Is it really worth it?: Is this a real... - CHADD's Adult ADH...

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Is it really worth it?

peaceneeded profile image

Is this a real place to chat with other adults with add ? I've joined a few Facebook groups but I'm not a Facebook junkie. I need real help from real people. I live in a remote area of North Carolina on a beautiful farm full of rescued animals. I went from living a very social life to basically a non-existing one. As I get older I feel my " swelling itching brain" getting worse. Adderall has been wonderful and certainly explains why, as a young adult growing up in the '80s, I loved amphetamines. yet I still suffer from low self-esteem, trust issues... bottom line.. finding it more difficult fighting my dysfunctional brain. I seem to get " stuck" on what most would consider simple. I do not read or comprehend well. have great difficulty with communication, dyslexia, and basic math! Now.. I do have intense skills, an extreme eye for detail, extreme creativity... I always said,.. if I was ever homeless, I would have the best cardboard condo under the bridge. When it comes to animals? I shine! My personality has always been a rescuer, always wanting to help, fix, cure. I have stopped gravitating to broken people and chose the animal world. A world of non-judgment, total acceptance, what I consider true unconditional love. I can look back on my life, reflect on the behaviors,, that feeling of being different, lack of memories, a life full of pain and dysfunction all my choices following in the only world I knew... and I have no regrets. I followed my dreams. I have always been a strong independent woman. But never in a million years would I have expected to go through life alone. But that's where I am at. Alone. No bucket list, no family or friends to count on, no one to call when I need to vent, no shoulder to cry on, no one to call for advice, no one to laugh with. I love my animals ... and believe me.. I talk to them all day long! I need human interaction. Even if just online. I need to hear I am not the only one who suffers isolation as a result of a defective brain. If you actually read this.... thanks

13 Replies

Hiya peaceneeded,im glad you messaged.When youre not in the best headspace,it can be difficult knowing where to turn.Well,youre not alone anymore.I hope you reply to the people who message you with help/advice so that it lifts your spirits knowing that there are others out there in a difficult place also.Sometimes,we all just need to talk to someone who won't judge them and will lend an ear,even to just break the current situ.Oh,and keep talking to the animals,they'll always love you whatever.And if youre feeling flat,just put your feelings into word form,hopefully you'll get to know a few people on here where you can just have a chinwag and also help other site users who could do with advice from yourself cos you'll probably have an idea what they're going thru.So keep posting ok.

peaceneeded profile image
peaceneeded in reply to Jjflash

I am glad I searched for help using technology. It does have its benefits. I do hope to maybe one day meet someone in person who " can relate. I would certainly attend a support group for adults living with ADD. I would even consider a therapist who specializes in adult ADD. I would like to be retested and possibly apply for disability, as my ability to find employment is extremely limited due to specific disabilities. I am sure there must be help out there... somewhere, but I have yet to find it.

