Being an adult with ADHD drives other people CRAZY. Not just a little crazy, bat-shit want to choke me crazy. I leave cabinets open and the refrigerator, half finished drinks are rampant in my home and I leave the milk out on the counter from time to time…ok all the time. I move from task to task without finishing things. I stare off into space thinking about the most random things. I’m difficult…..The evidence of my ADD is written all over my home in the form of unfinished projects. Paint jobs that are still waiting for “touch up day”, bills to be filed (and paid), and items I bought to “get organized”. I will forget things that other people would always remember. I am in a constant state of shuffle to keep up and be an adult. I don’t believe that ADHD is a deficit of attention, rather than attention to things that most people don’t consider important. I dream much more often than other people and most often during the day with my eyes wide open. I get distracted and can hyper-focus on what I find interesting while letting all of my adult responsibilities by the wayside. Some find ADHD as an excuse for being lazy, it’s just simply not true. Or I hear “we all forget things, no one can remember everything” or “I get distracted a lot too, it’s called having kids”…..have you ever forgotten your own birthday? Have you ever rear-ended someone by letting your foot off the pedal and gliding into them at stoplight, both cars completely still? I have twice. Case in point.
While I was growing up, ADHD was not as commonly diagnosed as it is today. My mother took me for extensive hearing tests, even though I always passed those given by the nurse at school. I received tutoring for organizational skills, my grades were always decent with minimal effort and when I did fail it was usually because I was bored. I took higher-level classes than the average student, but I would fail, not because I didn’t get the material but because I always turned in everything late. Sometimes the work was complete, I just didn’t focus enough to get it out and hand it in. Things that have been said to me my entire life include, “Why can’t you be normal?”, “Why can’t you sit still?”, “Why are you so disorganized?”, “Can’t you keep your car clean?”, “Are you listening?”, “You did your work, why didn’t you hand it in?”, the list goes on and on……..In addition, I always made very impulsive decisions and no one could get me to just “behave”, which still proves to be true.
So those are my worst qualities, however, ADHD also gives me my best qualities. An ability to take risks and make fearless decisions, the impulsivity to sing and be creative with my children without worrying about the time, and also a higher intelligence, creativity, and imagination. The word used to describe me as an adult with ADHD most frequently is INTENSE. Everything I feel is intense, from my love to others to the feeling of the clothing material against my skin (I’m not really that itchy dammit). I am intense in all aspects, and I love it, however, I need to find a way to manage it more effectively. Right now I’m managing motherhood and ADHD with massive quantities of caffeine. Don’t start staging the intervention, it’s a legal drug.
I recently made a fairly fearless and impulsive decision to quit my full time job as a teacher and take my children out of traditional school to begin homeschool, a perfect example of risk taking and intensity. This is met with reactions of “How are you going to do that?” and “Why?”…..Well, many reasons, starting with my school and theirs slightly resembles a prison and that is how I felt as a teacher and seeing what my children came home with and the release of energy that emerged, I knew this was something I had to do. Also, I have no idea how I’m going to do this, but I’m going to figure it out, EEK scary right?!?!!
I am starting this blog to document the journey that my children (Oldest- age 6, middle- age 5, and youngest- age 2) and I take as we begin homeschool and I manage my ADHD and also the possible ADHD in one of my children. I will discuss parenting, teaching strategies, relationships, and gardening. I am by no means an expert, just another one of us mothers trying to navigate children who didn’t come with instructions.
I will also discuss my previous experiences with ADHD and current struggles, while creatively tackling a very active household, various projects, and my own health and nutrition. So I expect this blog to be typical of a person with ADD, a little mix of everything that I will try to keep focused. It should be a wild ride to say the least.
So let me introduce myself, I’m Ashley Brennan.