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Old 03-02-13, 09:55 PM
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Turning my life around - A diary of a 35 year old new diagnosed ADDer

So.........

I have decided to dedicate a thread to chronicle my progress or lack thereof in "fixing" myself. A bad term, I know....maybe "discovering myself" would be better.

I have found these forums so beneficial over the last 6 months since I was diagnosed around Aug-2012. It has truly amazed me that there are so many other individuals in the world who see things similar to me and it's been humbling and, to be honest, a big relief.

The sheer quantity of posts, sporadicness of my visits and thread crossover means that i'm not getting as much from these forums as they can offer me.

Combining the fact that I have a very small support network and little places to combine my feelings, progress etc. I thought I would create a diary that I do my very best to update once a week with how i'm going.

I welcome any advice, input and sharing of your own journeys in this thread, as my ultimate goal is to become happy with who I am and function effectively in the world. By journal ling my progress here, I hope this can be a resource for others and of benefit to them.


Many thanks to all of the members here.......
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Old 03-02-13, 10:12 PM
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Re: Turning my life around - A diary of a 35 year old new diagnosed ADDer

Where i'm at

It's been six months since I was diagnosed. Progress has been slow, i know.... this is normal.

-I need to improve / find a new counsellor
-I need to improve my meds ( currently on 80 Strattera )
-I need a coach / new friends

I have had 7 sessions with a psycologist, but i'm looking for a new one now ( in Sydney AUS ). I found that the one I had was "ok" but we weren't communicating very well. He did little follow up in things he had advised me to do, and every session he would give me new advice. I know that ultimately it's my responsibility to implement / work on his advice but I need someone who is clearer and more consistent.

Discovery

I have read some good books ( about 10 in total)....something I never would have done before the meds......;

-Hanging by a twig
-the emotionally abusive relationship
-the brain mechanic
-the 10min todo list

I will add some of the other in a later post then update my sig. These have led to a good deal of clarity between what was unrealistic in my thought processes, implementing change is another story.

Change

I've left an emotionally abusive partner. This now gives me room to grow but it is very daunting being alone at present with very few people around me. She was very unsupportive, mocking my diagnosis and criticizing me daily.

I've started a course of study thanks to a disability employment provider I sought out by myself. I realise that a good stable job will go a hell of a long way in improving a lot about my life before I was aware of the ADD I had given up and sat at home in my room thinking I was lazy and unmotivated. This is one of the biggest and positive changes to come from my diagnosis. Now i'm aware of my limitations and positive traits, i'm really optimistic about professional development and find a job I can be happy with

I'm working on my life organisation skills, keeping lists of what I need to accomplish every day, I'm doing pretty good with small things but struggling with social change and building new relationships.


What I have discovered about myself.................

1. Withdrawl has been very harmful to my social skills / life / friendships
2. Negative/unbenificial thought loops have consumed a large portion my life with little or no benefit to me
3. I have largely blamed others for my unhappiness ( yes there is some small truth in that, but as an asbolute way of thinking it's extremely harmful )
4. Low self esteem is one of my major barriers, I have always wanted others to like me and I now know that this is not rational.

I think I have a lot of narcissistic traits that I have developed through a combination of emotional neglectful upbringing + add.

Last edited by someothertime; 03-02-13 at 10:35 PM..
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Old 03-03-13, 05:38 AM
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Re: Turning my life around - A diary of a 35 year old new diagnosed ADDer

This is one of the best things you could have done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by someothertime View Post
[b]

I've left an emotionally abusive partner. This now gives me room to grow but it is very daunting being alone at present with very few people around me. She was very unsupportive, mocking my diagnosis and criticizing me daily.
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Old 03-06-13, 07:28 PM
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Re: Turning my life around - A diary of a 35 year old new diagnosed ADDer

I hate my brainnnnnnn!!!

More specifically, I hate my social awkwardness!!! Phrased positively, lol, I'm so motivated to alter the way I communicate!!!

The diagnosis and awareness of what behaviors I have can be both liberating and soooo frusrtating!!!

