Friday, March 5, 2010

It's not just the lack of internet access...

One of the weird issues I was having with my computer involved only being able to get the internet access to connect when the computer was tilted "just so". Or sitting on a table (and even then, only for a few minutes at a time).

Here's where ADHD comes into the picture: I CANNOT WORK AT A TABLE OR DESK. Not when doing mental work anyway.

If I can't control my work conditions, I can't stop thinking about the conditions. Flashback to me in grade school, stomach aching at dissatisfaction with the overhead lighting, which overstimulated me to an uncomfortable point. Or when I didn't like the chairs in the classroom...argghhh...or at my old advertising job where I kept the light in my office off all day and would listen to music on headphones, and get a crap ton of work done...until my idiot co-workerse would walk by, see the light off, and go "OH, HERE, LET ME TURN YOUR LIGHT ON FOR YOU!" as though I "forgotten" to turn it on...

I think it finally got fixed today and before I headed out for the day I was able to complete a few tasks IN MY BED on my laptop. I get so much work done in my bed it's unbelievable. And for weeks that option has been unavailable to me.

At work, at my desk? I struggle, quite frankly, to stay on task.


For the first time in weeks I'm looking forward to working all weekend on my projects that I'm behind on. Good part about working in bed is the cats and dog that will certainly join me and snooze while I type.

Anxiety, pro and con

On the one hand, when my anxiety runs about unchecked, I am very productive. It's like there's a fire under my ass and I just keep producing.

On the other hand, I am running around anticipating something bad happening. Nothing in particular. Vigilant. My brain is a computer trying to send a message, but it can't find a it just searches and searches and searches...and searches...even though I may be exhausted. Even though my logical mind has assessed the situation and determined that there are no threats, and nothing else that should warrant the state of vigilance. It's part of what drives me to get so much done, because I really just can't stop...if I do stop, then I get really anxious, I want to drink something, I want to DO something, I want to smoke cigarettes that I normally wouldn't because I'm not even a smoker. So I work.

Nothing is more annoying to me than when people say "oh, make a list and keep it by your bed and write things down and then you'll feel SOOOOO much better!". Sooooooo doesn't work for me. Oh I write things down...I write whole novels full of notes, ideas, etc...between the anxiety and the ADHD my brain is constantly occupied. I could be up writing things down all night. Sometimes I nearly am!

Last night the vigilance and the sense of dread were too much. I had asked my boyfriend about 20 times "are you okay" because I was trying to find something wrong to explain my anxiety...but of course...nothing was wrong. Nothing was wrong. That's good...but when your chemicals in your brain are misfiring despite the logic that ALSO lives in your brain telling you to stop...this is where we find the line between worry and disorder.

I still don't want to take anything for it right away. I need to just finish this last semester. that I know what it's like to NOT feel this way all the time, it's breaking my heart to feel this way again.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hyperfocus has its benefits...

...and last night, the benefit was that I nearly finished a formal dress for an event that I'm going to this weekend, in one night. I draped and pinned that sucker into a state of I stitch it, hem it, and voila...instant formal gown.
Sewing, for me, is one of the things that hold my attention to a shocking degree.
I'll post a pic of the dress when it's totally finished :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I've got more ADHD drugs than a 3rd grade classroom...

Went to my prescriber today...we decided that I don't need to take anxiety medication right now. Why? Because the damned side-effect anxiety from the drugs is worse than the anxiety I was being treated for in the first place. I have a teeny Ativan stash for the sticky moments, and I'm way too much of a control freak to be an addict, so for now, that's fine.


However, we raised the dosage on my Concerta, and he gave me a booster of a generic Methlypheniblahblahblahblah (I don't have the bottle right here) for if I feel like I need it after the Concerta wears off in the evening.

We'll see how this goes. So far so good with the Concerta. I sound like a total drug addict saying this but it's seriously smooth sh*t. You don't notice it kicking in until you notice you're not, you know, being hyper. Don't notice it wearing off until suddenly you notice that you're being, you know...hyper.

Am I anxious? Yup. But am I productive? Oh hell yes. I had lost a bit of my productive edge through this process of trying to treat both the ADHD and the anxiety. I missed it. I liked it. We still need to deal with the fact that my brain is wired at night like none other and it's not because of the stimulant, I'm just like that. However, when he suggested that if I'm going to be a perpetual motion machine during the day I am at least sleep at night... my response was oh HELL no.

