Friday, November 15, 2013

Be a better person

One thing I have always struggled to deal with is self control.  As a kid, this meant I was a little rambunctious.  As a teenager this was more focus related.  I couldn't do my homework without having a snack and some music going while I worked.  As an adult, this leans more toward emotional control.  I constantly find myself lost in the moment, letting my emotions get the best of me.  I give in to my temper more than I should, and I'm starting to see my kids mirror this activity.  Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of how we appear to our family.  Picture someone you have a lot of respect for and ask "Would I want this person to see me like this?"  Sometimes it's just best to walk away. 

Temper feeds on stress.  If you haven't gotten the right amount of sleep, nutrition, etc, your stress can contribute to the emotions of the moment. I have decided to take control of my life and my emotions.  This is how.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Meds: Because sometimes, you feel like a nut.

I hated Ritalin.  I divorced that ball and chain, and the Alimony I was stuck with was self control.  I lost it all.  After a few years of freedom, it was clear to me I needed to reconcile.  Here's how that went...

Some people, myself included, say that Ritalin doesn't affect them physically.  Well, I used to say that.  After being off for awhile, things changed.  At first, it was like I was a walking heart paliptation.  I was an anxious, nervous wreck.  Sweaty palms, shortness of breath... the whole kit and kaboodle.  This passed after a few days, turning into a prolonged case of the jitters.  Like I had had 4 energy drinks too many.  If you are thinking about changing medication, or getting back on medication, this is something to watch out for, and keep your Dr. in the loop!  Your body chemistry might be different now, and a different medication might be better.  For me, the decision was made to stick with the Ritalin until my body had a chance to adjust.  Of course, I also had to get back into the routing of taking it twice a day, everyday.  I was going back to school, living in a different place, working a different job... This was tough!  But I did it, and it worked.

As I've stated before, I absolutely hated Ritalin... before.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

My Battle with Ritalin

it is hard to put into words my relationship with Ritalin.  It tastes gross.  it feels gross.  I would have been a complete basket case without it.  I could go on...

I think I will start with the broader picture.  ADHD affects everyone differently.  Some people can cope without medication.  I was not one of those people.  I fared well, for the most part, until high school.  By then, I would go days, even weeks sometimes without taking my lunchtime dose at school or my afternoon dose at home.  I started having a hard time focusing on my homework and tests.  In fact, the only thing that kept me remotely interested in school was maintaining eligibility for running on the Cross Country Team.  Even my performance on the team suffered.  I completely lost the self discipline to apply myself at anything but reading and video games.  But that's normal for a high school kid, right?  Maybe...
     Eventually I sat down with my parents and told them I wanted to stop.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Mommy's house, Daddy's house

So the title of this entry is actually the same as a great book I read regarding children with divorced parents and shared custody.  One thing that the book states: There is no single home.  There's Mommy's home and Daddy's home.  You're not visiting one place or the other, you live at these homes. 

So, when I say I left home in 2006, that's not to say I stayed in the same home until then.  In 2005, I realized that having a daughter with a woman I was no longer in a relationship with meant I had to start accepting responsibility above and beyond taking care of my self.  There was this beautiful little life that I needed to provide for and protect.  So I left my dad's house and moved in with my mom, working with her for 3x my former income, thus increasing my child support dramatically. This also led me to a brilliant insight: Mommy's house is not the same and Daddy's house.  Yes, both are home, but the structure is sometimes different.  Hold that thought.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Living at Home: Moving out - Aannnnd Moving back...

I'm moving out!  The excitement that comes with this statement the first time we acheive freedom and independance is one-of-a-kind.  I remember I was 19 or 20 when I first moved out.  Now, my parents were well versed in the needs of an adolecent with ADHD, and I had a well-structured childhood.  With their divorce in high school, I lost the respect I had for that structure and for my parents.  I began my rush to get out shortly after graduating.  I was living with my dad at the time, trying to go to college but constantly dropping all my classes.  I couldn't handle the freedom that came from College.  No all day/ attendance mandatory or you get suspended/ report cards sent home to parents to keep me in line.  I would get bored and stop going to class, eventually dropping them all.  In the meantime, I would pick up more hours at work.  I soon realized that I could earn a decent income just working, and opted out of school altogether.  My dad was less than pleased when I announced I was moving into an apartment with my girlfriend of two months, and looking back, who could blame him?  No degree, working two part time jobs, and moving out.  I was excited!

So I mentioned structure. No school, no full time employment, and freedom from rules is not the life for the unprepared ADHD tween.  I was regularly late for work, when I wasn't calling in sick.  I dabbled in drugs, partied fairly regularly, ate poorly; I just generally took poor care of myself and my life.  When things weren't working out with my girlfriend, my best friend took her place as my room mate.  Of course, I wasn't the greatest friend anymore, with my new found freedom and taste for fun...

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Living at home: Support

Support is crucial to a person with A.D.H.D.  Especially when it comes to structure and routine.  These go hand in had for me. I have a place to charge my phone.  A place to hang my keys, wallet, phone, etc.  If for some reason i choose to charge my phone in another place, it could take me days to remember where. If I set my watch down to wash my hands, there is a good chance it will get left there.  A.D.H.D. makes me a creature of habit and muscle memory.  

Of course, who actually likes to keep things picked up, organized, with a place for everything and everything in it's place?