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Women with ADD/ADHD This forum is for women to discuss issues related to being a woman with AD/HD.

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Old 04-16-19, 06:21 AM
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Unhappy Taking care of yourself- how to deal with people close to you?

I feel kinda bad right now.

I have been recently diagnosed with ADHD as an adult (age 36), after years of struggling with various mental health issues- well, basically struggling with myself- and it's been somewhat a relief. It's nice to have an explanation, and to know that's it's not just me not being good enough, smart enough, working hard enough and "fitting in" enough.


I am responding well to medication, and it really helps me. I am also learning to find other ways to handle my difficulties for instance by keeping a bullet journal, becoming aware of my strenghts and challenges, putting up healthy boundaries and so on. I'm a work in progress

Well, this past weekend was rough! I had overcommitted (again!) and by Sunday I was completely overwhelmed. I spend most of the afternoon alone in my office, huddled on the couch under a blanket, just trying to silence the myriads of impressions speeding around in my head, all the while my body was so overactive, that it felt like it was crawling with ants. When my husband found me, I just started sobbing, sobbing like a little child. I had nothing left to give. And today, Tuesday, I'm still not fully recharged.

Well, to make matters worse, this weekend is easter, and of course I have overcommitted again. I had a talk with my dear hubby about it yesterday, and he was extremely supportive. I didn't feel like going to visit family all of easter, as it involves alot of travelling, social activities, and at the same time my family is very dysfunctional, so it takes a big emotional toll on me to be in their presence- and I would be going alone, as dear hubby has other commitments. I feared the major energetic rebound, as experience tells it can take days or even weeks to recharge properly- and I'm already exhausted by last weekends shenanigans. So I decided to cancel, as an act of kindness to myself, only keeping up one appointment with a really old, close friend of mine, with whom I don't have to "play the social game", to pretend.

So, I had to cancel with my family. And my father, although having raised me alone in my teens, and having seen all my struggles growing up (depression, anxiety, eating disorder, low self-esteem etc.) refuses to believe there is anything called ADHD- and even if there is, that I am affected by it. After all, I'm a woman, I have a job and an education, and I can sit still... the ignorance is screaming to the heavens!

So he let me have it- the whole guilt trip. How disappointed he was, how disappointed my nieces would be, how wrong I was, how selfish I was. Thanks dad! I really needed that! I spend days considering this, and being so ashamed that I was barely able to talk to my husband about it, and he treated be like a sullen teenager. I spend days considering, if taking care of myself could justify breaking a deal with my beloved nieces, and he made me feel like the most inconsiderate, selfish piece of **** on earth. And that really hurt. I know I shouldn't let it, but it did.


So why do I write here? Well first of, I needed to get this out, to not be alone with it!!!! So thank you for providing a place where I can safely do that!


But I would also really know how you guys deal with these sort of situations? One thing is dealing with strangers, but how do you deal with the people close to you, when they refuse to accept that you have a diagnosis and limitations?
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Old 04-16-19, 08:01 AM
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Re: Taking care of yourself- how to deal with people close to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pukena View Post
Well, this past weekend was rough! I had overcommitted (again!) and by Sunday I was completely overwhelmed. I spend most of the afternoon alone in my office, huddled on the couch under a blanket, just trying to silence the myriads of impressions speeding around in my head, all the while my body was so overactive, that it felt like it was crawling with ants. When my husband found me, I just started sobbing, sobbing like a little child. I had nothing left to give. And today, Tuesday, I'm still not fully recharged.
I hear you sister from another mister! I hate overcommiting myself. Especially on Sundays. My husband thinks Sundays are for visiting family (mostly his) and saturdays are for getting work done. I would rather split the work between both days and be done by the afternoon to relax and recharge.
Quote:
Well, to make matters worse, this weekend is easter, and of course I have overcommitted again. I had a talk with my dear hubby about it yesterday, and he was extremely supportive. I didn't feel like going to visit family all of easter, as it involves alot of travelling, social activities, and at the same time my family is very dysfunctional, so it takes a big emotional toll on me to be in their presence- and I would be going alone, as dear hubby has other commitments. I feared the major energetic rebound, as experience tells it can take days or even weeks to recharge properly- and I'm already exhausted by last weekends shenanigans. So I decided to cancel, as an act of kindness to myself, only keeping up one appointment with a really old, close friend of mine, with whom I don't have to "play the social game", to pretend.
That is great that you cancelled. Your self care is very important.
Quote:
So, I had to cancel with my family. And my father, although having raised me alone in my teens, and having seen all my struggles growing up (depression, anxiety, eating disorder, low self-esteem etc.) refuses to believe there is anything called ADHD- and even if there is, that I am affected by it. After all, I'm a woman, I have a job and an education, and I can sit still... the ignorance is screaming to the heavens!