Case and point. I reliased I need to make efforts to make new friends...... and encounter social situations. I've only been out a handfull of times in 6 months and i've been chatting to a few people online.... I was really pleased with this and I felt like I was having "successes".

So, this one girl.....we have chatted a few times both for several hours.....she's positive, funny, playful a little shy like me and we share alot in common!!! ( keeping things positive really makes me aware of how much I talk about negative things!!! but i've been making good progress with that now I have an awareness of it...and....i'm starting to get some benefits from the limited CBT. Catching negative loops and "mind racing" and settling down to contructive tasks or positive relaxing thoughts..... ....

Anyway, I accidentally called her..... I got so nervous I quickly hang up. She called me back and I thought "nothing ventured, nothing gained" , "awkwardness on first conversations is natural" talk to her and get to know her better and vice versa.

So I just turned into this little kid. Not knowing what to say, talking about insignificant past crap. That positive, playfull quick wit I had in in text conversation is hidden behind a berlin wall of doubt, mind racing, thinking what the other person is thinking etc. etc. etc. Honestly I think that's why alot of my old friends stopped contacting me.

Who I am inside is very different to how I behave

I know that it will take a long time. And I really need to challenge my beliefs about myself, build confidence, work my way up with interactions with people, gain more control of my emotions and thought processes.

I just wish I could be that person on the chat ALL OF THE TIME . What is it about text communication that makes expression so natural. I'm thinking it's just your and the keyboard and all the distractions don't come into it.....

Positives

We'll I can't have a rant about "flaws" if I don;t list some positives ....

1) My daily lists are going well with small tasks ( but I seem to only get 1-2 hours where I can truly stay applied ), hence the need to alter meds, diet and thinking

2) This is the best of all, after an anxious time wondering if i'd find a new phsycologist or lose more precious months fabbling or seeing not so good ones. I FOUND ONE OF THE BEST IN THE STATE! They made an appointment for me actually 3 fornights apart so I can catch up. And they are not too long away ( 1 month ) YAYYYYYY. It's just the beginning I know but it's such a relief to know your seeing someone who is good

3) I'm making an appointment for a second phsychiatrist. I'm told you generally have to wait 3 months but at least i'm getting the ball rolling . This will give me a second opinion and assessment and possibly better meds if the fist guy continues to delay!

So short term......the plan is to;

-Keep up the CBT
-Try for small social wins ( just a positive conversation is good enough without distraction!!!)
-Keep up the lists ( personal management - cleaning, cooking, hygene etc. )
-Keep up the course
-Keep up the diary
-QUIT FAGS AND COFFEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Fingers crossed
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Old 03-07-13, 02:00 PM
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Re: Turning my life around - A diary of a 35 year old new diagnosed ADDer

Just wanted to say that I'm learning from your posts. I'm a little older and have been diagnosed for a few more years. But I'm trying to date again (sort of) after an abusive partner left me a few years ago. Good luck!
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Old 03-07-13, 04:07 PM
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Re: Turning my life around - A diary of a 35 year old new diagnosed ADDer

I hope you find everything you are looking for. This forum has helped me tremendously. Not only from the advice I give, but from the advice I get!
I'll be 50 this year, diagnosed at 6, so my whole life has been as a ADHDer. I struggled in the early days not understanding why I was different. I can tell you even though everyday is a challenge and I have to work on myself and my behaviors constantly, I'm doing much better understanding what is going on with me and knowing that there are others who are just like me. Just reading these stories and relating to the people helps me to cope. I hate to see anyone suffer. I suffered alone because I thought I was the only one of my kind and I was embarassed and ashamed. But after the years roll by. you start to think "I know a lot of so called normal people who struggle with life worse than me", but they don't appear to be embarassed or ashamed, so why should I. Meds, exercise, diet, and some kind of support system is important, but staying positive and embracing what I have and making the best life I can is how I choose to live. If I can help someone who feels now, like I used to, than I will do my best to tell my story and help if I can. We deserve to be happy!
People want your happiness, don't let them take it!
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Old 03-07-13, 05:12 PM
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Re: Turning my life around - A diary of a 35 year old new diagnosed ADDer

Great post and kudos to you! I love reading positive insite on people who are trying to make a difference in their lives and an impact in others!
Life is all about change and adaptation of the environment and surroundings.
Growing always seems to carry a level of pain and discomfort with it and most try to evade rather than embrace!
Robert Frost said; The best way out is always through......