Human interaction is important. Everyone needs it…. To a certain extent. But I’ll tell you this, your life sounds amazing to me!!!! You should be really proud of yourself for all your accomplishments. Even if you don’t think it’s much, making it through life this far, finding a passion, being independent, recognizing your faults but also giving yourself grace, avoiding toxic people, these things are all big accomplishments! I know what it’s like to FEEL alone. It’s not the best feeling. It can take over and we can start to overthink it! Start to believe that’s it’s the ONLY thing that matters. It can make you self reflect on your possible mistakes that caused you to feel alone and the lack of follow through you may have had to cause that feeling but I’ll tell you this too. I hated FEELING alone but BEING alone, was the happiest I’ve ever been. Happiness has always been very hard to come by for me and being alone was definitely, the closest I ever came to peace. Calm. Control of my life. Inner rest. I loved BEING alone! I didn’t have someone watching all my screw ups. Questioning my “laziness” or lack of follow through. I didn’t have someone demanding sex from me when that was the last thing from my mind. I didn’t have to juggle other peoples feelings or worse, juggle my own rollercoaster of emotions that can be brought on by other peoples disappointment in me, opinions of me or relationship spats kicking in my rejection sensitivity. I could live with less stuff, which meant easier to keep organized and clean. The years I had my life “trimmed down” were amazing! I was the most in control I’ve ever been. But of course, sometimes you FEEL alone. Like you, I struggled with that. I was at an age where I had to settle down and have children, or I would never be able too. Feeling alone and wanting a family, I gave up alone for a husband and a child. I know why I did it. At the time, I wanted it! I didn’t want to be “alone” forever. I’m not going to sugar coat it. It’s the worst decision I’ve ever made. I wish I would have known what was on the other side for me. I thought the baby and family were where the true, deep happiness were. The happiness I had been searching for. The happiness AND never feeling alone. That’s not what I got. I can’t handle my life. The juggling. The baby. The husband. People need things from me every, single, second. I have ZERO peace. ZERO quiet. ZERO of anything I need or want or wish for and I also have 100% accountability for EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE. I’m going to lie, it was a mistake and I regret it. Like you, I regretted nothing before this. I knew, internally, that I worked very hard on myself my whole life and was proud of my accomplishments, even if they were small to others. I worked hard to try and learn from mistakes and didn’t really blame myself for them. But this, I regret. The saying, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence…. Is it? No matter how much I may change or my situation may change or life may change, somehow, someway, it always ends up being the same. For me personally, I should have taken the win. I should have given myself more credit in the moment for getting to where I was. I should have allowed myself to enjoy not worrying about the pressures of other people influence on me and my mood and my stability and my peace. I should have reminded myself of all the failed relationships I had been in. All the tears and heart ache that even the good relationships brought me. All the turmoil and inner restlessness that others could bring into my life. All the disappointment I would feel about my failings when other people noticed or highlighted them or didn’t like them or understand them or whatever. All the messiness and clutter others can bring. I should have taken the win. I have always felt like I’m just one more step away from happiness. All I needed was someone to share it all with. And that was the problem. I should have recognized that for me, someone to share it with IS NOT peaceful. It’s not relaxing. It’s not uncomplicated. It’s soooooo complicated!

That being said, I wasn’t crazy to be lonely sometimes! It’s still human nature. If I could do it over again, I would start going to church to talk to people, maybe a local support group or something! Maybe a socialization club like a bingo club or whatever. If you’re in a small town, there’s probably something. Start visiting seniors at a senior home, volunteer at a soup kitchen! You have to ask around. If there REALLY is nothing, start something. I don’t know your age or preferences but I know this, if there is you, there’s likely people out there looking just like you are. In a small town with Covid going on, you’re definitely not the only person feeling lonely. Find those people! Start a visiting thing at your farm! An adopt an animal program where people can donate to “adopt an animal”. They don’t take the animal, they just help pay for taking care of it and can visit whenever they want and get sent updates and animal stories or something. Just those little bits of socialization can be extremely fulfilling! And you don’t have to commit to it. You can switch it up whenever you want.

I know nothing could have convinced me not to get married and have a family. It was what I always thought I needed and wanted. It was everything to me. But I definitely was wrong. So unbelievably wrong. And the worst part, this can’t be reversed! I can’t change my situation anymore. In the past, I always had the power to change my situation. Move to a new place, a new city, grab a new job, travel where ever I want. When things got tough, change was always so nice and I welcomed it. I can’t change anything now. I can’t just move. I can’t just find something new. I can’t just grab a different job, I can’t just divorce my child’s father, I can’t just abandon my child, I can’t just use the god damn bathroom by myself! I miss being able to regroup when I needed to. I miss watching what I want to on TV. Even if it’s for 20 hours binge watching Netflix while eating takeout and ice cream (I was undiagnosed and unmedicated for 40 years). I should have taken the win. I should have found other ways to help fulfill my life. I didn’t know there was another way. I only saw MY WAY! MY PLAN! My plan was wrong.

