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.