Keep up the hard work and positivity!
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Old 03-09-13, 03:08 PM
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Re: Turning my life around - A diary of a 35 year old new diagnosed ADDer

Great thread! I'm in a similar boat to yourself (diagnosed at 37, separated, new on meds, done CBT). I had the exact same idea as you and recently started a blog to chronicle my journey, share tips, etc.

I think its important to write down this stuff and share it.

Good on you for starting to date again. I was married for almost 10 years and I've been separated now for 18 months and have yet to start dating.
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Old 03-09-13, 08:01 PM
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Re: Turning my life around - A diary of a 35 year old new diagnosed ADDer

Hahahaha....... Thanks for the comments guys ( and maybe girls )

Well it's not exactly dating but yeah, I have recognised that my "interpersonal" communication was one of the major things that was inhibiting my development.

In a way, this internet chatting is a crux, it's so easy to do, i really need to try to convert it into face to face meeting and longer term small social interactions. Due to my emotional nature I just find it easier to communicate with females. In my society, it's a bit weird to walk up to a male and say "do you want to have dinner and talk about life".....just not at the stage I can do that.

See, I know i'm capable of one on one interaction. My challenge is not to fall into a relationship which, based on past experience ( limited ) after a few months I withdraw because of my limited life skills. In the end only getting a few months of fun and no major change in the way I think. But hey, if we both have fun along the way I guess in a sense, that is what life is about.

Turn's out this person was ok with our awkward conversation. Perhaps me calling her was taken as a "move of confidence", hahaha. Actually, i'm getting a little awkward with how much she's contacting me. It's fun and all, but I wonder if she is overly needy like me or something or is just my overactive brain reading too much into it!

I wonder if a few assertiveness books or short courses might help or if i'm reading too much into it.

I did tell her when I met her that I have issues with social groups and that I really needed a friendship more than anything where I can get out of my loopy thinking and just develop a friendship, life skills and slowly build social confidence.

Anyway, I hope we meet soon, have a bit of fun and we can re-iterate our goals and both agree to take it slowly / sensibly. Just gotta keep grounded and not let this 1 thing get in the way of my overall progress.

Gotta find some new hobbies, to balance out my interests a bit. My money situation is almost non-existent which makes it a challenge but it has also been a big motivator for change.
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Old 03-12-13, 08:34 AM
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Re: Turning my life around - A diary of a 35 year old new diagnosed ADDer

Med Update

Great news!!! After 6 months on Strattera my psychiatrist has bitten the bullet a given me a dex prescription, 2 weeks tapering off strattera80(now)
>40
>20
>dex 5 x 2 ( 1 morn - 1 night )
>2x5mg morn and night . . .

I hope in 1 month to update with progress on the med change

( The strattera was "ok", initially very good 3-4 hours.....dropping to shorter time benefits + nausea some days + eyes popping from my head somedays ... in the end it was roughly 60% effective for me. Also it's damn expensive in Australia!!! $180 vs $36 for dex )

Less money on meds, yippeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 03-21-13, 07:49 PM
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Re: Turning my life around - A diary of a 35 year old new diagnosed ADDer

Just a little note on tapering off strattera.........

I had a few days or half days when I went from 80 -> 60........ insecure / jumping mood overwhelmed me.......

This week i'm doing 20mg for two days and my mood is fairly stable...... the "task management" and behavioral ( reducing negative looping thoughts ) seems to stick even with the lower meds....... reading books and things is dropping off though......at my class it's very obvious to me my lack of "doing" but the positive thinking means that I eventually get involved rather than withdrawing like I did in the past.

