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Old 04-20-17, 06:34 PM
Maxi King Maxi King is offline
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Progress is hard.. But it's worth it..

December 23rd, 2016 was perhaps one of the most memorable moments of my entire life...

The holidays have never been a pleasant experience for me. My overcompensating father, my emotionally removed mother, and impulsive/self-serving bipolar brother in one setting for any length of time presents enough grief for anyone to consider jumping into moving traffic... That last past is just my attempt at cynical wit.. Though this holiday season gifted me with yet another mood shattering obstacle.. A raging case of influenza complete with a 104 fever and immeasurable joint pain rendering my escape futile while glued to the living room couch.. While enduring yet another holiday season immersed in total dysfunction while feeling totally isolated, the ever so familiar thought popped into mind... "All I want was a cigarette and a f***ing drink."

A cigarette and a drink...

In a world of isolation, my two friends that would always be there.. Two loyal friends among those of which left in droves after enough "tries" to tolerate the person that I am. And while wasting away on the couch, I really started to reflect upon those two friends.. Were they my friends? I mean.. what benefits have the genuinely provided? ...and I felt sick. More sickly than the flu could ever hope to make me feel..

I was becoming the people that I hated. The attention seeking, self centered and self proclaimed victims that blame the world for their problems.. and I was heading down that path rather quickly. A pack a day, 15-25 drinks per week, recreational use of hard street stimulants: MDMA, cocaine, as many women as I could possibly convince to enter my bedroom through gestures of "sincerity" and "nice guy" appearances until I get bored.. And abruptly cease any and all communication with them.. or just sleep around behind their back until I got caught. And then feel sorry for myself because none of these things I genuinely wanted to do..

"I didn't want to destroy my body, I didn't want to hurt people, I didn't want to isolate myself, I didn't want to live in a state of constant financial duress, I didn't want to be seen in the spotlight as an emotionally cold and calculating womanizer...."

"I didn't want to be rejected..."

Jesus, how many times have I told myself these things.. Though change seemed impossible, and much worse I was good at it..

No matter how hard I tried to do right, I couldn't focus. I couldn't remember. I couldn't follow directions. I couldn't follow through with promises. I couldn't hold a secret. I couldn't stay organized. I couldn't remember names and previous encounters. I couldn't stay engaged in conversation. I couldn't be on time. I couldn't filter words and thoughts. I couldn't comprehend anything I read. I couldn't emotionally connect to anyone control my own emotions. I couldn't stay attentive to anything other than my persistently wandering mind and racing thoughts/feelings. I couldn't be a functional human being in modern society....

I believe I shift from happy to sad 10-20 times a day, all in response to consequences of impulsive action or manifestations within my own wandering thoughts..

These were the only ways in which I knew how to interact with the world and cope.. It was as if my actions were on autopilot. My impulsive nature was at the helm, steering the direct course of my life and all of my actions.. All I could do was sit back and watch my own undoing while feeling entirely helpless to do a thing about it.. I am a genuinely kind and empathetic person..someone that would sacrifice his own personal interests to help those closest to him in an instant.. Give the world to the one I loved.. Yet the only image the world has ever seen is an angry and emotionally void individual fueled by immediate return and stimulation with no interest to change.. An arrogant and mean spirited person. I was fueled by the NEED for constant stimulation, and I would throw anyone's feelings under the bus to get it.. and no one would ever understand. I was helplessly watching my life burn itself to the ground, and my impulse was the match...

Then on that day, I suppose I had an epiphany.. I don't want to feel l like this anymore. I don't want to be unhappy. So god damn it, I'm going to be happy! And I quit.

It is now April 20th, 2017, and I haven't smoked a single cigarette since that day in December cold turkey. I have improved my diet, sleep schedule, and practice yoga and breathing exercises daily. I have trained myself to be a diaphragmatic breather. Alcohol has completely lost its appeal aside from the occasional couple of drinks should I find the desire to venture into the weekend social scene with the few friends that I have left. Recreational drugs no longer serve any appeal. I have brought relative structure and order to all aspects of my life.. My house now stays relatively clean, I rehabbed two rooms in my house. With all the money I have saved, I have built a music studio, and started a new hobby DJing as a healthier means of staying a part of the 4/4 dance music scene. I have my first gig this Saturday.

I'm doing everything I can to find the stimulation I crave in healthier aspects of life, but it's far from f*****g perfect..

Without cigarettes and alcohol, the real me has been once again exposed to the world. The socially inept, academically deficient, and self conscious teenager that never gave himself the chance to fix these things that made him feel weak.. That teenager who gave into all the years of bullying, rejection, and abandonment by his peers. That genuinely believes he isn't worth anything more..

