Marie’s Story

In 1995 I initially suspected that I had ADD after learning what it was through my closest friend who had been diagnosed with it.

I was 24 at that time. Now,when I look back to those years in college my behavior and its consequences spells out ADD in bold letters. Somehow I managed to graduate from college, in seven years mind you, and a helluva student loan debt to go with it. I sometimes think that my professors were so frustrated with me, that they just signed the graduation papers to get me out of there. I have been considering attending graduate school, but I didn’t seriously suspect ADD until I got a good look at my transcript, which looks like an academic rollercoaster throughout a seven year period.

Let me take you back a little bit and describe my academic experience. I am very creative, and majored in art. In any given class I would have 5 or so projects going on at the same time, then when finals came around I either didn’t finish them (because I got bored and moved on) or, did such a sloppy finish that my potential couldn’t be seen. My professors (most of them in the department) were VERY frustrated with me. Some of them lost their temper with me, some just threw in the towel. At one point during those seven years it was suggested that I change my major completely, but I refused. Keep in mind that no one knew what ADD was in ’93’94 etc… I knew that something was up with me; whereas, I knew that I was as smart as my peers but I was different, I couldn’t put a finger on it. I had great difficulty paying attention in art history classes which consist of sitting still in a dimly lighted room looking at slides and listening to a lecture. Its no wonder that during my undergraduate history I went through THREE art history professors.

How do you compute that? I had to repeat several AH courses in order to fulfill the requirements for graduation. Other areas of life were also affected. My social life took precedence over my academic responsibilities. I consistently overdrew my checkbook and was fired from several jobs. I felt that I was not as emotionally mature as most people my age.

After graduating from college in ’96 I entered the real world. I moved to NM, then back to my home state because I just wasn’t making it in NM. I have had 10 jobs in the past 3 years. The one I’m currently at, will be two years January ’03., a BIG step for me. What do I do? I work with adults with disabilities- mild mr. I travel in my car most of the time so I have a lot of variety. The paperwork and organization that is part of the job is a challenge for me.

I have been recently diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, went through the four hour testing, and will be starting some kind of medication. I think that will be a big help for me. I am thinking of graduate school for social work- I think that I can do much better given the knowledge I have now. I know what my weaknesses are and what I need to work on. Oh, and I still use my creative abilities, I go to a drawing workshop once a week and am planning on entering some work with a few magazines. As long as I don’t have too much going on at once. ha haa….