Category Archives: Attention Deficit Disorder

Pain; It’s Personal

I know the experts say to make each post about your readers.  They say not to get personal.

But here’s the rub.  Mental illness is personal.  To me.  To you.  To all who suffer with it in all its delightful forms.  To all who love or live with someone with it.

Today is personal.  I suffered.  Did you?  Maybe my personals today will resonate with someone.  You are not alone.

Times are tough for me.  Stress is high.  The people I live with don’t get it.  To them, I’m just being lazy and irresponsible.

My kin doesn’t get it.  I was irresponsible 15 years ago, and didn’t pay back what I had used.

She’s right.  I was irresponsible.  My behavior, then as now, was not socially or financially acceptable.  But when cancer hurts and there’s no painkiller, you scream and write a lot and spend what you have on release, not duty.  You get desperate.  You don’t connect now with later.  ‘Wait’ is not a space of time; it’s just a ‘weight’ on the soul.

I don’t think she gets her own child either.  Genetics played a nasty joke on her progeny.

Now I need a job.  I look some, but focus is almost impossible and distractions abound.  The emotions partly born of insecurity, fear, worry, and loneliness wring out the last dregs from my cup of possibilities.  The first dregs got drained by my own duplicitous brain.

I pour forth detailed plans in monster waves.  They crash and foam and never reach shore.  I can’t carry them out.  Dust bunnies get in my way.  Dishes and grass clippings and expectations attack. Desire is legion, but priority is AWOL. I’m trapped; no car, no way to run, so few tools to help.

Insurance was nice.  The county sucks.  It’s not their fault.  There’s just too many of us.  Why?  What did people used to do back when?

Today’s last straw was just a pin-sized twig, but it broke this ass’s back.  It’s always that way.  Little stuff is seen through a magnifying glass every time.

I truly didn’t want to live.  I planned on it to help get me through, but it refused and now I’m limited to the struggle.  I need another shot of safety; just for a week.  I can’t stand the limits!  Not again!

I scream, I cry, I question and storm and beg for release.  I hate this pain that drills deep. I can’t filter out the pain of the past or the pain of the future or the pain of entwined others either.  It won’t let me go.  It’s always peaking around corners and saying ‘boo’ just when I’ve turned the corner.  I’m always ready now to jump.

Oh if I could snuggle!  Arms with skin on help so much if they are gentle.  The arms of faith have disappeared today.  I’m so guilty because I’ve seen them so big before.

So where is the glass half-full?  I dropped it and it broke, long ago.  The shards got stuck in my foot.  The liquid evaporated.  I should try I guess to levitate with my mental magic prowess the cup there in the cupboard over to the faucet pouring with water.  But today, magic doesn’t exist.  Does it ever?

There’s one boon today.  Satan was winning.  He loves to tell me that God won’t provide like He said.  After all, look at the widows in India.  They beg for their food.  Their husbands have died and their sons disown them.  Some starve and their bodies are thrown in the river.  Why not them, God?  Paul went hungry, cold, and naked.  Why him?  He was yours!

Maybe me.  But God said.  If the walls fall inward, thunder rolls, the mountains move into the sea, and fire rains down, God still said.  I don’t want to live this.  But God said.  I don’t know how.  But God said.  I don’t feel able, but God said.  I don’t get it, but God said.  I’m blind and deaf and dumb and burning, but God said.  So somewhere so deep even I can’t know it, I believe.

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The Beast in My Mind’s Eye

I was trying this morning to unravel a jumble of electrical cords in my garage.  They were both bright orange and hopelessly tangled.  I needed one to plug-in the tire blow-up thingy (be amazed, men and mechanically inclined women, that I know automotive terminology) because someone was coming over to see the old car we’re trying to sell.  I only wanted one of them!  I finally found an end, plugged in what I hoped was the beginning, and turned on the ‘thingy’.  It worked.  Pure dumb luck.

I’m going to try to describe a jumble of feelings.  They are so intertwined that I can’t find the real root or the end.  And I don’t know if it’s the ADHD, the Bipolar, the anxiety, or all three combined, that made me feel so desperate to run away, hide, and throw things.  I suppose it could just be life as it was not meant to be.  Whatever.

The feelings weren’t from the incident with the electrical cords.  But it felt like the same jumble.  They happened in the early evening as the sun was setting.  I was talking to someone close to me, and the beast of circumstance, jealousy, loneliness, and mistrust rose from his stinking grave to grab my heart.

