Tuesday, August 26, 2014

To Fail at Sky Diving

How many of you are country fans?  Ever hear the song "Live Like You Were Dying" by Tim McGraw?  Inspiring, right?  Wrong.  Nightmares. 

Many people with ADHD deal with depression and/or a heightened imagination.  Dreams of violence, suicide, etc. can put us on the edge or make us wonder if we don't have some deep down violent tendencies.  I just have the nightmares.  Waking nightmares.   The other day I was listeing to this song, and thinking about what it would be like to go skydiving.  My dad just had a heart attack a month or so ago, and of course, this reiterated the mortal fear in me.  So here I was, kind of daydreaming about going Skydiving with my dad.  The cargo/jump door opened, and I without my chute got sucked out, as my dad hopelessly watched his only son fall away.  As I came out of the daymare, I was left with the sense of him jumping after me, chute on his back and an extra in his hand... but did he reach me?  I'm willing to bet my dad would jump out of a plane if he though he could save me.  Did he reach me?  Of course now I'm thinking of myself and if I were in his shoes and it were one of my daughters.  The images are so vivid I could scream. 

This has recently come up in conversation in one of the groups I regularly participate in online.  An individual had been having violent or depressing dreams, and was wondering if, deep down, she was suicidal.  I won't go into further detail but it made me realize I am not alone with the mightmares and the morbid imagination.  It was interesting to see the comments on that thread.  They were so supportive.  The general consensus was there that if she truly believed she was capable of self harm or harm to others, to seek professional advice.  However, beyond that, there was support.  "You aren't alone, I have those dreams too" kind of comments.  I shared some of my nightmares, daymares, and fears as did others, and I feel like we all kinda changed her thoughts from "What if I'm suicidal?" to "These are the things I fear the most."  When we fear something so strongly, we are not likely to act it out, but rather shy away from it in the waking world. 

My nightmares are almost always about witnessing the violent death of my loved ones, or falling to my own death.  When I even have the slightest thought of harm coming to my kids, I can't bear to look at them, because I see it all over again.  I often wonder why I can't imagine nice things.  Anxiety maybe?

So, here I am in my ADHD mind wondering where I'm going with this, and really, it all boils down to two things.

Assume the best about yourself, not the worst; surround yourself with people who will motivate and relate.

You are not alone.  Whether it's finding something so wonderful it's almost addicting (like Pink Floyd Music) or so awful you wake up screaming, there's someone out there who can relate. 

Friday, August 22, 2014


I realize that ADHD does not affect us all the same way.  Some people who read this face far more challenges than I do.  And some less.  Some of you may read my posts and think "This guy's nuts."

That may or may not be true.

Yet others may read this and think, "Man, I wish I had his problems." 

I try to write about the good and the bad that happens in my life.  One thing that remains consistent is why.  I write because there are those who are worse off who can't express their needs and frustrations.  I write to provide perspective to those who might not otherwise understand.  For those of you who struggle with OCD, Depression, Autism, and other spectrums, disorders, personalities, and/or handicaps: I love you all.  I write for you.  You are my heroes.  My inspiration.  I am able to joke about my ADHD, and do so gladly.  However, don't think for a minute that I don't take it seriously at the same time.  If my life is ever bad, there's someone out there who has it ten times worse.

I grew up as a runner, with a runner as a father.  When I would feel a little bleh about things, he'd notice.  We'd be driving and he'd see a homeless person walking down the street with Cerebral Palsy or some similar affliction (This specific example actually happened) and he point them out to me.  He'd say "Son, that's why we run.  We do it for the people who can't."  Thus he taught me that there are always people worse off, fighting a harder battle. 

So for those with similar issues to mine, and those without, remember this the next time you need motivation, inspiration, or if you just need to know you're worth it.  Someone else has it worse, and they are still living day to day like it matters.  Because it does.  Regardless of who you are, or what your superpower is, you matter.  Do not get down on yourself for the cards you're dealt.  Find something you can do, and do it for those who can't.  And for those who can't describe their ADHD, can't deal with their ADHD and Aspie child, know that I gladly represent you and recognize your battle, which in and of itself makes you a stronger person than I.

