Homestories2004Sandi’s Story

Opps, oh, oh, I forgot, I’ll get to it, you’re not going to believe this, I did what?

I made a mistake, I mixed it up, I slipped up, I lost it, I’ll get to it, it won’t happen again

I’m sorry.

This is how I began 85% (a guess) of my conversations most of my life. You see I mess up, a lot. I have ADULT ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER or commonly and affectionately known as A.D.D.

I was told last week by a psychiatrist. What a relief, this was great news. I want to tell every one I have ever known. I want to tell every one I come into contact with. Why?

Because this means I AM NOT “scattered brained” as a former colleague told me. I am NOT “an air head” as my ex-husband sometimes told me. I am NOT “just tired” as my doctor told me. I am NOT “depressed” as the psychologist I went to for help told me. I am NOT “just forgetful” as the neurologist told me. I went to him after my supervisor (you know who you are) asked if I ever had a brain injury. I worked for years in an organization that specializes in programs for children with ADD and ADHD. Several years. My disorder was not recognized. No one even considered that I could be afflicted with the very same condition of the clients we were helping. ADD in adults apparently was not considered.

I am not stupid, or lazy or rude.

I am disorganised, a procrastinator, easily distracted and forgetful. Or I was until last week. Now I know I AM A.D.D.!

My son has ADHD. When he was being treated and assessed by his paediatrician, I still never thought that his condition was a family trait.

It wasn’t until I happened to meet a woman at a conference that I thought about it. This woman has ADD. After being my roommate for a weekend, she recognized the signs and suggested it to me. Then my mother saw an article in a woman’s magazine. She showed to me and said, “This is you”

That was four years and six jobs later.

Now I am on Ritalin. Yes the very same medication that my eight year old is on. The same Ritalin that so many people poo poo and are appalled of.

The very same that is allowing me to actually sit here and write this and actually send it out. It allows my son to get through the day: happy, focused, calm. He is not a vegetable when taking it. In fact he still has energy to burn (ask his Triathlon coach!) But this story is not about kids, it is about adults. I was a kid with ADD. We didn’t know it then. I was thought of being disruptive, a behavioural problem, and chatty. The teacher’s thought that perhaps I was rebelling and being opposite my sister who was quiet and disciplined. Let me say “ Hey all you former Mr. And Mrs. who guided me through my academic years, I am not an under achiever. Yes you were all correct, I probably would have excelled had I could put the effort in. Except it not that I was lazy and CHOSE not to try I WAS NOT ABLE TO, I HAVE ADD!! My brain wiring is different.

Look out world, I am ready to take you on, I am equipped with a wonder full brain, I have medication that helps (but not cures) my symptoms. I have the knowledge and am learning the skills to adapt to this disorder. To all those people I inconvenienced by being late, paying bills late, handing in assignments late, and not returning books to, I am sorry. To all those employers (and there are several) who could not understand me and cope with me, I am not bitter (well maybe a little). It is your loss. I AM 38 YEARS OLD: I TAKE RITALIN. I HAVE ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER. I so grateful to doctor Dancell for this diagnosis. I feel like a huge messy weight has been lifted. I will still talk too much, make mistakes, be a little late, confirm every appointment ( perhaps more than once) nevertheless I still am smiling, because, hey I’m not brainless, in fact my brain is exceptional, it has A.D.D.