Hi everyone! I’d like to start by saying that it’s so cool to find a community based on ADHD awareness and treatment. I’m 23, currently undiagnosed, but have had reasons all my life to believe that I show some strong ADHD symptoms. Getting things done and bringing myself to do what I know in my heart and mind is the right thing to do is still tricky. I tend to get lost on one tangent or branch of life and then can’t find my way back to the roots.
More recently I made a move to a new city in a new state I’ve never lived in before with the intention of pursuing higher education. I’ve always been fascinated by Psychology, as well as helping people in whatever way I can, so when I graduated with my Associates after some general-ed courses in my home-state and came here, I went right into that.
It only took one semester for me to realize that maybe I didn’t have it all quite as figured out as I’d thought. My first indicator should’ve been that after spending 2 months prior to my move actively researching for, applying, and following up on job opportunities, nothing was coming my way. I could blame the job market in this new town, myself, or other factors, but the fact of the matter was that 2 months into the move and new school and paying for my own rent, I was already running dry on funds.
In a need for quick compensation so as to not fall flat on my face in the first couple months of my “big adult decision,” I took the first job that called me back and gave me a chance for sustainable employment: a full-time night job stocking shelves at a home-improvement store. This was clearly not ideal, and would mean that I’d be working from 9pm to 5am five nights a week, specifically school-nights. I was taken aback by this turn of events, but was determined and was going to make this work.
I spent the rest of that semester, (which still wasn’t even halfway over) going to work at night, taking a nap, going to classes, taking another nap, and going back into work the next evening. It was, as anyone could imagine, utter chaos, and I very quickly began to realize that I really didn’t know crap about the real world. My mom lives two states away; she’s great, helpful and loving, but can only do so much from where she’s at. My father is closer, but much more removed from my life, and is seemingly not nearly as willing to be a parent now that I’ve ‘grown up.’ I was and still am painfully and utterly on my own.
When that first semester of pursuing my Bachelor’s came to an end, I was still alive, and more than that, I passed with almost all A’s! I knew I could do this, even with how crazy it all was, I just had to want it enough. Unfortunately, student loan offerings don’t really care how much you want it; after finishing one semester and planning financially for the second, I came to a dreadful realization.
The student loans I was taking out would only cover the one semester I’d already completed for that year for how much I had to pay to go to school out-of-state. Basically, I was screwed the whole time and didn’t even know it until the second term came around. I was distraught, (still working that same night job because I hadn’t had the time or energy between it and school to apply for anything else, andI still had to pay rent) and was now living in a new city far from any home I’d ever had for seemingly no reason other than to work a job I didn’t even really like.
I still think about school, and what it would mean to go back and complete my degree. (I still live literally a block from campus, so it’s hard to not think about.) The thing is, I don’t really know what I would do with it. I never did; I was simply following my hunch! I found one subject that interested me, that I thought I might be good at, and came to a random place where I had few friends and no family just so that I could owe someone $5,500 to study it. The questionable decisions didn’t start when I took the night job, they started long before. I just didn’t know that until now.
So now we are here: it’s been a year and a half, since the original move. I’m still in the same apartment, still paying off the incredulous amount of loans I procured from ONE semester of out-of-state tuition (that gave me nothing to show for it but these crazy payments each month), but I’m no longer attending school or working that night job. The latter is a huge and extremely recent decision; it took me a year and a half of stocking shelves at this home-improvement store in the dead of night for no reason other than to make rent, to realize that I wasn’t going to find alternative work, or something that would actually bring me joy, so long as I was already knee-deep in my current bullcrap. There was no drive in me left to seek a different/better job because every bit of effort I had to give went straight to that job.
After counting up my savings and expenses for the next six months (a math routine I performed several times over before making the final decision, just to be safe) and realizing that after a year and a half of working full time, I’d saved up far more than I had been spending, and would be able to pay for all of my needs out of pocket for the rest of the year, I knew it was time to make another ‘big’ decision. I had to, or I knew what would happen. I would be like so many of the people around me, like so many of the guys I had come to know in that line of work; complacent with something that is far below my own standard, willing to spend the rest of my life working my way up in a field and a corporation that I feel absolutely nothing but contempt for. Maybe that works for some people, but it couldn’t work for me. I still don’t know what I want to do, and maybe that will still take some serious sussing-out, but I knew beyond a doubt that it wasn’t that.
Where I go from here is still a giant question mark. I can choose literally any path to pursue and just go for it, full-steam ahead. But that scares me too. The fact that I can be rejected, tossed-aside, or told no at any given point in time still hinders me from even taking that first step and putting myself out there. Working with people still interests me, but after the year and a half of isolation, only seeing the same 6-8 dudes in the dead of night, every night, before sleeping all day, I fear I’ve lost that touch of charisma I’d always believed myself to possess. I think I want to look for jobs in the field of bartending, serving, or something of that variety. I just don’t know where to start, and more horrifyingly, I’m not sure I trust myself to. I know my brain is complicated just like everyone else’s, but I honestly feel sometimes that it is content to pay the world no mind, and to stay in it’s own little cocoon where it is safe, and no one can hurt it. This cannot be the case though; not in this current world we live in.
So I suppose after that long, dreary flood of sad and personal information, catching you up on a year and a half of fruitless working to meet external obligations, I’d like to first thank you for reading this far if you have; it’s truly appreciated. Secondly, I guess I would ask for some insight from any who could understand where my brain is at right now, because I hardly do. Again, being undiagnosed with ADHD means I can’t be certain of the source of my internal turmoil, but I do resonate with the struggles I hear from people who do deal with this specific condition. So please, if you or anyone you know has been in a weird place for a weird reason, and not really known how or where to go from there, don’t be afraid to let me know how you or they went about getting their stuff figured out, and getting back on their path to a happy/remotely enjoyable life. Thank you, brains!