Becca’s Story

I am 48 years old, and just today discovered the very real possibility that I have ADD, and have had it since I was little. I stumbled across another ADD/ADHD website that described the condition. I felt like I was reading my life’s story in that list of symptoms! I could not believe it! The symptoms for children, adolescents and adults all “fit”. I do not show the “H” (hyperactivity) ADHD, but rather the ADD. I showed it to my fiance and he also believes the ADD description is “me”.

I have always been considered very intelligent, shown by IQ tests and such, however the comments of teacher after teacher were, “You are so smart…. why don’t you apply yourself?” “If you would quit getting into trouble and pay attention to schoolwork, you could achieve great things”…. etc., etc. I participated in risky behaviors and “self-medicated” with drugs and alcohol. I finally quit alcohol 2.5 years ago (quit drugs long ago), and have begun to address issues in my life.

Somehow, I did graduate from high school, went to a community college, got bored and distracted with it and quit. I fell into secretarial work, and eventually ended up in legal offices. Well, time after time they were impressed with my ‘quickness’ but my ability to organize and meet deadlines cost me several jobs.

I lost a job about three years ago for nothing more than just being disorganized – that is a killer in a legal secretarial position. I would “forget” deadlines, and important projects that were due… I mean I have to keep a calendar in front of me or I’d forget what day it was! And distractions – I would get distracted by anything at all… someone walking by, the internet, or I’d be in the middle of a task and get distracted by my own thoughts for God’s sakes! To my credit, and one reason was I able to barely maintain in these offices, I was an incredibly fast typist, great speller and editor, and could TOTALLY hyper-focus when it came to a deadline crunch situation. But, I just had too many downsides to keep a steady job of that nature.

So, I decided after I lost the last job, I would try something totally different. Something I might like. I have since gone back to college, and am almost finished pursuing an AA degree. I did well in subjects I was interested in, but my abysmal math abilities (also another symptom!) may keep me from getting my AA degree – two math classes are all that stand between me and that degree, and I may not complete it! (never finish things I start – another thing I have a big problem with!).

My family has been effected by my forgetfulness, clutter, and disorganization as well. My forgetfulness is horrible! I can relate to Angie and Melinda’s stories regarding the forgetfulness. Once I forgot to pick up my son from school! (it was an early-out day!), and the list goes on and on…. Losing things: my fiance has finally just quit trying to get me to put things back in “their place”. To me, if it is in the house, then it is in “its place”! I NEVER know where anything is – unless it is important to me. Then, it seems I can visualize where it is and fish around and find it no problem. Weird.

The extreme frustration I’ve felt along with thoughts that I was stupid or crazy played havoc with my self-esteem over my lifetime. “Why can’t I DO this [simple tasks everyone else seems to be able to do]?!”

When I found the list of symptoms I almost cried with relief – “It’s me… it’s me!” At least now I know and can move forward with talking to my doctor, reading up about ADD, and learning to finally cope with this condition that has had such an impact on my life.

Glad this website is here. Thanks.