I usually wouldn't do this
I would usually hide behind the veil of digital anonymity when it comes to internet forums, but I figure I'm going to need all the help I can get from here on out.
I'm presently in a bit of a shell-shocked state after discovering ADD-PI about a week ago, and finding people with it describing their behaviours and problems so intimately identical to those in my life. I'm about 90% convinced that I have ADD-PI, and I scored in the top bracket for all of the online tests I could find. I've booked an appointment with a psychiatrist a month from now to get diagnosed, hopefully I make it as I have a tendency to constantly miss and reschedule appointments.
This is a probably going to be a bit of a vent and is more for me to just say what I'm feeling, so I don't blame you if you stop reading here I'll break it up under headings so you can just read the things you might be interested in.
Where to start.. I've always had a problem focusing, but I was never hyperactive. My parents had strict catholic upbringings, and were brought up under the rule that "nothing is wrong with you, stop whinging and get on with it". They used the same approach to parenting with my and my siblings, and I could never get anything done so I would have a tendency to lie to them to keep them happy.
I knew I had severe problems focusing and prioritising/organising my life, but I thought I would out-grow it and things would just work out. I'm 26 now. My friends all have careers, girlfriends or wives, some have houses and now I'm starting to feel left behind, in additional to the constant feeling of sadness and sense of under-achievement I've always had. I've made countless lists and declarations throughout my life that I would get things together, and I try really hard but I can almost never see anything through.
About 2 years ago I started keeping track of my thoughts and problems by writing a blog. When I read through it makes me really sad. I get caught in a vicious cycle of letting my life get so bad from not doing important things. The bills pile up, fines are unpaid, the projects are left un-started/unfinished, I procrastinate everything to the point where the consequences are terrifying. I might motivate myself enough to watch Anthony Robbins, hammer through the most critical stuff so things aren't so bad, then the cycle starts all over again.
No one in my family has ever been diagnosed with ADD. But interestingly enough, I can see it comes from my Dad's side. Dad is one of three kids, and his brother and sister are both in their 50's, un-married, socially awkward and exhibit strong symptoms of ADD-PI. They both prefer to be alone, work weird hours and are absolutely disorganised in every aspect of their life.
I have a brother and two sisters, my brother and one of my sisters scored really high on the ADD-PI test, and we always commiserate together on the frustrations of not being able to focus. My other sister is a really "put-together" over-achiever.
Digging deeper into my family history on my Dad's side, it seems there is a pattern.. you are either
It's really scary figuring this stuff out, and even scarier knowing that you belong to the latter. But obviously I am generalising here based on a few assumptions but I still found it quite interesting.
I've never been able to study, fully complete projects or focus on anything even with the greatest of intentions. One of the earliest memories I have is when I was in primary school. It was really late at night, everyone was asleep and I had this drawing due in the next day. I was really upset because I had all week to do it and I hadn't started. I can't explain it, but I just couldn't focus on it enough to do it, so I threw my drawing book under my bed and came up with the excuse that I'd lost it the next day.
I got by in school because I could get above-average grades without studying. But I'm a perfectionist, and constantly struggle with the frustration and shame of not being the best I could be (and know I should be). I'm naturally gifted at anything with computers, especially programming and spent most of my youth building computers, networks, websites and apps (typically when I should have been doing school work).
As a result I just scraped in for admission to University. In my first year I failed 9 straight subjects, because I never showed up to anything that wasn't interesting, and I didn't care. I left uni for work in an IT job, then after two years realised I wasn't going to get anywhere without a degree so I switched Universities to one that was more practical-based. I got really good scores because I could start an assignment the night before and still get 100% if it involved programming. But like always, I'd spend the whole semester torturing myself because I didn't want to leave things to last minute but I was never able to just get started.
I currently work for myself as a web developer, as I have problems working for employers. I was always late and getting in trouble, I would always have problems prioritising tasks and getting distracted but I would get by because of my creativity. I've always worked in IT jobs, and I would come up with ways to improve things. My bosses loved me because I would develop some app or automate a process that would help out the company immensely. This usually made up for my lack of punctuality and scatterish nature.
Now I work for myself and things are getting bad. I have so many projects that clients are waiting on, but I haven't started. I usually don't start on something until I'm close to, or past the deadline, even if the project takes a long time to build. I get away with it because my clients like me, but this is really not sustainable and I worry about it constantly. I have no idea where my days go, I've made hundreds of lists and schedules, I break up tasks into little steps but I only ever do one or two items then get distracted. I usually don't really work on a project until my client starts getting angry/annoyed at me, but I always rush it and leave things un-done.
I'll leave things here because I'm already late to go see my friends - something they're used to by now. If you made it this far thanks for reading I'm new to this and I've really only scratched the surface of my ADD-PI-like behaviour so this is a start for me.
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