Mava’s Story

I’m a 19 years old girl and I have been diagnosed with ADD without hyperactivity a few weeks ago.

It’s like someone put all the pieces of the puzzles into place. If I was religious I would say it’s a godsend.

I always knew I was different. As far as I can remember ( 3 years old)I was always the odd kid out. but being lonely didn’t bother me as long as the other children didn’t pick on me and as long as I was a child add wasn’t crippling.

Children are looked after. my days where scheduled for me, and ( even better )the grown ups around me made sure I stuck too it. So even if I kept forgetting and/or loosing everything under the sun it wasn’t really important because I wasn’t responsible for much.

I was an average student. I daydreamed all the time, probably could have skipped school half the week for all the time I spent actually listening. but I’m smart and my memory (when the info get to it)is good, very very good. so I always got by.

It probably helped my sense of self worth that I was one halleluyah of a pigheaded kid and point blank refused to even consider that their was something wrong with my oddities ( not all related to ADD, I dressed like a boy for example. at one point I was called young man as much as young lady. still happens)

so I always knew I was different. A few years ago I realised I also had a problem.

It’s annoying when a child can’t look after himself/herself, but it’s not an issue because he/she not supposed to.

but I’m not a child anymore, somewhere during my teenage years I was supposed to stretch my wings, and start to become independant. I didn’t. I live with my parents, the only job I ever held lasted about a month (I thought I was focussing pretty well, but I was probably too slow. the neurologist who did my diagnostic told me I was slower than average), I have, literally, no social life outside of my class and I’m quiet. academics notwithstanding I live like a 12 years old and a shy one at that.

I’m currently in cegep , in quebec ( Canada) its two years between high school and university and a mix of the two. the only things you have to do is to turn up for class ( they don’t care if you miss it but you have to go to a minimum of hours), hand over your papers, and present yourself for the exams. I learned one important things : structure is important. Basically left to my own devices I repeated the same schemas each semester : fail the two first exams, then work frantically to cram three months worth of lessons into my brain in a week or less to pass the last with a hight enough grade to make up for the others. At the end of each semester I tell myself : No more. I swear. I’ll be a good student. I’ll study regularly (even before knowing you can have ADD without being hyperactive I knew focusing for three hours straight was being me). Each semester I did it again. then it got really bad last year. Due to forgetting to sent my choice of class to the administration until after the dead line I only had three class instead of six. only one was a real chalenge. With so little to do my work ethics went from sporadic to nonexistent. I failed the first one before I forgot to write a paper that amounted for 30% of the finale grade. I failed the second one (beginner spanish, so easy it was a joke) because I didn’t go to the finale exam. I failed the third one ( organic chemistry, fun but hard) because cramming two days before the final exam wasn’t enough to save me this time.

By that point, my parents and I had separately come to the conclusion that we had to do something.

there is no shame in failing three class because they’re too hard. You did your best, you can’t be asked for more than that.

Failing three class because you spent all your time partying and goofing around. Well… You’re only young once.
( My parents are at the point of wishing I had done that.)

Failing three class when you can handle the double easely because you spent your days in la la land , alone, in your room, on your computer. And your 19 years old. that pathetic.

So we knew something had to be done. We just didn’t know what.

Then my mom heard that you could have attention deficit disorder without being hyperactive. before that we only knew the stereotype of the little boy who’s bouncing of the walls like the energiser bunny. Wich is not like my at all, the running joke in my familly is that I have two of blood presure. So she got interested, went to the public library, rented a book about it, read it all the while thinking ”that’s my daughter”, she gave me the book and asked me if I thought it sounded like me, it did, a lot, did I want to try to get a diagnostic ?, hell yea.

So I’ve been on concerta for a week, not sure it’s working yet. When the medication is adjusted I’ll start therapy to get ride of the anxiety I developed and develop tools to deal with ADD.

I already learned a lot about myself since I started learning about ADD. I’m hopeful about the future, something I’ve not been for a long time. One of the best thing I think was that there are a lot of people like me. It feels great.