Still Here, Still Living With ADHD

so this is kind of a rant, posting anyway

Still me.

Still have ADHD.

Still have no idea what to do with myself.

Still have little practice in adult life.

Still teaching myself how to function.

Still learning to get the little things down.

Been a few years now since I have taken ADHD medication.

Still questioning if that was such a good call.

Suppose to help right? Suppose to manage the symptoms, assist with focus, motivation. Yeah i believe it. I remember medication very well. I FREAKING DID THINGS MAN! Don’t do so many things now. Slowing down, scary, not used to slow.

In ADHD years, I am a teenager all over again. In ADHD years i am 13.

Still have anxiety.

Still struggling!

Still ask myself why, then the negative self-talk comes waltzing in; “it’s your fault, that’s why” “you just need to try harder.” “you just need to try 200% harder than ANYONE ELSE, that’s all, no big deal, you SHOULD be able to.”

FUCK, it feels like a curse sometimes. I feel like a curse. My whole life in fact. Thanks Ma, for naming me after a character from All My Children. GREAT name sake.

I digress.

Of course I do.

Still way behind my peers in terms of every variable. In a ditch. Seems like I’ve dug myself into a pit all this time. Except, something is a little different this time. I am learning to climb my way out. I possess confidence in myself enough to trust that i won’t fall.

I am still trying. It’s a good thing that I haven’t gone back on medication yet – and I say yet because anything can happen. I want to play on my strengths, rather than praying on my weaknesses. I was a born drug addict, don’t think it’s the best idea for my overall health to be taking a chemically dependable drug everyday for the rest of myself. I will abuse them. I know myself enough to admit.

Still here.

Still struggling upward.

Still on my path.

This post brought to you by a sudden and irresistible urge to write again publicly. So here I am, consider this a come back. 

Still have so much to say!

THE PLAN IS UNFLINCHINGLY RIGID

Something something, you gotta keep a schedule man! I tell myself that all the time.

I need a schedule to keep me in check. On a daily basis. No matter what. I need to be holding myself accountable for every minute of everyday, or I will get absolutely nothing done.

When I had a smart phone, it was easier to do this. I would use the calendar, timer, alarms, and other nifty apps to keep my ass in check. I find myself without this technological crutch to lean on, and I am struggling without it. And it sucks.

On the other hand, it is kind of nice not having a smart phone glued to my face 24/7. I’ve found that I look up at the sky more often now, and that I’m more present in my everyday life. Another silver lining is that this doubles as a chance to address my MAJOR control issues.

Old Cassie would plan almost every second of every day, and if old Cassie didn’t rise to the occasion, old Cassie would panic, and metaphorically blow everything up. But now, old Cassie is being silenced, and being replaced with Adapt-Overcome-Improvise Cassie. I like this Cassie a lot better. She’s chill, and can adapt to any situation without a major panic attack. I am proud of this Cassie.

Just a friendly reminder that not every plan has to be unflinchingly rigid. Sometimes, you NEED to adapt, or not do the thing at all, and that’s okay.

Rant to get back into blogging regularly… again.

Thanks for stopping by!

ADHD – The Relationship Problem Child

I am literally the worst. I pick fights for no reason, or just for the sake of fighting. Then, when my partner says or does one little thing wrong I jump down his throat and call him an asshole, or pick another fight.

I have serious control issues. If everything is not going exactly as I had planned, I LOSE MY MIND ENTIRELY. I can’t handle change when it is someone else pulling the strings. I can only handle change if I am the one making it happen.

I become impossible to talk to because I shut the fuck down. There is no talking to me when I am like this because I am in complete cognitive dissonance mode. I have checked the fuck out and the only person who can bring me back is me. And why would I wanna come back when dissociation is a much better alternative to reality? Why would I wanna go  back to reality, when I can live here, in my comfort zone, forever?

