Sunday, May 20, 2012


Okay everyone, I am moving the blog over the Wordpress (don't even get me's going to have to be a blog post because I can't even believe how janky Wordpress is...but that's another story...). I haven't totally finished but go check it out and let me know what you think!

- Mrs. Rollins

Thursday, May 3, 2012

So I eat horribly. And dairy products are evil.

At this point in my life, proactive thinking has become a compulsion, thank gawd. So even though I'm in the same crappy space I've been in since I haven't been able to afford meds (still working on that, I just have to remember to make that phone call!) I'm thinking a lot about my diet.

My journey to figuring out I had what we call ADHD and that I should probably starting dealing with myself in reality truly began without a diagnosis in my early twenties, when I acknowledged that I was not taking care of my own basic needs. I realized that not eating regularly, for example, was not making my life any easier. So I started making myself eat regularly and pay attention to my body's hunger signals.

I had trained myself to ignore them as a teen, when I feared that I was fat at a whopping 125lbs (and I'm 5'4" so clearly it was my thinking and not my body that had the issue). I retrained myself to listen. The added challenge for me of course is that anxiety makes me not want to eat...but I still worked at it consciously and improved the frequency with which I ate.

In my early 30s I started thinking about it again and adhering somewhat to the glycemic index as a guide, helping me make food choices that didn't screw with my blood sugar quite so much - hypoglycemia is an issue for me.

And now it's time for my next change.

I'm in my late 30s now and what I've learned in the past two years is that having small children makes parents eat horribly even if they are attentive to making sure the children get healthy food. What brought me to this current reassessment of my diet:

1) I'm feeling awful without my meds, and poor diet will only make me feel worse.
2) The tiny therapist in my head (which is funny because my therapist is already very tiny) is totally nodding in agreement.
3) One of my freelance clients is a "health product purveyor" and it's got me thinking about the quality of what I put into my body.
4) I have always been lactose intolerant and I hit bottom in my relationship with dairy yesterday.

Even in times when I have given up other sweets, I have been able to enjoy ice cream, thanks to its fat content and the fact that, despite my lactose intolerance, it didn't seem to bother me. Until yesterday. I had an ice cream cone for lunch. And spent the rest of the day and evening feeling like sand paper had been dragged through my entire digestive tract, and other assorted GI symptoms that you probably don't need more details on.

So...I know that I need to eat more healthfully and make sure that I'm eating regularly...and that I have to cut out most dairy.

I'm going to start tomorrow by just focusing on eating whole foods. Fresh meats. Real veggies. Nuts. Grains with good glycemic index ratings like quinoa and barley. Nothing crazy. No diet. Just foods that are processed 15 times over. Foods that I cook myself. Foods that frankly set a good example for the kids. I'm not gonna freak out if it's not perfect but I'm going to try to keep this in the front of my mind. I used to cook for myself for heaven's sake. No reason I can't do that again.

And it'll give me something to focus on besides the fact that I'm feeling so out of sorts.

Monday, April 30, 2012

When there is no ADHD medication, there is liquor.

So I don't have insurance, I'm out of Concerta, I have regular methylphenidate but it sucks and...I'm drinking Tuscan Lemonade. Yes, yes I am. I'm not drunk. I'm not irresponsible. But I'm drinking alcohol to take the edge off of...the edge. Because I have a life to live and it's after normal work hours, and I need a break from working hard to pretend that I don't feel horrendous.

The definition of horrendous can be subjective, so for the sake of clarity I'll elaborate: I'm cranky, I'm grumpy, I'm less patient, I can't stand bright lights, I really REALLY don't want to talk to or deal with people...even though nobody knows it...because I'm working very hard to not be a jerk to people. And it's exhausting and a little painful.

Tuscan Lemonade is a delightful premixed concoction of vodka and lemonade. And it's goooood. Just a touch of it and voila, I still want to sit in the dark but I can share space with other human beings, which is important because I share a home with four of them.

