struggling... first post

I’m glad this is here.

I’m glad I flipped on the Ted talk that brought me here.

I’m Ric. I’m 33 with a perfect wife, a perfect house for our zoo of cats and dogs and kids. I am employed, (just tried to stop and move to a new activity, let me compose myself)

I’m college educated. I read, I write, and I can articulate well. People call me “bright” and “so smart” and “so funny.” But they also whisper about me… That I’m a flake… That I won’t follow through… That I’m not a guy anyone can rely on…

I want to be desperately (sorry had to stop myself from falling down a rabbit hole of all the possible ways to do basket weaving… All because I glanced out of the corner of my eye and saw the honey we bought out of the cedar weaved basket at the farmers market…)

I want to be desperately. I don’t want to be the guy who doesn’t show up… Who can’t deal with the fact that the work he was supposed to do is half done, and shoddily at that. That I had forgotten again and couldn’t face up to the conflict that would make. I don’t wan to be afraid of people because I’m disappointing them.

I want to be normal. I want to have my shit together.

I’m hoping something here can help me figure this out before I totally derail my life.

Thanks for having this.


Well first of all, welcome to the forum, Ric!:blush:

From the sound of it, you should definitely consider undergoing some kind of evaluation with the aim of a diagnosis. If you are diagnosed with ADHD, there are both medicational and therapeutic options available for you. Until then, I really recommend using the search function in the forum to find others who struggle with some of the same things, and see what others suggested might help. We’ve got a pretty big database of these things so far.:wink: And if you can’t find anything that matches your specific needs, we’re all friendly here! Feel free to ask about anything specific, and hopefully the community will be able to come with some suggestions.:blush:

But yeah, definitely seek an evaluation if you can, because it sounds a lot like high-functioning ADHD of the inattentive type. What you’re writing, I can personally relate to quite a bit of it, especially the fear that friends secretly think you’re flaky/not a good friend, missing things, being late all the time… It sucks…:disappointed_relieved: But hopefully we can help somehow!:blush::+1:

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First, you wrote that very well :).
Second, I don’t know if you mentioned if you were diagnosed or not, but I highly recommend doing so and then trying what your doctor recommends, and keep trying things until you find what works for you. And if you can think of ways that other people can help you without making you feel bad about it, do it. Ask your wife to put reminders up, etc. Us Hearts don’t mind helping out if you ask and are willing to try it :).
Good luck and welcome ot the forums. I’m new, too, so I am not as much help as the other people here.

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I thank you for sticking through that. I’m dealing significantly now with what I assume is emotional dysregulation. I didn’t realize what was going on until I realized I had been crying for 5 straight days… Once or twice a day. (Just Fought the urge to go check if it was really five days… Because I don’t want to start by lying and have someone on the forum find out and assume I am making shit up like everyone ALWAYS does… And I can’t blame them…)

So my apologies if I seemed apocolyptic. That’s the way most of my thoughts have been of late.

I do have a diagnosis. Went on Ritalin to help with little relief and too many side effects. Took a break… Dropped out of school… Went on Adderall… Was fine until I wasn’t.

Now I’ve got no insurance for the moment and my doctor is wary to prescribe anything more because I can’t stick to a regiment to save my life. I also don’t wan to doctor shop just to get drugs. I don’t always like the feelings while I’m on amphetamines. Part of it may be fear of losing some part of myself.

The sick part is the creative part of my brain thrives on my ADHD. I want to learn everything and try everything and do everything… The problem is directing it. When I’m on these medications I just don’t feel creative or useful. I can often direct myself but without passion or drive (as I know it). I’m also fearful of the long term effects, and availability… And if I lose insurance I’m fearful I will be hooked and end up having to turn to street forms (#likemyteeth)

I have tried cognitive behavioral therapy but I imagine you can guess what happened… I quit going… And I was so embarrassed that I missed two appointments that I never contacted the psychologist again. I summise he was unimpressed with the “slight” because he hasn’t even reached out to ensure that I am okay…

I have been feeling like I was just born at the wrong time… Too early for space travel and too late to explore new places. The only drive that I honestly have is for learning. I fucking LOVE learning. Anything and everything fascinates me (for a few moments at least) and I am constantly asking questions. A trip to the farmers market usually brings me 4 new hobbies to explore… To research and never do. Maybe order a few pieces and leave it sit in packages.

I would literally cut off a finger just to focus.
I feel like I’ve failed everyone with this.
I feel (and pardon the use of the word) mentally retarded.
I feel like this world isn’t meant for me, and not in a weird alien way… But evolutionarily speaking.
I often feel like I wish it were something physical… That people could see… So they knew… And I knew… That this isn’t just me making choices to be shitty.

I often find myself searching for spirituality, some kind of reason for all of this. I haven’t been able to find it because every time I think about it, it becomes a mess, and I lose track of what I am searching for.

I’m trying to find any noninvasive non-chemical relief from this… I’m hoping I can.

I’ve always been able (when given adequate time and attention) to express myself pretty well. I like to write stream of consciousness but for an ADHD brain that’s not always the best alternative.

As I mentioned above I am indeed diagnosed but not currently under treatment because I lost all health coverage. Hard to afford it when you can’t hold down your job for over a year.
I’ve had 15 different positions in 12 years now.

The biggest hardship for me has been my wife and family. They’ve gotten less than half of me my entire time because I’m constantly somewhere else… Whether physically or mentally.