Once when I was working full-time years ago, I wrote a very short story.  I was on the job one day in the afternoon.  I had to get up from my desk and leave in a hurry.   I was in the middle of an anger episode.  Extreme anger!  Total frustration.  Desperation.  Sadness.  Restlessness.  At life, at circumstances, at God, at myself.  It was petulant, childish, and so unstoppable.  So me.  So consuming.

I sat in my car in the parking lot and wrote for maybe 10 minutes. When I got through imagining the path and actions of my story’s ‘hero’, I felt so much calmer.  His actions were my actions.  His blind fury was my fury.  His total lonely destruction was my soul.  And for a while, it helped. Here’s the story.

In My Mind’s Eye

I’m that huge green man-beast, and I’m so full of anger, so overwhelmed by raging frustration that I lunge at anything in my path and smash it, tear it, rip it into a thousand pieces.  I stand for a millisecond and scream my rage at the thing I don’t understand.

I’m running through an empty department store at night, tearing clothes off the rack, smashing dishes, wiping everything off the display case.  Then I pick up the whole case and throw it across the isles into shelves full of crystal goblets and vases.

This rampage goes on and on with blazing intensity until finally, my breathing labored, sweat dripping down my back like rain, I begin to calm.  The sounds of destruction and the frenzied movement begin to satiate the beast inside.  The running turns to a jog, the jog to a walk, and I head off into the night to my secret bed.  I fall there, exhausted, into a dreamless sleep.

They will never know it’s me because when I awake in the morning, I look and act regular again; too mild to ever have felt that bloody, raw tearing in my soul.  But he’s there.  And when the pressure begins to build and the wolves can’t be kept away by simply closing the door, he bursts out with eyes blazing, looking for a thousand sacrifices that will cause the demon god to sleep again, restlessly.  For a while.

Win with ADD and Freelance Writers Den

Think All, Focus One

Think All, Focus One (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am a writer with ADD, attention deficit disorder.  Thus the name of my blog, addrangerramblings.  That’s A. D. D. Ranger Ramblings.  I’m not trying to add to my family of rangers by rambling.

If you know anything about ADD, then you know that most of us are exceptionally creative people who have a problem focusing our creativity on one task or project for any productive length of time.

Also, if you know about ADD, then you know that sometimes hyper-focus can be a problem.  We get so focused on what we are enjoying doing that we can’t stop and switch to another task without major irritability.  At least I get irritable.  My son says that when I’m reading, the house would have to be burning down around me before I took notice.

The point is, winning one year of membership in the Freelance Writers Den is worth the struggle to focus, then hyper-focus, on this blog post.  It must be sparkling!  It must be witty!  It must be the anti-sob story of the century!  It must inspire such hope of mentoring success that it WINS!

Really, all nauseous frenzy aside, I want to earn this membership for several reasons.

First, having ADD, I need structure to succeed.  I’ve been somewhat successful providing this structure for myself, but learning opportunities like the Writer’s Den Membership resources provide are a major source of motivation for my chaotic focus-challenged brain.

Second, my goals demand immediate productivity.  I want to be a successful blogger and author who makes a living by helping others find solutions to their mental health challenges.

Bipolar, ADHD, ADD, anxiety, and depression are all things I’ve dealt with over the years.  I know how hard it is to overcome these problems, and I want to show those so afflicted that it can be done.  And done with style!

So whether you are one of my multitudinous readers or from the Den, check out my blog.  It needs serious help.  It needs your comments or your teachings.  It needs you to tell me what you need to make this site something you can rely on to help in time of need.

Choices and Supply

My little family is worried right now.  We chose the mortgage over the refrigerator and the gas tanks.  Thus the following.
I have been feeling panicky this week.  It’s true; we are down to our last roll of toilet paper, our last night of meat for dinner, and there is not a piece of fruit to be seen anywhere in this house.  I was panicking two days ago.  But I read something yesterday about moods and about trusting God’s provision that changed my heart and mind.  Trust of God is the only way to go.  And not giving in to moodiness is crucial. It’s vital to knowing who God is.  And overcoming fear and panic and moods by the determination to let the power of the Holy Spirit work in us is essential to growing spiritually and to being a follower of Jesus.  So this afternoon I am trying, and somewhat succeeding, in keeping the panic at bay.  I feel it there, ready to steal my joy should I give in to it for a second.  But I won’t.  When I got home this afternoon, I felt like weeping.  I wanted to scream in panic and run somewhere. I desperately wanted to go to the movies to escape my bad feelings or take a drive.  But there’s no gas and no money.  So God is hemming me in to make me stay and face the problem, finally.  So I didn’t panic.  I sat outside and got on the computer and read email and called my sister and I called my friend but I think he was asleep. I hope so. He needs the rest.  Anyway, by God I can conquer fear and panic and just trust that He knows my needs and will provide.  I may have to go to the food bank tomorrow, but it will be God who provides.  If anyone helps in any way tomorrow, great.  But still, God will provide.  And if we have to be a little hungry and use leaves from the back yard, still God will provide.
Another thing;  this somewhat desperate need right now is a consequence of my own poor handling of my money for years.  I think the ADD had something to do with it.  The bipolar depression too.  But God knows that this messy brain doesn’t learn quickly.  It takes repetition and force to begin the learning process for those of us with ADD.  And if this is the knock on the head I need to be a better steward of my money, then so be it.  It really hurts a lot right now.  Danny, my son, just asked me what we are going to do once everything is gone in a day or two.  I said I didn’t know. We may have to go to a free lunch program for the homeless.  We may have to find a food bank.  We may be hungry a bit.  But God will provide.
Where does your supply come from?  It isn’t the grocery store and it isn’t the vegetable garden.  It starts with God.

