baa baa black sheep

4.15.2007

Potential

7:17 a.m.

So the drugs, they are working. I've lost the crazy feeling, and my doctor fixed the evening crashing problem by telling me to take an extra little dose in the afternoon. The remaining side effects seem to be weight loss/appetite loss (OH NO) and an inability to form words, um, eloquently. Stumbling speech, a little, but I think that will get better.

I've noticed some serious changes in the last few days.

Everything, all the stress that has always seemed to be caving in on my skull, beating at my brain and overwhelming my senses, turning me into a maniac who tries to do everything all at once? It all seems...not so bad. It's turning into this settled prioritized list in my mind (without a struggle to make it so) that seems not scary, but fact-like and doable. A little over a week ago I was completely panicked about getting wedding things done, and now I remember that things have a time frame, and I will do them when it is time to do them. I didn't know how I could ever get the house ready to sell by May, but now I feel like we're doing things one at a time and it will be fine. I was freaking out about everything, but now I feel like I am handling things when it is time to handle them. I think Justin is even noticing that I'm not freaking out as much. (He probably likes this.)

I can't express how amazing that is.

It's sort of like this. A silly example, but sort of a big deal to me. On Thursday, we were supposed to get a little dump of snow (80 percent chance for 2-4 inches) and Justin had a super busy day planned and only around an hour extra, but we really wanted to mow the yards, and get the grass seed and fertilizer down to utilize the precious precipitation. So I came home, and instead of freaking out entirely and trying to do everything! at! once! and of course, failing to do anything fully and correctly, I could see the tasks we needed to do, and we made a plan, and I followed through with cheerfulness. Not panic, not anger, not frustration. Instead of being overwhelmed by grass seed (it's totally true that I have been overwhelmed by grass seed in the past) I was all, "While you mow I'll put this fertilizer down!" And I felt like I could work with him, instead of crazily doing my own (sub-par) thing.

Maybe this was a lame example, but I wouldn't have handled an hour of rushed yard work like that two weeks ago.

(Of course, it didn't snow. And our yard is still dry as a bone.)

I still feel sort of dubious about the whole ADD thing. I've been diagnosed with depression, general anxiety, panic disorder, OCD. Once there was some chat about schizophrenia. But no one ever brought up ADD. And I guess I don't know much about it. I never had any opinion about it at all, actually, and had a vague notion that usually six year olds had it, and figured it mostly had to do with homework and paying attention in class. I suppose I was following stereotypes, which is crappy. But, there it is. So after I left the doctor's, I was all, "But! I'm not six! I did well in school!" Etc.

But the test and questioning, sort of proved that I have something going on, and the meds helping so much seem to prove that something was going on. I don't know if I believe fully yet, but I think I believe a little.

If that makes sense.

I sort of wish I had had some medication in high school now. And college. Thinking back to the nights of studying math for four, six, sometimes eight hours at night and struggling to get it together. I remember how in class I didn't hear most of what my teachers would say, how agonizing it was to try to keep my focus on lessons and not out the window. I studied so much to stay on top of things, and felt completely inferior because I knew I studied much more than my classmates. I remember sobbing into my calculus book, and my two best friends just looking at me in bewilderment and then continuing on because they couldn't help me. I was plenty smart enough to do the work. I'm a bright girl. My I.Q. is high enough, I was in the gifted class, my test scores were high. Blah blah blah. I felt as if I've always been fighting to find and use my untapped potential, that pesky potential that has been lost somewhere inside me. I wonder now if the medication would have helped me focus, if it would have helped with the anxiety and overwhelming emotions and frustration with myself. I stayed away from majors/careers that had to do with science and math, because I figured I wasn't smart enough. (I really wanted to be a vet, actually, and never discussed it much with anyone because I didn't want to be asked why I wouldn't try.)

I told my psychiatrist that if my GPA were 4.2 in high school without the meds, if I had had meds, by now I would have CONQUERED THE WORLD.

So maybe it's better this way. The world probably doesn't need to be dominated by someone who loves kitties so much she wants to buy cat salt and pepper shakers. (They're super cute! And ceramic! And they're kitties!)

I noticed on Thursday and Friday that maybe now my job isn't going to be challenging enough. Maybe now I can work to more of my potential. Maybe the future is quite a bit brighter.

Love,
black sheeped

5 Comments:

Blogger Swistle said...

This is sounding great. Yay for modern medicine!

3:41 PM, April 15, 2007  
Blogger Mommy Daisy said...

Actually that sounds like a very good thing. It's probably a little eerie, because you're not used to feeling that way. But I'm sure you'll adjust, and it will be much better after that. So glad to hear you're happy about it.

8:26 AM, April 16, 2007  
Blogger desperate housewife said...

I think ADD must be an incredibly frustrating thing. I remember one of my friends in high school, who I am pretty sure had some kind of learning issue going on, crying almost every day over tests, etc. She studied more than anyone, but it all seemed for nothing, because she could not retain the information to save her life. I always felt so bad for her, and had no idea how to help.
I think you're right, people assume ADD means you're a hyper little kid acting up in class. I wish people would think more of this possible diagnosis for kids in high school, who are getting overwhelmed and are almost unable to balance different class schedules and assignments.

10:24 AM, April 16, 2007  
Blogger Fine For Now said...

I am a new reader, and it has taken me a few days to get up to this point in your archives. You totally inspired me to go back to a psychologist and get help about my anxiety and depression issues! Reading about how much better you feel on the medicine and how more clear you can see things, and handle things is really inspiring! I wanted to say thank you for writing about it in your blog :o) Rachel

3:41 PM, October 30, 2007  
OpenID parkingathome said...

In general, people with ADD are also people with exceptionally high intelligence levels. I think there is a connection there, like your brain is so amazing that there needs to be some sort of short in the system so that you don't make everyone else look like a complete idiot by comparison.

The change that medication do is often this amazing, and sometimes even may feel bad or scary because it's so DIFFERENT from what you've known forever. In my experience with a mom and 4 siblings with ADD, the general feeling is, "this is how it's supposed to be all the time?" with either the difference becoming too uncomfortable of a deviation from what has always been, or a deep breath of fresh focused-thinking air.

I'm glad that you were able to figure it out, ADD is unfortunately one of the most misdiagnosed or undiagnosed brain quirk because as I'm sure you've seen it can cause all the other fun thing you've been through, and make psychiatrists treat the symptoms instead of the cause with little to no result.

Blah blah, blather, I'm very passionate about ADD and could talk about it forever.

11:07 AM, March 27, 2008  

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