As it stands, I'm now a 25 year old Junior in the midst of my path toward a BS in Mechanical Engineering, and regularly ride the line between pass and fail. I have repeated many courses, and have been in college for 7 years. I don't know how to communicate with my peers anymore without a crutch like a cigarette, and I always feel as if I'm being judged. I often feel stupid because as much as I love the subject matter, I just quite never seem to get it despite the 50+ hours a week I invest into the books/regularly fail quizzes and tests.. and I still have leagues of work to invest into repairing relationships with my friends and immediate family after years of isolating myself.. And this is all while speaking to a professional monthly, and medicated on 30mg of Vyvanse, a proper dose for me. Though I wish it lasted a bit longer..

But it's OK.. It's OK because I don't have to sit at a bar in 3AM half drunk considering throwing myself off the parking garage. I don't have to say that I feel helpless anymore. I don't have to feel as though I'm under total control of impulsive nature and stimulant seeking behavior.. I feel like I'm taking back control. I have so much work to do on myself.. I have accepted that I'll never be normal, and I'll never be the charismatic person that I would love to be. I will never graduate cum laud. But that's all OK. It's OK because I'm accepting that these are things which don't have to dictate my personal happiness, and the areas in which I am deficient are replaced with areas in which I excel. Just because I'm a **** poor student and struggle with engineering school doesn't in the least bit indicate that I'll be a poor engineer. For every class I fail, there are 3 that I passed. Just as lack of charisma doesn't indicate that I have to be alone. I just have to modify my approach in healthier ways to achieve my end goal.. I've started to see ADHD as an alternative way of thinking vs a deficiency.. and though I'm far from the summit.. I feel as though I'm finally working my way up.. Even if I do stumble back down from time to time.. My house needs a serious vacuum, and my bathroom desperately needs a deep clean hah!

Last edited by Maxi King; 04-20-17 at 06:40 PM.. Reason: Spelling/Grammar
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  #2  
Old 04-20-17, 07:04 PM
aur462 aur462 is offline
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Re: Progress is hard.. But it's worth it..

Kudos to piloting a new course; it's rarely linear. You're an intelligent person so you've already got a leg up.

Maybe tangential, but do you think 30mg Vyvanse is enough? For me that would be subtherapeuatic. Just a thought, particularly for the academic performance issues.
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  #3  
Old 04-20-17, 07:27 PM
Maxi King Maxi King is offline
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Re: Progress is hard.. But it's worth it..

To be honest with you, I have a strange relationship with Vyvanse. Too much and I become a zombie while too little and a crash early on in the day. 30mg is the dose at which I still feel relatively normal, maintain a stable and positive mood, and feel the focusing effects without feeling geeked. I tried methylphenidate related drugs, but they made me very short tempered and angry.

Though distraction still happens, focus isn't really so much the culprit anymore. I think the academic performance issue are due to other related symptoms at this point, not the focus. I think I have extremely poor working memory as well as pretty bad visual and auditory processing issues. If I can't put my hands on it, I can't learn it. Best way to describe it: drive me to a destination and I would never find my way back. Though if I drive the route personally, I'll never forget it. The more turns in the route I'm driving, the more it sticks. I'm sure you can imagine that this makes processing, learning, and retaining abstract information a chore for me. Working problems and solution manuals just doesn't cut it for me no matter how hard I focus.

My shrink suggested that I start writing lesson plans and literally teach this material. Whether that means the audience being the wall, a friend, YouTube videos, whatever.. According to him, by verbalizing the information, walking, moving around, writing on the board etc. all of these actions combined bridge that "hands on" synapse, and stick it into a stronger understanding as well as long term memory. It's a little late to give it a try this semester aside from midterms, but it seems worthwhile to try next semester.
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Old 04-21-17, 04:24 AM
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Re: Progress is hard.. But it's worth it..

I dont know if you are an alcoholic in recovery or any type of addict but this post was something that I, as an alcoholic in recovery can identify with. Seriously, welcome to ADDF.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxi King View Post
December 23rd, 2016 was perhaps one of the most memorable moments of my entire life...

The holidays have never been a pleasant experience for me. My overcompensating father, my emotionally removed mother, and impulsive/self-serving bipolar brother in one setting for any length of time presents enough grief for anyone to consider jumping into moving traffic... That last past is just my attempt at cynical wit.. Though this holiday season gifted me with yet another mood shattering obstacle.. A raging case of influenza complete with a 104 fever and immeasurable joint pain rendering my escape futile while glued to the living room couch.. While enduring yet another holiday season immersed in total dysfunction while feeling totally isolated, the ever so familiar thought popped into mind... "All I want was a cigarette and a f***ing drink."

