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  #106  
Old 11-20-14, 04:15 AM
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Re: The Grief process after being diagnosed with Adult ADD/ADHD.

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Originally Posted by USMCcop View Post
I certainly agree with that, but even treated, their are unique attributes, along with cost. I suffered with depression and alcoholism (self medication to calm my mind) for 20 years before discovering my diagnosis and the root of such. But even before that, it gave me drive, ability to resolve complex problems, etc.
Why do you believe it is your ADHD that gave you drive and ability to resolve complex problems? Those are not attributes typically associated with ADHD. Those of us with ADHD generally struggle with difficult problems, because they require sustained attention.

I know many people who do not appear to have ADHD who are abundantly loaded with drive, ambition and complex-problem solving ability.

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Old 07-29-15, 04:14 PM
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Re: The Grief process after being diagnosed with Adult ADD/ADHD.

I was just talking about emotional phases of ADD on another thread. Though Im not newly diagnosed..as I was diagnosed 4 years ago...I went through all of that. I get sucked into the grief cycle allot, which is kinda where I am at now. My children are so overwhelming! I just want to get back to where I was a month ago when I had all the answers and everything was so clear. I hate how my thoughts fog over....
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Old 07-29-15, 11:48 PM
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Re: The Grief process after being diagnosed with Adult ADD/ADHD.

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Originally Posted by leapofaith View Post
In some way, shape or form, we all go through the grief process whether we are diagnosed or come to this conclusion all on our own.

It is as different and personal to each individual as their finger prints. I found this article for those who are new here, new to the diagnosis or didn't know this happens to all of us.

I find myself posting about it often, probably because I myself was not made aware of it. I think that had I known what I was going through, it would have made it a little easier.

Unfortunately, the Psychiatrist who started me on medication after being officially diagnosed, didn't know much about ADD. I wasn't given information about the medication or what I could expect in the beginning. I spent 2 long years depressed, lost and mostly in denial, fighting my ADD and its symptoms. What a futile waste of time and energy!

I hope this is helpful to others!
In some way, shape or form, we all go through the grief process whether we are diagnosed or come to this conclusion all on our own.

It is as different and personal to each individual as their finger prints. I found this article for those who are new here, new to the diagnosis or didn't know this happens to all of us.

I find myself posting about it often, probably because I myself was not made aware of it. I think that had I known what I was going through, it would have made it a little easier.

Unfortunately, the Psychiatrist who started me on medication after being officially diagnosed, didn't know much about ADD. I wasn't given information about the medication or what I could expect in the beginning. I spent 2 long years depressed, lost and mostly in denial, fighting my ADD and its symptoms. What a futile waste of time and energy!