My wife has dealt with verbal abuse when I didn’t know why I was picking fights with her in the first place. She dealt with flying fits of rage where I’d destroy furniture (thankfully years ago now)

I feel personal growth but I also know… Deep down… That I’m going to slip back. I’m gonna still be me…

I don’t want to disappoint my wife anymore.
I don’t want to let my family do cool things without me because I’m too distracted or overwhelmed to even go.
I don’t want to be afraid to go to places I used to work because I’m scared it will be too awkward for my old co-workers.
I don’t want to be worried to go with my wife to the farmers market so I don’t embarrass her for making uncomfortable jokes…

It feels terrible but I often wish this disorder were more like Downs Syndrome, or Cerebral Palsy because at least that seems real to people.

I hate being judged… And whenever someone knows your ADHD I know in my heart they think two things: they are lazy and don’t want to try hard, and they want drugs.

Neither of those things are true. I work harder than pretty much anyone in the building. It’s just where I focus the energy of that work…

Welcome. I think a clear diagnosis and the intervention of trained professionals is an excellent first step. I’ve felt all the things you are saying, in one way or another, and I’ve had similar frustrations and disappointments. I hope you’re able to use whatever type of intervention you can, to your benefit. It sucks not to have drugs or doctors, but, you know what? Sometimes I think that they are beside the point. The only thing they do, is remind me every day, that I need to remember that I have ADHD and therefore should work with and against that grain because it’s an inherent grain of my own wooden make-up.

You say “I want to be normal.” Well, me too! I often said of myself, “I want to be normal.”

But after 10 years of knowing about my condition (I got a final diagnosis of ADHD at 43 years old, in January 2009) I’m coming to a new point of view. I don’t want to be NORMAL.

Rather, I want to be ME and as abnormal or as normal as that “ME” thing might entail. Meanwhile, I ALSO want to be reasonably successful, reasonably happy, healthy, moving forward on projects that are important to me, surrounded by loved ones who support me, optimistic about my future. Right? I want to be a successful happy ME, whether it’s normal or not, and I don’t care how normal ME turns out to be.

Mostly, please do NOT give me a normal life! I don’t want to anticipate having, some day in the future, a NORMAL work or life experience, because frankly, a NORMAL life sounds, to me, LIKE UTTER HELL ON WHEELS. Going to an office regularly and succeeding at it? Sucking up to the boss and not minding the humiliation of it? Being at a file-and-type desk at 8 in the morning until 6 in the evening and pretending not to have a case of the Monday blues every day of the week? Not for me. Sure, there are some rewards that come to people who can display that kind of consistency and reliability, the rewards of regular income, a secure sense (perhaps, given our economic situation, that secure sense is unreasonably inflated?) of being able to provide for themselves and their family, and (most of all, if I read you correctly) one major thing you don’t have – a sense of respect from your peers, a sense of belonging and being welcome and FITTING IN to the world around you.

So the issue for me is not so much, who or whom I should try to be. Rather, it’s, what to do with the ME that I already am, given that I’m not the only human on this planet. After all, you may think, as I certainly do, it would be great to simply go live the life you want to live, hike the Grand Canyon, shoot 'em up the stars wherever it happens to occur to you. We’d go do that, right away! We would, but for the fact that we have to somehow make it coordinate with the skills abilities propensities people time date and place into which we were (just because of dumb genetic luck and a few random choices by our biological forebears) born onto this planet. So, the balance is always between, on the one hand, being “ME” while, on the other hand, coordinating “ME” into all the context of the society going on around me. And recognizing that this society probably won’t change very much to accommodate “ME” merely because I want it to do so. In other words, we don’t want to be NORMAL, but we do want to interact with the NORMAL people and get some degree of normal rewards while, at the same time, being free to be ME and YOU rather than ONE OF THEM. We can’t be. We don’t want to be. It wouldn’t be us, if we were.

Well, sorry, I am taking you a bit to task for your use of the “normal” terminology, but that’s just a bit of verbal play. You can call it what you want! There’s nothing wrong with the term, we knew what you meant. I think you get my point, that it’s certainly the case, that you’ll be able to be happy, regardless of how you define that goal of “normalcy” or “ME” or whatever you call it. I don’t literally think you should re-write your post, I understood your point very well. And we’re all of us struggling, here and there, with exactly the same things. One of the most painful things I’ve read in your posts, is the notion that you feel you’ve only given your family half of yourself. (I didn’t make up any NORMAL family examples up there where I was writing about NORMAL work being boring, because I don’t know what your family is like, and I don’t have my own spouse or children with which to compare.) I think if you remember the love you have for your family, and remember how much you wish to genuinely bond and connect with them as humans, then any tasks or chores required for mastering your ADHD will seem worth the effort. Even without doctors or drugs, the kids are always there … smiling little demonic rotters that they are … motivating you to be your best self. I pray (in a verbal sense, not a theological one) that you can get yourself to be fully into their lives.

Welcome to the tribe! Looking forward to learning more about you. Do you have a diagnosis? Therapists? Medications? Share to whatever degree is comfortable for you. And, if anyone tells you to be “normal” (or not to try to be “normal”; either way) then you can tell them that I said they can shut up. :wink:

Hi! I just joined after I read your post. I cried with relief that here I will have some friends. Glad to be here and glad you are too.


You said a lot. I often do too. But this time all I can say is “I get you”.

Edit: and my kids get half of me too. But they still love me so maybe I’m putting the bar higher than they do.