Angie’s Story

I recently celebrated my 45th birthday. I have had an average of 3 jobs per year for the past 15 years. Prior to that, I had more like 6 jobs per year. I always received excellent reviews with one exception. “Does not work well with others.” I got to the point that I would cry prior to any evaluation. No matter how hard I tried, I was unable to get along with my coworkers. They never invited me to breaks, out for drinks..nothing. I also found that each deep friendship I had would end within two years. Most of them couldn’t describe WHY they wanted to end the relationship. A couple of them said that dealing with me was like walking on broken glass.

A couple of months ago, while in therapy, I mentioned that I was having trouble finishing college. I had to write a final paper, which I did. The professor made a couple of notations and said that once I corrected those things, I could submit it and I would officially have my Masters degree. Well, that was over two years ago. I had no idea why I couldn’t finish it.

My therapist gave me a questionnaire to take. I kept misplacing it, so he gave me more copies. When I finally finished filling it out, it took another month before I remembered to bring it in. After the questionnaire was scored, I was told that I probably had ADHD. I was stunned. I am a teacher and I knew how my students with ADD acted, but I couldn’t understand how that applied to me.

My therapist suggested that I read, Driven to Distraction.” That was about 6 weeks ago. My life changed immediately!

At first, it was relief. To have a word for what I had was tremendously helpful. Then, to realize that many of my other “life failures” were probably due to this condition was like giving me a new chance.

I am now trying to get my life together. I still haven’t finished that paper, but my husband and I now know why I do some of the things I do and together, we are overcoming some of the obstacles. I have hired a life coach who will start working with me next week. I also have a professional “organizer” coming to help me put a dent in my house mess.

At first, I was thrilled to know that my condition had a name. After a couple of weeks, that excitement turned to depression when I realized that there was no quick fix. I was on Ritalin for a couple of weeks and then put on Concerta. My dosage was increased today. So, although I am thrilled to have an answer, I am angry that 28 years of therapy, 16 therapists and over 6 Psychiatrists never diagnosed this. And now, I have to rebuild my life on a damaged foundation.

At the same time, however, I have a terrific husband (with OCD) who is very supportive. The medication has already made a difference in the way I feel. It hasn’t quite helped what I DO. I am hoping the behavioral therapy and coach will help me with that.

Finally, I want to thank those of you who shared your stories. Reading your stories helped me to stick in there and realize that there is a light at the end of this tunnel.