I work part time as a criminal defense paralegal...I've actually worked with clients who have been arrested for DUI because they were sleepwalking on Ambien...not to mention some of the more comical side effects that you can Google for yourself.

No thanks. For now, this is the plan and I'm sticking with it.

Your ADHD Children Will Be Just Fine

One of my favorite reasons for outing myself as an Adult ADHDer is to see the reaction when parents of ADHD children hear this news.

They like to see a successful, creative adult...with ADHD...standing in front of them.

It makes me realize how much some of them worry, because they often look stunned.

Makes me realize how much some of them really worry that their children will never be able to make something of their lives.

ADHD affects different people differently...but you know, however it affects YOU, you still have choices. We all have choices. Some of the choices we have to make as ADHDers are a little different from the choices that normy brains might have to make...but that's life. ADHD is just one challenge that can be thrown your way in the genetic lottery. Whatever your challenges, it's up to you to decide what to do with your strengths.

It's like I said to a dear friend the other some point, whatever the hell is bugging you, you may as well choose to live. And choosing to "live" and embrace life with ADHD is a pretty amazing adventure. Like any good adventure it will involved a few asskickings, either from others, or from yourself (get automatic shut off irons!)...but the unpredictable mayhem cam sometimes be really fun.

Something that really helped me as a young adult, was to look at my life and think "look at all of this chaos in my life...what parts do I have control over? and what does that mean?". I also decided that I needed to start really addressing the sloppier parts of my life that were affecting other people (leaving in the middle of other people special events and occasions, showing up late all the time...etc...). Working on those goals, even though I had not been diagnosed at that point, really helped me to start directing my life in a new way.

You know what else parents? You may have kids with ADHD and they may not "succeed" as perfectly as you might envision...but even kids without ADHD blow their choices. That's not a strictly ADHD-induced phenomenon. Like any kids, if you teach kids with ADHD to make the best possible choices they can...with practice, they'll learn. They might need a little extra practice but who cares...not everyone is perfect at everything the first time.

I still clean my room the same way my mother taught me to when I was 8. I sort things into piles according to what they are. It can be whatever you want...ponies in one pile, pjs in makes cleaning interesting and it gets the job done. I then have baskets and drawers (clear plastic ones so I can remember what's in them) and can dump stuff in there. I don't fold laundry, but I do put it away. My point...any kids, including ADHD kids can learn skills that will help them later on.

Don't worry about perfect...don't think about failure. Just keep plugging away and being solution oriented with your kids...not deficit oriented. That word is so freaking pointless. Choose solutions...choose life...choose to give them the skills that will help them make better choices later.

Lots of wicked smaht people out there with ADHD...doing life every day...finding unique me!

The Horror of No Internet Access

I have learned to use lots of tools on the internet to organize my life and be productive. So what happens when the ol' internet access isn't working so great? Like for the last few weeks?


Today I've been working desperately to get caught up on emails, processing stuff...all the details of my life that I literally can't get done otherwise.

I use my email inbox to organize my "to-dos". I have different folders in my email accounts (yes, I have different accounts for different purposes, because otherwise I would go insane from the sheer volume...I get sometimes hundreds of emails per week). The folders are all for very specific things "Applications Needing Review", "Processed Applications"...folders for specific friends who send me a lot of email "Diane 2008"..."Diane 2009"..."Diane 2010"...I love Diane, she sends me tons of emails :)

I use online calendars from Google to schedule events and share the scheduling and payment info with my co-producers.

I have my blog which allows me to communicate and share with the ADHD universe.

Speaking of would be annoying to anyone to be disconnected from their organizing universe...but I'm an ADHDer...I have worked hard to reach this state of "life management" and I kick ass at it. But only when my tools are in working order. I have to work to externally organize what is internally explosive and free-flowing. I have to SEE my organized universe for it to even exist.

We had a storm last week that has screwed with phone access too, so I haven't even been able to call the internet provider to get them to fix this crap once and for I'm on my work computer...gotta do what you gotta do...and me, I have a LOT to do...