I hope this is helpful to others!
This article originally appeared in the November/December 2000 issue of LDA Newsbriefs. For
more information on the Learning Disabilities Association of America, please visit the LDA
website at www.ldanatl.org.
1
GRIEF: THE FORGOTTEN EMOTION
OF
ADULTS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES
Kevin T. Blake, Ph.D.
One emotional concern that has far too often been overlooked in adults who have
for the first time been diagnosed as having learning disabilities and/or ADHD is that of
grief. Grief is a normal reaction to a traumatic life event (i.e., death in the family,
diagnosis of cancer, loss of a job, diagnosis of a learning disability, etc.) Grief has
definite stages which may lead to resolution as was demonstrated by Kubler-Ross’ work
with terminal cancer patients in England. Persons going through a grief reaction may
experience a loss of interest in things they previously found pleasurable, depressed mood,
sluggishness, problems with sleep and/or appetite, as well as guilt. Grief has a natural
progression and is usually time limited.
Murphy and LeVert (1995) wrote about the six stages of coping that a person may
experience following the diagnosis of ADHD. These can be applied to those with
learning disabilities. They are as follows:
Stage 1: Relief and Optimism
I’m not retarded, I’m not schizophrenic, I’m not Bi-Polar or just plain stupid. I have
ADHD….
Stage 2: Denial
There is no such thing as ADHD, I’m just lazy…
Stage 3: Anger and Resentment
If my third grade teacher would have noticed this, I may have gone to college….
Stage 4: Grief
My undiagnosed ADHD made life so painful for me…
How do I cope with ADHD and repair the damage of the past….
Stage 5: Accommodation
I accept I have ADHD, I am using work/school accommodations to compensate for it…
2
Initially it was believed the grief reaction adults would have to receiving a
diagnosis of learning disabilities and/or ADHD would be non-existent or at the very
worst, quite mild. However, as clinical antidotes have been accumulated this does not
necessarily appear to be the case. The severity and chronicity of the grief reaction an
adult with learning disabilities and/or ADHD may experience appears to be quite
variable. Individuals with very mild learning disabilities and/or ADHD symptoms
without a history of significant life trauma may experience a minimum grief reaction. If
the person does have a grief reaction its course tends to be short and that person reaches a
level of acceptance of the disability quickly, with few relapses. However, a person with
severe learning disabilities and/or ADHD as well as more pronounced life trauma may
have a chronic and intense grief reaction. In such cases, a person may need individual
counseling, and psychoeducation to learn more about the disability and/or medication to
help treat depression, etc.
Regarding prolonged grief, Goldstein (1997) wrote: It has been reportedly
suggested that adults with ADHD and LD struggle with grief over their perceived
incompetence and lifetime difficulty with meeting everyday expectations (p. 260). Often
adults with learning disabilities and ADHD have problems with low self-esteem as a
result of their more difficult life course created by the disability. As Ryan (1994)
wrote…when the dyslexic succeeds, he is likely to attribute his success to luck. When he
fails, he simply sees himself as stupid (p. 9). This low self-esteem may compound a grief
reaction, by making it more severe and chronic. It is not uncommon for an adult with
learning disabilities and/or ADHD to repeatedly re-experience grief reactions after the
initial experience of grief. This re-experiencing of the grief reaction tends to be triggered
by present day life traumas and perceived failures, which the adult with learning
disabilities and/or ADHD believes are caused by the disability. Hence, unchecked grief
can be a constant companion.
Sometimes a person can become lost in grief and develop a Major Depressive
Episode. If the person goes at least two weeks with a significantly depressed mood, is
socially withdrawn and has lost interest in things the person usually is quite interested in,
the person may have clinically significant depression. In such situations, it is important
that the person be assessed by a mental health professional and treated if necessary.
The newly diagnosed adult with learning disabilities and/or ADHD should be
made aware of the potential for a grief reaction and the possibility of a Major Depressive
Episode, which will require a consultation with a mental health professional. This should
be done by the diagnostician. Just sharing this with an adult with learning disabilities
and/or ADHD can help to normalize the grieving process and reduce the risk of
complications in its progression. In a very real sense, knowledge is power.
Often the loved ones of an adult recently diagnosed with learning disabilities
and/or ADHD are negatively affected by the individual’s grief reaction. The diagnosed
adult may become less attentive to personal responsibilities, lash out toward others, or
become withdrawn. Such behaviors can make family life taxing and difficult. It is
important for the family and loved ones of the adult with learning disabilities and/or
3


ADHD to know that grief is a normal human reaction to their
loss or disability. If the
person’s depression and grief is significantly taxing to the family, family therapy should
be considered.
Sometimes the stress of learning to compensate for and cope with one’s learning
disability and/or ADHD can be overwhelming. For example, learning how to use
Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic, a voice activated word processor, or how to work
with an ADHD coach while one struggles to maintain home and/or school/work
responsibilities can be quite stressful. Often the initial attempt at accommodation may be
ineffective. Finding the accommodations that are most helpful may be the result of a
prolonged course of trial and error. This process can be disheartening, which may further
complicate the grief reaction. Families and loved ones need to be aware of these new
stresses in the recently diagnosed adult’s life. Their understanding may serve to diffuse
family tensions.
Employers also need to understand the challenge facing the newly diagnosed
adult and how the disability may affect his or her productivity. Often newly diagnosed
employees have not met employer expectations, and the employees will need to remedy
this. Employees need to learn about their disabilities and how to accommodate them.
These employees may not know their rights, how to ask appropriately for reasonable
accommodations, or how their disability is manifested. Employers should be encouraged
to instruct their personnel manager to expedite this process by being open to the
recommendations of consulting professionals who have worked with the employees. An
informed employer will be aware that the process for a newly diagnosed adult to become
a better worker can be emotionally difficult for the employee. Thus, it is important for an
employer to be flexible. This may include reducing the employee’s responsibilities or
granting a temporary leave of absence (i.e., mental health days). It is important for an
employer to remember that often it is less expensive to help the employee through this
transition than it is to terminate the individual, search for, hire and train another
employee. The above assumes there have been no violations of the employee’s civil
rights (i.e., ADA, etc.).
The area of emotional and mental health concerns of adults with learning
disabilities and/or ADHD is quite complex and new. This article has dealt with the grief
reaction often experienced by newly diagnosed adults. There are many more types of
significant emotional problems experienced by adults with learning disabilities and/or
ADHD, which the LDA mental health committee will address in future issues of
Newsbriefs.
4
References:
Goldstein, S. (1997).