Blessings in Disguise

I started a Christian blog over a year ago for normal Christians and for people with ADD and other mental crazynesses.  That’s a new term in the DSM, by the way.  This blog has a Christian overtone because that’s the only way I know how to see life.  With God.  Without Him there is no life. So maybe this fits in this blog, maybe it doesn’t.  But it must be said.

I never liked taking care of myself.  For 51 years I’ve periodically gone back in my mind to the days when Mom and Dad were home on a weekday night and I would drive up our steep driveway after a long day at school.  I was 18 or 19, and loved to be at home.  I wasn’t a partyer and didn’t care to be with groups my own age because I knew that no matter how unskilled I was socially, Mom and Dad didn’t care.  I didn’t know about ADD then but I knew that they were safe and more than one friend at a time wasn’t.  I didn’t have the ability or energy or confidence to deal with anyone else.

When I drove up to the house, the lights would be on welcoming me.  Mom would be in the kitchen fixing dinner, and Dad would be sitting in his recliner watching the news.  They smiled when I came in and asked me how my day was.  They paid for my gas to get to school, my lunch while I was there, my dinner when I got home, my bed when I went to sleep, and my Thursday night TV fix of ‘The Cosby Show’.  They gave me warm talks around the fireplace and exciting vacations and family dinners and above all else, security with love.

I want to go back.

But I can’t.  No one can.  Life truly is hard and the world doesn’t care.  People all around the world die daily because there is no one near who cares.  This could be me.  It may be me someday if (insert name of past or current president or other hated politician or celebrity) gets his way.

Except.

God.

He cares.

I got fired three years ago.  One broken ankle, one year of disability, and 99 weeks of unemployment later, I’m forced to stop crying and start providing for myself as fast as possible if I want to eat tomorrow.  Literally.  That’s God’s mercy, folks.  We with ADD don’t learn important lessons very well.  It takes repetition and a knock on the head.  We don’t do planning for the future at all well.  So God keeps providing lessons.  I can read.  Why don’t I learn from other’s hardships so I can avoid all this pain myself?  Because I’m human.  And because I am a human with ADD and Bipolar and anxiety disorder and I’m single and there’s no support to get expensive help.

Since I was a completely crappy employee as a Food Service Director at a hospital, I figure the hard work necessary now would be easier and I’d do it better if I liked what I was doing.  So I’m blogging.  And I’m selling stuff on eBay.  By the way, eBay pays experienced instructors to give a class on the basics and beyond of selling on eBay.  I took this class last week and it was fantastic!  Highly recommended.

This blog is too long.  From what I’ve read so far about blogging, keep it relatively short, don’t get too personal, and provide helpful content.  Sorry guys.  This one’s about me and God and anyone who may feel the same or be in the same shoes.  There is hope if we wait and look.

That’s not to say I’ve sold a thing or gotten a writing job or even a part-time at MacDonald’s.  I’ve been too overwhelmed by it all to get moving.  Depression feeds on calamity and ADD/Bipolar is there for the kill.  But God.  He’s letting me suffer a little so that I will become stronger.  He’s giving me the gift of coming to the end of myself so that He can show Himself strong on my behalf.  And He will.  Tomorrow.  Now, actually.  And I’m going to let you know as His blessings come.  Even the blessings in disguise.

One of my my next posts will be on the hardship of defending against ignorant people who say that there is no such thing as an un-apparent mental disorder.  Like ADD or Bipolar or Anxiety.  With one side of the mouth they spout sympathy for the mentally ill, and with the other side say there are no degrees of illness nor behavioral symptoms nor reasons why we have trouble doing the things that others find normal.