So behavioral habits seem to stick around even off meds ( Short term anyway )
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Old 03-22-13, 09:27 PM
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Re: Turning my life around - A diary of a 35 year old new diagnosed ADDer

Weekly Update . . .

So I don't know how many of you subscribe to astrology…….. but checking my stars has been a nice little starter for the day. Wake up like a zombie and it gives ,me something optimistic / motivating to "kick-in" and start looking at doing things.

I realise that I need to structure my posts better. With headings for each key aspect i'm working on then maybe a paragraph at the bottom for random observations and thoughts. This should stop little pieces getting thrown out that ultimately don't lead to progression. That was the point of this diary in the first place. To hold myself accountable and record efforts. A sort of "internet" coach if you will…….. So moving forward, I will try to list;

-Medication
-Thought processes
-Diet, fitness, sprituality
-Social & work & family ( relationships )

Summary

Honestly, i've been slack/slow/struggling to take further steps forward. Some small wins are my daily morning 1 hour lists still kinda works, i'm getting to class and my moods are more controllable, I guess i'm also awakening to the ongoingness of efforts that are going to be required.


Spiritual Slackness

I am doing little or nothing on this side of things. I think having not seen a counsellor / therapist for a month has contributed to the stagnation in this area. I want to do;

-10min meditation in the morning ( and maybe at night )
-30min-1hour ride daily


Diet

I read a book, "the chemistry of joy" which is really good…….it's more targeted at depression but the incorporation of eastern philosophies to lack of mental clarity is quite interesting, specifically diet and meditation. I read these books, and I try to take notes with the intention of incorporating the advice into my daily routine……trialling some of the dietary recommendations for a month or two…..

Alas, I may get a half a day of some minor changes, perhaps limit a few things but then it's back to good ol routine….


Sleep

The tapering off strattera, continuation of nightime coffee drinking has mean't up fartarsing around from 8pm to 1-2am doing not much…… this flows on to slower mornings ( not as bad as I used to be, maybe 30mins-1hour of "brickmind" ). Some books I read suggest a "wind down" routine. I did set an alarm for 9:23pm for a few weeks but when it went off I pretty much ignored it…… so hard to switch to winding down. They also talk about not looking at digital monitors before bed.


Mood Diary

While i've always intended to keep a mood diary, i've done one or two jottings on a piece of paper but they get tossed somewhere + i'm fearful of people finding them. I created a separate google calendar today ( 23/03/2013 ) with the intention of being used as a mood / emotional event diary ).

The theory being that is is always with me on my smartphone ( albeit the calendar is harder to operate in mobile mode ) it's also harder for slips to get lost and read by other people. So the idea is that these jottings are collated in one place and every month I can look back to see patterns and feed these into new behaviours and treatments.


Relationships

Just working on the absolute basics…… not turning invitations down / withdrawing , not looping ( trying to stop myself self-distracting ), saying what I feel ( with regard to RELEVANT topics + moving forward ). Catching when I "react" to a situation and that anger / bitter mood starts swelling up. Stopping it and moving on……

The loops are still there, but i'm catching them frequently with others……. funny thing is, by not feeding it you kind of have to acknowledge it and it makes you more aware / content / present.

I am meeting a new acquaintance for coffee tomorrow. I'm very nervous, especially because i'm virtually med less, but i'm looking it as an opportunity to practice staying present, accepting flaws, being open, accepting/re-defining failure ( essentially it's behavioural disputing ).

The girl who chats with me constantly is starting to talk about doing something together. It's a positive, I do feel empty about who I am though….. kind of wishing the dex/presentness is gonna help me here…… at some stage we need to clarify what we want from each other, I don't wan't to get ahead of myself either positively or negatively, but i guess I fear my face to face manner and lack of "doing" and accomplishment will damage our friendship. Oh, well if we meet i'll find out. And I need to remind myself that we shared some laughs and I learn't to be a little more kind / receptive so it's been positive no matter what happens.


Where to now?

