Joy’s Story

I am 45 and have been diagnosed with ADD for about 15 years. As a child, I was an average student, but daydreamed all the time and had a hard time finishing things and turning them in. My desk was always a mess with half-done papers, etc. I would even fake being sick so that I could go to the “sick room” and daydream! I went to college and managed to do okay, but always finished things the night before or turned them in late.

Socially, I was well-liked, but I was afraid to get too close to people, because I was pretty insecure. As for guys–I knew how disorganized and scattered I was, so I felt inadequate to ever get married. I seemed to end up with guys with problems, as this made me feel less insecure about my own! I made some bad choices following that pattern! If I was with a really great guy, I felt too “flawed” and broke up. But I still was looking for Mr. Right. I taught school for 5 years, but eventually quit because though I was good at some aspects of teaching, keeping up with grading papers and such was a disaster. I felt like I was about to be found out and fired!

I went back to Seminary to consider being a missionary. I loved the structure and yet lack of responsibility of being a student, as well as learning from wonderful professors. Ended up getting married to another seminarian at 29 only because I got pregnant. Great, huh? That husband had major issues, though, such as infidelity, and I eventually divorced him, after having 3 kids. I got remarried to a man who was really sweet, but had a really dysfunctional past. I think I was hoping he would help me with life and with raising the kids, but…he relapsed into drugs, ended up in prison, etc.

Meanwhile, I had two more kids! So now I’m a single mom with five kids. I love them dearly, but it is really difficult to handle everything, especially with ADD. My house is always a mess, as are my finances. I’ve been a Media Specialist at an elementary school for three years, which I love, but it is so stressful to try to stay above water there, and then come home and try to hold things together here.

At least I get somewhat of a respite during the summer. Then I don’t have to get all the kids up and going in the morning, get them to do homework, etc. I take Adderall, which helps somewhat, but I’m still pretty disorganized. My 13-year-old son has ADD also. That’s a challenge in itself! I tend to escape by reading books, but that only gets me further behind on all the laundry, etc.! Oh well, I just keep on keeping on and do the best that I can. That’s all we can do! Keep on looking for ways to improve, and never give up!