So he let me have it- the whole guilt trip. How disappointed he was, how disappointed my nieces would be, how wrong I was, how selfish I was. Thanks dad! I really needed that! I spend days considering this, and being so ashamed that I was barely able to talk to my husband about it, and he treated be like a sullen teenager. I spend days considering, if taking care of myself could justify breaking a deal with my beloved nieces, and he made me feel like the most inconsiderate, selfish piece of **** on earth. And that really hurt. I know I shouldn't let it, but it did.
I can tell you not to let it bother you but it is easier said then done. Sometimes in circumstances where I am legit not believed and the person has a smart phone and is internet capable I will share a link or two supporting my diagnosis:
https://chadd.org/for-adults/women-and-girls/
Sometimes I have to repeat myself : " I understand that you do not believe in it but I do, and I know my body and I have picked a capable doctor who confirms this diagnosis"
Sometimes I have to get firm : " I do not wish to discuss this anymore."
Rarely it involves a somewhat threat: " If this conversation keeps going this way I am hanging up. If this is the way all our conversations are going to go, do not bother to call me"
Setting boundaries is really tough but they are so important. They need not be a negative conversation but repeating yourself calmly can sometimes work. Its important to work through why you have issues with your father and boundaries and why you want his approval- I mean something beyond your hurt feelings. Are you in therapy? Would you be comfortable telling him that what he said hurt, and it hurts that he wants to ignore medical guidelines and basically your doctor in order to be "right" and belittle your struggles. You really need to try hard to avoid worrying about what your family or friends think or say. Your nuclear unit is with your husband and (kids)? I am not saying our families do not matter but my husband and kids are the priority.
Welcome to the forums!
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Old 04-16-19, 11:11 AM
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Re: Taking care of yourself- how to deal with people close to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
I hear you sister from another mister! I hate overcommiting myself. Especially on Sundays. My husband thinks Sundays are for visiting family (mostly his) and saturdays are for getting work done. I would rather split the work between both days and be done by the afternoon to relax and recharge.
Oh, thank you! (insert sigh of relief here) It is soooo nice to know that I'm not the only one having this issue- and I totally agree with you! The re-charge time Saturday and Sunday afternoon is just so important for me, in order to make it through the following week in a somewhat orderly fashion.



Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
I can tell you not to let it bother you but it is easier said then done. Sometimes in circumstances where I am legit not believed and the person has a smart phone and is internet capable I will share a link or two supporting my diagnosis:
https://chadd.org/for-adults/women-and-girls/
Sometimes I have to repeat myself : " I understand that you do not believe in it but I do, and I know my body and I have picked a capable doctor who confirms this diagnosis"
Sometimes I have to get firm : " I do not wish to discuss this anymore."
Rarely it involves a somewhat threat: " If this conversation keeps going this way I am hanging up. If this is the way all our conversations are going to go, do not bother to call me"
Setting boundaries is really tough but they are so important. They need not be a negative conversation but repeating yourself calmly can sometimes work.
Well, to be quite honest, not many people know I have this disorder. Only my husband, father, brother and a few close friends. It's not that I'm ashamed, I just don't need it to public knowledge- mainly because I don't really need peoples "opinions" on ADHD. I know what my body tells me, I know how my life is, and hubby and I do our best to have a close-to-normal life and loving marriage, despite the difficulties that arise because of this. It's just there, and it's not really everyone else business.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
Its important to work through why you have issues with your father and boundaries and why you want his approval- I mean something beyond your hurt feelings. Are you in therapy? Would you be comfortable telling him that what he said hurt, and it hurts that he wants to ignore medical guidelines and basically your doctor in order to be "right" and belittle your struggles. You really need to try hard to avoid worrying about what your family or friends think or say. Your nuclear unit is with your husband and (kids)? I am not saying our families do not matter but my husband and kids are the priority.
Welcome to the forums!
And thank you for the welcome You have valuable points there. And I do have a therapist- we are on a break right now, however, until I am stable in my medication, because some of the side effects from the ritalin mimics anxiety attacks, and I need to get that under control before digging into these things with her. But yes, this is certainly something to work on with her!

