There is so much that I want to say, so much I think I need to say, so much that my brain tells me “these brains will get it! just say it all! just get to the meaty stuff!” But then my intellectual understanding of how written communication works most effectively if you organize it all in the “right” way kicks in and I feel stuck not knowing how to start. In other places this is the point where I feel like I have to explain just what that is or why that is…and then it just feels like I am exerting all of this effort in defending myself and my brain says “why bother? look at all of the other things on your to-do list, why don’t you just solve world hunger instead.” At which point I typically just quite whatever I am doing and try and find something that makes me feel better. Like video games. Not today, Brain! Instead I am going to introduce myself and say hello to this community that I probably belong in and not spend seven hours writing a draft and editing it until I have the “perfect” introduction because I just don’t have seven hours to spend on something like that.
Let’s start again. This time with a little less as-I-go-editorializing.
Hi! My name is Jonathan. My brain is thirty-four years old (my birthday was two days ago!). I got diagnosed ADHD just over a year ago. Like so many other stories I have read of diagnosis, this was a major AHA! moment for me. I had been treated for Major Depressive Disorder before, seeing therapists and trying several anti-depressants, most of which had initial success before fading over time. The psychologist I had been seeing for almost a year finally presented it to me as a “read this material and see what you make of it” kind of thing. When I saw that it was on ADHD, I laughed. I trusted this psychologist immensely, so I was willing to entertain whatever she was suggesting, but my thought at the time was “I would know if I had ADHD.” The reading she gave me was an excerpt from Driven to Distraction. What really got me was that suddenly there were words to put to things that I never knew could or should be expressed. “Emotional lability” was the big one. My whole life I have known I was extra sensitive, and so I just thought that was a part of who I was–and in reality it still is. But now I can actually try and direct energies toward living more fully with that part of me instead of sweeping it under the carpet and trying to ignore it.
So why am I here now? Well, short version is I am struggling. Particularly with emotional dysregulation. It feels urgent to me now, because it feels like it is threatening my marriage (just under two years I’ve been married to my wife). I don’t have the help that I need–yet–from therapy or medicine. I feel stuck. On the one hand I worry that if I don’t get help it’s going to be over (and my life as a consequence) but on the other hand I worry that I will get the help and realize that it needs to be over for me to live a more fulfilling life. And so the “meaty stuff” that my brain wants to get to…will be gotten to. Maybe not as quickly as my brain would like it to happen, but I will get there. Hopefully with a little help/support from this community…which I almost feel like I don’t deserve. I’ve been lurking for awhile…first discovered the YT channel a few months ago…just started an account a week or so ago…just got up the courage to write this post today (assuming I don’t chicken out and delete all of this “progress” before posting it).
Part of why I don’t feel I “deserve” anyone’s help is the fact that I think I need to earn it first. “Help some other people out, give them something, and THEN you can ask for help in return.” In many other situations that is a really useful strategy, appropriate maybe even! But isn’t the beautiful thing about the ADHD brain is that it doesn’t adhere to any one, singular “this way or no way” ideology? So maybe…just maybe…I can say “help me please” without having proven myself worthy of help first. I am worthy. Help me, please. Encouragement to keep engaging in my life, to keep trying no matter how many times I fail, would be greatly appreciated. Cause I am pretty sure I have a lot of failure in store for me one way or the other so I might as well keep trying.
If you have made it it through this whole rambling, chaotic, non-sensical post then I am sending you a hug. I appreciate your efforts. I have a lot more I want to say. I feel like I can be of use, like I can be worthy of a lending hand. I just don’t know how to adhd my own adhd…yet.