I’ve been taking the new medication for ADHD since Monday. At first there was a slight sense of relief, not much other effect, not like with the first one, the one containing Ritalin, where I could see everything that was going to happen in traffic in slow motion, as if I was playing a video game. As luck would have it, the side effects the Ritalin had didn’t materialize, either: the continuous talking, even worse than my UNregulated self, the outright lack of filter, the utter uninhibitedness. Not to mention the palpitations, the fidgeting, the feeling that I’ll transcend my body at any time, that I’ll take off on my own account.
Not with this one, though. Slowly, a sense of peace has sinked in. Up until now I have never understood the extent of my unrest. Or my anxiety. How most of my behaviour is a result of some kind of coping mechanism. I always thought it to be an integral part of my personality. Imagine being so wrong.
It’s Thursday and I’m out of town for work. I went to bed at 10 pm and woke up at 7 am. With the alarm clock, of course, but I didn’t need 1,5 h to wake up. Nor any coffee. My only sorrow is I can’t drink 10 cups of coffee like I used to, it feels like my heart is going to leap out of my chest with the 1st one. I think I need to find some decent decaf soon.
I’m still waiting for my referral to a psychiatrist to go through, hoping to receive the medication I’m not even sure I’ll be able to combine with the one I’m already taking. Story of my life. Meanwhile I’ve been too busy for my own good (school, work, changing the tires, Madeleine, my mother visiting, Sam and everything else) and on top of that I’ve been stressing myself out big time by saying yes to more exciting work (human trafficking) on top of the boring work (tax legislation) I had already committed to. Because the ADHD does this to you. You want to be everywhere, afraid you might be missing out on something interesting, not realizing that the world will be spinning regardless of your participation.
And so our house looked like a war zone and I got so distracted by all of it that I barely remembered to take my keys with me when I left for work yesterday. Not being able to find a parking spot in “my regular street”, a 10 minutes’ walk away from work, I thought I’d try my luck nearer the Court house. And what do you know? I almost let out a scream when a prime spot was vacant. All’s good that ends good, except for the fact that by the end of the day I couldn’t remember where I’d parked and so I walked all the way to my usual spot. And then back! It was raining and I had three umbrellas in the car, but obviously I couldn’t remember to get any of them, so none on me. And so I cursed aloud, I cursed all the devils and the Gods altogether, but that only enhanced my anxiety and my bad mood.
But that was yesterday. Today I’m all zen, thanking God we have no more school gatherings where you’re supposed to do all sorts of stuff I’ve already been doing for 12 years, with people that have little or no experience in the field. No work at all today, just a long to-do-list, so my memory doesn’t play tricks on me again. It’s raining outside and I lit the fire, I’m sitting here with my coffee and I can hear my own thoughts. And if this isn’t bliss, I don’t know what is.
Anybody still there? ‘Cause I know I haven’t been in here much lately.
I’ve got some news, apart from my occasional thoughts of frustration with the world, that is. 😉
I’ve been diagnosed with ADHD and the pieces of the puzzle have finally started to fall into place. I don’t even know if I’ll find the suitable medication and all that, but the mere realization that I’ve been swimming against the current all my life renders me so humble, I could almost cry of relief.
Because for the first time I understand why I’ve always felt different, why I always either struggled to engage or engaged too much, why I either loved or hated, why I didn’t have the time to wait, the patience to do things right, why everything in my life has always been like a whirlwind.
I finally understand how my social inadequacies are best explained by my lack of understanding for other people’s ways of thinking (and acting) and not only by my lack of filter. Why I often feel tired and overwhelmed by the most mundane things, like going to the supermarked.
Most importantly, I get why motherhood has taken such a toll on me, why it has felt like a superhuman task from day one, the round-the-clock monitoring and the tediousness of the first year, the constant organizing and the chronic lack of control.
Now I know. And it’s such a good place to be. I feel redeemed. And a much better mom, now that I know I’ve done it all desperately fighting with myself.