There are days where I think I am managing. That I may have it all under control. I double and triple and quadruple check my lists, my planer, and my cell phone calendar. Still, something always slips in my mind. I forget something. Misplace something. Then I am scrambling to get it all worked out at the 9th hour. Nine times out of 10 I solve the problem and can move on with my day. Other times, all my preparation and tricks to remind myself of what I need to do and how to do it seem to fail me.
As a first grader, I was diagnosed with Attention deficit disorder. My brain is wired in such a way that leaves me feeling scatterbrained. It’s why I have such a hard time trying to focus and why I have to call on numerous tools and tactics to keep me on track and task. The way my brain works is equal parts beautiful, frustrating and frightening/ It’s hard to explain exactly how my mind works to someone who doesn’t have ADHD, the best description I can give someone is that if your account is a ball in a box that just continually bounces off of every surface, never stopping.
I had a moment this past week of feeling like I was finally getting it all together, I was getting things done, and getting out of my way only to discover that no. I am still tripping over myself both literally and figuratively. I always used to think that maybe I have this ADHD thing figured out. I have learned to cope, and I’m okay.
I realized after my son was in December of last year that I’m not okay. My job as a parent is to teach and guide and protect my son. How can I explain to my son coping skills with this disorder when I am not okay? The reason I was able to learn the skills I have is that my mom who doesn’t have ADHD was able to realize what I need to make sure that I thrive as a child. I know what my son needs and how to do it, but I can’t seem to get myself together enough to do it. I can’t give him the stability he needs because I feel so unstable.
This feeling of instability has led me to make a decision that genuinely frightens me. I have decided to see if maybe taking medication will allow me to focus better so that I can make sure my son gets the help and skills that he needs to thrive. I refuse to have my son on any medication while he is still growing, which is what my mother did for me. Although I don’t believe medication is right for my child at this stage in his life, I realize that at this stage in my life. I am not functioning well, I’m doing okay, I’m surviving, but I’m not thriving I’m not working at the optimal level that I should be. So I decided that it’s time that maybe I need to look into being medicated which is a big deal for me. Growing up, I prided myself on being someone who was able to function with this illness or disorder or handicapped. Never needed the assistance of pharmaceuticals. But maybe, maybe I was wrong. My son is at an age where his body and his brain are just starting to develop and grow even more, so I refuse, absolutely refused to put him on any medication that could hinder or alter the way his brain as it is becoming. However, my brain cells are what I got. So for the both of us to be able to function in a way that is beneficial to both of us, one of us needs to be medicated, and it has to be me. So now I’m going through the process of researching medications and reading up on as much as I can find out about adult ADHD. But still, I question.
Is a pill the answer? Will I turn into Jessie Spano?
Watching a documentary on Adderall, Vyvanse and Ritalin called “Take Your Pill” has me seriously questioning if this a choice I should make. I feel like I am struggling, and I have tried other means of coping and learning to focus, but I’m still having a hard time. I managed to graduate high school and college three times without any medication. I’m proud of this. But at this point in my life, I feel like I’m not coping. So, I think it’s time I tried to take a pill.