Lets face it. I am one screw up individual. I tell myself that often. And I thought I made that clear to my partner before we got married. “I AM COMPLETELY FUCKED UP, ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DEAL WITH ME FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE?” But when someones says that, you think they are just kidding. Well, I wasn’t kidding, I tried to warn you. And now, I see my codependency for what it is, because that is a total co-dependent thing to say. What I really meant to say was “I AM SO FUCKED UP, NEVER LEAVE ME. I NEED YOU.”

Oooooof. I am really digging in here. Hurts. This shit is heavy.

ADHD is the problem child of every relationship. Always creating problems where there isn’t any problem. Constantly looking for things to fight about. Insistently pushing a topic when the conversation was done days ago. Steadily putting others down with slight comments. Habitually butting in to make a point heard. Continuously making a big deal out of everything. ADHD fucks everything up. At least, in my experience.

I am learning that the best thing to do is shut the fuck up. Disengage.

Landing a “Real Job” With ADHD – The Struggle is REAL

In my experience, ADHD makes me unmarketable.

Nobody wants to hire a child in adults clothing. Hyperactivity, impulsiveness, poor decision-making, are not traits HR looks for in a new hire. These traits have lost me EVERY JOB IN MY LIFE. But how do I break the cycle? How do I find the perfect job for me and my ADHD? If not perfect, how do I find ANYTHING that will work in the long-term for everyone involved?

I do not know the answer to this question.

Yet.

I have spent a whole lot of time reading, and even more time thinking about this exact thing.

I’ve got experience trying to fit in at a real job. I’ve tried food service; McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts (a few times,) serving, hostess, bar back, line cook. Nope, didn’t work for me, especially the corporate places – you want me to feed them this!? I’ve tried retail; sales, marketing, cashier. Nope, just can’t stay focused on those miniscule tasks. I’ve tried other things too, work-study in an office, file clerk, bookkeeping that one time, art modelling, general labor, marketing again. I’ve tried to do my own thing, pave my own road – none of these things went well, because I simply didn’t follow through. I tried starting my own blogger-for-hire business, fell through, didnt commit. I tried arts and crafts business – a few times. Nope. I’ve tried one of those pyramid schemes like MAry Kay or Passion Parties – as fun as that would have been , DIDNT WORK OUT. Oh, I even sold Kirby vacuums for a while, that was really good money, but I didnt have the longevity to stick with it.

See the pattern here? I don’t stick to things long enough to see if they will actually fit. I bail. I chicken out. I get scared of success and run. I tell myself horror stories of how awful I am/they are/this is/this company/these people/this life/this job. I tell myself these things, then I quit, thinking that I am too good for it when in reality i just couldn’t handle it.

This has been a treacherous experience for me. Job after job after job. I feel like I just can’t get it right. I even once settled on the idea that I CANT work in the real world, for someone else. Because I NEED to be doing something worth it, I need to be doing something that matters to me, to the world. I was determined that a “real job” wouldn’t be the  thing for me, and instead, I will start my own business – finally, and I will make something of myself that way because screw people’s rules!

Coexisting Balancing Act

ADHD often coexists with many other mental health “disorders.” And when I say coexist, I don’t mean that these conditions get along and compliment each other. They coexist, meaning you get them all as a package deal. (according to CHAAD, “More than two-thirds of individuals with ADHD have at least one other coexisting condition”) This is great news for ADHDers! Not only do our brains not work right in general, but we get to feel sad for no reason too! Yay! (sarcasm, in case you can’t tell.)

For me, ADHD comes with sometimes crippling depression.

For me, ADHD comes with immobilizing general anxiety disorder.

For me, ADHD comes with a bi-polar rapid cycling diagnosis. (though I am not sure how accurate this diagnosis is. I still need a second opinion.)

For me, ADHD comes with frustration dyslexia.

For me, ADHD comes with substance abuse problems.

AND

For me, ADHD comes with never fitting in, anywhere.

For me, ADHD comes with not being able to relate to others.

For me, ADHD comes with anger, and hatred, and pain.

For me, ADHD comes with a deep frustration for things normal people can do/achieve with little effort.

For me, ADHD comes with self-doubt that I need to fight with EVERY SINGLE DAY in order to get ANYTHING done at all.

