Getting lost in the old neighborhood

The more I read this AD/HD book, the more I have decided that I’ve lost my mind.

Everything that made sense before doesn’t make sense anymore and everything that I have struggled with in the past now makes perfect sense.  I am loosing my mind.

To make the diagnosis of AD/HD people have to score highly in three categories: hyperactivity, impulsiveness and inattention. Diagnosis is highly subjective, which is why I think a lot of people have trouble believing it is more than a fad.  Perhaps it is over diagnosed.

The one thing that keeps coming back to me is the part in the test which asked if these things (the hyperactivity, impulsiveness and inattention) had always been an issue.  AD/HD is not developed when people are 35.  This is the bit that I am not so sure about…I can’t remember.  I keep taking the tests on line, thinking that it must not be true, but I continue to score highly.  I read the books, thinking this is silly, this cannot be truth, and I keep getting to illustrations that score so highly with my ‘oh, that is SO me!’  I go back and forth between ‘ok, I guess it makes sense’ and ‘WTF, I am fine, I have always been fine…there is nothing wrong with me.’  Then the people who have known me for a long time hear and just nod their heads.

I guess it isn’t the first time that I have been the last to catch up.

I think that my issues with the idea might be due to a kind of grieving process.  You don’t have to tell me not to be melodramatic…or you can if you want to, but I am right there with you.  I deal with grief in my work on a daily basis.  I am the girl that walks in to the room after people learn that their pregnancy is in trouble.  I carry with me a smile that tells you that I understand, that you don’t need to explain anything to me or be nice or care one iota about who I am, I see where you are and what you are.  I see you go through the shock and denial, then later the pain and guilt, anger and bargaining, depression, inability…sometimes I get to see the acceptance and hope.

Though this is nothing like what people who are dealing with things more serious…I think that I am in a denial stage, perhaps bargaining.

I will tell you about my day:

I woke this morning thinking we would have toast and coffee for breakfast.  I get distracted and work on my to do list for April and then panic and remember that I should be making coffee.  Then my husband comes downstairs nicely dressed and announces that we sould all go to IHOP for breakfast.  This would have been a good thing, I do like IHOP, except that I DON’T DO WELL WITH CHANGE IN PLANS!  I had to change clothes, I wasn’t wearing anything appropriate to go out in (I do check sometimes), the boys were not dressed, there was the fact that it was a Sunday morning and the place was likely to be packed, I just paid the mortgage and I wasn’t sure we could afford it (it always comes down to money), and I DON’T DO WELL WITH A CHANGE IN PLANS!   This has always been the case, if you ask anyone who knows me.  I just never knew it was a complication of AD/HD.

We went to IHOP and had a lovely breakfast.  A young gentleman came round and made light sabre balloons for the boys, one green and one blue with grey handles so they didn’t cut themselves.  I spent five minutes under the table trying to negotiate a tip for the fellow, I ‘m not sure if he knew what I was doing.  I hope it didn’t look nefarious.

My husband then told me after breakfast that he was going to the hardware store with his dad and that I was to go to the grocery store to get some things for a barbecue.  I asked him for a list and he said…’just get things for a barbecue.’

Oh, then the panic set in.

I didn’t realize that I needed a list to function properly when shopping…but I guess I do.  I would never have thought about it if it wasn’t for the book.

The next thing I knew I was in tears because I forgot the toilet roll.  I would have remembered it if it were on my list…

I think I hid the tears well, but I’m not sure.  My husband chose that moment to ask me where the receipt for the car wash he’d purchased went.  I told him it was in the car.  He said it wasn’t.  And this is when I realized that I am perhaps ready to get to the pain and guilt stage.  The book I’m reading – it is upstairs and I can’t remember what it is called – described that the person with AD/HD may struggle with misplacing things.  They see so many potentials for one thing that they don’t know where to put it.  The book describes a hammer as used for a tool, a paperweight and a bottle opener.  I am not sure that this is a good illustration but it hit a cord.  The book also describes the importance of some items and the inability of someone with AD/HD to decide which is most important, so the item is put in a pile to deal with later.  THIS IS ME.

