Real Dispatches From ADHDer World

I know.

It’s not productive to think of ADHD as a curse.

It’s definitely not productive to think of it as a gift.

But there are days weeks months when I wish it would leave me the f**k alone, when I wish it would get the f**k out of my way, when I wish it would stop complicating every part of my life.

The other day I saw a list that had a title something like “How To Get The Most Out Of That F**king ADHD Curse That Has F**ked Up Your Life For Decades.” There were some great ideas on how to make the most with a f**ked up prefrontal cortex but, part way through the list, my meds wore off and I exploded.

“I’m f**king tired of inspirational sh*t! I don’t wanna be inspired to do something. I want to f**kin’ do it already.”

That’s what’s great about being an ADHDer. You’re always preparing to live. Well, I’m sick and tired of this state of becoming. I just want to be.

And I wish, oh, I wish, that for twenty-four hours, that the f**king curse/gift would leave me the f**k alone.

* * * * *

Question: Why don’t more ADHDers commit suicide?

Answer: Because they have ADHD.

That’s one of my favorite dark humor jokes. But I don’t usually jump right to the punch line. I illustrate it with examples.

Scenario 1 – Forgot To Do It

I decide I’m going to kill myself next week.

Next week arrives.

I didn’t write it down.

I forgot about it.

Scenario 2 – I Put It In My Calendar

I choose the month, day and time and write in my calendar, “Kill yourself.”

Excellent. It’s scheduled. Keeping a calendar is a good thing for an ADHDer to do.

Problem. I often forget to check my calendar.

Scenario 3 – I Put It In My Google Calendar

I choose the month, day and time and put it in my Google calendar. Ten minutes before self-annihilation it emails a reminder.

“Reminder: kill yourself – 3:30PM.”

I search for the gun. It might be under the piles of papers that are sitting on my desk but I won’t touch them because, you know, piles are ADHD kryptonite.

Scenario 4 – I Found The Gun

Okay. Let’s say I finally found the gun. Now what happens?

“Oh my god! This thing is filthy. I should clean it first.”

I finish cleaning and reassembling the gun. It only took three days. During that time, the rain stopped, my wife finally gave in to a “quick one,” and the meds sort of work. The urge to kill myself is gone.

* * * * *

There’s a crisis comin’ in the world of ADHD. Sure. Crisis is a relative thing and what’s a crisis for me may not be a crisis for you. But you late diagnosed ADHDers, you know what I’m talkin’ about. You lived through one crisis. You were undiagnosed for decades and you made a mess of your life and everyone else’s life. And you’re gonna get to do it one more time. Even though you have your diagnosis, you know you’re gonna get older and older and, you know what, I don’t think there’s any longitudinal data out there to tell us what to expect when you’re an old broken down ADHDer, when the normal brain rot of aging kicks in but you’ve already got a brain that’s less than optimal. I don’t know if Barkley is gonna whip out a fancy Power Point at an annual CHADD meeting to warn us about the potential dangers or if Hallowell is working on Driven to Distraction In A Motorized Wheelchair. There’s a part of me that’s terrified about what’s to come. I’m terrified by the prospect of an aging body not being able to move because, you know, an ADHDer that doesn’t move is kinda like a shark that doesn’t move. It dies.

* * * * *

So, where the f**k is all that intelligent design? If YOU, Mr. Invisible Cloud Dweller, are so intelligent, then what was the point of Seasonal Affective Disorder? Why not just make the day sixteen hours long? After all, Mr. Invisible Cloud Dweller, you’re big enough and strong enough to make heaven and earth, to separate dark from light, so why didn’t you do it the right way from the beginning? Why do a half-assed job? Why have days where the amount of sunshine shrinks and grows and, to make matters worse, why make some of us sensitive to those changes? Was this part of your vast eternal plan or are you just f**king with us?

Oh.

One more thing.

Why is there more hair on my buttocks than on my head?


Speaking of Intelligent Design

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  • http://www.facebook.com/lance.kirby.336 Lance Kirby

    Amen brother!

    • http://jeffsaddmind.com Jeffs ADD Mind

      Thank you!! Though this is one of those times when I wish I was wrong.

  • M

    I was laughing so hard at the scenarios 1-4. Only another ADHDer could have described it so perfectly. I could see myself in every single scenario. Well, at least we can be thankful about one upside, huh? We’re safe from suicide ; )

    • http://jeffsaddmind.com Jeffs ADD Mind

      Glad you liked it. It is, truly, one of my favorite jokes about ADHD. However, we should be careful about “congratulating” ourselves for not having succeeded in pulling off our own demise. There are some ADHDers who, unfortunately, do succeed at it.

  • Betsy Davenport, PhD

    I know about Old Person ADHD. I watched my mother sit in her wheelchair and just go to sleep every day. She, addle-pate that she by then was, asked her doctor about it and said she thought she had narcolepsy. He was a neurologist who had told her, directly and kindly, some months prior that there really wasn’t anything more he could do for her Parkinson’s Faced with her provisional narcolepsy idea, he turned to me and asked what I thought about her falling asleep all the time. I suggested that since her body didn’t work anymore but her brain had things to think and do, its only refuge was to turn off. It was a terrible, wrenching moment, and he agreed with me.