Managing Attention and Learning Disorders in Late Adolescence
and Adulthood: A Guide for Practitioners. New York: John Wiley and Sons.
Murphy, K. & LeVert, S. (1995). Out of the Fog: Treatment Options and Coping
Strategies for Adult Attention Deficit Disorder. New York: Hyperion.
Ryan, M. (1994). The Other 16 Hours: The Social and Emotional Problems of
Dyslexia. Baltimore, MD: Orton Dyslexia Society.

I still go through this cycle frequently. The stages don't necessarily stop or start logically, at least for me. My math learning disability was harder to accept for me. I always believed if I just worked hard enough, I could do or learn anything. As a college student majoring in business, this disability is more crippling than ADD to my goals. The poor sense of direction my dyscalculia and ADD combined cause driving to be a nightmare. I can retain astounding amounts of some kinds of info. I get high marks in most courses. I am good at doing presentations, writing, creative work, and historical research. I am even good at science, except for chemistry. However, I know my disabilities helped put me YEARS behind my peers, killed consistent job performance, and made me feel like I was going crazy at times. I spent a few years being misdiagnosed, treated with all sorts of downers, gained weight, lost my chance to marry or have kids in my prime. Yeah, painful...we all have a heavy heart at times over our past.

But with all that said, I know I gained empathy, compassion, and understanding for my fellow human beings that I wouldn't have been able if I'd been "flawless" or "normal". The traits I cursed became the traits that transformed me into something with substance. I met some of the most beautiful people on the journey, including on this forum. I got to know who my true friends were- the few people that stood by me when I hadn't been diagnosed, when I was on the bottom of the world. These few gave me a new love and gratitude and appreciation.

My disabilities in some ways have become the tool that I believe was used to make me a better person on the inside. My disabilities are actually what led me to notice my greatest blessings, strengths, and traits. It led me to professional organizing, something I love dearly. It made me start college later in life, which employers may not like, but professors sure do. I appreciate college in a way now that my teenage brain never could have. I contribute more at 35 to a college classroom than I ever could have at 18. When many people are settled into a sort of rut of routine by my age, every day is still an adventure for me. I get to mingle with bright and energetic young minds in class. I've experienced the awesome joy of being a phoenix who rose from the ashes. I see Rocky Balboa knocked down, attempt to drag himself up before the count of ten is up, nearly run out of time before winning that championship- and I know what that winning feels like. It's the feeling of being truly alive, of being the underdog who overcame odds people said I couldn't rise above, ones that even I didn't know if I'd conquer. As Linda Eder beautifully sang, "My hands have touched the gold." To think the victory is undeserved, out of reach forever, utterly lost...then to get that prize- what could be more exciting and wondrous?

My disabilities and struggles held me back in some ways- but they were not lost years. Maybe I was meant to be held back, like a fine wine needing the extra years to develop to its best. Of course I worry about money and practical things sometimes, but ultimately I am grateful to be where I am today. Those are lost years only if I see them as having no value. Instead I choose to see them as having infinite value, years that seemed torturous and unfruitful at the time, but actually were developing an inner beauty which only comes through overcoming sorrows and allowing oneself to be humbled by them. If they made me a better individual, if they were part of some greater plan benefiting more than just myself, if they broke down my ego a bit and built love for others...I gladly accept the silent years.

I get to be one of the pioneers that are attempting to break new ground in a stale American collegiate and corporate system by being an older - but wiser - adult student. I get to break new ground. I get to write my own little page of history with the realization I'm in uncharted territory. I get to say, "I have disabilities, employers. However, I am not inferior for having them. I can give you traits someone who does not have to work through or around these limitations never could. I may be unconventional, I may seem to be a risk...but I am worth taking a chance on. I have tricks up my sleeve for solving problems and fixing what seems impossible, solutions that no person who didn't have to struggle like this could ever provide you!" Maybe if I get really lucky, I can be a trailblazer. I can set a new standard somewhere of how we're treated on the job or in the world. Not "tolerated", not beings needing "fixing", not throwaways or misfits- but individuals who think and work outside the box. The very things companies try to deaden in people - their individual traits and particular working styles - could be what revitalizes our stale, stagnant economy. Homogeneity is overrated. If the world at large harnessed the brains, humor, passion, love, and wisdom I see within this forum alone...businesses and other enterprises could completely turn around! If I get the chance, maybe I can help break down that wall of shame still hovering over these disabilities in college and the workplace, make it easier for those who come after me.

I want to get to old age, look back and say, "I may not have had a great start in life, but I sure had a wonderful finish!"
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  #109  
Old 07-29-15, 11:57 PM
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Re: The Grief process after being diagnosed with Adult ADD/ADHD.

