So here’s how my ADD/ADHD therapy is going.
I went to see therapist #2 yesterday. (He’s the one who’s purely for ADD/ADHD.)
I have not been on time once. Not for one single appointment. Yesterday I was two minutes late and that’s pretty much amazingly on-time for me – and it was really only because traffic was miraculously light. I would’ve been totally on time if I hadn’t stopped to pull weeds from between sidewalk seams on the way to the car. Because walking out the door, keys in hand, already verging on lateness, is a great time to just stop everything and weed for a few minutes, right?
I caught myself doing it and was like “WTF, TRISH?!! GET IN THE FUCKING CAR.”
I arrived at 2:02, which is better than 2:07, or 2:10. I asked if we could wrap up 10 minutes early and he said sure. I said, “Great! Let me set an alarm so I know when to stop talking … OK, all set for 1:40.” We started chatting. And then, about 10 minutes later, I realized I’d set the time as if we were meeting earlier, because we sometimes meet at one.
Not for the first time I remarked “Wow, I’m really playing to type here, huh?”
My therapist said he’d actually checked the waiting room at one just in case. Two weeks ago, I showed up an hour early because I messed up the appointment time.
I had no idea what we were going to talk about because I had nothing to report. All of the plans and schedules we have created for me over the past month haven’t worked. That is, they haven’t worked because I haven’t followed them. Because I pretty much forget about them immediately. Or I intend to follow them but just later in the day, after I do this one thing. And then the day is over and whoopsie!
And here’s the thing: These plans have not been overwhelming. They are embarrassingly simplistic. Like, “Do 15 minutes of this one task on Monday morning before lunch.” Fifteen minutes. How hard is that? It’s not hard. It’s easy.
Except apparently not.
He asked me why I thought the plans didn’t work. I put it back on him. “I don’t know!” I said. “What do you think is going on?”
I thought we might dig into my underlying issues like usual. Resistance. Rebelliousness. Feelings that I’m unworthy. But no. Instead, he very kindly and gently floated the idea that, just perhaps, if I wasn’t opposed to it, maybe I should try some medication.
And what’s funny is that that’s why I started to see him in the first place. Somehow in all the talkety-talk, I’d forgotten about it. I mean, I remember that we were discussing it – in fact, he’d told me from appointment #1 that I could go ahead and make an appointment with the psychiatrist (which I failed to do) – but I guess I was holding out hope that perhaps we could address this some other way.
He said (paraphrasing here, obvi), “I think you wanted to talk this out. And sometimes that can work if there’s something else going on, like anxiety. But often, with ADD, meds are what helps.”
He went on to say that because I had seen some helpful changes in the past (i.e., more productive on the Straterra even though I had unpleasant side effects), it was likely that something chemical was going on. Also, none of the drugs that I’d tried made me agitated or hyper, which probably would’ve happened if I’d had regular dopamine levels.
So I now have an official appointment with a psychiatrist in eight weeks. Eight weeks feels so far. But I guess that’s how it goes sometimes.
So many feelings
I’m weirdly emotional about this whole thing. I’m trying to unpack all of it. There are a few things going on.
1. A deep sense of failure. I cannot even begin to describe how deep this is. I am a professional woman who makes decent money and has accomplished a thing or two. How can I have this?
Also, I feel like maybe I lacked the will to make the changes. Did I try hard enough? Did I do everything I could? There, the therapist was really helpful. He said he didn’t get the sense that I wasn’t committed. I was investing time and money in this and I seemed to genuinely want something to work. So that felt a little better.
2. Some relief. This time, instead of just going to my regular doc and asking for meds, I worked through the process. And now, I have the insight of having heard from someone who does this for a living, that I legit have this thing that I’ve been worried I have been employing as a crutch.
3. Some compassion for myself. This one was a surprising emotion, but here it is. The fact is, I haven’t been kind to myself for a very long time. I’ve spent 6-8 hours a day beating myself up every single weekday for as long as I can remember – starting from my first job, and including jobs I’ve been amazing at and jobs I haven’t. I flat-out do not know what it’s like to go crashing into a deadline without my hair, my ass, and my shoes on fire. Not at all.
So that’s years of self abuse.
And, as Mr. Therapist has said, as well as my earth angel Trish O, would I talk to anyone else like that? Never. I would never heap the abuse onto anyone else that I heap on myself. And perhaps, just maybe, all this time I’ve had a condition that was not under my control.
Looking back, I feel like I’ve spent the last however many years being horrible to a special-needs child (i.e., my inner child) (and also my inner adult), who needs some extra help.
Guys … I’m tired. I’m so tired from all of this. If meds could make even a 5-10% improvement without turning me into a zombie or giving me a heart attack, then that would be super awesome.
And now, I’m going to post this without proofreading because I (OF COURSE) have a thing tonight that I should already be getting ready for and I have to leave in 5 minutes and the alarm I set to remind me to STOP and get ready has already been going off for 5 minutes.
I know you all want to know, so YES, I’m still going to continue with the energy healer for a few more weeks. Why not? It’s been pretty fascinating and if it helps with the ADD in some way, that would be fucking fabulous.
Smellya later, peeps.