Monday Mornings

I really like to watch David E Kelly’s new series Monday Mornings. It’s an excellent show with a diverse mix of characters that only the genius of David E Kelly could produce . There is an Asian doctor . His English is as horrible as his bedside manner. But he is honest. And devastatingly so. If asked what will happen if the patient rejects a surgery he simply states

Not do, dead.

. His honestly sends me into a fit of uncontrollable laughter. He is no dancing baby but he is the best character David E Kelly has ever created. Do you know what irritates me about this character? The fact that I have in fact watched all ten episodes of this show I love so much and if the Asian doctor looked at me and said

What my name? Not do dead.

I would not be able to tell him his name. That is the worst part of ADHD for me. Memory loss. I know that I’m on a much lower dose of stimulants right now due to circumstances in which a higher dose would have agitated my emotions, making it much more challenging to stifle my agitation. On Monday Mornings the ‘Blonde girl doctor’ and the ‘chief of staff doctor’ did a surgery on an OCD patient to eliminate the symptoms and improve his quality of life. A Surgery to cure what ails in the brain. Changed the boys life. Of course It’s all fictional. A girl can dream can’t she, that a surgery would give the the capacity to remember names, walk upstairs to my bedroom and know why I am there rather than stand and stare and never remember why you went there in the first place . If such a surgery were available I would be the first in line. I know a lot of people say given the option they would never change having ADHD. I am currently grieving the woman I could have been. Today I cannot simply be thankful for who I am. Tomorrow may be different. I try to make the best of the situation. Today my frontal lobe is the enemy. I want to remember names , faces. I was late for boxing today. And then I went grocery shopping and I forgot the items on the list because I forgot I had a list. Stress effects how ADHD meds work, which is why my dose hasn’t been increased. Today I can honestly say I can’t stand it. My husband has mentioned the serenity prayer to many times.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change

. Ok so it’s here and it’s real. They say I have ADHD, and a lot of people laugh and think its something so simple. Normally I can find humour in having ADHD, but today I am annoyed and frustrated and I hope the diagnoses is wrong because I am thirty-one years old and I can’t remember where my keys are. And sometimes trying to have a conversation with me is like talking to a rock. And I wish I could express myself better. There is still a small part of me that hopes the doctors are wrong. There is a bigger part of me that wishes there was a surgery to take the forgetfulness, and the easy irritation, and the small things being so huge on my mind and the huge things being so small. Give me the power to prioritize. And just one day not screw up. So I ask

grant me the surgery to remove ADHD and allow me to function as the beautiful , smart and confident woman I know lies beneath it all

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Make like an IPod

I could see the look on his face. I had so much to tell him and it was all coming out at once.

Go to the gym Jan

Translation: I know you hurt your knee and not getting to box is getting under your skin but hit pause and go to the gym. Of course I’ve caught on. My mind may be in overdrive but I can still be cheeky.

Are you sure you don’t want to spend time with me? I can stay home it’s OK

I’m laughing so hard at myself . I know I’m going on and on and he doesn’t give a shit.

Go to the gym Jan. Have a tan.

. I haven’t worked out since last week sometime. That means I’m at my breaking point. And bouncing around like Mexican jumping beans. In front of the TV he is trying to watch. He knows if he doesn’t get me to the gym to burn off this excess energy it’s going to be a long night.
So here I sit. On the exercise bike. My knee burning. Swelling. Pissed right off at me. I usually run so this isn’t even close to be challenging. Exercise is important. It helps me fall asleep at night , it will keep me fit enough to hopefully not get shit canned in the ring. And Steven hopes the only words I will be able to utter when I get home is ‘ turn the light off, I just want sleep.’ And Silence.
I often wonder how he hasn’t set me on fire yet. I always have something to say. And it can be hoping from one subject to the next with no rhyme or reason like I’m an iPod set to ‘shake to shuffle’ and its a bumpy road I’m running on. And then there are times where I will fixate on one thing, like why no one have mentioned a match for the may fights.

