So here I am… 40 and just being officially diagnosed with ADHD. It is hard to admit, but I am at a loss for words. I have struggled with certain things my entire life like being organized, being on-time, and being spacey. I am an over-achiever, an over-thinker, the queen of procrastination, and the jack of all trades. I tend to get caught up in projects, crafts, and big ideas. I get lost in the small details and over-whelmed when I try to finish the things that I have started. These are not new traits, from from the contrary. I have been this way for as long as I can possibly remember. As a young adult, I struggled with depression and anxiety and since I didn’t “appear” to have ADHD, I was always prescribed anti-depressants or anxiety medication. While these medications helped, it always felt like I was missing something. I didn’t start taking medication until I was in my 20’s. I was going through a pretty big life change and found it difficult to function. It was the first doctor that had ever recommended medication and I thought, why not. It was better than drinking, sleeping, and eating my feelings away.
Over the years, I have tried many, many medications that focused on depression and anxiety. It wasn’t until August of 2020 that I started asking and advocating for myself to seek an ADHD diagnoses. Even after I suggested it, the medical team I was working with at the time didn’t want to listen. After months of “playing” with the doses and feeling worse and worse with the prescriptions being given, I switched doctors yet again. My new doctor did an entire battery of bloodwork to rule out thyroid and perimenopause, as well as many other issues. Once those results came in and everything looked great, which didn’t make sense with all of the complaints I have, the new medical team asked if I had ever been diagnosed with ADHD!!!! I told them that I always felt I had ADHD and had advocated for this diagnoses for years and no one had listened. Since my son was diagnosed two years ago, and knowing it is genetic, I knew that our makeup was more similar than I realized. 20+ years of complaining of sadness, frustration, stomach aches, lack of sleep, lack of focus, over-eating, under-eating, being exhausted everyday and finally someone listened. My new medical team prescribed Adderall, in addition to having me begin to taper down my other medications that were making me so sick. Within DAYS (DAYS) I felt like a new person. All of these years I have suffered with somatic complaints; headaches, stomach aches, being tired, not being able to sleep, sleeping too much, eating too much, hyper focusing on interests, then later being uninterested in those same things…… years and years of struggling and then finally, it’s like a light bulb turned on and the new medication helps!!!!! It is like that Ah-ha moment finally happened. The stomach aches that I complained about for years have subsided, I get stuff done during the day and then sleep soundly at night. I can manage the amount of food I eat and do it within reason. The awful food cravings are gone. I can focus and get things done on my to-do list.
So, here I am, old, finally diagnosed, and now on the right track to finally being properly medicated. After a week on my new medication, I realized what a disservice I had been doing to Colton by ignoring or pretending his ADHD does not have an impact. I finally allowed myself to unload some of the guilt I had about giving Colton medication for his ADHD. I am trying not to think about what my life would have been like with the right medication years ago, BUT I think what is keeping from getting lost in this rabbit hole is that I focusing on being the best mom to Colton and making sure his needs are met and ensuring he doesn’t have the same internal struggles that I went through.