A cigarette and a drink...

In a world of isolation, my two friends that would always be there.. Two loyal friends among those of which left in droves after enough "tries" to tolerate the person that I am. And while wasting away on the couch, I really started to reflect upon those two friends.. Were they my friends? I mean.. what benefits have the genuinely provided? ...and I felt sick. More sickly than the flu could ever hope to make me feel..

I was becoming the people that I hated. The attention seeking, self centered and self proclaimed victims that blame the world for their problems.. and I was heading down that path rather quickly. A pack a day, 15-25 drinks per week, recreational use of hard street stimulants: MDMA, cocaine, as many women as I could possibly convince to enter my bedroom through gestures of "sincerity" and "nice guy" appearances until I get bored.. And abruptly cease any and all communication with them.. or just sleep around behind their back until I got caught. And then feel sorry for myself because none of these things I genuinely wanted to do..

"I didn't want to destroy my body, I didn't want to hurt people, I didn't want to isolate myself, I didn't want to live in a state of constant financial duress, I didn't want to be seen in the spotlight as an emotionally cold and calculating womanizer...."

"I didn't want to be rejected..."

Jesus, how many times have I told myself these things.. Though change seemed impossible, and much worse I was good at it..

No matter how hard I tried to do right, I couldn't focus. I couldn't remember. I couldn't follow directions. I couldn't follow through with promises. I couldn't hold a secret. I couldn't stay organized. I couldn't remember names and previous encounters. I couldn't stay engaged in conversation. I couldn't be on time. I couldn't filter words and thoughts. I couldn't comprehend anything I read. I couldn't emotionally connect to anyone control my own emotions. I couldn't stay attentive to anything other than my persistently wandering mind and racing thoughts/feelings. I couldn't be a functional human being in modern society....

I believe I shift from happy to sad 10-20 times a day, all in response to consequences of impulsive action or manifestations within my own wandering thoughts..

These were the only ways in which I knew how to interact with the world and cope.. It was as if my actions were on autopilot. My impulsive nature was at the helm, steering the direct course of my life and all of my actions.. All I could do was sit back and watch my own undoing while feeling entirely helpless to do a thing about it.. I am a genuinely kind and empathetic person..someone that would sacrifice his own personal interests to help those closest to him in an instant.. Give the world to the one I loved.. Yet the only image the world has ever seen is an angry and emotionally void individual fueled by immediate return and stimulation with no interest to change.. An arrogant and mean spirited person. I was fueled by the NEED for constant stimulation, and I would throw anyone's feelings under the bus to get it.. and no one would ever understand. I was helplessly watching my life burn itself to the ground, and my impulse was the match...

Then on that day, I suppose I had an epiphany.. I don't want to feel l like this anymore. I don't want to be unhappy. So god damn it, I'm going to be happy! And I quit.

It is now April 20th, 2017, and I haven't smoked a single cigarette since that day in December cold turkey. I have improved my diet, sleep schedule, and practice yoga and breathing exercises daily. I have trained myself to be a diaphragmatic breather. Alcohol has completely lost its appeal aside from the occasional couple of drinks should I find the desire to venture into the weekend social scene with the few friends that I have left. Recreational drugs no longer serve any appeal. I have brought relative structure and order to all aspects of my life.. My house now stays relatively clean, I rehabbed two rooms in my house. With all the money I have saved, I have built a music studio, and started a new hobby DJing as a healthier means of staying a part of the 4/4 dance music scene. I have my first gig this Saturday.

I'm doing everything I can to find the stimulation I crave in healthier aspects of life, but it's far from f*****g perfect..

Without cigarettes and alcohol, the real me has been once again exposed to the world. The socially inept, academically deficient, and self conscious teenager that never gave himself the chance to fix these things that made him feel weak.. That teenager who gave into all the years of bullying, rejection, and abandonment by his peers. That genuinely believes he isn't worth anything more..

As it stands, I'm now a 25 year old Junior in the midst of my path toward a BS in Mechanical Engineering, and regularly ride the line between pass and fail. I have repeated many courses, and have been in college for 7 years. I don't know how to communicate with my peers anymore without a crutch like a cigarette, and I always feel as if I'm being judged. I often feel stupid because as much as I love the subject matter, I just quite never seem to get it despite the 50+ hours a week I invest into the books/regularly fail quizzes and tests.. and I still have leagues of work to invest into repairing relationships with my friends and immediate family after years of isolating myself.. And this is all while speaking to a professional monthly, and medicated on 30mg of Vyvanse, a proper dose for me. Though I wish it lasted a bit longer..