But do you ever feel like "if you just pulled it together" you would be able to do these things? How do you balance self care with reasonable requests from others? I just feel sooo stupid sometimes, and soooo selfish, when I encounter the limitations my brain has- and the realisation that I have to listen to it, or there is a toll to pay, is very hard for me to accept! How do you accept it?
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Old 04-16-19, 12:08 PM
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Re: Taking care of yourself- how to deal with people close to you?

I'm in this situation so often .my family doesn't believe in ADHD either. I thinks better to just say "I'm ill" or make up something else they can accept.

It sucks but I doubt the honesty is worth all the drama.

Also yes I totally feel that if I could just pull it together I could accommodate others reasonable requests. Truth is I can't. Others will struggle to believe that but try to believe it yourself
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Old 04-18-19, 11:30 AM
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Re: Taking care of yourself- how to deal with people close to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pukena View Post
But do you ever feel like "if you just pulled it together" you would be able to do these things? How do you balance self care with reasonable requests from others? I just feel sooo stupid sometimes, and soooo selfish, when I encounter the limitations my brain has- and the realisation that I have to listen to it, or there is a toll to pay, is very hard for me to accept! How do you accept it?
Well a lot of it came with developing realistic expectations and boundaries. I personally had to go through alcoholism and get sober to learn these things but that is not the norm for all people. I learned that "No." is actually a complete sentence and that I have a pause button. I almost never say yes to anything right away I always say " Can I get back to you on that?" or "Let me think about it first". That is one of my pause buttons. It gives me time to think about whatever I am being asked to do and decide if I can reasonably do it. I also include my happiness in that equation. Not that everything needs to make me happy to do it, but it definitely should not fill me with dread and make me miserable. I was so low when I first stopped drinking that I beat myself up constantly and continued doing that for my first two years. There is a process I went through that is part of a 12 step program that helped me identify all sorts of things and develop healthy boundaries. A long with that came realistic expectations. It is not fair of me to be upset when my expectations or needs have not been met if I never shared what they are. If I need more help around the house but my husband was never asked to help its hard for me to assume he is a mind reader and to just know what to help with.

Self care can be many things for different people. For me it involves a pretty rigid sleep schedule that allows me to get up very early where I have an hour or so to myself in the morning to do whatever I want. I need to be budget conscious so for example I have my own "beauty box" where I have all sorts of polishes and stuff for doing my nails. I did them this morning- yellow with a confetti top coat. I could never handle sitting still in the nail salon and this makes me feel good. Sometimes when my husband comes home and I have had a crazy day and I am all fired up to dump on him I ask him if he needs a minute and preface the whole conversation by telling him I just want him to listen and not solve and that I am not mad at him I am just venting. This way my volume or sarcasm isnt directed at him and he is ready to listen because he said he needed a few before I started up. I made my needs known, he said OK, and I knew what to expect.

I am not perfect at this at all. I try to look at my energy and time as if they were in a bank. What is it worth for me to make a withdraw? Am I going to take too much time and energy out so that I bounce checks the rest of the month? Am I budgeting well? I know I make this seem easy and it really isnt. I just wanted to share what I thought would be helpful to you.
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