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Old 07-24-13, 04:40 AM
litterbuggy litterbuggy is offline
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Re: The Grief process after being diagnosed with Adult ADD/ADHD.

I find that I just stumble on grief, often unaware of what it's about. Once I understand it, dealing with it almost always leads me to the past. It's not actually dwelling on the past; it's seeing how the ADHD has affected my life so I can figure out how to do things differently.

It was a huge relief to finish my last day at work on Friday, but I've still been irritable and prone to tears. I knew it had something to do with our division chief, B, but I couldn't quite pick it out. Today my CBT therapist helped me get to the point of it--for several years after he hired me, B was an awesome mentor, kind and caring, teaching instead of criticizing, teaming up instead of directing. He motivated me to keep on task without issuing orders or nagging. He cared about my well-being, and helped me find ways to lighten up on myself. That didn't make the work any easier to do, just made it more rewarding. Then he moved to the top position, and the new manager has no interest or ability whatsoever in managing or offering support; he can't relate to someone else's thought process, so he tried to get me to do things the way he does. I muddled along for a while, but my confidence lagged and he just couldn't understand my pleas for help.

What's said is that B and I don't have anything to talk about outside of work. He can't imagine the uncertainty or what kind of life I'm going to have, to say nothing of mentoring me. He's a very square, very conscientious guy, a devoted father and grandfather and a pillar of a community that's as far from my natural habitat as it could be. Both of us know we're just miles away from each other in our personal lives, and both of us are sad about it.

But then I think of all of the people in all the places I've been who I could have kept in touch with but never did after I went to a new job, a new state, a new career. I missed them and told myself I'd moved on, but deep down I thought I was lazy and callous. Now I know it was ADHD which made the very idea of maintaining a relationship over distance and time sound insane. I could barely maintain a friendship in context when I saw someone every day; how could I pretend to connect when contact meant planning and effort?

I've cared for so many people, but have never admitted how much I've lost simply by not being able to stay in touch. People with the travel, work and personal experiences I've had usually have a rich tapestry of friends and acquaintances, but I can hardly remember the names of the people who've mattered the most. It's a kind of poverty I can hardly bear.

OK, it's terribly late, and I'm tired from crying while writing this. I was going to go to bed early enough to be awake before the brutal heat of the day kicks in, but it was good to write this. Maybe I should print it and paste it into my journal, because painful as it is, this work is what will carry me to the other side. If nothing else, I might just maintain occasional casual contact with B. Maybe that's the kind of thing that people who aren't me just do.
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