Julie’s Story

I could not understand the cycles. I have so many interests and what I call “brief but intense enthusiasms,” so I’d get involved in a variety of projects (all good things). I’d take on too many responsibilities in each area–sometimes just because I was good at it and desperately needed to feel good about myself. I actually enjoyed these things and poured myself into them…until I got bored. I’d lose interest, procrastinate, and let other people down. Then the activities got to be too much, an overwhelming burden. Somehow everything would be due at the same time!

All of this would have been too much for anyone, let alone someone who couldn’t differentiate the important from the unimportant and someone that panicked when under stress and then couldn’t function at all. I’d drop the ball and let people down. I’d embarrass myself and live in a world of shame, depression and migraine headaches. I’d promise myself I would never ever let that happen again, so I’d quit everything. But the vicious cycle would soon begin again: boredom, busyness, overwhelm, procrastination, letting other people down, quitting; boredom, busyness, overwhelm, procrastination, letting other people down , quitting, etc., etc., etc.

Getting diagnosed and getting on medication has helped tremendously but it’s not a cure-all. I found out I’m not stupid (even though it took me 7 years to finish a 3-credit college class to get a degree–I actually registered and paid 3X!), not lazy (I could work circles around other people, unfortunately I’d be just going around in circles) and not crazy (some might disagree on this last point–I’ve had some crazy behaviors).

Today, I’m learning more about ADD and slowly putting what I learn into practice. I’m deciding if I want to continue in my present job that pays well but brings me down, or risk something entirely new. I feel hope for the first time in a long time, my husband says I am much easier to get along with, I’m trusting God more than ever and I feel good. I’m learning what to do (through blogs, forums, classes, books) and am gradually making some new habits–one of which is going to bed at a decent hour, so I’ll sign off for now. Thanks for sharing and giving me an opportunity to share.

Comment by ej on June 23, 2015 at 11:29pm

this describes me thank you for sharing! I’m 36 and just now starting to realize I have ADD. Heading to doctor’s tomorrow. Glad to hear I’m not alone!

Comment by Deidre on May 19, 2013 at 2:25pm
“Brief but intense enthsiasums” That describes my life. I have let down everyone in my circle kids included. Now I am alone with all of my ” brief but intense enthusiasums”.

Comment by Meg on January 18, 2012 at 2:54pm

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I can relate, I also have “brief but intense enthusiasms” and will get involved with something (i.e. volunteering) and have sooo much passion for it. I will give 110% to the cause and have great ideas, so everyone is thrilled to have me. But then I might be given a menial taks, like taking meeting minutes, and because I’m so passionate about the cause of course I don’t say no……so the first time I take minutes I might be great at it but after a month or two I start to not get around to editing the notes and getting them back to the Chairman of the group, or I put off working on the website that I said I would redesin, etc….. It’s a horrible feeling because I do not want to let these people down but it’s always the same pattern 🙁

I was diagnosed with ADD at a young age, say 12, and now I’m 30. But I’ve just recently started to deal with the issue. I also suffer from anxiety and depression and had a breakdown at my job last year…. So I decided to take a year off and “take care of myself”. I’m having a hard time, though, accepting my ADD. I understand it intellectually but emotionally I still think I’m weak-will, lazy, etc. and by taking medication I will just be taking the easy way out. I know that’s irrational…..

I just got prescribed medication yesterday, actually. But I won’t be able to take it till at least Friday because health insurance has to pre-approve it. I’m nervous about taking the medication, but I’m also hopeful that it will help me not struggle so much.

I know I just rambled on there but I just needed to get it out, I grew up in a family where you DID NOT express your emotions and for my mother mental illnesses did not exist so the option of admitting that her child might be suffering from one was out of the question. So it really helps the healing process to just read these stories and put mine out there.

Thank you.

Comment by Melinda P on December 6, 2011 at 5:26pm

I like how you put it – “brief but intense enthusiasms” – that is how I seem to function, too.

It’s weird – I will find something new (game, book, project, subject of interest) and obsess over it – then at some point, I lose connection with whatever it is. Sometimes, it’s over in an evening, sometimes a few days or a week. In a sense, I “see” it happening, but there is nothing I can do about it. Once that disconnect happens, it can be days, weeks, months before I find my way back to it. This is especially problematic with projects that take more than a few hours.

Sometimes, if an obsession gets too intense or extended, I will cut myself off from whatever it is, no matter how much I may enjoy it. I used to love to read novels, but hardly ever do anymore because once I start reading, I don’t want to stop until the end of the book (and that can take hours).

Anyway, thank you for sharing your story!