Today I’m struggling with ADHD and life - CHADD's Adult ADH...

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Today I’m struggling with ADHD and life

Bkooda profile image

Hi. I’m struggling tonight with worry and anxiety about my present and future, once again that paralysed state of mind. I’m 35 and diagnosed a few months ago with ADHD. Just thought I’d put my thoughts down on here as I’ve got no one to talk to about it. You know that sad feeling where you just want to cry but don’t and the feeling lingers, yeh that.

So following diagnosis and taking Elvanse (Vyvanse) I’m starting to think of where my life’s going (again). I’ve had numerous jobs in the past and moved on or lost them out of lack of attention to detail, boredom, can’t see where it’s heading or not being permanent and when it is the same issues previously mentioned. I’m worried about getting back into work (left/lost the last job at a University after a anxiety attack/depression) and the whole cycle happening again. I’m quite intelligent, kind and not bad looking if I do say so myself. I used to be ‘the popular guy’ with girls but they have no idea what’s going on because I shield myself. But I’ve been single for 8 years out of choice, previous mentally abusive relationship, points for fear of not being good enough, unsettled in jobs, don’t drive, lack of direction, not knowing what to do career wise to get that direction blah blah. The biggest failure in my life I feel would be not settling down and having a family myself. I’m just back in that lost place again and could really do with someone who’s been through the mud that they made it and life’s worth carrying on for

12 Replies

I'm doing the same thing at 2 am My brain just won't shut off. I'm not on any medication so you would think I could sleep. My brain just won't shut down and I've even taken a Xanax. Or, I think I have.

Hi BkoodaI’m 56 and diagnosed in July. Whenever I feel “at fault” or lost or afraid I will never “learn my lesson” I also spend the nights beating myself up. And I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I’ve decided that I can be a jack of all trades and master of none. I now have a job that keeps me learning - and more importantly, allows me to help others be successful.

What has helped me greatly reduce the number of those nights has been learning to accept that the past is just that - past. It isn’t easy to do. But when I look at the good things in my life, I realize that it’s the past that is responsible for the present. It’s the present that forms the future.

Some of the things I would not change, that I hold on to with my whole heart are :

My children, now in their 30’s

My 2 yr old granddaughter

Escaping a verbally and mentally abusive 32 yr marriage

Learning that I Am Lovable and Capable (even when things don’t go right) and so are you.

Not everything is my fault or my responsibility

And, of course, my Headspace app that I use after I crawl into bed does wonders to catch my breath and let go of what I cannot change

When I open my eyes in the morning I find one good thing to be thankful for. With the colder weather, this morning I was thankful for a warm bed. I have so much to be thankful for and those are the things I actively call to mind.

It isn’t easy to overcome our fears of repeating the past. But a good therapist really does help. And so can a good ADHD coach.

But even if we have all the right tools and support, we are human and humans make mistakes. All humans make mistakes. I make mistakes all day long, every day. I can get very upset over things I do that really don’t change the meaning and value of life. Sure I lose time, energy, sometimes money but in the end no one died and the world didn’t end.

I don’t know if any of this helps. Those nights with the brain refusing to slow down for sleep are very lonely.

Sorry this is so long

Hey there,

Sorry to hear you are struggling. I am 43 and was diagnosed at 33. I have never taken meds consistently, but when I did I, I did notice a difference. I took an Extended release amphetamine, but I can't remember the name. Anyhow, the diagnosis sure explained a lot of my past and how I got to where I was. There are several good books out there that may be worth looking at. "You mean I am not lazy, stupid, or crazy?!" is a really good one that gave me good insight into everything I was dealing with.

I have switched jobs several times mostly out of boredom. I am not sure how anyone stays in a job for more than 5 years. I still struggle with boredom at my job. I have not found an answer to that. I am still not sure what I want to do when I grow up. Lol.

I am married and I will say that ADHD has greatly impacted my relationships with my wife, my family and my friends.

With my marriage it is my lack of time management and follow through. I expend all my energy keeping track of things at work, that by the time I get home keeping track of things for my family and personal life is a real struggle as I am exhausted after an 8 hour day. I hate the 40 hour to 50 hour a week grind that we are stuck with if we want a conventional job that pays well.

If I could give any advice it would be own who you are. Having ADHD yes can cause some issues, but there are so many benefits as well. My spontaneous, creative, funny, zest for life and living in the moment are positives that I get from ADHD. Be honest with future relationships and let them know in advance before it gets serious what you struggle with. Also, don't accept being with someone who is over critical of your shortcomings. It took a long time, and my wife and I have been through some dark times caused by my ADHD. She is a type A very organized and driven person and I know I drive her crazy at times, but I also help her find balance and to recognize there is a time to relax and take it easy. Here is a list of things that have helped me be more successful.

Keys for success:

Don't be too hard on yourself

Set goals

Keep a running to do list - with steps for reaching goals as well as daily life stuff

Make time at least a couple times a week to look at the running to do list

Use your phone for reminders with alarms - so set scheduled alarms on phone

A white board I can put notes on, placed somewhere where I see it every day

In regards to sleep I have always struggled. The only thing that works for me is listening to slow easy going music to help me focus on the music rather than the million things running through my mind. This helps me fall asleep.

Life is an adventure definitely worth living and settling down and establishing a family is one of the best things I have done and as much as I hate the 40 hour a week grind, my kids are the reason I can keep showing up to work everyday.

Wishing you the very best of luck. You can do it!!!

Well said!

