Derek’s Story

I am 33 and was just recently diagnosed with ADD. I now realize of course that I have had it my whole life. The reason that I was diagnosed is that my wife of 5 years and I were seeing a counselor about issues that we had going on in our marriage. The main issues being that I did not do things that I told her I would do, and I would not do things that she asked me to do, etc, etc. She was very frustrated and I kept telling her that I had never meant not to do the things she had asked but that they had escaped my mind.

It seemed that every day I forgot about the things I had to do and the things that I told her would get done. Mail the bills, fix the kids toys, file the receipts, etc, etc. After seeing the counselor several times, he said to my wife, “you know, there are some husbands who really don’t care so much and just don’t have intentions of doing those those things, but with Derek, he sincerely does want to do those things and I think he has ADD.” Well, we read “Driven to Distraction” and it was like reading my life story.

The “cough drop syndrome” is my life every day. It is where a lady gets in her car on Monday and sees that someone has left a cough drop on her dash. She thinks to herself that she will throw it away at her first stop. The first stop comes and goes and the cough drop is still there. She thinks again, well I’ll throw it away at the next stop. All day long the stops come and go and when she pulls into the driveway at the end of the day, she see the cough drop still there. Discouraged, she thinks, well I’ll throw it away in the house. In the time it takes to get her stuff together, she is onto another thought and totally forgets about the cough drop. That is my life.

I live about 3 miles from the Interstate and I have tried at least 25 times to get the exact mileage (for giving people directions to the house.) When I pull out of my driveway, I reset the odometer and never once have remembered to check it when I get to the highway because I am thinking about something else.

It has been a blessing to find out about ADD and I have been on Concerta for 2 months and it seems to help a little. We are working on organizing our lives and home to better serve my ADD mind. The hardest part is the frustration that she has dealt with for 5 years and how to fix it. It is difficult because I totally love her and want to make her happy but she thinks “how could he love me if he doesn’t even care enough to do the things I ask him to.”

Well, I think she realizes now that I have not been trying to sabotage her sanity and I do really love her. We are trying to have fun with it now because almost every issue that we had is described in exact detail in “Driven to Distraction” and other ADD books. I want to encourage other married ADDers to be positive and embrace the benefits of the ADD person and try to learn ways to overcome the results of ADD “forgetfulness.” I also want to encourage all the ADDers to be understanding of your frustrated spouse. Good luck and God bless.