These are obviously only my opinions and experiences in life. If someone would have said this to me during those years, I 100% would have not heard a word of it. If I did hear a word, it may have made me feel more depressed! Is this really it? This is just my life then? Well, if me now could talk to past me, I would remind myself, things can always get worse. If all you’re missing right now is one thing, take the win!!! You’ve made it really far!! I know that one thing feels like a really big thing, but ask yourself how you tend to do with that “big thing”. Have you had a lot of success with “happily ever after”? Were there a lot of tears? Stresses? Fights that happened no matter the partner? Pressures you felt with someone else? ACTUALLY, having someone for “happily ever after” is not the same as thinking about what it could be or should be or that you’ll do it differently this time or you just need to find the right person and now, thankfully, you don’t attract the wrong people anymore…… it’s not that simple. Not for anyone really! Let alone us with ADHD. I should have taken the win. I should have given myself more credit for how far I had come and how well I was managing my life. I should have tried smaller, less committed ways to find company. To fill the bit of loneliness I felt. But I didn’t. And I regret that.

I know this probably isn’t what anyone would like to hear. I imagine it is depressing to picture. But for me, now, OMG it’s not! I wish I had your life. I wish I was were you are. I can actually picture just sitting outside, breathing the clean air (who cares that I smell cow poop), watching the sun go down, the quiet, the peace, go back to my place and watch TV, whatever I want, order takeout, whatever I want, not clean the dishes (I can do that later, or never) cause no one cares, hog the bed, have no one wake me with snoring and pee and needing breakfast and 4am and what the hell do I cook everyone and I don’t have any eggs cause I forgot them on my list and more pee pee and where’s my shirt and is that snot on my face?? And the never ending noise and questions and mistakes I’m making and disorganization raining around, in and on every part of my life, my body, my house, my child, my shitty husband (what was I thinking 😫). All I have in front of me now is a train that I can’t get off! I big, loud, freight train barreling through every aspect of my life and my brain. A never ending amount of things that are expected of me from numerous people. I thought I was made for this! It’s all I ever wanted! Well, with ADHD what we want isn’t always what we need. It isn’t always thought through well enough. It isn’t always rational. We do what we want to do even if it might be hard, if we want it, we will get it! But what happens after we tend to get something? And the challenge is gone and the thrill is gone and the novelty is gone?? I think we all know what usually happens after that.

Try to find a friend, but take the win! Give yourself credit! If your life is stable and peaceful right now except for that one thing, I would urge you to think hard about whether your life is stable and peaceful BECAUSE you don’t have to worry about that thing. It sounds loose loose but please, don’t think of it that way! Take the win! Be proud of yourself. Enjoy making your own decisions. Remind yourself of how that thing used to effect your life. It’s easy to think of the positives of that thing, but don’t forget, the positives were actually, realistically probably random and fleeting compared to the uninteresting, unstable parts.

I feel like this is a depressing post that I’ve given you…. But that’s not my intention. I genuinely wish I was in your shoes right now. And if I knew, what I know now, I would happily stay there for a VERY long time. Until I needed a different pasture to graze.

I hope something here helps. Bake some cookies. Or buy them. A little sugar goes a long way 😊

Hello IWNB. wow... Thank you for taking the time to write! Writing has always been difficult for me...... I could spend hours on a short paragraph ( ugggg) so I truly appreciate all you wrote!!!! Your post was not depressing by any means.. in fact just the opposite. So much of what you wrote holds true. In a nutshell... I always enjoyed change!. The more drastic the change the better. I allowed 5 years to remain in any job. I was in manufacturing so changing jobs meant learning something new. I would quit one job after a few years and always found another a bit better. I grew up on Long Island in the 80's so many jobs brought a variety of skills. The only constant in my life was having a horse to care for and provide for since the age of 18. The focus for me has always been having something to care for. something that is dependent on me. Something that .. because of me.. this living thing will always live a quality life. Finding love, a partner, a man... ??? wow.... that's all I thought I needed to complete my life. My family was dysfunctional. I was not raised with love. My parents were assholes. of course in heinsite I've long since found forgiveness and understand why they were shitty parents... but they were. I have two older brothers who never cared for their little sister. To this day and I am 59 years old my family rejects me. Anyway.... yup... figured somewhere out there one day I would meet that man who would see me for who I am. A man who would not run when times got tough yada yada yada. I put on a great first impression. People like me!!! I can bond and make friends with every level of society.

It has been me who for one reason or another would sabotage any good thing that came my way. No matter how wonderful something was.... I focused on the negative. never NEVER allowing myself to be happy. I mean what does that mean right???

