‘Yes, you do have ADD’, the psychiatrist said.
Last week I got some test results back. Not for a test you can fail or pass. Or which outcome is either good or bad. Well…no, to be honest…it was good. I absolutely needed to hear that, that’s how much relief (and also pause, more on that later) it is giving me. Even though it’s still sinking in ( hence, the pause). So yes, I didn’t realize until after I heard those opening words how grateful I was for the outcome.
I think on a very subconscious level I’ve always been afraid of some diagnosis of a mental/psychological nature. But now, 38 years into my earthly existence, it actually is giving me strength. I’m seeing myself and my life so far in a different light. In a kinder, more understanding way.
ADD … Attention Deficit Disorder. Something that a while ago was a distant concept, now has become personal. Not as in a badge of honor, or that I necessarily feel part of a group or something. No, it actually feels very close and personal. Like two parts in me that are connecting. ‘I’m happy you can see me’ I can hear the ADD part say to the brainfoggy, lost boy in me. ‘I’ve been here all along, but you didn’t know.’ And when I open myself more to that reality, I don’t feel so different, so out of place anymore. Although I also feel I’ve just begun to climb out of a black hole. But it doesn’t feel like a long stretched out, heavy path. Most of that path is in my rearview mirror. It’s like the streetlights suddenly came on, and I can see where I was coming from.
That’s where the ‘it’s giving me pause’ part comes in. Suddenly seeing that travelled road with the lights on, brings about waves of grief. Which brings relief. Healing. I get to see myself from a clearer, more true perspective. I see how I’ve been beating myself up. I see very low self worth. I see isolation. No accomplishments. I see painful confusion and loneliness. And then I want to go back to that past-me, and wrap my arm around him. In silence. I feel for him. I wish I could have protected him more.
I feel like I hopped over a fence, and from that vantage point all the ADD symptoms are now so blatantly screaming out at me. That surprised me. Before when I would read lists of signs, and personal experiences of others…yes I could relate to a degree. But applying it to myself there also was a lot of ‘Yeah…I guess’. But now, after the diagnosis and the first trial of medication, they make so much more sense to me. I can relate to it. But that’s also because I’m starting to see my personal expression of those symptoms.
And that a lot of it has been internalized, repressed and put into time-out into some dark corner. And I’m still figuring this out. Just to give an example,and I’m still feeling this one out, is ‘interrupting other people in conversation’. And sure, it happens somewhat outwardly, but I wouldn’t give that a confident ‘yes’, looking at myself. But when I look at my internal chatter, even while talking to others, yes, that would qualify as interrupting conversation. If I just imagine the conversation being telepathically, with no way to hide your innermost thoughts and impulses in that moment, it would be pretty obvious.
I hope to share more of my ongoing new understandings and insights. I feel it’s an important part (meaning the rise in number of ADD/ADHD’ers) of a broader change going on in the world today.
I’ve been writing this post while on a full train, with tons of distraction around me. But thanks to my medication I’ve been able to stay very focused, comfortably in myself. Being able to do something I really enjoy, writing. It has never felt like this before.
And if it wasn’t for my wife, I don’t think I’d ever found this (part of the) way to myself. Being ADHD’er herself, she recognized this in me and encouraged me to take the necessary steps to find that out and get the available help. Thank you, my dear.
Now I think I’m gonna stare out of the window for a bit.