To the rest of you, please appreciate the situation of others and remember you may not know what they go through.  Rather than being judgy, be inspired.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Kudos to a great friend in the ADHD community

You may have seen this posted before, however it was terribly put together and I feel it did not do the subject justice.  Please give it another chance, and I highly recommend you follow the links...

Credit for all links, photos, and quotes goes to Tom Nardone.  Just sayin.

Once there was a man named Tom Nardone.  In fact, more than once, as there is still a man named Tom Nardone.  Well Shit, what a great start.  But this is how I role, and Tom Nardone would say "F!#* it, you're awesome!"  So I'll continue.  Tom is one of my favorite people. A Wise Man, is he, who finds the awesome in everything.  This particular man has a loving relationship with a chair, brings pizza to job interviews, and kills lawns like a champ.  My hero.  I know now, because of Tom, that my reality is true that Call of Duty take precedence over just about anything that tries to interrupt it.  I take solace in that.

His Wife, Yvonne, calls him a Bloggernaut.  This man is relentless in sharing his wealth of knowledge, and isn't afraid to admit it.  Yet, he's also not trying to hog the spotlight.  He willing helps others with blogs and personal issues, not discriminating.  His poetry is worth a read as well, and is at par with the rest of his blogs.  Most importantly, however, Tom Nardone is a man with a realistic interpretation of the ADHD Blogworld.

To hell with the world's most interesting man.  Tom Nardone is the world's most awesome man. Even so, he goes out of his way to promote his peers almost as much as he promotes himself.  Though I consider myself to be fairly mediocre as far as bloggers go, this is how Tom sees me:

Most importantly, he provides an accurate detail of the value of the crap in our lives. When you read his blog about used things being the best things, you'll see that he is so right.  I have been screwed by my house, and by my car...

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Vacation blues

What you want from a vacation is not always what you get.   Family reunions, especially.  There are always those favorite relatives who couldn't make it.  That crazy aunt or uncle who drives everyone nuts (or is the life of the party).  One thing I've always loved, however, is the break from reality.  Drink a little more, eat a little worse, stay up a little later.

Not anymore.   This vacation, those last three things are getting cut short.  I suffer from tension headaches, and after regulating my sleep and diet for several months, I have found that I cannot simply stop and let loose just for a vacation.  Right now I'm typing this in bed on my smart phone because laying down equalizes my blood flow and relieves some of the tension in my head.  I can also work out or run l, allowing the endorphins to sort me out.  I plan to after this post.  The only other thing that works is Excedrine Tension Headache, or it's name brand equivalent.  This speaks volumes to the need, especially for someone with ADHD, to maintain a healthy balance of food, exercise,  and rest.  The problems we have without a healthy routine are not always just enhanced ADHD symptoms, but also physical symptoms.  So I will be ending this now with a question and a thought.

Thought: the hardest part about getting in shape and developing a healthy routine is the actual development.   Once you get started, your body will tell you when you get too far off track a lot of the time.

Question: does anyone else out there suffer from tension headaches or other  physical symptoms, and how do you link it to ADHD, if at all?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Tantrum: Revisited

Those of you who are not new readers know I have an internal nemesis named Tantrum.  For the newbies out there, I'll break it down real quick like.  Ever have those days where one thing after another goes wrong and you get so angry you start to take it out on everything and everyone around you?  Yes, well, maybe not.  Anyhow, I do, and I call this phenomenon Tantrum.  I find Tantrum is easier to combat when personified.

Tantrum struck hard this weekend.  I can't really go into the details, unfortunately, as I feel obligated to respect the privacy of those I was with this weekend who might read this and find it otherwise distasteful.  I digress...

tantrum struck hard.  I was not at home.  I had no "go-to" sanctuary to calm my mind and fight the battle.  so I fought Tantrum, in the open, in my mind, and fought so hard I was in tears for hours.  You might ask me "Andrew, why would you put yourself through this?"

Glad you asked.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

ADHD is all in the mind.