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Originally Posted by WheresMyMind View Post
Why do you believe it is your ADHD that gave you drive and ability to resolve complex problems? Those are not attributes typically associated with ADHD. Those of us with ADHD generally struggle with difficult problems, because they require sustained attention.

I know many people who do not appear to have ADHD who are abundantly loaded with drive, ambition and complex-problem solving ability.

Thanks

WMM
Multiple lines of thought....
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  #110  
Old 07-30-15, 01:37 AM
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Re: The Grief process after being diagnosed with Adult ADD/ADHD.

Occasionally I will realize I am in some stage of grieving my diagnosis (5 years later), but honestly, most days I am more grateful to possess a greater understanding of myself, and what I can choose to do to better meet my needs and have a better quality of life, as opposed to wandering, wounded and lost. The situation is what it is, and I accept that. I choose to move forward, because I’ve tried every other option and they are all painful and not life-affirming.

That said, there’s another side to it. I’ve grieved enough in my life already. ADHD? Join the queue of things I wish were otherwise, and I’ll have time for you after I’m dead.
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Old 07-30-15, 02:45 PM
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Re: The Grief process after being diagnosed with Adult ADD/ADHD.

Thank you for posting this!!

I just sent it to my family, because they still don't think anything is wrong with me.

I went through a pretty bad grieving process while also grieving my past relationship. I didn't realize what was a matter with me until my ex had broken up with me.

I am still coping/learning more about myself, but I am still shocked at how so much of my life, who I am, little things I do on a day to day basis or struggle with is attained to my Adult ADD.

My ex didn't see it, and refused to acknowledge it--but now I am on a road to better myself.

I still have moments where I daydream about a day where I will be fully independent, able to handle all tasks that I struggle with on a day to day basis.

But I know that it's unattainable. I am truly shocked i made it this far to tell you the truth!

But I am working towards better the weaknesses of how I live, to be a more complete person. I will never be perfect....but I can at least get better at some of my weaknesses.
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  #112  
Old 10-29-15, 11:14 PM
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Re: The Grief process after being diagnosed with Adult ADD/ADHD.

I'm learning about grief. And anger. I’ve had ADHD for fifty years. It was diagnosed six months ago. Fifty years of this crap! Fifty years of stumbling through a life in which my own thoughts look like bright lights and shadows in a thick fog over a landscape of gummy worms and spaghetti. In a couple of weeks I’ll be 58 years old. That’s pushing sixty for crying out loud and I feel like an angst-ridden teenager! It’s ridiculous. I’m embarrassed to be alive.
My efforts to keep people at arms length have been hugely successful. My attempts at communication with others are either impulsive and obnoxious or strangely incomprehensible. And I guess that’s ok since I become terribly uncomfortable when anyone shows an interest in me.
I mostly keep my mouth shut because I can’t stand “that look.” That look that always follows my saying something that doesn’t make sense, something that begins as a lucid thought but gets somehow scrambled before it reaches my lips. The look that says, “Uh... what?” You know the look, don’t you? “Could you please say that again - in English?” or “Do your keepers know you’re out running around loose?” Maybe you haven’t seen “the look.” Count your blessings. It can make your heart turn to jelly and your soul wither.
I’m supposed to be working right now. I’ve tried all day and there’s just no use. Strattera worked for a while and then stopped. Last week Adderall was helpful. The past couple of days it has only helped me focus on my complete lack of focus and I’m sick of it.
There. I’m through now. Thanks for letting me rant. When I go off like that on my wife it kind of scares her and makes her want to cheer me up or give me a pep talk. Please, no pep talks. I know my situation isn’t hopeless and I look forward to learning what I can about how to deal with this disorder between my ears. For now I just wanted to talk to someone who knows how it feels.
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  #113  
Old 11-01-15, 04:58 AM
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Re: The Grief process after being diagnosed with Adult ADD/ADHD.

Must say I think I've worked out the exact time I could have started ADD treatment.

I think if one can deal with the depression the rest will fall into place.
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Old 11-01-15, 06:41 AM
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Re: The Grief process after being diagnosed with Adult ADD/ADHD.

Wow i relate to some of this! Will post later today
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Old 11-02-15, 05:01 AM
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Re: The Grief process after being diagnosed with Adult ADD/ADHD.

