Brandon’s Story

Where do I start? I used to be pretty skeptical about ADD. I didn’t think it existed. But now more than ever I believe it’s real. I don’t even know if i have ADD. I may just be depressed or have anxiety or learning problems I don’t know but im gonna tell this story regardless. From what i can remember i was an active, outgoing kid, always smiling. Every report card I received in elementary school had “Needs Self Control” written in it somewhere. I was always kicking my legs and fidgeting around(still do). I’ve always had a problem with misplacing things and my mind going blank when i was about to do something. Around when I started 6th grade things with school got dramatically worse. I lost count of how many times my mom had to meet with my teachers and it seemed to me that it was just impossible or ridiculous to sit down and do my work. But what was my alternative? Sit,watch tv, tap my foot, and fidget? Well, thats exactly what I did. I just thought I was lazy and apathetic.

Around that time my self-esteem began to slowly drop. Another thing that i noticed was the fact that I would jump from interest to interest, sometimes daily. I would begin reading books and never finish them and they still aren’t finished. In 8th grade I was severely anti-social, and sarcastic and I was having problems in school with one of my teachers in particular. Self-esteem at this point was at an all-time low. This was also the first feelings of social inadequacy. Not making the basketball team, constantly warming the bench in football, or not being the object of some beautiful girl’s affection. 9th grade i recovered a little. I was more social, more enjoyable to be around. I even got all A’s for one semester!! In 10th grade I did really well in school because I wanted to go to Southwest Virginia’s Governor’s School for the talented in math, science, and technology. I made all A’s and the highest grades and SOL scores of anyone in my classes. So I was accepted in to governor’s school that year. So, I turned 16 and got a car a nice red, sports car. That winter I had started smoking pot some with my friend, and as winter got bleaker and colder so did I. Severe depression set in.

I would lie awake at night crying, cuz i felt lonely, misunderstood, I felt like no one cared about me. Governor school was nothing more than a school for the most popular and cocky kids around. It only made things worse. I really never made any friends there that year either. I even attempted suicide once during that winter. When mom found out i was smoking pot it broke her heart and disappointed her. That hurt me worst of all. When spring rolled around I was just being ungrounded from the drugs. And when i got out of the house i made another friend who introduced me to drinking. I liked drinking it was fun and social, things i hadnt been familiar with in a long time. In about 8 months time I was drinking before school everyday and drinking sometimes at night.

I didnt care though. I was becoming more popular cuz i was out and about partying with people my age. All this time my grades were B’s maybe the occasional A or C but i still never could sit down and do my work. That December me and my friend got really drunk and somehow ended up going to school . We were in lots of trouble. Mom had to come pick me up from school, and i was suspended, and had to go to alternative ed. for 9 weeks etc. Another bout of severe depression set in and I would still drink sometimes. I got over all of that and actually came out feeling stronger and more confident. That spring(2002) I met this girl that had been one grade below me all my life and I had never even spoken to her. Within a few weeks I was beginning to fall in love. 11 months later we’re still together, still in love, and going strong. She was like the light at the end of my adolescent tunnel. My girlfriend’s strong emotionally. She doenst believe in crying or expressing her feelings cuz she thinks it makes her weak.

After awhile that can take a toll on a person. Actually it didnt take long. was a lot more popular in school than i was which always made me feel not good enough for her and often i still feel that way. With my g/f being emotionally shut up and never telling me how she felt about me(if she loved me, if she missed me when i was gone, or even if she liked me being around her) I began to feel inadequate…not good enough for her to tell me those things. I finally got her to loosen up some and that summer was awesome! Without a doubt the happiest time of my life. Then it was time to go to college and leave the dearest thing to me. If you talk to my g/f face to face and then talk to her online or on the phone it would seem you were talking to a totally different person. When i go home to see her she’s a sweetheart! You couldnt ask for anything better out of a relationship. But when im here at school, it’s like im someone she dislikes. Anyway thats

very stressful and then add a double major in biology and biochemistry to it! ANYWAY…about the ADD….it’s gotten a lot lot worse since school started. Im terribly paranoid, I see shadows out of the corner of my eye, I get no work done whatsoever i usually end up staring at my computer screen when i do try to. I have this restless feeling inside my body like all my innards are just trembling with nervous energy and i fidget and bite my lips and fingers, I dont even have self-esteem anymore thats long gone. I’ve contemplated suicide, I don’t sleep well, i don’t eat well, Its hard for me to even pay attention to someone talking directly to me, my mind races with bogus and paranoid thoughts, i constantly feel surrounded by rainy days and gray skys, my gpa is a 2.02, i have become anti-social ……I feel dead…..the only time i feel alive is when im with nikki on the weekends. I’ve made no real friends at school….i feel like a loser………and it costs $500 just to get screened for ADD. Me nor my family have that much to spare on a screening. Why do they have to make it so hard??? All i want is to be normal like everyone else im surrounded by……………………………………… ………………………………………………………..Thanks for the shoulder to cry on.