    • http://jeffsaddmind.com Jeffs ADD Mind

      My undiagnosed father turned into a real s.o.b. Alienated almost everyone in the family.

      • http://twitter.com/thabop thabo pienaar

        And that looks to be my fate as well.

        • http://jeffsaddmind.com Jeffs ADD Mind

          But there’s a difference. You have the knowledge of what may be coming down the road. You may still hit a few of the same bumps but you can also avoid many of them too.

  • ScottHutson

    Jeff, I think “dark humor” is a good way to think about these things, for me anyway. Like you said, and same goes for me, “There’s a part of me that’s terrified about what’s to come.” about growing old. But there are also parts of me that feel like I might find whatever it is that has always been missing in my life, by growing old. I know that sounds like a bunch of my usual crappy and delusional philosophy. But no worse than the crap that I read in the “Mr. Invisible Cloud Dweller” handbook, that says I can look forward to eternal damnation pretty soon after I grow old.

    Someone told me that the “Mr. Invisible Cloud Dweller” handbook has all the answers, so there will be a chapter on buttocks hair in there. ;-D

    • http://jeffsaddmind.com Jeffs ADD Mind

      Scott, please let us know when you find the “buttocks” chapter.”

      ” I know that sounds like a bunch of my usual crappy and delusional philosophy.” – Delusional or not, I know that my mind is able to do things that it could not do, say, ten years ago. So in some respects there have been improvements. I know that this also applies to you.

  • Dr Charles Parker

    On the other hand far too many suicides are directly related to ADHD, as those who suffer:

    1. Remain developmentally arrested as they are unable to successfully deal with changing reality – shame.

    2. Without diagnosis and treatment they simply cannot turn their minds off, that pain becomes overwhelming and sleep diminishes.

    3. The problem of thinking too much brings shame and embarrassment, only aggravated by more thinking, often treated by substance abuse, which adds to depression.

    4. Relationships are so troubled they often remain alone. If not hermits in reality, hermits in their mind, alone thinking, and mulling over negativity.

    5. The way meds are often used, and because the diagnosis is so ambiguous, and because denial of that ambiguity is pervasive in the land they give up as even smart medical people can’t help them.
    6. Depression itself is so poorly understood that it is often missed and left untreated. I cover Clint Eastwood characters in “New Rules.’

    Just a few notes from the other side of the coin we see everyday.
    Thanks Jeff – Happy Holidays!

    Chuck
    Dr Charles Parker
    Author: New ADHD Medication Rules – Brain Science & Common Sense

    • reg388

      And a thanks to you all!
      Every mornning my mantra is “I have a right to exist”
      I say this every day, Some days I believe it, Some days I don’t.
      People like you being out there make it easier to believe.
      Sad but true, its nicer knowing I am not in this hell alone.
      If you find a way out please, please take me with you.
      RG

      • http://jeffsaddmind.com Jeffs ADD Mind

        RG, there may not be an easy way out…however…things can truly get brighter. You need to take things one day at a time, you need to tally up your successes — big or small — and you need to accept that the successes will come with a sprinkling of failures. That is life itself and while, as ADHDers, we may have a heavier sprinkling of failures, we also can have some fantastic successes.

      • Betsy Davenport, PhD

        There is room enough for you in the world because you were born. Period.

      • ScottHutson

        RG, I don’t know if I found a way out. Some of the long list of things on my “Personality Profile” were, “marked psychological distress, heightened emotional reactivity, significant somatic concerns and profound depression…………. But then later on at the bottom of the page says, “Such patients typically are resistant to psychological interpretations to their problems.” <Maybe that was/is my way out? That was page 17, and that was 11/19/2007. The way I see it, is could have accepted that and talked myself into beleiving the "profound depression". But "I have a right to exist" without that. But that's just me being me.

        • ScottHutson

          It can be a bit depressing when the last half of comment looks like>00

    • http://jeffsaddmind.com Jeffs ADD Mind

      That, unfortunately, is the flip side of dark humor…there’s a grain of truth to it.

    • Betsy Davenport, PhD

      Most of us are sentenced to live.

      • reg388

        I understand what you mean on being sentenced to live.
        In the end its always come down to a choice, “it’s always nice to have options.”

        If most of us, if not all, where thrown into a lake we would swim our asses off to stay above water. Its what we do and always have.
        I know nothing else

        Considering how our minds work and process things we, or at least I have always had that distance belief I could figure this all out and fix me. Thats why I’m still here!

        I’m 61 years old and have only known I had this plague for 2 years.
        I thought meds would fix me, how wrong I was.

        Being ignorant to the plague in a way was easier.
        Now, I know what it is that always made me different from others.
        Knowing isn’t enlightenment as one would think.

        For me the choices just got harder.

        I may never be able to be like the boy down the road, he’s such a nice well mannered Boy!
        I thought once I found out what this was, I would just be able to fix and stop it. I was wrong there!

        Jeff and I are on the same page about this curse.
        No bright spots. I want to attack this for the cancer it is.
        Eats away every thing, same as cancer.

        Leaves us with nothing.