For me, ADHD used to be a life-sentence of pain and suffering. It used to be a prescription for inner conflict, shame, defeat, and malice.

But now, ADHD makes me, me. I continue to struggle on a daily basis, but it isn’t for not. I get up every morning and face the day. I talk down the mean voice in my head and I get to work. I let myself be sad in order to feel my feelings, and then I move on. Very slowly mind you, but I still move on. I talk myself off of the dangerous ledge of self-hatred/doubt every morning, and I tell myself positive things, even though it feels gross to do so.

These coexisting conditions do not cooperate. They don’t get along, holding hands, skipping through the woods. They bump heads. They trip each other up. They exasperate each other. With ADHD, depression becomes super-depression. With ADHD anxiety become obsessive. With ADHD, dyslexia is not only annoying, but also shameful. (What kind of adult reads that slow anyways?) With ADHD, the mixture of anxiety and depression, interchanging on the drop of a dime, becomes bipolar, and you become EVEN CRAZIER than you thought you were originally. With ADHD anger becomes explosive, even childlike, and people don’t understand that shit. With ADHD life can seem fucking pointless all of a sudden, out of nowhere, taking the people around you by complete surprise because “you were literally fine a moment ago.” With ADHD life gets harder, but so do we. (okay, done ranting now, feel better.)

I needed to write this down in an effort to work through some depressive thoughts I’ve been swimming in the last few days. Thank you for listening.

 

 

Double-exposure sunset shitty phone camera challenging myself

IMPULSIVITY

I am impulsive. Every decision I have ever made has been on a whim. I just go with the flow. I have for as long as I can remember. This impulsivity is somehow a part of me. I identify with it, I own that shit.

I have done so many impulsive things in my life. I’ve applied for that credit card, slept with that person, screwed around with the other. Said things I didn’t mean. Picked up that drug, and the other one, and the other one too.

I lack decision-making skills, as many ADHDers do. This is where the impulsiveness comes in. Do now, think later.

Everything is on impulse. What to major in? Uh, I don’t know, whatever sounds helpful and fun! What car to buy? The nicest one, I’ll just get a loan, no worries! What to say to that stranger walking by? Something painfully awkward of course! (Because that’s what comes out on impulse) Should I buy this thing? GO FOR IT, I don’t have bills to pay or anything.

Sometimes this is loads of fun! Makes for an exciting life, full of twists and turns, and unique experiences! It’s a helpful quality to have when anxiety plays a huge part of my life as well. When anxiety says “I don’t know about this Cassie, are you sure?” Impulsivity says “oh yeah! don’t worry about it! It will be fun.” I have my uninhibited lifestyle to thank for MANY rewarding things in my life. I have found my people! Made a little family. Found courage, outgoing-ness, willingness, open-mindedness. But it’s not all fun times and glitter, it can get  VERY dark VERY quickly living like this. Trust me when I tell you.

Feelings get deeply hurt, trust shattered, loyalty lost. Everything falls apart due to impulsive behavior NOT FUCKING THINKING.

The bad comes with the good. The greatest experiences of my life have been balanced with the worst of them all. ROCK BOTTOM SHIT. Married at 17 shit. Homeless and hungry shit. Addiction shit. Sexually transmitted disease shit. Doing bad things to get by shit. Things-I-am-less-than-proud-of-shit. Too many to name, too personal to get into in this post. (maybe I’ll write a book one of these days)

Think about the typical teenager. They all make hasty decisions in an attempt to find themselves and their identities. Now, imagine a grown ass woman, perpetually stuck in this chaotic and messy developmental stage FOREVER. That’s me! I often joke that I am pretty much a child, that’s because it’s true. I’ve got the brain functions of a typical teenager. Yup, sure do.

In recent years however – though it will never go away – I get to decide when I get to be impulsive, and when I don’t. And surprisingly, I listen to myself! Crazy, I know. Most of the time anyways. And the crazy shit that I do on a whim become smaller and less life altering the more I learn about myself and my limitations.