Steven do you think Coach has issues with me? Am I not working put hard enough Do you think I’m too heavy? Maybe if I lost 40 pounds he will find someone my size.

That though is stuck on repeat and Steven just wants to shake me so that I shuffle. Then there are moments when I’m not missing a beat. I get up and I put dinner in the slow cooker. Then I get to an appointment on time, rush home and then make work on time. And work is amazing. I am enjoying my customers and the sales are coming free and easy. Turn the volume up and rock it out. I love good frontal lobe days. Steven has gotten very good at ‘That’s just Jan’. But I’m sure his favourite time of day is when I call it a day. To him it’s like the baby just got over the colic that made it scream and cry all day. His wife is snuggled down in the queen size bed, sound asleep. I picture him watching me sleep. My eyelashes laying softly against the thin skin beneath my eyes, and my cheeks flushed from having the covers pulled too high . Then he takes in the drool and the sound of the fart that escapes while I sleep. I don’t stir and he thinks

If she found pause to sleep I can handle whatever else escapes her

My Next 30 Years

I think I will take a moment , celebrate my age, the ending of an era and the turning of a page. Now it’s time to focus on where I go from here

That song came from Tim McGraw. I’m a huge fan of his older music, and for his present work… I would award him with the best ass in country music. My next thirty years are that. My past . I can’t change the excessive drinking, or the men, the recklessness, the good decisions I didn’t care to make. How frustrating it was for my husband that I only lived for tomorrow and not for today. I could kick myself hard in the ass about a lot of things. I’m not going to. I can’t change it so I’m moving on. I like my new focused self. I often feel ripped off that it took thirty years to get the diagnosis that would ease the anxiety and depression. I am so happy I have ADHD because even that is better than my life before the ADHD medication. Now I’m moving forward with a vengeance . I didn’t start boxing at 16. I started boxing at 30. Doesn’t mean I still won’t meet my goals and get my bouts. I got burnt pretty good this week. I thought some people actually got it. I was wrong. I ended up getting yelled at by this friend for not realizing at the time I was saying something wrong. I really honestly didn’t. He called bullshit but i honestly didn’t know. I really do make a horrible puppet. A skill I am desperately working on is how to read people better so that I can surround myself with people who have a positive impact on me and don’t make me want to crawl in a hole and die. I know I keep saying this but my diagnosis came at thirty. It’s never too late people! It is hard to hear your husband say ‘your right Jan people don’t like you, they find you annoying, but it’s because they don’t know that they have to dig a little deeper to get to you’. I learned in a therapy session this week that I actually say one thing but completely mean another. Sometimes I will say something that sounds absolutely awful, but if a person were to question it, it was probably my hair trigger anger that spit it out and by digging past the surface I actually mean something quite different. It is just that my brain moves so fast I will have an entire thought process and just spit out the middle and forget the beginning and ending.
I’m getting closer to saying I’m looking forward to the future. I still have a few good years of boxing left in me. I don’t have to close the door on having more babies just yet, and I finally have he drive and the focus to be a real productive member of society. And the focus to watch my daughters grow and actually slow down enough to take it I. And feel pride. I’m looking at a new career as a police officer if all goes well, and I’m learning to break down my emotions so that the small things don’t seem so big. ADHD is always going to be a struggle. But now I know what it is and I can learn how to carry on carrying on. I am so excited for the next thirty years of boxing, working, saving money ( I understand the concept of that now) watching my girls become strong, independent beautiful women, great friends, and a chance to retire with my sexiest man alive. So baby, here is to a new and improved Mama and the next thirty years.