But it's OK.. It's OK because I don't have to sit at a bar in 3AM half drunk considering throwing myself off the parking garage. I don't have to say that I feel helpless anymore. I don't have to feel as though I'm under total control of impulsive nature and stimulant seeking behavior.. I feel like I'm taking back control. I have so much work to do on myself.. I have accepted that I'll never be normal, and I'll never be the charismatic person that I would love to be. I will never graduate cum laud. But that's all OK. It's OK because I'm accepting that these are things which don't have to dictate my personal happiness, and the areas in which I am deficient are replaced with areas in which I excel. Just because I'm a **** poor student and struggle with engineering school doesn't in the least bit indicate that I'll be a poor engineer. For every class I fail, there are 3 that I passed. Just as lack of charisma doesn't indicate that I have to be alone. I just have to modify my approach in healthier ways to achieve my end goal.. I've started to see ADHD as an alternative way of thinking vs a deficiency.. and though I'm far from the summit.. I feel as though I'm finally working my way up.. Even if I do stumble back down from time to time.. My house needs a serious vacuum, and my bathroom desperately needs a deep clean hah!
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  #5  
Old 04-24-17, 04:24 PM
Maxi King Maxi King is offline
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Re: Progress is hard.. But it's worth it..

Thank for your warm welcome. I'd be more than happy to answer your question:

I don't know if I am or not. I disclosed my habits previous to last December, and to shed further light I was a binger. I would get the calling for a drink generally out of boredom, and after about that 3rd drink a switch would flip removing any and all inhibition and boundaries. I was gonna keep chasing that buzz until the bars closed down, and it wasn't just alcohol either.. The only substances I feared were opiates and methamphetamine. The more drunk I got, the less I cared. Though as soon my lifestyle changed and I quit smoking, my urge to drink just sort of vanished.. It was really weird.. With my friends, I jokingly use the analogy:

"Alcohol is to cigarettes as cocaine is to strippers.. by themselves they can be a lot of fun, but when put together its a whole new world of fun and excitement."

Now drinking just seems like a lot of work, an expensive hobby, and generally unappealing. Especially when I think back to the terrible hangovers that would keep me in bed for half of the following day.

Currently, I don't obsess over alcohol, I don't find myself questioning my control, and I don't find myself drinking out of boredom.. I guess I just have my time occupied elsewhere/shifted my priorities. I generally have no qualms going out Saturday night, having a vodka tonic or two if I decide I even want one, paying the tab and being in bed by midnight.. And I don't feel the least bit insecure about standing in a room full of people drinking with a glass of water in my hand.

Currently, I try to stay humble and limit my ego and arrogance. I recognize that I may have a problem, and I'm simply lying to myself. I take the steps to keep working on myself so that my means of mitigating boredom don't return to the after-hours bar life. It's a spectrum and comes in levels of severity. Though, I like to think that I may have caught a trend while it was a bad habit prior to becoming a full on psychological and physical dependence.. I keep myself open to signs, and pray that hopefully I got lucky.

I think the most interesting part is the fact that 6 months ago I had a huge circle of close "friends" who I thought meant the world to me. As a bartender I used to run with the industry scene. Though today I can count my friends on one hand. I know longer have the desire to peek into what's going on with the opening text: "Wanna go get a drink?" I'd rather stay home and spin some house and techno.
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Old 04-28-17, 02:32 PM
weswes weswes is offline
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Re: Progress is hard.. But it's worth it..

Its amazing that you are at this point and I believe you will continue to make peace with yourself. I also had so many mood issues and thoughts of suicide. I am also sober, except I cling to the cigarettes.

For me, alcohol would make me so confused and scattered the next day, it was one of the first things that I let go.

Weed was much harder as it was such a soothing experience. But as i started to manage my ADHD better, i realized i was happier without it. It was a wonderful moment. I just put the weed down and let it go. I didn't need it anymore.

This was after about 8 months of me taking 5000 miligrams of b12 on a regular basis and a multivitamin.

I spent my days trying to study and analyzing my weak areas. I think that hard work helped reshaped the way my mind worked. I started focusing better because I was able to, because of my vitamin routine and diet, and focusing over months allowed my mind to become better at it.

I still have a racing mind, much more so before my vitamins, and other issues, but at least I don't also have to fight Hangovers and the foggy thinking that weed presented. I also don't have suicidal thoughts. Its so much better than before.
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