YOU get it. I can tell reading through your post we been searching for something we thought other people could provide. For me.. I never wanted kids. I felt so fucked up in my life the thought of the possibility of genetics being part of why ? never would I want to be the cause of another child feeling like me. We are what we live right??? well.... I lived in chaos. No love, no support, no warm fuzzys......My folks were morally good people and they provided well but I was a handful. Stupid, lazy, don't try, arrogant... all the stigma we now know was part of being inflicted with a learning disorder. So why would I possibly want to bring a child into a world that made me so unhappy??

However,.... yes you may have an asshole as a husband. I don't know how old your child is but what is causing you to stress now will shortly bring you the most fulfilling peace and joy of all! That child is your legacy. I believe everything happens for a reason. Your child will love you forever and because of your struggles, your diagnosis, you will have a better understanding, more compassion, more empathy, to help this child through whatever challenges he/ or she will face in life. Men may come and go... but you will never be alone. I guess its safe to say for women like us who enjoy change nothing could be more rewarding than rasing a child which offers something new day to day and a guarantee of everlasting change!

I do live in a beautiful " bubble", A wonderful magical place filled with beauty, nature, unconditional love ... My ultimate dream come true .... A 17-acre farm nestled in the foothill of NC surrounded by 100+ acres of forest, creeks run throughout the land and pastures, I have my horses, 3 whom I have had for over 30 years, goats, dogs, cats, and Kevin bacon my potbelly pig. Yes.... I am grateful, I am proud, .. But living this wonderful life is not easy. The reality of the real world... beyond the gates of my farm is a world I don't like. Supporting my world financially is tough. keeping my animals safe from a couple of " hunters" who have been harassing me for years is overwhelming. My disability affects my ability to communicate well. I am my worse enemy. In a legal dispute? I am incapable to defend myself. In a job interview? I could never sell myself. So every time I try to reflect on how lucky I am ... I resort back to childhood with the same repetitive thoughts and allow the negative to overtake me. I always end up.... never feeling happy. Up until this past year I had a best friend. My girlfriend of 45 years literally one day decided she no longer wanted me in her life. Her marriage of 30 years abruptly came to an end and life as I knew it would never be the same. Since 15 years old we were each other's best friend. With no explanation, no opportunity to fix whatever broke... she is gone. So now I am truly alone. the hardest part for me right now is having no one to talk to. and at 59 years old trying to figure out what I could have possibly done to have caused the one person I felt cared about me, the only person I ever trusted..... to have abandoned me? this is something I cannot wrap my head around and is bringing up all my insecure feelings. Am I a good person? Do I deserve to live in this world? If my own family, and now my best friend can throw me away so easily.. hurt me in ways they know would be most effective... I must be one horrible person. what could I have possibly done to not be worthy of forgiveness? The ultimate question I desperately need an answer for .

Well, for someone who thinks they can’t write well, this is very well written! You shared a lot of information and I understood all of it. I think you should give yourself more credit. Perhaps some of the negative things you think about yourself aren’t as true as they feel.

I was also a handful growing up. No one in my family realized we had ADHD, but of me and my 2 sisters, my presented more like a boy version, so I was the family disrupter. It definitely cause strained relationships with my family and myself starting at a few years old. But with my diagnosis at 40 years old, was the realization that my mom and bath of my sisters also have ADHD. It’s extremely hereditary!! If you have genetic ADHD (most prevalent) then it is pretty much a given that one of your parents and at least one of your brothers would also have it. Possibly both. The story of us with ADHD having messed up families is common exactly for this reason! We come from big ADHD families. Whether we know it or not.

My son is 2 years old and definitely has ADHD. My delivery was complicated with medical mistakes, I had something called retained placenta after my delivery and the drs didn’t believe me that something was wrong so it wasn’t diagnosed till I was 7 weeks postpartum and required 2 surgeries. I was an absolute mess! I had no family, living in NY, my husband is a workaholic, so it was just me, alone, no help, sick, with a colic baby that couldn’t sleep! My baby NEVER SLEPT! He cried ALL. THE. TIME. for almost a year! I had him looked at by numerous doctors and they all said he was fine. It was torture! I didn’t sleep a wink because the only way my son did sleep was if he was in my lap breastfeeding. Even then, it was only 20 mins at a time. So when they say “sleep when baby sleeps”, I had to be sitting up with a baby on my breast. That’s impossible for sleep for me. The baby would wake so often at night (and still does at 2.5 years old) I developed PTSD. Just utterly traumatized!! And where most women forget the labor and forget the hard first few months and just love their baby and want more, I forgot nothing! Usually, I have the worst memory! Nope! Not for this. I remember every moment. It’s seared in my brain. I’ve been tinkering with some medications lately. I’m hoping that something will help me forget more and replace the trauma with more positive parenting feelings. We will see.