Growing Flames

I’m sitting on the sofa I decided I absolutely had to get rid of. It was as immediate as a fire in the garbage can. I couldn’t wait an hour for my husband to get home from work to assist me with the task. The couch was leaving and it was leaving then. A lot of swearing, repositioning and broken knuckles later, my daughters decided to grab thier friends older brother to help get the couch through the patio doors so they at least can get on with thier lives. And stop bringing thier clutz of a mother plastic bandages. So here I am sitting on said sofa, like a redneck in my ghetto looking backyard. I’m enjoying the sinking sun, crackle of the wood, and crisp evening air. The sexyness that is my husband. Said husband is grumbling beside me. He simply states ‘Mallory started this fire.’ I’m not surprised. She is my mini Sheldon Cooper. I have always figured Mallory would be the reason for some high rise not having an elevator someday in true Sheldon fashion. Thats not where Steven was going with this so I said ‘ Did that make you proud?’ And he said ‘ yes, I talked her through it, but they have to learn…have you seen some of the boys around here? God forbid they have to depend on one of those knowing anything someday!’ Ok. And he says I over think things. He also says ‘ Jan hasn’t done anything until she has overdone it’. But Steven seriously thats great. Now when she’s sixteen and her friends parents go out of town and half the neighbourhood kids gather to drink beer in thier backyard, and your daughter lights the bon fire during dry season that has the fire department show up followed by the police who arrest her for breaking city bylaws and underage drinking. I am sure she will be forever grateful for the arson lesson. I’m glad he’s thinking about the future. I have been too stuck in the past all day. Weepy. Irritable. Wondering if its because my ADHD stimulants are being increased and my brain is throwing a fit or because its the emptyness I’m feeling in my heart and my gut. Avery would be almost two years old this Easter. It would have been fun for her and us. And then there is the empty arm thing. If I would of had it my way, the baby who followed Avery would be celebrating her first easter. So as is typical with all holidays and milestones I tourture myself with the what could have been done differently to have her here with me today. Why our family was punished. Why I can’t get her back. I am not sure if thats grief or the ADHD not letting me let go. I just hope I can contain it to get through my shift on Sunday. Don’t fixate. Thats exactly why I joined my husband outside to begin with. I was going to go for a run to exaust myself. Take a break from my racing thoughts. I caught a glimpse of him sitting outside alone. His daughters took thier leave as soon as thier friends showed up with the idea of ‘chalk tattoos’. My poor husband. All three of his girls are growing up on him at once. Sydney really started to come inti her own. Discovered boxing. Digs her heels in a little more. Mallory is reading novels, journaling, bringing up boys and talking about periods. And I? A big adjustment for Steven as much as myself, I got my diagnosis. ADHD was pinpointed, and now he has for the first time in our relationship a partner. Someone who can be entrusted with the grocery budget, will discuss a weekly budget, plan with him. I’m not opening bills yet, and I want to plug my ears when I see Steven open them, but Steven knows to pick his battles. And I’ve had the same job for a while now. Its amazing thst I havn’t gotten overwhelmed by the pace and stress of the position and quit. The self control isn’nt perfect and there is still a huge hole in my filter. I’m restless. Which leads to reckless. But I’m not drinking or doing drugs. I never picked up cigerettes again. I’m even off caffine. I know to stay away. I have an addictive personality and I have to stay aware of it. The biggest thing I have taken from the diagnosis is awareness. Aware that I have the impulse to blurt out whatever is on my mind. Aware that I get irratable when I get overwhelmed. Ask Sam my supervisor. She has to interact with queen bitch daily. Do I still forget a lot of stuff? Hell ya. But with awareness I can practice . Practice makes perfect and for me to even be half as flawed as I used to be is a full time job. I feel like I am still constantly dropping the ball at home and at work. But its an improvement, and its a life long challenge, one that won’t show impressive results overnight. If I could leave my readers with something other than boredom, it would be the facts. Four percent of adults have ADHD. Twenty percent of that four percent get diagnosed. One quarter of that twenty percent actually seek treatment. Now let me ask you this. How are we suposed to focus on whats important. Have the paitence to reason with our children. Raise them to be productive members of society, if we can’t do these things for ourselves first?

