Heather’s Story

I am 19 and have never been officially diagnosed as ADHD but the more i see on it, the more it seems to be what i have been dealing with since i was a kid.

i was always highly intellegent and “spirited”. yet when i entered kindergarten the teacher considered me a difficult student because i talked out of turn and she couldn’t get me to settle down for a nap. i always had to be running around doing something and could not sit still.

i always had trouble with being overly emotional, spacy and just plain too impulsive.

things didn’t get really bad in showing that there was a problem until fifth grade. to start with i got kicked out of one class because the teacher couldn’t get me to sit still or be quiet. and when i got put in another class i was constantly in trouble. we had a big project to do and i forgot to do it. i hadn’t meant to, mind you… i just did. i was always in the principal’s office for not turning my homework in. it wasn’t that i didn’t do it, i just couldn’t seem to keep track of it to turn in. she would talk for up to half an hour and i would zone out after five minutes. i tried to pay attention, i really did. i just couldn’t.

i did manage decent grades in school. i had B’s and a few A’s usually. maybe some D’s or C’s every now and then but being smart helped a lot.

my handwriting was a big part of my grades being lower than they should. i have never been able to write. i just can’t form the letters properly. like, i know how to do them and if i focus 100% on forming each letter then i can write legibly but then each letter takes a full two minutes. people don’t understand that i do know how to write, i just don’t have the ability to. does that make sense to anyone? it just ends up as a continuous scribble and the readability deteriorates as i go.

taking notes was another concept i just couldn’t grasp. teachers expected me to write information down off the tv screen while they lectured but i just couldn’t help but zone out. and if i was writing then i couldn’t pay attention to what i was writing because i was having to focus so much on each letter that i lost the point of what i was writing. again does that make sense to anyone?

my organization was hopeless. i just couldn’t do it. i would intend to organize and keep stuff neat but it just never happened. i would forget to do it. ironically i did well in math but couldn’t show my work. it was as though my mind solved the problem so fast it had no way of slowing down so i could write it down.

home wasn’t much better. i was always in trouble for breaking something, or not cleaning. i would intend to be doing my chores and then i would come across something interesting while cleaning and go completely off task. and completely forget what i had been doing. or mom would tell me to take out the trash after my show was over and i would agree but completely forget the conversation afterwards. it was like i heard things, they just never stuck. does that make any sense?

work has been fairly easy for me but i can never do well enough to get anywhere. i don’t mean to screw up and forget what i was supposed to be doing, it just happens. i have been in trouble several times for my drawer being off because i forgot to give someone their change. the office person has told me to go to another cashier and i will hear her but completely forget it as soon as i leave the till room.

one of my teachers who was more patient and understanding actually helped me understand myself a little better. once she understood the illegable handwriting wasn’t being lazy or not applying myself and i couldn’t help it she decided to let me type my assignments (i can type as fast as i think). my grades instantly shot up. she even convinced my other teachers to let me type when possible. we talked a lot after class (she was my last class for the day) and she told me she thought i was ADHD but had developed coping stratagies to adjust to school.

all of my life people have decided that i was lazy or i didn’t have enough dicipline and that i could calm myself down if i wanted to but i can’t. it’s not that i mean to drive people nuts or be so hyper, i just am! i wish i could focus on things or slow down but it’s like my mind is runnig on fast forward nonstop and there’s no pause button.