Anybody out there watch Victorious on the Disney Channel? Well you know there's Tori, the good girl heroine and there's Jade, her dark alter ego. Well a week ago I was Tori, and since running out of the Concerta (because I don't have insurance...and just found out it would cost over $400 a month to maintain it for my healthy under 40 self...what?!) I have become Jade. I think I'll be stuck in Jade mode for a while. Which is something I need to think about...because I can't use alcohol as a coping method indefinitely. Even if I'm not using it to get snockered, it's just not a good idea.

Tomorrow I'm going to do a little research to see how much the generic Concerta will cost without insurance - I'll call the pharmacy. And if that doesn't pan out well...well I'll see what other options I have. Tonight, I'll have just a touch more Tuscan Lemonade and offer a toast to living in a country where people who work perfectly reasonable middle class jobs can't afford health insurance. And the Disney Channel shows that keep us from asking too many questions about it.

Struggling with "I can't"

Though I frequently succeed at putting forth a facade of effectiveness, I frequently struggle with the words "I can't" and their impact on my ability to make things happen.

I am thinking it over and over today. I'm in one of those spaces right now where the "I can't" voice is very loud. I had a disappointment yesterday, that's probably part of it (an event didn't go as well as I'd hoped). I believe too, that part of it is anxiety.

I know that my to-do list is large, and I keep telling myself that I will feel better about everything if I just push forward, and into, and through, and past the list. But all I want to do right now is climb into a blanket and burrito myself into a silent cocoon.

The reality, the fact of the situation, is that even when you are self-employed, you still have things that you HAVE to do, if you want to retain any hope of paying your bills. I will push past this. I will make at least a healthy dent in this list. But today it will be a struggle. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Don't get too comfortable...especially if you don't have health insurance

I haven't been very posty lately because things are going well and I've been balls to the wall busy. But that doesn't mean life is perfect!

One of the few major imperfections in my otherwise rosy world right now: I can't afford Concerta because I don't have health insurance at the moment.

And let me tell you...well I probably don't HAVE to tell you...THAT SUCKS.

It's such a subtle companion, Concerta, that I don't notice I'm even taking it until I'm not taking it, and then I get a crash course in how life used to be. Life used to be bitchy, cranky, irritable, impatient, mercurial...oh wait, that's not life, that's ME that used to be that way.

I'm really having a moment this time though...I can't believe I went through as much of life as I did, before treatment, without literally joining a secluded, monastic sect of some kind, that cuts itself off from the outside world and lives in silence. I'm so provoked and irritable...and I am not used to feeling that way frequently anymore so it amplifies for me that I was working horribly hard to tolerate the rest of the human race...that I was gruesomely stressed out for decades...

The more accustomed I become to peace in my life, the lower and lower my tolerance for chaos. Without medication, it have to work very, very hard to navigate my internal chaos because it amplifies. Oh, it amplifies.

I am taking regular 5mg methylphenidate tablets...which are adequate until you know, they wear off and that janky, nasty feeling takes over when your body manually shifts back to what-the-fuck gear. The best part (insert sarcasm here) is that I never know it's wearing off until I'm already wtf-ing.

When I can either afford insurance again, or simply afford the Concerta (or its twinsy generic which is still alarmingly expensive for a generic) life is gonna be better than rolling in donuts.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

This life experiment is still rolling along successfully

Which is really why I haven't had much to write about. When life is just working there's no angst to grease the verbiage and roll it along.

I am enjoying splitting time between my home office and the office downtown that I share with my mother. I am making the interpersonal connections that I need to in order to make my projects roll forward. I am taking on a few new projects as I roll along, easily replacing the salary I left behind.

It just works. It just moves along as it should.

Wow, that sounds really boring. But it's not -  for the first time in my life I feel peaceful.

It's so good.

I still recalibrate from time to time to make sure I'm doing what I need to do, in order to keep my life orderly - as I will for the rest of my life. And I'm not allowed to stay in bed past 8:30am. I share a home with people who are still "on the grid" of course, and the people I freelance for tend to have "normal" schedules as well. It's a logical concession, not an arbitrary one, so I'm willing to make it. I don't miss other people's arbitrary rules.

