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Old 09-21-04, 11:44 PM
blueyemass1979 blueyemass1979 is offline
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Happiness and ADHD: are you happy? when have you been?

Are you happy in your life now? If not, when were you happy? What is it in your lifestyle that overcame your ADD sufficiently to make you happy?

Me: my happiest time was two years ago, when I spent the summer working at a summer camp in Korea teaching English. I was working 12 hour days, shared a closet-sized room with three other people, ate mostly bad cafeteria food (and Korean cafeteria food--so lots of tentacles sticking out if to make the mystery meat even more mysterious). We had no TV, no cinema nearby, we had to go into town to use internet, no financial stability (big to-do over whether we'd actually get paid), no health insurance, no visible achievements as a result of the work--yet at the end I realized I was happier than I had ever been in my life, and indeed much happier than I've ever been since.

Through the lense of ADD (I was undiagnosed then), I think it was the structure and having other people around more than anything. No distractions, esp. no internet; plenty of sunshine and exercise built into the day.

I'm trying to plan my life now (I'm 25, unmarried, no children, freelance writer, so really I have unusually broad discretion) and trying to decide what will be the lifestyle that will make me happiest. I think I want to duplicate that summer camp experience as much as possible...more structure, more people around, fewer distractions (maybe a hostel-type place without internet or TV?), lots of I missing anything?

Tell me how you've found happiness in your life--not just the happiness of having children, getting married, getting into college, but a lifestyle that makes you happy for at least a couple of months.
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Old 09-22-04, 12:06 AM
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Ian Ian is offline
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Perky.. happy.. these are not often uttered in sentences including my name.. heh Happiness for me is a process not a final destination. I have to continually choose it and I suck at making the choice in favour of "happy".

Since starting Dexedrine almost a year ago now I've had a better sense of how I'm feeling and enjoy periods where I'm happy that are clearly evident to me. It's not as evident to my family as it is to me unfortunately.

I'm happy when I can see something finished that I've made with my own hands.

I'm happy playing soccer with my 15 year old daughter. Her enthusiasm is infectious. I'm also quite happy hassling her until she decides she's big enough now to bruise me properly. Her ground game is getting troublesome. We wrestle hard. The odd round house kick has been known to charlie horse old Papa's quads.. If child and family services could over see any of these encounters I'd be in jail.. < vbg > and Bonnie would be hitting me with spit balls from a relative position of safety on the other side of the bars.. ehhe Can you hear me blueyemass1979?.. Kids are a happy thing! I have three and they all have a great capacity to make me grin profoundly.

I'm happy when I overcome a difficult computer configuration issue and get to yell out "It's only a machine" at the top of my lungs when it finally works the way I wanted!

I'm happy when I'm grateful for what I have.

I'm happy when I manage to have more positive messages floating around my scattered brain than negative ones.

Over all though I'm a curmudeon... hasn't stopped me from having some friends though!
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Old 09-22-04, 12:12 PM
Dsherman Dsherman is offline

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Happy, well The happiest I have been was when I met my wife. Usaually when someone discribes me it's, Slug, Unmotivated, unsociable, Hyper, Moody, always angry, etc etc(you get the idea). My wife is a teacher and took many psyological classes and saw in me the ADD traits. She knew exactly how to handle me, then is when I became happy. My wife is the ne that talked me into getting help. I am now 2 months into strattara. and now I have been able to concentrait. I actually get sleep at night because my brain isn't working all the time, I actually get stuf done and no longer a slug. I still have moments. Forgetful moments or little outlashes. Like last night I had an outlash when I spilled the cerial, ya wasn't fun. But where before I thought that was normal, I am aware of it now. Know helps with the coping. I just wish the rest of my family wouldn't ignore me. anyway, Now I am happy and getting happier as I deal with my situations instead of just leaving them. Knowing is half the battle.
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Old 09-22-04, 01:53 PM
SB_UK SB_UK is offline

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Never happy in the present.
Strangely, though, I find that looking back at past life events can elicit happy memories.

Thoughts on how to attain a state of happiness in real time involve gaining expertise in the spectrum of stress reduction activities from A[erobics] to Z[en], achieving things that one wants to achieve and not that one should want to achieve, pushing one's own envelope out ... on whatever level ... just that little bit further, believing in what I'm doing, attempting not to robotically cycle through the same program.

:-( -> :-)


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Old 09-22-04, 03:58 PM
curious curious is offline

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I think that right for me too - I'm happiest when I have people around, at some sort of a social structure. Sometimes when it's too much it can wear me out and I'd need my time alone, but even then I'll be happier than having time alone that's not a get away. Although I can also say I am usually a happy person. Moody, but generally happy.

It's hard to maintain that structure though when it's not a part of some bigger structure (like school), and that I think is the problem of it. But when it's there, it's great.
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Old 09-23-04, 06:57 PM
blueyemass1979 blueyemass1979 is offline
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OK, I guess kids, marriage and structure make for a happy life For the moment, I think I'll stick to structure before I move on to the other two...

I'm definitely not a perky person, either, Dsherman...even at that summer camp I think my coworkers would have characterized me as one of the more negative people they've ever met. But you don't have to be perky to be happy, do you? Dear God....please say you don't....

****Never happy in the present.

Why are you unhappy, SB_UK? I'm not happy right now, but it all has to do with my current situation. I'll be moving into a happier situation (literally, I mean moving, as in, I'm moving house).

It's strikes me that most Americans take it for granted nowadays that they'll spend most of their lives in a middling, tolerable situation that falls just short of actual happiness. But why do we do that to ourselves? Why settle like that, when we have so much and can do so much? I don't mean to trivialize anything--I still get horribly sad when I think of my father's death last year, but that doesn't mean I can't be happy other times.
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Old 09-23-04, 07:10 PM
waywardclam waywardclam is offline

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Happiest I've ever been was when I was doing improv comedy and our group was doing well in terms of audiences.
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Old 09-24-04, 10:40 AM
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My two happiest times were (1) first semester of law school, when I completely structured my life in a really OCD way in order to succeed, and by God I DID for once, and (2) the last 2 years, since I have met my husband and married. Truly, he has been an amazing force for good in my life, and so unbelievably supportive when it comes to ADD. He is the one who is encouraging me to go to the doc, try out meds, etc. I'm looking forward to even better times in the future as I figure all of this out!!!
That's the Queen of Clutter, the Princess of Procastination, the Duchess of Disorganization and the Keeper of the Royal Trivia to you, dahling.
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