TMI

Too much information!  The TV is on.  The screaming pounds from my son’s stereo in his room even though the door is shut.   The unread emails call to me from my inbox.  The 12 tabs I’ve opened in my Safari browser to read later draw my information junkie’s soul to find out what they have to say about blogging NOW!, not later.  One dog, the big one, gets up from his bed to put his huge paw on my leg as a request for me to scratch his furry butt.  And the two little dogs stand at the back door mewing to be let outside.  Yes, I said mewing.  They are dogs, not cats, and they mew in a pitiful way when they have to go.

Then my honey calls just to see how my day is going.  My heart is warmed but my brain begins to protest the constant interruptions.  The noise. I’ve been trying to write since 8 AM and it’s now 12:15.  According to my new daily schedule, I have to  go to the gym, shower and dress, do my housework, and be done with this post all by 1:30.

All the good bloggers say that it’s important to keep giving readers, of which I have one (me), good content on a frequent basis.  Oops, the dogs are barking to be let back in.  Hold on…………..

I need an office.  This desk in the corner of my dining room is not going to do.  It’s a lovely roll-top desk with little drawers and cubby holes in which to organize my desk stuff.  But it’s not soundproof and interruption proof nor big enough to hold the piles of perplexing papers surrounding it.  So I need a office where I can put this desk and a couple of bookshelves and two or three filing cabinets and a big potted fern by the window.  A human organizing professional would be good too. I’d put her in a corner and bring her out every afternoon to clean up the stacks and sort the mail.

My ADD brain can’t filter out nor ignore the incoming cacophony.  TMI, dude.  I wonder if my son is planning to move out soon?  His room is small, but it has a great widow facing the front yard for the plant and a wide closet for the papers.  He’s almost 20, and it’s time.

“Oh son, come here.  I have a question for you…..”

Link

Not Done Vacuuming

Not Done Vacuuming

A few years ago I wrote about a symptom of ADD which I experience often. I posted my experience on the website add.about.com, and it was answered by the guide, Keath Low.  I was jazzed about that!  See the URL http://add.about.com/od/adhdthebasics/a/Motivational-Issues.htm.   The symptom is poor motivation and my post said the following:

“I will often sit at work at my desk, looking over my to-do list, and just staring at it for long periods of time. I can’t decide what to do first and when I do decide, I can’t get started unless it’s a task I enjoy. I just sit and stare at the wall a lot, thinking all sorts of distracting thoughts and feeling like I’m trying to push through a brick wall.”

Since I’m new at this, I hope I haven’t violated some law by reposting my comment here.  If so, oops!  I’m sorry. Please let me know and I’ll learn the rules eventually.  Better to ask forgiveness than permission.

I’m having this symptom today, in spades.  It’s Wednesday today.  I was supposed to do my vacuuming on Monday, but with many excuses I didn’t.  As I write this, I have had some success today working on this task, but haven’t yet finished.  One of the ways experts like Keath Low suggest dealing with motivational difficulties is to break a task down into doable chunks and complete one at a time.  So I broke down vacuuming into rooms.  I did the hallway and my bedroom this morning.  Then I rewarded myself by checking my email, which I love to do, and looking at yahoo messenger to see who was online.  I just did the dining room and kitchen a few minutes ago.  Now I’m writing, and I’ll let you know with a ……… when I finish up with the living room.

When I wrote the above post, I was working at a job I loathed.  That was one of the big reasons it was so hard to motivate myself to get the work done.  As you might guess, I got fired from that job and haven’t worked since.  Thus my present predicament.  I’ve done quite a few things in the last five days to begin the digging out process, and I’ll write about that in my next post.  But the second, and perhaps most important, strategy for motivating oneself that I want to mention here is doing what you love as a profession.  I love to write.  But so far that hasn’t paid very well.   In fact, it hasn’t paid anything.  So to be realistic it’s not always possible to do what you love in order to provide for oneself and maybe a family.  But moving in the direction of doing what you love is important to stay motivated  to do the ‘chores’.  Often while working at the dreaded job, I would complete a boring task then reward myself by writing a letter to a friend, or writing in my journal, or writing a business letter, or researching online how to do a job-related task better.  All fun stuff.  I may have done this a bit too much however.  I should have used a third strategy for dealing with ADD; set a timer!  Reward yourself for only 10 minutes, then get back to work.  You might not get fired using this tactic.

Enough for now.  Talk to you later.

Oh, by the way:…………..

Lynette