Matthew’s Story

Hello.. just wanted to say this page has really opened my eyes.. there really are people out there with the same feeling…

Firstly, after moving school twice in 2 months after the divorce of my parents, I attended a Boys School. There, I was a constant annoyance in class. I remember getting reports with Matthew continues to disrupt the lessons alongside the typical able but idle. I tried to work for my GCSEs, but could not do so. I just spent all my time on the phone running up one bill of over 300 pounds, even climbing out of the window on occasions to use the phone box down the road because I was banned. I still managed to pass with 4 As and 3 Bs with Cs, despite numerous detentions and the like. I remember one comment from an English teacher – Matthew, you are the bane of my life.

In my first year of A-levels, I was sent out of class on numerous occasions for being disruptive, on the occasions that I actually attended class. Sometimes I would just go to school and play pool all day. The thought of settling down to do work frightened me. Even when I did have books in front of me, they just remained open, and unused. On attempts to read them, I would be met with blurred pages, with masses of seemingly incomprehensible literature. My English teachers always noted that I failed to make any notes on my book This was because I wasn’t reading my book! I was playing with my phone, or daydreaming, or writing random comments or a poem or a letter, or making a list of things I had to do in the rest of my day. Even when I was reading out loud in class, none of it was sinking in. I would forget what I had even read when asked questions about it by the teacher. I eventually read the books less than two weeks before my exams, when confronted with failure. I suppose I am lucky that I was even able to do this – but I doubt this approach would serve me well at university!

In Psychology, I was predicted an E due to the lack of work I was putting in I eventually managed to achieve an A, with BB in my other subjects, gaining the highest mark in the year. How? I shut off all my friends, shut myself away, didnt go to school and just worked on my own. I even wrote a note for my wall with something like Keep going, sod that teacher to motivate myself. This was the only way I could focus on the task in hand. Even then, the temptation of the TV or the Internet was often too much. To remember the work, I would make notes about 5 times, and to keep motivated, I would look at the University website, sometimes up to 10 or 15 times a day this just doesn’t seem normal looking back. Even now, on my gap year, I am buying books, spending hundreds of pounds (200 pounds for a dictionary which I have opened twice!), yet reading, at the most, a few pages.

I have managed to get through 2 biographies, and I find biographies easier to keep on with. Recently I have quit a job. The owners kept shouting at me when I continually forgot tasks I had been assigned, when I kept putting things down and forgetting as little as 5 seconds after, when I couldnt remember how to lay the table, even though I had been shown 3 or 4 times before. Similar things had happened with my previous job, where I was eventually put on checkouts because I couldn’t follow simple instructions that those less intelligent, with all due respect, were fine with. I began to just think I was stupid, but I always, deep down, knew I had a problem, I just never thought anyone would take any notice of me. After all, I seemed fine to the unknowing eye.

The only way I ever remember things is by making lists. Recently, I have taken to keeping a note of things that pop into my head ideas or thoughts, which I know wouldn’t be returning to me when I want them to. Things just don’t sink in, don’t come to mind when I want them to, and I just cant focus. Somehow, I have got into a good Law School, and the last thing I want is to be starting my course in October with no focus or ability to retain information. Its a hard enough course as it is.

I am really, really desperate to regain my ability to concentrate. It has been missing for a long time I just feel like I am being held back, like there’s this fuzzy shield in between my brain and I, and its getting me down now. I have even had some near misses in my car lately.

This is my experience. Every day things pop into my head, things which I have previously ignored but now know to be significant. People out there should not suffer in silence. I know I have ADD, but i’m seeing a Psychiatrist next week to, hopefully, have it confirmed, so that I can at least do something about what I have.

Feel free to get in touch, please,

Matt, 18 🙂