        Jeff you have no Idea what you site has done for me.
        Another fucking nut out there just like me!!!

        Now thats a reason to keep up the fight.
        It is nice to not feel so alone and be the only outsider.

        So every one lets kick some ass.
        I,m here to help!
        RG

        Scott H. What the hell are you going on about, I know not what?
        I don’t believe in a cloud man and tests designed for the other type of people ( you know who) don’t do me any good.

        Facts and only Facts thats my Saviour.
        That along with Parker and Barkley and of course Jeff.

        Now thats my reality and why I will be here tomorrow and probably the next day. After that my ADHD kicks in and I not sure anymore, so I start over.

        • http://jeffsaddmind.com Jeffs ADD Mind

          Reg, you’re so right about our “swim our asses off” reflex. Cut off our air supply and our body automatically thrashes around, trying to get more air.

          Glad to hear that you’ve gotten a lot out of this site. And yes, it’s good to know that there are other nuts out there.

          When you get a moment you may want to check out this post: http://jeffsaddmind.com/adult-adhd-the-silent-killer-8977.htm

        • ScottHutson

          RG, so sorry if there was something I said that resulted in your comment: “Scott H. What the hell are you going on about, I know not what?”. I had no intention of doing harm to you. And I will not attempt to explain the meaning of my comments, and risk doing more harm to you or any others here. Thank you for your opinion on my attempt to help you.

          • Jeff

            Perhaps RG does yet speak Hutson-ese. ;)

          • reg388

            Scott you are to sensitive , this is a site for ADHD and things come out unfiltered sometimes for the real world.

            You’ve done no harm to me or anyone.
            I just don’t know what your talking about.
            If someone is to delicate to receive the blunt truth?

            This for sure is the wrong site for them to be on.
            Get stronger and come back, or stay and grow with the rest of us.
            No bullshit sold here.

            Ain’t it great!!
            RG

            • ScottHutson

              RG, I understand the reason why you may have found fault in my comment to Jeff about “Mr. Invisible Cloud Dweller” and other things I said in it. That’s my fault, because it was completely esoteric. As for my first comment to you, only the the first half of it showed up. It does indeed look like I was selling bull****. I’m with you, on the “Facts and only Facts thats my Saviour.
              That along with Parker and Barkley and of course Jeff. :-D

            • ScottHutson

              Oh btw RG, no worries about me being too senstive. I cannot count the number of times that someone does not know what I am talking about. And that’s not just on the internet, it happens even more often with my friends and family in my own home. I can’t say I remember anyone that just met me, asking me something, in the way you asked what I was going on about. It just surprised me is all. Now on the other hand, my wife has been known to ask me: “What the F***k are you trying to say?!” ;)

              • http://jeffsaddmind.com Jeffs ADD Mind

                “my wife has been known to ask me: “What the F***k are you trying to say?!” – You might want to try the solution that has worked for me. I stopped talking to my wife. (hehehe)

                • reg388

                  Can’t my wife has already beat me to it /not talking.

                  Got absorbed by another ADHD site again. The site just eliminated all traces of the conversation that was going on.
                  No word, warning,WTF or anything.
                  I know we don’t look at it this way, however?

                  I may have a gift.

                  Jeff if I piss you off please let me know, don’t kick me off or punish me; OK?

                  RG

                  • http://jeffsaddmind.com Jeffs ADD Mind

                    “if I piss you off please let me know, don’t kick me off or punish me; OK?” – No problem at all.

              • reg388

                Scott I think we’re fine!
                Let us find a common enemy and bury the hatchet.
                In them*
                RG

  • http://twitter.com/thabop thabo pienaar

    I can soooo relate to this post. I’m tired of being ADHD; I’m tired of trying to do the right things and fail; I’m tired of trying to correct the wrongs I do and fail; I’m just frieken tired of being ADHD. I just can’t get it right and the relationships around me fall apart. I’m ready to leave this world!

    • http://jeffsaddmind.com Jeffs ADD Mind

      Of course, what I’ve written is partly tongue in cheek (like the ADHD Suicide joke) but also meant to reflect the decades of frustration of living with undiagnosed ADHD and then the subsequent decade (almost a decade) of trying to correct for the damage done in the past. Believe me, I have plenty of nights when I climb into bed thinking, “I’m so f**king done with this ADHD sh*t. I can’t take it anymore.” Then I have a few sips of Chardonnay, some melatonin, read, drift off to sleep and wake up to fight another day and, honestly, fighting is all I know. I’ve mellowed over the years but I’m fighting with words (by writing posts like this that get to the ugly side of ADHD and let others know, like you, that you are not alone in your struggles) and fighting in daily life, fighting to figure out how my later years don’t have to be like the earlier years. I go to yoga classes several days a week (or do it at home if I miss the class), I jog several times a week, I watch my diet carefully. I have some great days where everything flows nicely and other days that, well, I just write off as another mental health day where little gets done. The best thing we can do is tell the truth about ADHD, the struggles and, yes, the too infrequent successes. I write all of this, not just for me, but for the next generation. I’m a true believer in Know Thine Enemy because that’s the only way that you can ultimately defeat it.

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