I can empathize with this. I just got divorced for the second time in my life at age 32, from an abusive alcoholic narcissist (who cheated on me with like 5 other women). I've had to apply for bankruptcy due to my horrendous marriage and subsequent expensive divorce, I've had to move back with my parents to recover (mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually) and let me tell you - they don't make it easy since they're my original abusers. However....I have seen a tremendous shift in my life since going to therapy, working it each day at my own pace in my own way, and trying to rebuild my life. I haven't "made it" yet as I still may likely need to go on disability for another year, assuming I can even get it with the current crisis, but my moods aren't so bleak anymore. My attitudes and my thought processes have improved and my life is getting better. Sometimes things have to completely fall apart before they fall into place. Trust me, at the beginning of this year I felt like the biggest and worst failure of all time. Now I know that's not true and I'm doing much better than I ever thought possible in spite of all that has happened. There is hope and there is healing my friend. Don't give up!

Hi Bkooda-

I found my twin in you. I’m 40 and for the 1st time in 20 years, I couldn’t “fake it ‘till I make it” on my own. I drove from LA to live in my parent’s basement.A full 20 years of independence-gone.I’m at a loss for words; I can’t write as eloquently as you. Writing my own cries down right now helps, but it’s casually cathartic to find that we’re in the mud together. My job & relationship situations are the same. I’m a psychotherapist who’s last job fired me 8 years ago for my (unknown & undiagnosed) adhd, depression and anxiety symptoms. I lost faith in myself and who I used to be. Eventually and currently I’m unrecognizable to myself. =The Anxiety snowballed over the years.

=My mild Depression got promoted to Major Deppressive Disorder.

So I’ve done odd jobs like cleaning houses and babysitting to 1) have ca$h, 2) distance myself from any other person 3) Stay away from psychology professions-Because I’m terrified of my unknown future like never before. Optimistically I know like I’ll find myself again. And whenever that happens I’ll post something on here letting ya know that I made it. Can you please do the same?

Thanks for Sharing


Bkooda profile image
Bkooda in reply to 19k80

Hey. Thanks for your reply. It’s hard to deal with and understand where you know you have this potential, passion, and skill to make something of our life’s yet it never seems to come to fruition. It’s saddening and downright frustrating. Like the dangling of a carrot saying, we’re constantly chasing and never seem to get there.

It feels downright embarrassing having to move back to parents. I avoid talking about home life to anyone for fear of judgement, and know they would without an explanation. So I would feel the need to tell a story to justify it to someone else. So I avoid these conversations altogether too!

I’m also looking for jobs with limited interaction with other people. I can’t pin point why, maybe less distraction, judgement, attention, and constantly comparing against people my own age and make myself feel so far behind!

I know my response isn’t some positive spin on things, but I can feel what your going through. So, (if I remember ha) I will definitely keep you updated and vice versa :) Hope your day is going well

Hi Bkooda , I am really sorry hear that your struggling. I am of similar age and very much feel of sometimes having gone through the same.

I think it’s very courageous of you to put it pen to paper and staring your challenges in the eye. I was initially thinking of sharing with you a tool that has really helped me a lot but I have red your post a few times and I am feeling a different dynamic then when I red it originally.

It’s my impression that you are result driven determined to where you would like to get but cannot see yourself getting there any time soon which is causing you a lot of pain and you probably wonder if you will ever get there. It’s so frustrating when we know exactly what it is we need to do it order to achieve our goals but for some reason we don’t get there.

It has taken many session in therapy to understand that it’s those very thoughts which are causing you to feel failure and unfulfilled.

I was too focus on the outcome and ignored the process , too focus on the destination and missed the journey. From the moment I woke up I would focus on what I should achieve and lost any sense of living the moment , when the day ended I would dwell on what I didn’t manage to do. The same would repeat day after day and the more I tried the less I preformed.

I would argue that viewing your life objectively one would probably establish that you achieved many which in your current lens may not give it credit but there are there. Focus less on the outcome as they are not in your control and focus more of what is within your control which is the present , live the moment.

Your talk about wanting to be settled etc you are too focus on hot to figure it all out etc. Instead live your life to its fullest in the moment acknowledge your strengths and be proud of it , I promise you this will get you much quicker to any goals or targets.

I use headspace to help me get things in perspective and I strongly suggest you try it.

I hope that the above is useful

All the best.

It’s very true when you say try and enjoy the moment. I’ve told myself in the past and the day slowed down and seemed clearer and more enjoyable. My planing needs to improve massively! I do keep notes and a daily routine checker - thing is I forget to refer to it or procrastinate hugely. I have huge anxiety over getting another job and the same thing happening where I get excited about a new job, try to learn as much as I can, but fazes out after a few weeks/months and my focus is on everything else but the job. It’s a vicious circle and I either get sacked, contract not extended, or move on because the job stalls with no progression and it’s not challenging anymore. I will definitely check out headspace!

I can totally identify with you - I have recently signed up to a software called Asana that helps me track down process - I am being monitored by a qualified consultant that supports me on how to use it best - if you have a friend or someone close that can help you and checks in with you weekly to make sure you use it properly you will greatly benefit from it. Let me know how you get on - Headspace is a great way to check in and slow down - once you get use to it you realise how important it is and eventually you will do it automatically. Good luck !!

Hi. I changed jobs or departments almost every two years in the past due to boredom. I became a critical care nurse almost 5 years ago and have since discovered that the high pressure and the constant change has really been good for my work longevity. Having a job that is non-stop stimulating keeps me from the old patterns. Plus, I only have to work 2 or 3 days a week (12 hour shifts), so having a lot of off days affords me the time to emotionally reenergize. I say try to find something with pressure to keep you moving! 😊 Hoping things get better for you, hun!

Hello... Lol lol oh gosh so embarrassing, goid thing I'm with other ADHders so less overwhelmed ... Except brain --- innatentive , anyways I feel so at peace... Chat soon everyone ... Love to us all:)

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