I’m so sorry to hear about your friend! It sounds like she’s going through an extremely hard time. Divorce after 30 years…. That can’t be easy! Do you know what happened? Is it possible your friend is just so depressed she cut everyone out? Is it possible she’s suffering from an ailment that has cause the divorce AND your friendship issue? Maybe the onset of dementia or something?

As hard as it is to be without your friend right now, perhaps it’s not about you. You’ve been friends for so long, maybe this is just a break. Maybe when the dust settles in her life, she’ll be able to tell you everything. Until then, maybe just shoot her an email or text every now an then and tell her that you’re thinking of her and you’re here for her if she needs anything. As friends, that’s all we can do really. Be here for our friends. We can’t force them to share their problems. They have to feel safe sharing them. So we just try to creat a safe place and wait for them to be ready to unload. She may not be ready to unload. She may still be in shock! Hard to say. But if I were you, I wouldn’t jump to conclusions making it about you and something you did. It sounds to me like this has much more to do with her and her immediate family.

I hear you with the trouble defending yourself legally and selling yourself in interviews. Totally! ADHD makes these things super hard! Thinking on the spot when there is pressure is not our strong suit. But have you tried medication? It REALLY helps! If you’re on it, maybe a different kind is in order to help you feel more in control of your brain (not easy).

I hope something here helps.

Hi peaceneeded. I have been wondering the same thing about posting here! I haven’t shared anything yet but I have certainly related to a lot of what I’ve read. I’m not isolated overall but I feel completely isolated in terms of having ADD and the havoc it has wrought on my life and relationships. I diagnosed myself about 5 years ago and was treated with scorn by the psych nurse I first mentioned it to, who insisted I was just depressed. I switched to psychiatrist who purports to specialize in ADD but even he seems completely disinterested in it and claims it’s really about anxiety and depression. I can’t tell other people about it because they will think it’s nonsense. I went to good schools and have a pretty good job but could never figure out what was OFF about me. I liken the ADD to having an egg beater constantly going in my head. Only a few close family members know. I’m in my sixties and I have found I don’t need a ton of people in my life. If you do want some in yours I hope you can find some and maybe you can find some kindred spirits here. You are doing a great thing in animal rescue. I was alone during much of COVID and started talking a lot to my pets. It was helpful and comforting! Take good care and keep reaching out!

It'd be tough for me to apply “defective” to one who has found a niche in which to carve out the life you describe—especially where you have. We're all pretty “different”, around here, though.

If that photo is from the farm, I have to ask whether that's up in the mountains or further out into the piedmont.

Used to spend a lot of time wandering around near the NC/TN line—on the NC side, mostly on between Murphy and Asheville; and mostly between Tellico Plains and Townsend on the TN side. Miss those places.

peaceneeded profile image
peaceneeded in reply to HadEnuf

hello... good eye! yes I Live in the foothills just below Sparta. I have a 17-acre farm surrounded by 100 acres of land-locked land. I talk to my brain as a second party. Sometimes I am amazed at where it ventures off to. Ah ha moments are delayed... sometimes days, months, even years before something seemingly obvious or difficult pops into my head as a solution. My eyes play tricks.. I don't always see what others see,.. an example would be... Giving or getting change from a purchase. Money, basic math. Instant distraction could cause quarters to look like dimes, dollar bills .. I could count out 5 and give someone 4. I could count something 10 times and get a wrong answer 8 out of 10. No doubt my brain is defective. When embarrassed,.. making a joke about my defective brain seems to bring a chuckle which is way better than being judged as uneducated or ignorant.

