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...
Eventually, our lease was up and my dad said to come home. He wanted my life to get better. He would pay for school, I would have no housework. The catch: I needed to get back on Ritalin. I accepted his offer. With the new arrangment came some freedoms I didn't have before. I did not have a curfew, but was required to tell my dad where I was staying if I didn't come home. Otherwise I needed to be home when I said I would be. I was free from housework, although he did "hire" me to take care of the lawn. Essentially, the terms of our arrangement were that I take care of myself, while never putting myself in a situation where he couldn't take care of me if necessary. I had to stay in school, but only needed to work enough to pay for my car, insurance, and gas. I learned to develop my own routine, and my own schedule. By the time I moved out again (this time to my mom's) I had a good jump start on a clear path to a successful future.
Moving back home was the best decision I could have made. I got my life together, got a lot of school out of the way before moving out again. When I did get off the medication, I did it with the help of my Dr. It pays to have patience and do things "the right way". Always consider the opinion of those people with more life experience than you. They value your independance as well, which is why they are giving you their feedback.
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Thanks for reading!