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I mostly keep my mouth shut because I can’t stand “that look.” That look that always follows my saying something that doesn’t make sense, something that begins as a lucid thought but gets somehow scrambled before it reaches my lips. The look that says, “Uh... what?” You know the look, don’t you? “Could you please say that again - in English?” or “Do your keepers know you’re out running around loose?” Maybe you haven’t seen “the look.” Count your blessings. It can make your heart turn to jelly and your soul wither.
.
Hello,
I don't have the anger you mention nor as much the communication problems, except for the “strangely incomprehensible” sometimes.
I’m not diagnosed and I was just so vastly relieved, when I read about ADHD completely by chance that THERE IS A REASON for my poor working memory, confusion and as you brilliantly wrote “bright lights and shadows in a thick fog over a landscape of gummy worms and spaghetti”. I’m not doing things to secretly sabotage everything or hurt or disappoint people!

But yes I understand and especially “that look”. that look has plagued me my entire life, from preschool until probably yesterday afternoon (I was trying to explain details of how the Royals won the world series to my adult son and got all mixed up). It wasn’t a nasty look just kind of “mom wtf” and if everyone were as kind as my son my life would be much, much easier. And see even now as I type this I am thinking wow that was absolutely awesome how the Royals won the world series, ETC ETC.

You are not alone!
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  #116  
Old 11-02-15, 07:38 AM
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Re: The Grief process after being diagnosed with Adult ADD/ADHD.

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Must say I think I've worked out the exact time I could have started ADD treatment.

I think if one can deal with the depression the rest will fall into place.
True!

Actually, it has been so long now that I choose to grieve for what could have been had I not gotten treatment.
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Old 11-02-15, 07:55 AM
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Re: The Grief process after being diagnosed with Adult ADD/ADHD.

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True!

Actually, it has been so long now that I choose to grieve for what could have been had I not gotten treatment.
Again, good point. I think that's why I try so hard sometimes maybe to get back or salvage what's inside me.
Then I remember the nervous depression, mentally becoming unable to cope and people wiping me from the map.
Then I get on my knees and thank the lord. I always feel better after this.

It seems like I've got to run myself through this little scenario relatively often.
Unless I'm really adsorbed by something. Haha
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  #118  
Old 11-02-15, 08:08 AM
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Re: The Grief process after being diagnosed with Adult ADD/ADHD.

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Again, good point. I think that's why I try so hard sometimes maybe to get back or salvage what's inside me.
Then I remember the nervous depression, mentally becoming unable to cope and people wiping me from the map.
Then I get on my knees and thank the lord. I always feel better after this.

It seems like I've got to run myself through this little scenario relatively often.
Unless I'm really adsorbed by something. Haha
Humbleness and humility never go out of style. I do the same myself unless I'm frantic and irrational!
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Old 11-02-15, 02:58 PM
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Re: The Grief process after being diagnosed with Adult ADD/ADHD.

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You are not alone!
Thank you Stef. That really does help. After posting I read back over what I said and panicked. I thought, "Oh no! People will think I'm some kind of wacko!" and tried to delete it but couldn't figure out how to do it. I love to write but it can get a little overwrought. It''s cathartic. Usually no one reads it.

Quote:
Humbleness and humility never go out of style.
Very true Little Missy. When I start thinking "Poor me, I'm all alone. Nobody understands," it means I'm forgetting how blessed I really am and forgetting that there are others whose road is much rougher than mine who keep their heads up and keep doing the next thing.
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Old 11-02-15, 07:44 PM
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Re: The Grief process after being diagnosed with Adult ADD/ADHD.

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Originally Posted by George S View Post
Thank you Stef. That really does help. After posting I read back over what I said and panicked. I thought, "Oh no! People will think I'm some kind of wacko!" and tried to delete it but couldn't figure out how to do it. I love to write but it can get a little overwrought. It''s cathartic. Usually no one reads it.


Very true Little Missy. When I start thinking "Poor me, I'm all alone. Nobody understands," it means I'm forgetting how blessed I really am and forgetting that there are others whose road is much rougher than mine who keep their heads up and keep doing the next thing.
I'm glad you wrote what you wrote. I know what it's like to be 50 something and feel like an angst-ridden teenager sometimes.

I also know that you don't always feel exactly how you felt while posting that. Not every single minute of every single day.
Just that sometimes, it gets on top of you and you just have to say to out loud to people who get it!
(Like us).

It's frustrating to deal with ADHD in a world of people that largely don't have to deal with this or have much understanding.

Sometimes we have to let it out - vent and call it as it is, today. You didn't make it to here in life without getting lots of things right; we all know that too.

"That look" just reminds me these days that I need to keep away from those types... these people with their boastful, achievement-focussed, ego-based personas leading their show.... and refocus on genuine people who don't enjoy making others uncomfortable.

The question that keeps me going every morning is.... now that I know, how do I want to manage my life from here?
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