Examples: I know that I can’t be trusted with money, so I budget like crazy, and use a cash envelope system that keeps me in check. (mostly, I just started doing this) Drugs are bad, so I stay away from them. I even quit smoking cigarettes last week, and weed is next! (coffee though, I don’t know about giving up coffee.) I give myself curfews when going out on the town, otherwise I WILL stay out until the sun comes up. (adults don’t do that Cass)

Impulsive, all-over-the-place, sometimes destructive behavior is a part of who I am. There are transformational qualities at work here too though. I take a good long look at myself and my habits, and through this self-actualization I find the nuggets of truth I need to move forward in a balanced way. I can’t not be impulsive – that would mean experimental brain surgery or something crazy – but I can be impulsive in ways that won’t destroy my life and everything I’ve worked for. I can be impulsive in the I-have-ADHD-and-I-am-in-self-awareness-treatment-and-I-am-in-control kin of way.

That’s all I got! Thanks for reading! Talk to me in the comments!

Thinking About Thoughts

I do this a lot. Where I find myself thinking about the things I’m thinking about. Then before I know it, the thoughts I was thinking multiply into more thoughts about thinking about thoughts about thinking.

I think about thinking, and why I shouldn’t be thinking, and how I should actually be doing. Then I think about doing instead of doing the thing that I’m thinking. On and on this cycle goes until I am exhausted. However, exhaustion does not stop the thought-provoking thoughts from provoking more thoughts.

Are you confused yet?

This is your brain on ADHD.

Exhaustion only makes things worse. The thoughts get more and more judgmental as the day goes on. They go from thinking about thinking about what I need to get done today, to thinking about how awful a person I am for not doing the things, to thinking about how I could never have accomplished those things anyway even if I had stopped thinking about doing them for long enough to actually do them.

The cycle wears off after a while. Wait, no it doesn’t, who am I kidding. It keeps freaking going. From the moment I wake up until the moment I fall asleep. I am thinking about thinking about thinking, and my thoughts are all against me, and I can never fucking get anything done with all this racket!

Accept I can. Because like anyone else with ADD/ADHD we learn to deal with the racket. We develop many tiny little coping mechanisms to get us through the day. For example:

  • Sometimes, I DON’T let myself think about the thoughts. Sometimes I can just turn that shit off, and let those thoughts float around. Those are fun times. I like those times.
  • Other times, I play a game in my head, where I have to convince myself that there is another person in my brain saying bad things to me. “Don’t believe that voice talking Cassie, that’s just the jerk that lives in your head to make your life miserable” This works well, because when I frame it as an outside source trying to destroy me, a self-preservation mechanism kicks in to defeat it. Whereas, if it were just me talking to me, I must be right. Right?
  • Another thing I do, I just breathe it out. In for 4, hold for 7, out for 8. WORKS EVERY TIME. Only for a minute or two though, at which point, I just do it again! Pretty cool, I know.
  • Yoga too! So cliché, anyone who’s everyone talks about the benefits of yoga. Moving your body gets you out of your head, who knew? And, when I don’t have the patience to sit the fuck still for a minute, I just dance my ass off like a crazy person. That helps a lot when thinking about thinking about thoughts.
  • And, you guessed it, WRITING! The whole reason I started this blog, the whole reason I continue this blog at all. I love to write, it helps me. I do it for me mostly, it’s just a bonus that crazy people like you read my shit and like it.

There are many more coping mechanisms, but maybe I should write about that another time, because I could go on and on and on about that! It’s worthy of a separate blog post, that’s for sure.

Thanks for taking this crazy ride with me folks!

Until the next time I need to brain vomit all over the screen. Your reading this helps me more than you could ever realize.

Much love, happy freaking hump day!