1. Incorporate more diet / mediation into daily routine
2. The counsellor appointment can't come sooner!!! ( get direction with controlling thoughts + social development ) - it's in the 14/04
3. Sleep + cbt + cbt + cbt!!!
4. See how this Dex goes
5. Try to have at least one "new outing" preferably small social thing like a hobby once a fortnight
6. Stop spending so much time here
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Old 03-24-13, 09:26 AM
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Re: Turning my life around - A diary of a 35 year old new diagnosed ADDer

So today I went out for lunch with a girl who contacted me off a dating site.

I get the feeling she is 35ish, fairly worldly, driven ( humbly - read: normally independant ) and starting to feel a need for a amicable pair bond ( read: "widening her radar" )

She contacted me, has been pretty open with her emails, I did my best to be open, honest and descriptive in my emails. Telling her I just want to get out now and then, work on doing some relaxing things with others....walking in a park....cooking......small social events eventually etc.

So, we go to lunch....... at my end, i'm just looking to make new friends and find people who are more supportive and understanding of me. Also to challenge some social anxieties and confidence issues I have.

Result

-I'm self conscious about my personal hygiene / neatness / odours
-I was a little fidgety physically, aloof verbally, but generally communicative, cracking a few jokes trying to keep it light
-I did pretty good balancing the conversation between questions about her and talking about me
-I did pretty good not getting overly anxious about the meeting, not expecting anything from it, not getting mad with failure - read: I learn't from it - it was a positive
-My tone, accent, verbal expression is extremely broken - note-ably when I talk about myself....not really a problem when discussing her - I need to work on my pacing, word selection, infliction etc.
-She didn't ask much about me, loved talking about herself though.....

She's not a bad person in any way...... I may be wrong ....... perhaps it's not a good thing to even judge what she's thinking........ but I get the sense she's looking for someone more cultured / polished / unflawed ( also, I get the sense she was secretly only really looking for a mate even though she said she was ok with friendship in the emails )........

If that is the case, i'm cool with that. The meal was nice, and hopefully I developed some awareness of myself and resilience.

So, I don't really expect to hear from her........ I'll chalk that up as a win for me getting out of my house, being open to meeting new people.
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Old 03-24-13, 09:53 AM
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Re: Turning my life around - A diary of a 35 year old new diagnosed ADDer

Great Thread! I wish you the best in bettering your life.
Every little thing helps. If only I got the courage to make friends to chat with. You know just to have friends. I'm very awkward in conversation.
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Old 03-31-13, 06:25 AM
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Re: Turning my life around - A diary of a 35 year old new diagnosed ADDer

The Dex

Well, it's been 3 days on Dex. I have tried to jot down my reactions, symptoms to get a record I react to it.

Initial signs are promising. I'm taking 5mg twice a day and trying to steer clear of coffee. A few observations are below with more random notes at the bottom of this post EDIT: Did not bother adding the random notes, lol!

-Fast acting

-3 and a bit hours effects, then the brain feels heavyish / dehydrated / allergic....but it's fairly light. I don't get headaches but if I did I would imagine I would he close to getting one.

-Seems to do exactly the right thing. Stops looping / negativity so i'm free to stay on task or mentally progress.

-I am a little "forward" verbally, which is more from the removals of inhibitions so it makes obvious what is actually manifesting frim my focus / emotions.
-can still get a tiny bit anxious from positive ruminating but the majority of negative anxiousness / self loathing dissapears

-As a negative, when I don't take it, the syptoms come back after two hours un the morning + there is a bit of jumpiness from not having it. The improvements far outweigh this negative but I makes me wonder how "scattering" it would he coming off it for a few days after i've been on it for weeks.

Handwriting!

When I write... There is a miraculous, flow of the pen and control. It varies, seemingly with my attention and state of mind. There is no doubt that this predominately a result of the medication. And it may be an interesting indicator of what is to come.

( Prior to medication, writing was always a race or a test of focus to get it neat )

Last edited by someothertime; 03-31-13 at 06:38 AM..
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