Ril’s 40th Birthday Dream Trip




In August of 2014 I am turning 40, and I’ve been trying to think of something special to commemorate my birthday, as this is a BIG milestone one. Every person I talk to over 40, either has a good memorable story or deeply regrets having not done something special.

The only thing special I want to do is something I have pined to do for the last 5 years: be able to afford a trip from where I live in Ontario to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and to see all my family in my home town.

 

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There are many reasons why I would love to make this trip:

  1. My mother is willing to throw me a big 40th birthday bash with music and dancing and all my family and friends in attendance!My cousin can get a hall there for free in my hometown, and I’ll get to have an enjoyable fun filled evening socializing with my extended family and old friends, and spend the night dancing with my mom (something special to us we have not done together in almost 15 years).Another reason is that I know that when my family members pass on,given our extremely lean disability income, I will not be able to afford to go home for funerals. I have already told my dad that I will not be able to come home when he dies… which he understands. I was unable to go home 2 years ago when my aunt, who was my art mentor, passed away from cancer. I would love to see her husband and visit her most famed artwork on the side of a mountain in Cape Breton. Given that my dad is 69 and my maternal grandparents are their late 80s, and many uncles and aunts are ageing as well (cause HOLY CRAP I’M TURNING 40!) – going home for my 40th birthday would be my chance to see all these people, hug them and spend time with them before it may be too late.
  2. I want to raid my mothers photo albums and scan a tonne of pictures I don’t have from my childhood and of my brother who passed away 17 years ago. As I get older I find the having family photos to preserve history for my kids is becoming more and more important to me.
  3. I have many cousins and old highschool friends I have not seen in 15 years. Nieces and nephews I have never met, and I would love to go home and show my daughter where she was born, and let my kids dip their feet in the Atlantic ocean and show my children where I grew up. Take them fishing in the brook I played in at 7, hike to the falls where I swam at 14, and the lake I picked clams at through my teen years.
  4. I have not been home to Cape Breton in 12 years, and given that my children are 9 and 13, and our income due to disabilities is too small to afford such a trip, I am asking for help to allow us to go home for a week for my 40th Birthday, as it will honestly be the only time in our lives we can do this trip together.
  5. On August 25th, my husband and I will have been together for 16 years and I’d like to go to the bandshell in Sydney, NS where we exchanged vows and have our pictures taken.

We are taking our 1998 windstar minivan and driving there. My awesome friend Sarah has offered to let us use her newer van to make the trip so we can ensure a reliable vehicle gets us there!!! We will need to purchase CAA before we go to ensure a measure of security along the trip, then we need to pay for the gas and any accommodations we have to use along the way (it’s about 22 hours of driving).

All told, being frugal (as we tend to be anyway given our low income) it will cost between $1000 and $1500 just to get there, depending on the fuel mileage we get and the gas prices along the way. (My 9 year old son has graciously offered to forgo his $9 allowance a month he gets to help us out :) )

We can cover the cost of gas, but it will use up all our available funds. This may not seem logical a thing to do, but paying for internet access is pretty much our entire entertainment/vacation budget, and I want this trip so much, I’m willing to gamble that.

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I’ll be the only one doing the 22-ish hours of driving, and given that my husband has pain issues with being in a car for long periods of time, I am asking as a birthday gift to me for some help defraying costs to give us a little more freedom to rest along the way. If people are willing to contribute it also creates the possibility that we may be able to afford to take advantage of the fact that we will be able to see/visit other sites (and sights) in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to help make this ONE long trip we might ever take as a family more decent and a better experience.

This may be literally a once in a lifetime opportunity for us!!!

Extra funds would allow us to take the kids to visit places we may otherwise have to bypass like Lunenburg, Peggy’s Cove, the Bay of Fundy, and Fortress Louisbourg.

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Given we homeschool our kids due to learning disabilities (ASD and ADHD) this would be a combined birthday/road trip/ vacation/home schooling field trip to explore some of the east coast of Canada.

As most of the people I am sharing this with know, my husband has severe CFS/ME and Fibromyalgia. I’ve cared for him for the last 10+ years he has been ill. We have never taken any vacations as a family due to finances. He needs fairly frequent breaks while traveling and this trip is going to push him past his limits if we cannot break up the drive. He is willing to do this for me, though it could mean he will likely take months to recover from the exhaustion.

He wants to do this for me and is trying his hardest to work out some kind of budget to get us there and back. He’s a pretty amazing guy! It would make it much easier on him if we could stay in a small motel or two along the way to allow him (and all of us) to rest between legs of the trip.

I know there are a lot of things out there worthy of your compassion and dollars. People on the internet share stories of needing money for medical needs and the like and they are very worthy of such. I’ve never ever asked for anything like this before in my life, but this is pretty important to me.

So many reasons make this trip a near need and not just a deep want for me. So, If you could see it in your hearts to help us out in any small way you can,and make this a lifetime memorable event…. I would be forever thankful and humbled by your generosity.

If I have ever helped you in any way with ADHD info and support, shared my joys and life with you that made you smile or laugh, been there for you with an ear, or you just feel compelled to make a disabled family insanely happy with a pretty simplistic desire to take a road trip to Cape Breton, please chose a paypal donation of your choice at the button below. If just 200 people gave 10 dollars each we would be able to make this a wonderful trip!!!




Any amount will help more than you realize. Even a few bucks to afford a hamburger on the road, or a donation towards covering our gas costs, or helping us rent a hotel room will help us do this with less physical burden on my husband.

I will be sharing our trip via my Instagram, @rilyaart so I hope you will follow along even if you are only able to be an emotional supporter!

Any and all donations over $10, if you wish you may leave a mailing address when you make your donation in a note and I will send you, before the end of 2014, a hand painted 2 by 3 inch art card in the mail, as a small personal collectable art piece and personal thank you for making my 40th birthday the best it could ever be!

