Adding a therapist to the mix: New musings from the land of A.D.H.D.

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Is there a lot of A.D.D. in your life? As in, do you know a lot of people who have this disorder? If you answered yes to this question, do you find that a lot of those folks have been formally diagnosed? Or do you "just know" they are? Questions in recent weeks have uncovered a disproportionate number of people who fit into the latter category. Because I fit into the former, it's often an inexplicable relief to discover others who have actually been diagnosed.

It seems worth considering it a turning point to shift the 8(ish) year cycle of medicating vs. not medicating to assist with the challenges of Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder so as to welcome a counselor into the mix. We've entered a new world here. Since the day I was formally diagnosed with what was so obvious to everyone around me, until this week, I'd never seen a counselor.

I spend the greater part of my energy focusing on (or attempting to focus on) what's awesome about living with A.D.D. and A.D.H.D. The heightened creativity always soars above the other characteristics. It's also pleasant to have people point out:

  • The lively mind.
  • Some people (not academic types) even occasionally refer to it as genius.
  • The interesting perspectives on life and/or random topics.
  • The heightened energy.
  • The fact that you are never, ever, ever bored.

Perhaps it's obvious, but I'll just state it for the record now: I didn't decide to see a therapist because of any of the traits I've just mentioned.

It remains to be seen whether or not I'll choose to continue this topic with any regularity, and share further online about the challenges. Today I like to think I will. In fact, today I have an enormous (mental) list of reasons that I'm convinced, even, that not only am I going to write more on this topic, but that I am also going to start a whole series of blog posts that chronicle the brand new journey of actually talking to a counselor on a regular basis instead of walking into a psychiatrist's office every few months (or years, depending on a lot of factors we won't go into here,) talking for 15 minutes then walking out with a prescription that is the magic ticket to indescribable levels of focus and productivity but ultimately (otherwise, no cycle,) a litany of side-effects that makes it unbearable enough to just stop and go it alone. Wait. Was that a single sentence? I do believe it was! Wouldn't all my English teachers be beside themselves with delight at how successfully one student put to use all their advice on brevity?!

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Today, after a morning of letting go and allowing the flood of thoughts to "just be" and welcome them, smile at them, hold their hands, take inspiration from them, and realize that fighting is useless, I wouldn't call my current state "calm" or even "peaceful" but "accepting" wouldn't be far off. Clearly there is room for some journaling or at very least a new to-do list, and gentle self-love, too.

It's likely that next week I will once again start taking medication for this disorder that sometimes makes my life a thrilling joy ride, but often wreaks havoc in ways I never talk about publicly. I'm excited and deeply relieved, however, to know that this time I'll do so with the coaching of someone new and interesting who's joining me on this road.

People diagnosed with A.D.H.D. often seem less afraid of change than others around them. This change, likewise, is welcome. I hope I do follow through and share more about the journey. I like to think that doing so could not only be cathartic for (and/or possibly entertaining to) me, but also perhaps useful to another facing similar challenges. Here's to possibilities and new paths...

In Case That Wasn't Quite Enough:

PS: My new counselor called me intriguing and interesting and said that when we're through she wants me to write a book sharing my own perspective related to what it's like to be an adult living with A.D.D. She didn't know, when she said it, that I'm a writer. Maybe she's paid to say things like this, in order to help gain my confidence and trust. I enjoy thinking otherwise and was, therefore, delighted at the idea. Of course, writing a book about this specific topic (in addition to the other books I've started and made considerable headway on writing, but never come close to finishing,) would add a significant layer of time-commitment to the schedule I already struggle to maintain. Best not to think too much about such things today. Just giving a hat tip to all the people who appreciate the stories of others.

PPS: Just for fun, in case it's not obvious, the graphic at the top of this post is mine. Which is cool because I think it's beautiful. But the thing is, I felt this enormous compulsion to create something to lead with, before I could write. As in, I "couldn't" seem to let go of the urge that I really, deeply, truly needed to design a piece of digital art this morning. Then I needed to write something on top of it, that related to the blog post. And then? Only then could I feel free to write.

After that? The other one. Once I'd created it, only then did this post feel complete. To those who read to the end, I think you're kinda' awesome. More than kinda', in fact. Patient, patient souls...

PPPS: If you are one of those aforementioned patient souls and you find yourself with any response whatsoever, either brief or rambling, see that comment box down there? I'd love to hear from you! Of course the others who are going to call me or send me a personal email are beloved, as well. But bloggers sure do love comments. And if you post something here, others get to appreciate it too!

Final PS: Man I love it when I actually remember that spellcheck exists!