And here goes….

Everyone remembers a weeping Renee Zellweger confess to a love struck Tom Cruise,with the memorable ” You had me from hello!”.  A beautiful moment if it could actually happen and Tom Cruise was substituted for someone a little more my type.  Like taller, less Tom Cruise. 

However, if I were Renee Zellweger, in that moment, I would have either stopped listening at   ” hello” or interrupted him to comment on his shoes.  Probably something highly inappropriate too, like ‘Hey Tom, nice shoes but were you not shorter yesterday? Are you wearing lifts in your shoes? Are you that insecure about your height?  You know Tom, they say you can tell a lot about a man by the size of his shoes.”.  Then Tom would look at me like the world looked at him when he jumped on Oprah’s sofa, scrap the speech that was meant to touch me to the core of my very soul and run for the Hollywood hills.   

The above may be a bit exaggerated.  I’m not Renee Zellweger. But they are an example of behaviours I exhibit on a daily basis.  I interrupt others when they are talking, I say the wrong things at the wrong time and ninety-nine percent of the time in the wrong place.  My husband would say something witty like  ” you can dress her up  but you can’t sew her mouth shut” .  I forget things.  If it were not for my IPhone and Siri I wouldn’t remember dinner is in the oven, or that I only have eight minutes left in my break.  I wouldn’t remember to book the parent teacher meeting let alone attend it.   I must use my phone to take a picture of where I park, especially in parking garages.  Without it I waste precious time looking for my car.  Its not uncommon for me to back into another care  carelessly.  My fourth speeding ticket since I bought my Malibu last October just came in the mail.  

These  are a few of the characteristic’s that I have come to recognize in myself since I was diagnosed with ADHD a few months ago.  Now at the age of  31, I am  beginning a new journey.  One of stimulant medications, less caffeine, and learning how to live with ADHD. And without caffeine  It isn’t who I am, but it is defiantly part of who I am.   With stimulant medications and cognitive therapy, I am learning slowly how to manage it.  It cannot be managed with medication alone.  Its up to the patient to do the other half and attend the counselling.  Break bad habits, and start new habits.    There is a lot of argument from the pro’s on whether or not ADHD even exists.   There is even more argument from the pro’s on whether or not it exists in adults.  I am here tell you, It exists. The difference in my life since I got the diagnosis is like day and night.  There are two women in me.  The one I can deal with, the woman who remembered to take her stimulants in the morning. Enjoys work, can concentrate on writing, ,or reading a book, or not interrupting another boxer at the gym.  I’ve discovered if I keep my music blaring in my ears, I can stay focused on my task and not bother anyone at boxing.    And then there is this other woman.  The one who calls in sick to work, has no motivation , and is overwhelmed by simple daily tasks, that says forget about it and goes back to bed for the day. That’s the one who forgot to take her stimulants. 

In conclusion, ADHD exists.  Even in adults.  I’m proof.  It doesn’t matter why I wasn’t diagnosed as a child, or how different my life probably would be now if I was.  I figure my ADHD peaked when I was an adult, at the lost of a daughter in my 37th week of pregnancy.  I believe for myself that is what has pushed my ADHD to the forefront.    But it doesn’t matter how the diagnosis happened.  I’m just happy it did happen.  Maybe giving me a better  quality of life was Avery’s gift to me.

  I’m not mentally ill.  I have a frontal lobe disorder.  I actually like to jokingly call it job security.  ADHD is recognized as a disability by the Canadian government.   It would be hard to fire me.  That would be discrimination against the disabled.  I don’t actually see myself as  disabled. Just quirky. A lot of people don’t like me because they don’t understand me.   That’s on them, that’s not on me.   

This is just my first blog entry.  There are going to be many to follow.  I am constantly learning, and making discoveries about myself and ADHD.  As I learn, I will share.   I may choose to write on other topics as well.  As the mood strikes I shall write.