Later I flew out of the door to a baby shower then came back in with the receipt that I had been accused of losing (which was in fact in the car, but not where I thought it was…it was where I put it because I thought it was important and wanted to put it in a safe place.)  I had spent too much time trying to make myself look presentable that I was late…I also realized that I didn’t have anything to walk in the door with.  In reading about social ‘no-nos’ and things that ‘a person with AD/HD may not understand’ I am hypersensitive about trying not to make any social oopsies.

I had gotten a gift for the baby shower.  It was shipped to my friends house without wrapping paper because I am morally opposed to wrapping paper (don’t ask me how I can justify the shipping of the present but not the paper, I don’t understand it myself.)  But when I set off (late) I suddenly panicked and realized that I couldn’t walk in the door without a gift in hand…or at least a card.  (I don’t do well with cards either.)  So I stopped and got a baby gift and got toilet roll and a Mountain Dew (which I never ended up drinking.)  This made me even more late.

The shower was in my old neighborhood…I knew how to get there…I thought.

About half way there, I called my sister in a panic.  I didn’t understand why I was feeling the way I was feeling and I didn’t understand why I had no one to call that would understand.  I was crying because I couldn’t think of anyone to call, who would listen to my worries…my mum, my sisters (one of which is too far away), a few friends, who I wouldn’t burden with my crazy totally unbidden…My sister here won out.  I called her and my brother in law answered…I thought he sounded like my dad, but I didn’t tell him that.  My sister was busy with my nephew and I got very scared that I was disturbing some peaceful setting.  When my sister did answer, I couldn’t tell her I was lost, that I was lost going to our old neighborhood and I was afraid I was alone and I didn’t know who I was or what I was doing…

I told her nothing was wrong, but the tears belied my words.  If I didn’t feel so much respect for my sister I would have hung up, so as not to disturb them…but I didn’t.  The next fifteen minutes she talked me off the wall and had my brother in law pull up Google Maps so I knew where I was going.  They gave me directions and tried to figure out where I was.

I was really lost.

Not through their lack of help…just through my incompetence. I thought I knew where I was going, I thought I knew where I’d been.  I guess I was wrong.  My sincerest apologies to my sister, who prolly thinks I am crazy…even more to my brother in law, who prolly thinks I am utterly insane.  My sister at one point calmly said, ‘you should probably turn around, I think you’re going the wrong direction.’

When I finally found it, I found it and I knew where I was going…sort of.  I cried a lot when I saw my old house.

My worry is that I lived in the old neighborhood for 10 years.  This wasn’t 10 years when I wasn’t driving or before I was able to draw a semi-coherent picture, this wasn’t before I knew about quadratic formulas and I had read Catcher in the Rye before I moved away.  I had taken AP History and passed with some satisfaction, I could vote…

Then the question came:  ‘If I get lost in my old neighborhood…how can I truly say what I was like when I was young?’

If the one thing that is worrying me about moving forward is a question about the past and I can’t remember the past…

Why not get on with things and stop analyzing and judging?  Why can I not walk into my life in the same way I walk into my exam rooms?  I know that life is not rosy.  I know that things are not as well as they could possibly be, but you make a go of things as they are.  You resurrect the Pollyanna and look for the shiny side of the great big rain cloud that is hanging over your head.






2 thoughts on “Getting lost in the old neighborhood

  1. If it’s any consolation, I grew up in the city of L.A. for thirty years. I went back recently and couldn’t find my way around and was sooo lost. On a bad note, I was late, on a good note, my friends were so happy to see me they didn’t care. We always hyper-blow up the bad stuff, and sometimes we have so much bad all the time that every little small thing is huge when placed on top of the pile that has grown, but sometimes when you look at things as separate you realize how small they really are. One day at a time. One problem at time, and don;t sweat the small stuff. And there is no shame in ADHD, when you give the monster a name, it isn;ts so scary any more, and you can learn to battle it.

    • I tell my girls this every day…I threaten to get tattooed across my wrist ‘Don’t Panic’…I tell them we don’t worry in this office about the unknown…when we know what’s going on then we can worry, but even then we don’t worry because we can have a plan. I am working on the plan…Thank you. I also tell people they can kick me when I’m talking crazy. Between tattoos and kicking…I really appreciate the words. xb.

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