Another aha moment. A gift so to speak. I’m having a hard time with it. All this processing is so tiring. No surprise there – the CPU in my brain needs a serious defrag. And yes, I know I’m showing my age when I say that!
For context… I spent much of my life feeling deficient and broken. When I was officially diagnosed with ADHD, I cried tears of relief. Finally there was an answer. Before that, my self confidence was pitiful. Over time it got better, in some ways… and in others, I was surprised that after the initial giddiness wave, it began to decline. I’d say that about 40% of my challenges were identified, little did I know at the time!
So I researched it. Why was I feeling so ick when I’d found the solution? why didn’t the meds fix my dragging feet? and then after another session with my therapist, my subconcious gave me a hint!
See, I’m a jack of many hobbies yet expert at none; a common adhd woe. It really sucks not being fantastic at even just one thing. I’ve never had the capacity to spend 10000 hours practicing just one skill. I feel a little silly now, expecting that I’d be skilled with things I haven’t been able to spend time with. Looking at it from another angle, it was all starting to make sense. I knew there was more to my story. The ADHD advice I found never stuck. The lifehacks failed me. I felt so betrayed. And while most of the articles rang true to a point, the suggestions never fit my needs. Tips for setting routines and meeting deadlines, or getting chores done… I tried them all and yet I remained routine-less, and in a sty of a home.
Lately, that same sense of frustration from days of yore has crept up on me. You know, the sense that despite doing my best, it still isn’t enough. Never enough. With my meds, much of my life is improved, but I’m in a holding pattern, clinging on to coping mechanisms which I’ve been unable to give up. For a long time I couldn’t figure out why.
Now I understand that I had it wrong. I didn’t have all the information I needed to move forward. So I kept on keeping on. I’ve done enough investigating and learning of self to fill up a museum, so I knew eventually something would click. I waited and waited until one day, I found a blurb that put me into a state of shock. It outlined a condition that when combined with my adhd, encapsulates so much of what I struggle with. The clouds parted and I could finally see a few moving parts that haunted me so mightily. My agoraphobia. My difficulty with math. My hatred of calendars. Planning… of almost anything. It made so much sense! All of these concerns were vaguely addressed by my adhd and anxiety, but it never quite fit, like an odd jigsaw puzzle piece, I figured I had some sort of comorbid disorder, only none of the common disorders fit me. It wasn’t OCD or dyslexia. A psychologist once declared that I’m bipolar. Friends, colleagues, family and even my GP were quick to ix-nay that and he never bucks a specialist’s diagnosis so I knew he would never do that lightly. I even considered that it could be a vitamin processing deficiency (tbh that could still be the case, or part of it).
There it was. I had an(other) answer. A rather obscure, rarely mentioned disorder called Dyscalculia that makes all of what I mentioned above into an everyday nightmare.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much out there in the way of research. Anecdotal stories and studies that look at demographics fill my search feeds. I feel as if that is where adhd was ten years ago.
It’s ok. I’m ok. I feel like I’ve reached a turning point. Things are finally starting to click. Like when you’re playing candy crush and you reach that point where you’re 90% sure you’ve won the game.
In therapy I’ve been unwinding the anxiety issues my lack of diagnosis bound up over the years. In the moment, my progress feels slow. Looking back, I’m quite impressed with my progress now that I’ve found the right therapist! One day soon I need to approach a learning disorder coach, though a lot of what I assumed would be taught by an adhd coach is now available freely on the web, so if I wait, I could save myself some cash. oh oh! there goes my indecision bell. Other “me” is pointing out that if I spend that cash now, I may qualify myself for a better job that much faster, and thus more earning power. and then other “other me” says well duh but what if that coach doesn’t know what to do with you and that money is wasted??
Sighs. What if… there is always a what if. and nope, hacks I’ve found for what ifs don’t work. They might exist, I know. I will continue the search.
P.s Curiosity will likely get the better of this old cat. When I can afford it, I’ll be making that appointment with a coach!