better at it as we have many challenging kids in the classroom-- perhaps with undiagnosed (and untreated) ADHD and/or ODD. (They're only 3 and 4 year-olds).

Well, I'm far from being a millionaire, but it's a start and it sure beats being a failure, not to mention being unemployed.


08-16-06, 06:16 AM
SO good to read this, Sandy!

Thanks for posting the update.