Literally.  It's not made up, but it all takes place in the mind.  Mental health is just as important as physical health.
In the shadow of one of the most difficult days since I began this blog (meaning difficulties that are ADHD related) I am updating the blog with my work on becoming a healthier person. 

In recent days and weeks, I've battled to maintain a healthy diet.  I'd say I've done fairly well for the most part.  I've stopped losing weight, which is ok, because my clothes are still fitting more and more loosely, and my energy levels are better, so I know I'm still on the right path.  However, my mental health, as seen in my last blog, has been suffering a bit.  So now, along with eating well and trying to get out a few days a week and get some exercise, I'm going to start incorporating a little self awareness and meditation into my daily routine.  Just sitting quietly and listening to everything going on around me is like that first stretch in the morning.  All the muscles wake up, there's a big yawn, and I'm good to go.  I sit, lay, stand, whatever, and just listen to everything going on around me.  I can focus on anything and everything and just listen.  Then I turn that attention inward.  How am I feeling?  what aches?  Am I hungry?  Thirsty?  What's good for breakfast today?  just 5 or 10 minutes a day is enough, first thing in the morning, or at lunchtime at work, or even right before bed (great for getting to sleep)  Any thoughts or dreams, write them down.  Maybe blog about them :)

so you may see a few more abstract blog topics in weeks to come.  I'm on vacation next week, and doubt I'll be on the internet much, if at all.  If I am, it's probably just to upload photos.  Just as a break in your day is a good thing, to recharge your mind and keep a positive mental attitude; a vacation works just the same way, and everyone should take them!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Basket case

Anyone who's taken a break from their meds will get this...

I recently experienced a life-altering event.  I'm not sure why it's still affecting me, since it's over with, and life has gone on with no injury, torment, sadness, or any other insanity which would cause me duress.  Yet here I am, still unable to function.  It's started affecting my work life.  My blogging.  This morning I wrote and rewrote a blog 3 times, each time less cohesive than the last.  I am second guessing myself constantly.  I do not have the time or money to undergo any non-med treatment, and so it may come down to a decision to take up the ritalin coat of arms once more.

Essentially I feel like I did when I first tried to stop taking meds for my ADHD.  I attempted to quit cold turkey, and the effects were immense.  Concentrate?  What's that?  Focus?  yeah, right...

That's where I am now.  Luckily, I have well developed habits to get through the day.  Even so, I feel like I'm hanging on by the skin of my teeth.  I have reverted back to focusing on people's lack of understanding my thought process.  I have created discussions and arguments where none were needed.  Much like the depression that sets in during the winter months, I feel like I'm spiraling out of control. 

Of course I can maintain a facade.  I can act like everything's good.  Those who really have an "in" to my behaviours, however, know the truth.  My manager is one, for sure.  I've been making stupid mistakes regarding processes I've been doing since I started working here.  Mistakes that have no excuse. I'm mixing up my kids' names (more than usual), forgetting what I was saying mid sentence, and spacing out in the middle of conversations.  It's like I'm re-experiencing ADHD for the first time.  And it's exhausting.  It doesn't help that I've been depriving myself of sleep.  Luckily I've been eating fairly well, however I have reintroduced an unhealthy amount of sugar into my diet.  I still get a great balance of everything else I should have, especially Vegetables and fish.  If not for this, I'd be a complete Basketcase.  I feel like my mental functions are deteriorating. It's a helpless feeling I wouldn't wish on anyone.

 I wrote this Morning about semantics, word usage, choosing your battles, all somewhat tied together in my mind, evolved into 3 seperate attempts at 1 blog entry.  All of which disintegrated as I wrote.  I can't retain a thought.  I can't even tell you what I've done so far today at work.  I know I have been putting music on my phone (I lost my iPod) and I know I have a vacation which starts Thursday.  I can tell you the important stuff about my life, my job, my family... the things I've been thoroughly trained on.  Holding on to it while I explain, however, is difficult.  Typing this was difficult.  I started it 3 hours ago.  And now, 20 min after the last sentence, I've had to reread the whole thing to remember what my point is (if I even have one).

So I will leave it at this:  ADHD has been a pain in my ass lately.  That's pretty much all.  And when I put it that way, it seems easier to address.