~Cassie

I AM ME – A Poem

ADHD makes me, me

I have ADHD

but that’s not all there is to me

I have hopes and dreams

and sides of me that no one sees

 

ADHD makes me, me

other things do too

like my lack of filter

my trying too hard

my loving too much

my caring too fiercely

 

ADHD makes me, me

and there’s also that part of me

that sees the world like no one sees

the in-betweens

the hidden meanings and underlying message of life itself

 

ADHD makes me, me

and the temper tantrums

that are a part of me

help me to see my values in action

and how much I care for the world

 

ADHD makes me me

as does my crazy little habits of

everything has to be right

and my way

everything needs to work together for a common aim

 

ADHD makes me, me

the me that I was meant to be

Social Media Guidelines for Happiness

Social media is a great tool in our day in age. But I know that I need to be VERY CAREFUL, or I will spiral down into depression, not knowing when I will have the strength to pull myself out.

Social media is fun. You take silly pictures using filters, and you share them with the world along with your thoughts. And you get feedback from your people. At its best, social media can bring people together; to discuss, to organize, to publicize. At it’s worst, it is a breeding ground for hatred, jealously, and conflict.

I have some social media guidelines:

  1. Five minutes at a time. Everything in moderation.
  2. Don’t download the apps! Time-wasters, as an ADHDer, I need to take all of the time-wasters out of my life to up my chances for success.
  3. Use Facebook for spreading love. I try to only go on Facebook to send love to my friends posts, and events and stuff to help them get the word out. I don’t really post, I refrain from scrolling, and I GTFO when I need to.
  4. DO NOT ENGAGE, I REPEAT, DO NOT ENGAGE. I do not, under any circumstances, comment on controversial – political or otherwise – posts that will inevitably be toxic. I choose to disengage for my sanity.
  5. Commenting: I try to only comment on stuff from people I know IRL, and I try to keep it positive.
  6. Posting: I post because I want to, and I post what I want to. To keep myself from going crazy, I remind myself that I am fucking valid.
  7. Take nothing personally

I remind myself that:

~everything is okay~

~people are not like their feeds in real life~

~each and every person is going through their own shit~

~give people a break~

~you are valid~

~you don’t need a strong social media presence to be valid~

~social media is a tool that you can use, you are not a tool for social media to use~


Just some thoughts on social media on this cloudy Sunday, when the urge to feed scroll is strong. A reminder to get out into the world, and away from screens for a while. How do you deal with social media depression? What rules do you put into place to save your sanity?

Oh yeah, and love yourself

Thanks for reading! Leave your thoughts below!

~Cassie

Social Anxiety Thoughts

Why did I just say that?

Wait, I don’t get it…. Just play along, yeah.

They don’t think that’s funny, why would you think that’s funny?

YOU ARE SO LOUD

Eye contact is hard, try not to look at your feet so much though.

Yes, the world amazes you, but don’t let that show so much, people think it’s childish…

You are trying way too hard.

Nobody likes you.

Change the subject already!

How am I an outcast among outcasts?

You are trying too hard again.

Nervous laughter

I still don’t get it

Oh, I get that one, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!

You are obsessing again.

You lost them

Uhhhhhhhhhh, just look around at the pretty things

Nervous laughter

Talk about the pretty things

Look around some more

THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK

Obscure reference

Laugh at your own obscure reference

Analyze your company, what do they want to hear?

Screw what they wanna hear.

Actually don’t, you like them, you want to keep them.

Okay, keep it cool, but be you.

Woah, too much you! Real in the you-ness

There’s a nice balance, keep going with that.

Sexual inuendos!

Now you’re not saying anything at all…

That might be going well, but i don’t like it!

Talk more, but about smart stuff.

Not about shiny things.

Don’t talk about shiny things.

Or conspiracy theories, people don’t like that.

Back to silence, that works.

Okay, now ease your way in, small talk if you have to.

Now, just blend, observe.

Fade into the shadows.

Try not to think about how uncool you are.

This has been a list of things that go through my head in social situations. Brought to you be my over active imagination and lack of prefrontal cortex activity. 

Self-Love

Self-love is one of the fundamentally great things we can do for ourselves to improve every aspect of our life. I believe the saying holds true; love yourself and you can then love others – or something like that – but you get the idea.

Draft from 2016, posting because I love this little note.