I have written extensively about my battle about my anxiety disorder, however, I have written little about my battle with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Anxiety and ADHD are often connected. According to psychcentral.com, “… about 30 to 40 percent of people with ADHD have an anxiety disorder…” It is fascinating to me that these two disorders are so commonly linked together. Perhaps this is why I went into special education. Since the majority of my students legitimately have ADHD, I can help them utilize strategies that have helped me in the past, and, more importantly, I can relate to them.
ADHD is A LOT more fun than anxiety, but for me, it can still be extremely frustrating. I love those moments when I am lost to creativity and so full of energy I could burst. Those days are wonderful. I love being able to laugh without care and go wild. However, I know that when I am on those ADHD highs I am going to loose something, forget what I was doing and in some other way drop the ball with my responsibilities. It can be very challenging to have ADHD and be in a leadership position. I have several people counting on me and I feel awful when I forget about completing a task for someone or I misplaced something they had given me. I don’t do it on purpose, I quite honestly forget. My students are very forgiving, and actually they all buffer me and help me cope. It’s actually pretty fabulous. My students are incredible! And let me tell you that being in a classroom full of students with ADHD is HILARIOUS! It’s a miracle we stay focused long enough to master our content!
ADHD can also be very difficult on my marriage. My husband, as I often brag about, is so supportive and understanding. However, I know there comes a point where he is frustrated with me for not cleaning the kitchen, taking out the trash, doing the laundry or misplacing the car keys. Obviously, I do not blame him for being frustrated, because I am frustrated too. I do not like being perceived as lazy or passive. I truly want to help. I’m not sure how to explain it, but when I walk past the dishes or step over the laundry, I just do not comprehend them. I know there is a need to take care of it, but when it comes to following through, I don’t always make it to that step on my own. I have to be reminded several times. It causes tension between us and I hate that. I want to be the wife he deserves, and not just a big kid he has to take care of (it is my secret fear that one day he will just see me as being a child instead of an adult and treat me accordingly).
However, I am exploring new techniques, with the support of the hubby, to help me track all of my responsibilities at work (one step at a time, the home will come later) so I can be more effective with my time. I bought a calendar to record all my dates and take notes. Yes, I have a phone and I can set alert, but for whatever reason I just hit snooze or ignore! Not helpful. 🙂 So I figure that if I have a different date tracker that was separate from the socialization tracker (my phone) I could become a little better in this area. I will say that yesterday and today I checked several items off my list in my calendar! YAY me!
For the majority of the time, I love having ADHD. I think it enhances my already loud personality and cancels a little of my anxiety out. When I’m nervous, but on an ADHD high, the high normally trumps the nerves. That can be incredibly helpful!
I love that I finally reached the point where I can love and accept myself for who I am, and all the complicated quirks and apparent disorders I possess. It is incredibly freeing to be able to embrace myself instead of being ashamed.