Thursday night, I made my best friend Al a CRAPPY birthday cake! I had Steve bring the cake to a small gathering hosted by Lance, and surprise him.
He loved it, and ATE THE POOP! which was crumbled chocolate cake.
As I shared in this week’s vlog, I was diagnosed Monday morning as having a combined-type ADHD (Mayo Clinic) (NIMH) (Wikipedia). I have an appointment with a psychiatrist later this month to discuss medications and, with luck, find something that will help lift the fog that my head is stuck in much of the time. I have also set up monthly sessions with the ADHD therapist to get feedback, and help continue developing strategies to improve my executive function.
The knowledge that I have been attempting to run a marathon with both my shoelaces tied together for most of my life, is both simultaneously frustrating and encouraging. Aside from visual art, I showed promise as a student with the viola, violin, trumpet, and piano, but I quit playing music once I reached higher skill levels that required long sessions of practice I could not maintain. I vaguely remember taking the SAT test in middle school. It was probably this program? “Duke” something was all I could recall. I do remember completely blowing it because I was unable to focus on the preparatory materials at all. I studied French for three and a half years in high school, but as the need to study increased right at the point I started to become conversationally fluent, I gave it up. I attended community college for about six weeks at my parents’ insistence. But outside of high school, I could not even reliably go to class on time, or at all, much less pay attention or complete reading assignments.
As a young child, I was able to coast by and get excellent grades, in spite of all my doodling and daydreaming. That all came crashing down by the time I was a teenager. I will never know what I might have accomplished or done if there had been more awareness of ADHD in girls, and in general, in the early 1980s. I needed compassion and understanding. Instead my parents chose to discipline me, ineffectively, with violence and screaming when I was small, and name-calling, judgement, massive invasions of my privacy and trust, and threats as I got older. They praised with one hand, and struck with the other. It has taken me thirty-nine years to break this addictive cycle, and undo the self-loathing they instilled in me. I am not allowing other people to define me or undermine my sense of self-worth any longer. Now that I have dug to the root problem, I am ready to work with my therapist and psychiatrist to unlock my full potential. I have come far already, with my shoes tied together.