HadEnuf profile image
HadEnuf in reply to peaceneeded

My brain does those things, too—and far more frequently than neurotypical folks' brains do; but it isn't a so much a defect as an adaptation for a very different life than the settled and often sedentary world (designed for landed gentry and their tenant farmers or slaves) in which we live.

While you might also have deeper sensory processing issues than I do, I've learned my distractions are frequently more salient than most people would ever realize; and I use them to prepare for hazards others fail to recognize. This takes extra time and draws more complaint than anything else; but when it does help, it often saves the day--or in my case, the project or even the product.

I have had to learn “hacks” to work around the more immediate “brain farts”: it'd help if I didn't need fifteen times as many repetitions as most do to form a habit, and five times fewer misses to lose a habit!

But, yeah, blaming these moments on the squirrel army infesting my brain, to defuse a situation, has been a very useful, social hack...

“Squirrel troop, you're out of formation: fall in!”

peaceneeded profile image
peaceneeded in reply to HadEnuf

yes!!! got to admit... I am great in a crisis!!. I work best under pressure.. although at times that pressure is not wanted. Guess that is why I am great with animals. When it comes to something injured, sick or distressed... I am Johnny on the spot! I get so focused on the cause at hand ( saving that animal) .. what needs to be done at that moment... gets done! I have been criticized for " overthinking" as it applies to details My attention to detail has definitely been a benefit and considered a prized skill. The old saying... what makes you weak can bring you strength. One thing I am is a survivor. If there is a better, more efficient way to get something done..... I will figure it out. The problem is that ah ha moment may not come as quick as " expected" What hurts me most, what isolates me from the outside world is my inability to communicate well. Listening, paying attention, comprehending what is being said or explained does not go over well. Finding the correct words, sentences.. to explain my thoughts........ forget it! Good intentions can get you so far.. ( haha)

HadEnuf profile image
HadEnuf in reply to peaceneeded

I'll admit, I've lucked out on the ability-to-communicate end, but the effort—and the time and labor this takes, when written (no body language and no way to catch miscommunication in the moment)—is insanely huge.

What's been isolating me from the outside world has been COVID-19: stuck working at home for seventeen months and now looking for work as a result of how that damaged my performance. Ironically, the interaction I *need* is what got me hired into my team—twice: then management that would have been better off with a barely-communicative, throw-it-over-the-wall-and-forget-it code grinder took over. If not for the pandemic, I would have made a move, already, as I went from very happy with my work to utterly miserable; and, unfortunately, too much of the work out there is *still* remote—which I *hate*.

You're not overthinking when you see consequences others ignore: you're piloting manually when they want to run on autopilot, blissfully unaware how little safety margin they have.

Getting neurotypicals to understand *when* we are listening is the nightmare our tribe faces: the fixed gaze they think means we are listening signals means we've zoned out (and might as well be having an absence seizure); while what they think means we're ignoring them really means we're focused on what they are communicating to the point we have no resources left for gaming social power dynamics the way their autopilot does unconsciously.

“Just so you know, I'm ‘wired funny’: even when I'm giving our conversation my best, I WILL miscue, especially when I'm REALLY interested in what you have to say. I know it's frustrating—to me, too, honestly—but, if you bear with me, I will do my best to make the effort worth it. You and what you have to say really DO matter, to me.”

Hi! Yes this is a real place! I joined a FB group recently specific to inattentive ADHD on recommendation from an article somewhere on the webs, and to be honest, it's extremely disappointing. So much fluff and quick responses and nothing meaningful.

Here is a great place for connection!!

I really hope you can find someone on here that's near North Carolina and can visit you and your wonderful animals! I would visit but I'm in Canada!

I LOVE that you followed your dreams and did what you needed to and WANTED to. That's the best! No sense in forcing ourselves to do what we don't like - we all know we won't be able to hang onto that for very long!

I hate people too. I just don't fit in, don't belong, am a total social media pariah, I can graduate a college class and get 2 likes (one from myself). Everything I do gets overlooked. I'm a mess. But I care about people. So please if you've had your fill of people, talk to someone like me who has also had their fill of people. Because I know what it's like to be let down and I will not do that to other people. Feel free to PM me.

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