In October of 2008, I wrote this:
Single mom, trying to raise my son – very smart, very active, strong-willed and sometimes stubborn – all by myself; I volunteer at the school, involve him in sports, music lessons and lots of play-dates; he has lots of friends and talks incessantly. I get so worn out and scattered; sometimes I feel like I am failing at being the kind of mom that I want to be.
Responsible for caring for and providing for my mother, including meal preparation, grocery shopping, pharmacy pickups, driving to medical appointments and taking her to church every week. Helping her with miscellaneous things and listening to her chatter, trying always to accommodate her and meet her needs. I increasingly feel resentful and irritable, but still, she is very dear and I worry for her.
Solely responsible for all housework and related tasks, pet care, yard work, laundry for the three of us, cleaning, maintenance, scheduling, paying bills – everything, it’s a huge job; chaos often reigns.
Trying to earn a living and pay for all expenses amidst everything else; financial situation often feels dire. Trying to keep afloat two businesses, neither of which I am very successful with, nor which I really want to do. Discouraged, bored, depressed.
Trying to take care of myself and carve out time to pursue creative and personal goals, find some joy, peace, and fulfillment. Frustrated; feelings of guilt, resentment, and confusion.
I am challenged by hormonal issues (“perimenopause”) and trying to cope with being middle-aged. Sometimes it is very difficult to hold myself together.
And then I started seeing Molly, joined her ADHD Group. This causes me to re-evaluate my whole reality map, my perception about everything; constantly examine myself and what I am doing.
I feel completely dysfunctional. Full of “existential angst” and discomfort, I am feeling depression, anger, fear, hopelessness – who am I? I don’t know what I am doing. All I ever do is to react and put out fires, always playing catch-up, I just try to be a decent parent if nothing else.
Feeling anger and depression about ADD – six years ago I discovered my ADD, got help, took my meds and have tried to do the best I can. I didn’t really try to learn more about it. But now I realize my “best” isn’t good enough – and there is so much more to learn.
In November of 2008, I wrote:
I think what it all comes down to is two-fold and basically simple: (1) I lack basic life-management skills and have never learned how to deal with what are essentially ADD-unfriendly tasks: organization, time management, and money. I am not good at these things. I am good at chaos, not that I like it; and (2) I have never known how to pursue a vocation that gives me joy and pleasure, I have always denied my true gifts. And I have never had enough money.
Having a child is the only thing in my life that has ever made me feel worthwhile or important. But that is not enough. I have always felt like a failure despite the fact that I have had success with lots of things. I did well at school. I have done very well at every job I’ve ever had – my only failure has been to always end up bored and depressed and then not always show up when I was supposed to. In fact, I have always been quite good at just about everything I’ve ever tried to do – at least for a while. EXCEPT… manage money, manage time, keep things in order, be happy, and figure out what it is I want to do, and do it. My enemies have always been time (passes too swiftly), money (means too little and there’s never enough), and frequent all-consuming boredom and frustration.
It appears I was the ADD Poster Child before anyone ever heard of ADD. Can I please have twenty years back for wasted time?????!!!!!
I’ve always tried to be who I’ve thought I’m supposed to be instead of who I am; I’ve tried on so many different personaes, but nothing has ever been good enough.
I’ve always believed that if I could solve the puzzle of Money vs. Time – if I had more of both – then perhaps I could discover who I am and wow the world.
I want to share the beauty and wonder of life with my son and make his world magical. Instead I’ve become stuck in the drudge, just trying to survive.
And I can’t teach my son about time or money management – ha! – no wonder we have the issues we do.
But I can encourage imagination and interests – the sky’s the limit in what he can do with his life. I can encourage him to use his gifts. Everyone in my family was an underachiever, ADD or not – all three of us. Wonders, I’d be disadvantaged even without ADD it seems. Because of GUILT: unnecessary, nonproductive, EVIL. Guilt is life-stealing. Fear is also. Life-stealing.
But, I can learn life skills; time, money, organization. And pursue my dreams, my creativity, feed my soul. Find an income solution that WORKS; that I can live with – that doesn’t make me sell my soul again. I never, ever used to understand any of this, it was not logical. Now I know WHY – after all these years, goodness gracious.
And here is an excerpt of what I wrote in December, for my Annual Summary:
The single most significant thing that has happened to me this year is that I sought out help for my ADD and I found Molly and joined this group. It has opened up a whole world of possibilities to me; things that I had no hope of there ever being any resolution for.
My sister has indicated to me that she can already see many changes in me for the better. What I am seeing and experiencing is that I am having to completely re-write my life-long perceptions of just about everything. It’s almost like I’m re-routing neurons in my brain. At times it has been extremely uncomfortable, even scary. To realize that my view of the world has been flawed, is mind-boggling. I have no solid ground to stand on. But for the first time, I have some belief that things can change for the better in my life.
While I am suddenly being forced to face myself and my inadequacies head-on and admit my failings, at the same time I am learning to embrace what is good about me – to take ownership of my creative, nutty side as well and to feel good about expressing that part of myself. ADD may have caused me enormous pain and problems in my life, but it also has gifted me with my unique perceptions and style. If there are solutions to the problems, I can be grateful for the gifts. And I guess that’s what it’s all about.
Every year we are asked to apply a word to represent the year. This year, my word was: “ENLIGHTENMENT.”