Thursday, October 22, 2009

Instead of spackling cracks, I'm gonna spackle yer big yap shut...

While I've always been a bit of an oddball, I feel like I used to be "better" at "appearing normal". I used to work so hard at it because I thought it was normal to have to do that, I guess. I think that part of what lead to me seeking diagnosis and treatment was the fact that I had a) pushed myself past my limits in terms of what I could successfully juggle and b) once I did, the cracks started to show.

Once I was aware of the cracks there was no turning back. that's not quite right either. I already WAS aware of the cracks, I just thought it was normal to spend so much energy spackling them over and realized there wasn't enough spackle in the universe to spackle these cracks, lol.

Thinking about this because I feel a little bit inside out lately. Like the conversation with the boyfriend where I announced that I was not listening and needed him to repeat. Like how I just explain to people up front now, that I really suck at remembering things, so if I don't have my notebook with me, they'll have to send me an email. (I'll learn to be more graceful over time, I'm sure, but lately I just "announce" things, more for myself than for others probably, haha.) And because I have been open about this process with family and friends, I now have a contingent who seem to feel it's their job to "comment" on it and share their opinions of what they see. But not in a helpful way. Not in a simple asking me if I need help with something kind of way. They comment. They comment again. I politely explain whatever it is they are commenting on...they comment again. I have a small growing list of people that I'm simply going to have to distance myself from for a little while so I can grow through this stage without their misguided commentary. (Ex: I have lost some weight because of the meds experiments, most of which I've gained back now...yesterday in the course of five minutes my father stated "Your pants are baggy." THREE TIMES. And then refused to listen to my explanation.) They don't want to actually hear what's going on, they just want to comment on it. I don't really care what is compelling them, or what they're getting from it. I'm too fragile and exposed right now to have to put up with it right now. I can't carry them, I'm working hard enough carrying myself.

And this inside out phase is very important for me to work through. And I need them to just shut the eff up about it.

If I don't learn to let go of all of those ways that I was hiding, and coping...I will never learn to live in a new way, and I can't just move through this with them blabbing. It's like...seriously, it's like when I was 14 and finally hit puberty and got a whole new body and my dad's comment on it was "you're fat all of a sudden". I weighed 125 lbs and I'm 5'4". I was not only not fat, but imagine how great that was for a young girl who was just thrust into a whole new body that she needed to get used to. Having this whole experience over again, but with my emotions and living habits this time? Not cool. And I don't have to put up with it this time. And I don't care that adult ADHD might even be HIS excuse for blurting out inappropriate shit all the time...I don't need to listen to that right now.

ANYWAY, my point is that I have had to let go of these old ways that I used to keep myself "reigned in" because really, they weren't working anymore anyway, I couldn't pretend anymore.

That's what brought me to asking for help. I wonder how many other adult ADHDers have a similar experience. Of holding things together, sort of, for years and years and years...I know that what drove me to seek help was a feeling that "everything was going to fall apart finally and I wasn't going to be able to stop it from happening". Probably ALL of us have some version of this experience, or indeed, we would have been diagnosed earlier (those of us who weren't dx'ed as kids anyway).

This stage now? It's me cleaning out the rest of the remnants, debriding the scars...and THEN, redecorating. Instead of pretending to be normal, I'm now simply figuring out what works for me and trying to throw out the term normal altogether.

I just bet that a lot of ADHDers have that experience, of realizing that for some reason you just couldn't hold it together...and that other people don't have to work as hard as you do, in order to hold things together.

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