We’ve all either heard the comments or even said them.
- “Aren’t these really just lazy, undisciplined people?”
- “Seriously, how hard is it to pick up your underwear off the floor?”
- “Why can’t you just wipe off the kitchen counter?”
- “You get distracted? So do I but I can still get things done.”
People don’t realize how much someone with AD/HD struggles all the time. Most adults with AD/HD are perfectionists and much harder on themselves than other people are. It takes a lot of effort to try to hide their struggles but what do those struggles really look like?
One of my patients, Heather Robertson, posted the following updates on her Facebook page. Because of Facebook peculiarities and necessary security measures, I couldn’t just share her updates. She graciously gave me permission to share them in whatever way I thought would help the most people. If you don’t have AD/HD and want to know what it’s like, here you go. If you do have AD/HD I’m sure you’ll identify. For those of you with AD/HD please don’t stop reading because there’s a big block of text below. I know your eyes are glazing over and you’re silently cursing the lack of bullets but you’ll see, once you start reading it will be worth it. And make sure you read the second update.
Thank you, Heather, for your courage and great description.
Heather Robertson feeling crazy.
September 24 at 8:58am
A morning in an ADHD mind (this was actually probably about 45 minutes to an hour)
Wake up 7:15, grab phone, start reading FB, Instagram, Twitter, email, realize I need to actually get stuff done so I take my ADHD meds, lay there for a few minutes and then decide to head to the kitchen to get coffee. Walk in the living room and realized how much of a mess it is. Dogs toys everywhere, pillows all over the place, oh I need to vacuum, better go make a list of what needs to be done. Make it to the kitchen and say oh lord, the counter is a mess and there are things that need to be thrown away. But first let me turn on some music because music motivates me. Start putting things away and a great song comes on so I must dance and sing and scare my dogs. Oh that’s right, there is the lid that goes on top of the canned dog food laying on the counter so I open the fridge to put it on the can, notice all the half empty bottles of water and green tea and that drives me crazy, so I decide to take them out and combine them, oh and while I’m at it let me clean out the entire refrigerator from top to bottom, while throwing away stuff I realized that my trash can is full. Go to pantry to get out a new trash bag and realize how unorganized things are and start moving things around and throwing away empty boxes, Notice we have no more dry dog food, leave pantry door open and go back to fridge to write on the dry erase board but while I’m at it, decide to write a few other things I remember like what I need to do today like vacuum, change the sheets, empty trash, clean kitchen….oh speaking of kitchen let me get back to that, back to putting more things away, realize I need to water my plants, grab water jug and start to fill it, before its full I notice I need to spray the counters, get the bottle proceed to spraying everything then look for a clean kitchen towel, can’t find one but realize the towel holder has never been properly attached to the door under the sink, decide that now is the time to fix that and pull out the hammer and nails, realize I needed to screw it in and need to use my drill! WOOHOO, I love my drill! It’s so empowering, but now where is it? Go check the hall closet? Nope not in there but oooooh I forgot I had this jacket in there decide to take the jacket to my room, go to my room to take the jacket, oh while I’m in here let me make my bed (I realize now that I was supposed change the sheets not make the bed but I didn’t remember that) then standing there looking around wondering why I came in my room to begin with, oh yeah the drill, it’s in the laundry room in my awesome tool bag, go to the laundry room and grab the bag, pull out the drill and turn it on, the sound gets me all excited, then I start thinking of all the other things I can use it for today and now THAT has become my mission, come back into the kitchen, realize the counters are still wet and I can’t set the tool bag down, oh yeah I need to wipe them down. Realize I still haven’t found a clean kitchen towel to wipe the counters. Standing in the kitchen it hits me that I must write all this down while I can remember it so I can share with all of you what it’s like to be ADHD. Reading this helps remind me that I need to get my coffee, fix the towel holder, get the towel and wipe the counters down, go back and unmake my bed and change the sheets (and I am writing it down on my to do list) LOL SIGH, the struggle is real folks and I sincerely mean that. This is what it is like me every single day.
Heather Robertson feeling motivated.
September 24 at 10:36am
UPDATE to my earlier post! I am happy to report my ADHD medication finally kicked in and I have managed to empty the trash, vacuum the whole house, pick up dogs toys, install the towel holder, wipe the counters, put the drill, hammer and nails back where they belong. I’m in the process of changing the sheets and I still need to water my plants but I’m here to tell you if it weren’t for my meds, I would never get anything done. I could get lots of things started but never finish. Before my being diagnosed and getting medication, I experienced extreme anxiety because I couldn’t do things I needed to. I always forgot things and lost my phone and keys daily. People expected me to be “normal” and disciplined and be able to do stuff that normal people do. I beat myself up because I couldn’t figure out why no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t do it. That lead to depression. So I tell you all this because I want you to understand that ADHD untreated leads to Anxiety and Depression. I’m not lazy, crazy or stupid. I am ADHD and my brain doesn’t work like people who don’t have it. But on the medication, I can do anything and I can finish things. I am back in college for the 3rd time and I have a 4.0 GPA.