It’s rant time! Oh boy!!
I’ve had a TERRIBLE couple of weeks. I’m gonna try and make this as readable as I can because it’s so easy to just empty my head all over a post and make no sense
I was diagnosed with predominantly inattentive ADHD 5 months ago. I’m on meds now, still being optimised gradually, seeing my consultant every couple of months. I have huge problems with memory and distractability/mental restlessness.
Some of you may have heard about the recent kerfuffle in the UK where the Driving Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) was instructing everyone with ADHD to inform them about their condition. I read a letter written by an MP about this where she wrote that ADHD only impacts driving in “a minority of severe cases”. My ADHD makes it impossible for me to drive - I even struggle WITH medication - and I never considered myself a ‘severe’ case so I took a bit of offence at that wording.
But sometimes, my ADHD does feel severe. Not only can I not drive, but I can’t look after myself. I can’t remember to brush my teeth, or buy food, or take other medications when I need to. If I get an infection and I’m prescribed antibiotics, there’s a 99.9% chance that I will miss around half of the pills unless I am at home doing nothing all day every day. And even then, the effort of remembering that will mean I forget to do something else. I feel like my health is really suffering. My GP is never understanding, no matter which doctor I go to, they just tut at me and tell me I need to be better at taking my medication. I’m trying!!!
Not only that, but despite being house-proud and hating mess, I cannot keep up with cleaning my room and it really gets me down. I recently cut my hair really short so that I could save time and energy after washing my hair, because I don’t have to wait hours for it to dry. I can’t keep up with my laundry, or buying things I need before they run out. I just don’t have the executive function for it. Meds help me at work, but I crash when I get home and still end up getting nothing done.
I set alarms on my phone? I turn them off and 2 seconds later forget about them. I buy a pill dispenser? I forget to put my pills in it, or I lose it, or I forget to look at it. I make these things part of my routine? The second that routine has to change even slightly, it destroys the routine for a couple of weeks and it takes tremendous effort to rebuild it. I feel so disabled sometimes when I think of all the things I’m unable to do, even with meds and therapy. It feels severe to me because I can’t cope. I feel like one day I’m going to get seriously ill because of how much I neglect myself. I don’t eat, I don’t brush my teeth regularly, I don’t take iron tablets when I’m anaemic, etc.
Not only that, but my body-focused repetitive behaviours are hurting my body in little ways. I pull my hair out chronically, so it’s mega-thin. I also pick my skin around my face, neck, shoulders and arms, so those areas are COVERED in scars.
I’ve called loads of support lines and accessed support services in my area, and I’m looking at getting an ADHD life coach soon, but today I had a call with a local support service who, in these words, suggested that I be harder on myself. Honestly. I could not be harder on myself than I am, I hate myself sometimes. I end up yelling at myself because I’m so useless. I’m not depressed, but damn if I don’t feel kinda hopeless sometimes.
TL;DR: I can’t look after my health or my environment, can’t drive or read, even with all the meds and therapy. Am I just a lost cause at this point who can’t be helped? Am I always gonna be a dysfunctioning adult who just gets told to try harder, and judged for not looking after myself?