Whitney’s ADD / ADHD Story

Hi to everyone and thank you to everyone who has written their story.

I grew up with the whole ADD and ADHD problem being discussed all the time. It controlled where we went, what we ate, where we lived, etc. It was my brother. He was one of the kids who they basically used as a guinea pig for Ritalin back in the 60’s. They did some rotten things to him. He was thrown out of school at age 6 and again kicked out of university after having arrived there on a merit full scholarship to work on the Space Shuttle. He just couldn’t cope. As a result, the whole experience has emotionally scarred both him and my parents about the whole thing. He struggled for years and now finally holds a Phd and lives and works from home in the mountains.

But what I find interesting, is when I read these stories, I don’t see my brother! I see me! I have lived in the shadow of my “crazy” brother for so long that neither my parents, nor myself, ever realized anything could really be wrong with me. I was quiet in comparison, normal, social and did okay in school.

But then I wasn’t really in charge of my life then. So adulthood came, marriage, many years of travelling and living quite an unsettled lifestyle. An easy way to hide away and great place to find excuses! But then three children and settled life and a need for order and responsibility came and I just never could seem to get my act together. I’m a very hands on mother and put my “starving writer husband’s” career first. Great for more excuses.

Well, I am nearing 41. I have no idea what I want out of my life. I live in a constant state of chaos and forgetfulness. I have the most amazing husband because he is still here after 24 years of ever increasing madness and turmoil. I was always a positive person before we settled down and became parents, but I have let my world collapse around me and I am utterly lost. I hear myself and I have become the most sad and negative person (except to my kids!!) We are just realizing that my gifted 9 year old boy has dyspraxia and my 2 year old girl is looking like a replica of my brother!

I have a sweet gentle 6 year old girl in the middle, who, knock on wood, seems no more than a sweet helpful chatterbox! Of course in dealing with all this, I have finally allowed myself to say I need help. I was telling my boy’s teachers that they just could not expect him to do better by just shear will and determination alone. Those words have been ringing in my head. So I have finally excepted that for myself. I have cried more in the last two days while reading over this site than in my entire life. I will be calling the doctor tomorrow morning and will get help. I can do this because I have seen you all do this. Thank you.