Allovertheplace's Intro- stuff about me
I am a lifelong procrastinator, always late and managed to get by because I was never too much of a problem. I always managed to get decent grades, so I think the lateness and disorganization was always overlooked. As I got into university, things became more challenging and depression reared it's ugly head. Once that was better controlled, I still could never 'get myself together.' It took huge amounts of effort to get myself to work and to manage things. And oh, the facade I can present. It has been very useful for getting by, I suppose. And add in a little pinch of perfectionism and it's the perfect storm for procrastination.
After seeking consults from a variety of experts, I finally landed on a diagnosis of ADD. I never in a million years thought this would apply to me but it makes a lot of sense. However, as many people have said, piils don't teach skills. And though medication is very helpful, I still struggle everyday with staying focused on what my priorities are and making it through the day without getting completely overwhelmed (I usually am overwhelmed by 9:30 am if not earlier!). I frequently take on more than I can realistically handle. Because of the facade I can present and the huge amount of stigma around ADD and procrastination difficulties, I find there are few people and places I can go to find support and community where these issues are better understood.
I fall on my face constantly. I screw up everyday. I have complete meltdowns and question whether it's worth it or if I'm worth it. It often feels like I'm just hanging on, juggling all these balls in the air. I wonder whether today's the day I'm going to lose my job. I hope I am getting better at picking myself up, believing in myself without needing as much validation from other people (this is a hard one!) and just trying to move on.
I'm not sure what else to say here except I am very grateful for the wealth of information and support on this site. I am amazed at the work Pro has done to make this happen and keep it going. That's about it for now.
I'm happy to be here.
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First of all welcome
First of all welcome to this site. I'm sure you'll find support and tools for improvement:)
I'm curious about the ADD part too. A while ago I looked into the dianosis a little bit. When I looked at some of the symptoms of ADD I really related. The inability to focus, the chronic late-coming, the unreasonable amount of effort that it seems to take to get ordinary tasks done because of procrastinating and daydreaming. But I also read about symptoms that I didn't relate too much to, like speaking impulsively and having trouble reading a book.
Would you perhaps mind sharing what your symptoms are? Which ones did the experts see as critical in the process of diagnosing ADD? If it's too personal I understand completely:)
Best wishes for you future journey!
'The best way to get something done is to begin.'
Hi Steppin, Thanks for
Thanks for the welcome. It's been a while since I have reflected on the diagnostic criteria, so take that into consideration with my response. I also find that my knowledge and understanding of AD(H)D is constantly evolving. I have gained much of my understanding from additional reading/watching videos of experts in the area on youtube (e.g. Russell Barkley; I also found Thomas Brown's book to be helpful as well as others).
It has taken me some time to really understand how the ADHD symptoms have manifested themselves throughout my life. It is quite a process to reflect on how your brain does or doesn't work in "typical" ways, when you've thought you were "typical" most of your life, but just not trying hard enough.
I have most of the inattentive symptoms and little to none of the hyperactive ones. I have always had difficulties with deadlines, completion of work/projects, organization and lateness. I also recognize much more now that I have trouble with impulsivity and addictive tendencies e.g. with internet, for example. Again, I used to think that I struggled with these issues like "everyone else" and my difficulties were a sign of my lack of effort and/or willpower.
I have been fortunate to have a good social network for the most part and middle class background so I could get by without working part time during university and taking a slightly reduced course load (which I didn't realize I was doing by dropping a course each year part way through). These compensatory strategies didn't really garner too much attention because I managed to get by fairly well in most other things.
It is really mostly in retrospect that I can see the extraordinary amount of effort it took for me to accomplish many things.
Over most of my life I had this longstanding issue with feeling like I was missing something, that despite my best efforts I just couldn't "get it together."
It was finally having a family that completely brought me to my knees and I really noticed how much of a struggle I had managing the various reponsibilities of a family, work etc. I noticed more accurately the discrepancies between my behaviour and that of my colleagues and friends with respect to how distractible I am, how difficult it is to organize myself, and how long it takes me to produce work sometimes and how overall inconsistent I am with my productivity. It was actually googling chronic lateness after being so fed up with myself and doing some research on that when it really led me into thinking of ADHD as a possibility.