The world feels wide again. I am meeting good people again. I feel appreciated again, by the people that I am working with and for. And I am doing good work. Transition is awkward, but I'm taking it in stride (and writing in cliches, apparently).

Que bueno.

Friday, March 2, 2012

My new job: getting paid to have ADHD

I'm leaving my desk job but I am NOT leaving the world of the working, nor am I going to be joining medical studies seeking adults with ADHD.

But I AM giving myself permission to, well, do what I do naturally, which is do like, three things at once at all times.

I have spent my whole life fighting this, because of the pressure to figure out what one wants to do when one grows up, and it is often implied that you must be a _________ in order to answer that question. Well I AM going to answer that question. I am an entrepreneur. I am a woman of many hats. I am an idea generator. I am an operationalizer.

The bottom line is that as long as I am also a mortgage payer and grocery buyer and dog/cat/lizard food purchaser and procurer of beer and occasional sweet gifts for my husband and children, I am also a: SUCCESS.

HA. How'd ya like THAT word?

So I am further cultivating and deepening my events business. I am picking up marketing work which allows me to further use the skills I use for my own business, in applying them creatively for other people's businesses. And I am rekindling my creative business (I sew things and I sell them).

I am now four weeks into the experiment (as I phase out of my desk job...last week is next week) and guess what? It's working. Money is coming in. Almost enough money to totally replace my desk job paycheck with the realistic potential for more to come.

I cannot write this entry for an ADHD blog though, without addressing a couple of things that are probably screaming in the front of your mind as loudly as they were in my own before I made a plan: OMG, HOW WILL YOU STAY ORGANIZED AND BUDGET YOUR TIME AND KEEP THINGS ORGANIZED AND GET STUFF DONE AND - 

Yeah's the thing: I am always, ALWAYS more productive, focused and organized when I am interested in what I'm doing, when I am allowed to use my creativity and by creativity I don't always mean making art I sometimes mean creatively thinking to produce business systems and solutions...I am a good organizer when given the freedom to do so, because I find that kind of thing engaging.

I have created systems for myself for EVERYTHING. Some I anticipated a need for in advance...some I have had to create in a moment of realization.

I got a larger bag to carry around with me. It has a giant middle pocket for big stuff (my laptop sleeve fits in there) - it has two large side pockets, one for my wallet, one for my makeup. It has a spot for pens and a spot for my phone that are right next to each other and easily accessible. I have end pockets that are perfect for my camera, and my "cords": computer cord, camera cord, phone cord. I also got a new wallet that has room for everything that I need and which allows me to replace and remove things easily (if it's not easy, I won't use it).

Then...THEN...I got folders for each project and stuck them in my bag. I have a paper heavy life and I need all of those notes and papers and such and I need to have them with I file them in my bag right into marked folders. When the number of folders got larger I got more folders and I got one of those accordion files that squishes - it holds my folders AND it fits in my bag. I also got clear, protective envelopes to put things in like bank deposits (to keep personal and business deposits separate). I also got two notebooks for logging my freelance hours, one for each "area" of life that I needed one for.

And THEN: I have been really meticulous about putting things where they go, with the understanding that I will only screw myself if I don't. And I enjoy using the systems because I'm proud of myself for thinking them up in the first place.

As for keeping records...I have my two log books for just writing things down...and I have been rocking my online spreadsheet for my events. ROCKING IT. Entering all the info.'s working.

My immediate goal is an income of a certain number that we shall not disclose, but once that goal is reached, my next goal - is hiring someone else to do some of the grunt work. Just a few hours a week. Because nobody, and certainly nobody with ADHD actually LIKES to do stuff like data entry and filing for longer than they have to. Oh I'll do it if I have to. But I'm very motivated to try to have someone that's not me do it.

In conclusion: I am getting paid to have ADHD. To have it, to acknowledge it, to plan for the ideas that my wild brain gives me, and to anticipate obstacles that ADHD may throw at me (as well as the ones that life itself will throw), to figure out how to work with, not against, those obstacles, and to simply get the job done. Doing three different things that all satisfy me in different ways. Because I'm a ____________. Ha!