Hey there! Just introducing myself.

intro

#1

Hey there everyone, I’m Wabbajack. I’m in my 30s. I was just diagnosed with Adult ADHD and so many things have suddenly begun to make sense. I’m happily married, I don’t have any kids, and I’m in my 3rd year as an Apprentice Electrician.

I was pulled out of elementary school when I was young when the teacher told my parents she suspected I had ADHD. From there I was successfully homeschooled before moving on to a private school and eventually public high school. I managed well enough and my grades were good thanks to my parent’s highly structured home environment. Keep in mind that my parents took my success to mean that I did not have ADHD, as they believed that it was overdiagnosed.

Then I hit college. And everything fell apart in a dramatic fashion. Without all of the pre-existing structure, my grades plummeted. I developed a case of General Anxiety Disorder during this time due to the repeated failings and expectations of failure. Eventually, this expanded into Major Depressive Disorder as the failure started to feel unavoidable and began to compound upon itself. I finally snapped under the pressure and shut myself away in my dorm room, eventually flunking out of the school altogether.

I came home and started seeing a therapist. I was officially diagnosed with anxiety and dysthymia, but not ADHD. And I was absolutely not about to take medication for either issue.

I was given a second chance and enrolled in another smaller college to try to complete my bachelors. This time things still did not go anywhere near as planned, but my raw determination not to fail twice, plus the prospect of marriage to a wonderful young woman helped me hang on by a thread. I managed to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Music.

Unfortunately, you can’t do much with a Music degree. So I bounced around as a newlywed between an awful retail job where I was given a battlefield promotion to Acting Manager because the actual manager quit without notice right before Black Friday (shivers), and a fast food job which went much better due to the fast pace and the fact I was just a grunt and not tasked with keeping track of things. Sadly, neither of these jobs paid much. It was at this point I started having crying spells in the back of the store and was told by my new counselor that I had Major Depressive Disorder. I finally grudgingly agreed to take medication to try to combat the symptoms.

I was introduced to Electrical work through a family friend and decided to give it a shot. I entered the 4-year training program to begin an actual career.

And then I met him.

Of all the people I could have been assigned to in the company, they stuck me with him. I cannot begin to describe the emotional and mental abuse I was put through my first year. I was gaslighted in the worst way, and my horrible (and still undiagnosed) ADHD put me right in the palm of his hand. I finally snapped when I found out he had been editing my paysheets behind my back and removing my overtime pay when he had us working late to cover his own tracks. I quit after management refused to take any action and moved states.

I joined up with another electric company in my new home, but now I was having vivid nightmares. I would wake up in cold sweats thinking I’d overslept and would be fired, or dream about being in the middle of a massive project with no instructions and no idea what I was doing. I began having panic attacks at work and missing days where my mind was ripping me to shreds for being too “lazy” to go to work, yet being unable to move and face the day because I just knew I was going to screw everything up. Then, one day at work I had an accident.

I tried to move a massive reel of wire by myself and the reel moved… in a way I didn’t expect. I tried to stop the momentum and tore something in my knee. I didn’t realize what I’d done until the sensation of shin splints became a crippling stabbing sensation with every step. I was taken out of the field and put on light duty so I could heal. My pay decreased as I was no longer on a government-funded job.

And then I woke up one morning and stood in front of the mirror with a large bottle of pills in my hand, trying to decide how many it would take to make all the pain I was feeling finally stop. I didn’t want to die. I just wanted out. Life was kicking my butt and I wanted to escape. I had just enough sense left to realize that I’d crossed a line mentally and that I needed to get help.

I was committed to ‘the Ward’ where I met some really awesome fellow survivors. I got lucky. Not many patients have a positive experience when they are committed. I never want to go back because I know it won’t be like that first time.

When I finally got out two weeks later, I still had my job and a spouse. My new psychiatrist and I began the journey of finding the right medicine for what I was going through. I slowly began to heal both physically and mentally, but something was still off.

Then one day I was complaining of low energy and fatigue and mentioned that I’d been coping by drinking 12 cups of coffee a day. My psychiatrist gave me an odd look and put me on Adderall. It was incredible the change I felt, but it didn’t fix everything. The next time we met, he informed me that I had Adult ADHD and that if I wanted to see lasting change that I would need to find a Therapist to see on a regular basis.

Aaaaaand that’s where I am now. Searching for an ADHD Therapist.

Sorry if that was more like a short book, but I figured if this was a judgement-free zone I should take advantage of it and really reach out.

So yeah, uh… hi. I’m happy to be here and look forward to interacting with people who might finally understand me.

Cheers!


#2

Another bloody sparky! :wink: Welcome to the tribe.

I work with a lot of electricians. You guys tend to be a cut above the rest, and not nearly as prima donna as the mechanical fitters.

My job (when I actually have a job) is as a process operator on minesites. I run the plant and equipment that turns dirt into gold, nickel, iron, whatever they pay me for.

Sorry to hear about your bad experiences with your workmate. It sucks when you are expected to just grin and bear it. For four years.

In Australia, we have strict, enforced rules regarding fair treatment of apprentices. You can’t even send them down to the warehouse for a left-handed screwdriver, a bucket of striped paint, or a longweight any more.

If you are looking for work after your apprenticeship, the resources (mining) industry is picking up here, and they are always looking for a good sparky. You could easily be making $150k a year. But the conditions are harsh.

Guys working off-shore on the rigs can get so much money that they pay more in tax than I make, but it’s much tougher to get those jobs.

I assume you’re an American? A work visa would be quite easy for you I think.

Another plus, though, is that you can find work where you work 180-190 hours per week, but effectively only work for five months of the year.

I did a similar thing last year (re: physical injury). I had a psychotic supervisor on my case, and I literally busted a gut trying to keep him off my back. I got an inguinal hernia which I didn’t notice, didn’t report, and then quit the job. I only found out the day after I flew home, and had the medical for the next job. No work for 4 months, and almost $10k in medical bills. Cool.

Don’t worry. You’re not the first, won’t be the last. Write as much as you like, please.

People’s stories are very important here. For yourself, and for others.