One description of it that I found more helpful was that it is not that people with ADHD can't pay attention, but have difficulties regulating their attention. I truly find it is quite a complex disorder to understand; it is oversimplified in the media. For those of us who struggle without a diagnosis until later in life, we can also rack up other comorbid disorders and dysfunctional patterns of coping.
I'm not sure how much sense this is making right now, but I'm tired and need to head off to sleep. I hope that answers some of your question, anyway.
@ All over the place - re ADD
I read your reply to Steppin' AOTP. Really interesting. I liked your comment about not knowing you were not typical... because how can we know.
My sisters son has an official diagnosis of ADD, and my sister has an unofficial diagnosis (by us!) because she has so many of the same qualities. I have had similar problems to what you describe and when i finally landed up at the psychiatrist's door at age 40 I was quite convinced that this is what they would diagnose me with as well. Chaotic brain, oh yes; chronic lateness, hello; procrastination, oh yes indeedy; easily distracted, what were we talking about? And yet that wasnt thediagnosis at all (it was avoidant personality disorder), ADD wasnt even suggested.
It is really interesting how these things are diagnosed. As you say, the disorder themselves are complex and then there are all the problems that come from the dysfunctional coping patterns. We can only hope that things get better with treatment and research of these things, as well as better public understanding.
I wish you very well with everything and in finding out more about managing your problems.
(it means illicit alcohol to me, I dont know what the word means to an American audience ...?)
Hi Hooch, Your experience
Your experience is very interesting. I have visited a number of psychiatrists and found that each tends to have their areas of specialty and found my diagnosis would depend on their experience in various areas.
After I was diagnosed with ADHD and became better read in that area, I actually informed a couple of psychiatrists I met with (for mood disorders) about ADHD because they were surprised it applied to me. I preferred their honesty in sharing their lack of knowledge in the area with me, as compared to a shrink about 10 years ago who wrote it off write away (literally with a wave of his hand). I didn't know better at the time and crossed ADHD off my list of possible explanations, because I blindly trusted people, especially doctors.
So it wasn't really a straighforward path that led me to a diagnosis of ADHD. It was really that ongoing feeling that something was missing; the treatment for the mood disorder wasn't really addressing it in full, and persevering with that quest. It was very frustrating, though, because many people can believe the facade that is presented (i.e. post secondary education etc.) and think that because you look AS IF you are functioning, you couldn't possibly have ADHD.
Thank you again for your good wishes, and I hope the same for you, as well.
I like your name BTW, it conveys a very vivid picture. I hope you will feel at home here at P-anon. I liked your description of the facade presented to the wider world. One of the things I find relaxing about this site is that I can be honest about my problems, whereas of course usually i try to give an impression of competence (at times totally misleading!).
How interesting you got a diagnosis of ADD. It seems to have a big overlap with Procrastination, as I discover from reading this site. I am glad that the medication is helping. I hope the diagnosis helps you get some insight into coping strategies too.
All the best,
Thanks, hooch. Your name is
Thanks, hooch. Your name is very interesting!
It is very refreshing to come here and be able to be honest about my difficulties. The thing I like best right now is being able to actively work on it with other people. There are other chat forums, but not many places (or any, that I know of) that you can actively work on making progress with a community of people like this.
The ADD thing is very interesting. I never, ever, ever thought it would apply to me if you would have asked me five or ten years ago. But the more I understand about it, the more it makes sense. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation about the diagnosis and treatment out there, which I think really hinders people from getting better support and understanding about their difficulties.
Thanks for the welcome.
Welcome All Over The Place!
You have certainly found your tribe here. I kept nodding my head as I was reading your post. This group has been a lifeline for me, and I hope it will be the same for you.
Thanks for the welcome, TR.
Thanks for the welcome, TR. It's nice to hear it's been so helpful for you; helps to give me hope.