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Blessings

Ril

Dyslexia

As for many with ADHD, it is not the only  neurobiological issue I deal with.

I am dyslexic. If you saw some of my posts pre spell and grammar check…I’m not sure they’d be readable.

The thing is….reading and writing is not my biggest issues when it comes to dyslexia.

Some people think of dyslexia as a learning issue that only involves reading. But dyslexia can make a number of daily living tasks difficult.

Here’s an overview of skills and behaviors dyslexia can affect. (I am affected by most of these)

General Skill: Language.

Dyslexia can make it difficult for people to:

    •Understand and follow directions

    •Repeat something that was just said in proper sequence

    •Name people and objects

    •Find the right words, such as saying “dinosaurs are distinct” instead of “dinosaurs are extinct”

    •Pronounce words properly, such as saying “mawn lower” instead of “lawn mower”

    •Distinguish between words that sound similar

    •Learn and correctly use new words (which can lead to guessing)

    •Use proper grammar

    •Rhyme words

    •Stay on topic

    •Understand jokes, puns, sarcasm or idioms

    •Speak with confidence and without overusing “filler words” (like “um” and “like”)

General Skill: ReadingDyslexia can make it difficult for people to:

    “Sound out” and pronounce words while reading

    Read smoothly, without skipping words, reversing word order and/or losing place&

    Get and stay interested in stories and books

    Understand written material

    Understand word problems in math

General Skill: WritingDyslexia can make it difficult for people to:

    Master the rules of spelling and grammar

    Write letters, numbers and symbols in the correct order

    Proofread written work

    Express ideas in an organized way

    Organize and complete written assignments

    Listen and take notes

Social-Emotional SkillsDyslexia can make it difficult for people to:

    Interpret body language and nonverbal cues

    Make and keep friends

    Deal with peer pressure and embarrassment and express feelings appropriately

    “Fit in” with peers/coworkers

    Maintain healthy self-esteem—dyslexia might also cause anxiety or depressed mood

Other Skills Affected. People with dyslexia could also have difficulty with:

    Navigation and sense of direction—and may worry about getting lost

    Spatial concepts like telling left from right

    Learning and remembering words, phrases, names and directions—they may rely too heavily on memorization

    Filtering out background noise

    Telling time and sticking to a schedule

My dyslexia comes into play with almost everything I do. When I cook, when I drive,  when I shop, when I clean the house,  when I meet people and can’t remember their name or recognize them outside the context I met them in.

It affects me in everything I do, everyday. Its not just about reading books in school and remembering to double check that I spelled it their and not thier.

Dyslexia makes me feel stupid and embarassed with this world of online text communication.

People look past what I have to say because of how it is delivered in written form. Perhaps that is why ibhave not written much here lately.

My peers in the ADHD advocacy world are getting articles published and book deals….yet I sit here stumbling over blog stuff…and everyday thing taking me 3 times as long to accomplish…because of dyslexia.

Perhaps it is time I put down the cape.

Tired…and just……so sick of the uphill battle.

Constantly.

Source of dyslexia info is from The National Learning Disabilities Center.

I feel an internal shift happening

It is no secrect that people with adhd have issues with executive functioning..which in turn creates the chais we often live in. The clutter, the forgotten bills, the half finished projects….

At almost 40, one look around my house and you’ll see it.

They say that peopne qith executive function issues have brain that mature less fast and ef skills can be years behind.

If that is the case…then I’d say im at the mid 20′s range of ef maturity.

But recently….things are switching…at least internally….im seeing the order things need to be done in better. Im cutting back on things to make time to finish other things. Im setting priorities better.

Of course it helps I have a husband who writes out a point form intinary for almost everything ( not literally. But almost)

So. I think some of it is rubbing off.

Thats a good thing. Becayse at almost 40…I dont want to live like this for the next 40 yrs of my life.

No…if I can just get this stuff all better organized in my life in order to not have such anxiety about how much there is that needs to be done!

Sigh

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I had a dream

I don’t normally share dreams but this one was so…..real I woke up  with butterflies in my stomach.

A celebrity. An actor whom I admire deeply…(who I equate his personality and attributes to that of my husband ) and I were dating…

Like I just knew we were and had been for quite sometime…and we were standing somewhere across a counter from each other. I think it was a card store.

He was scribing something with a pen in a small card. He hid it from me. I was asking him what he was doing.

He smiled and said nothing.

He sealed it with another card in an envelope and looked at me with a glint of mischief in his eyes and hand me the envelope.

I assumed it was going to be something silly…because that is his thing….He’s a kid at heart.

I opened the envelope and picked the card on the left.

I recognized the card as my own artwork…so I knew he was just being silly…(but also. My cards.my art..was in a store for sale)

I opened the card and it read

“You are my world. I love you Ril”

In my dream it was the first time he’d declared this to me though I felt this way about him. And it had been a longish relationship…he had never told me this before amd I had not told him either.

I dropped the card on the counter in delighted shock and releif that he felt the same and said breathlessly,  “oh my god I love YOU “

I leaned over the counter and took his face in my hands and kissed him deeply while he kissed back and giggled at my response in delight and wrapped his arms around my waist and pulled me up into his arms and smiled at me..with his eyes sparkling with true happiness.

I didn’t even read the other card left there on the counter. It didn’t matter…but he said in my ear as we hugged…”forever”.

It made me giggle in my sleep and gave me butterflies and I woke up with tears of happiness in my eyes.

I sighed….and snuggled into my husband more and went back to sleep.

Who was the celebrity? It’s not important.  It was about my husband anyway and recent talks we’ve had about my dealing with nurturing my inner child and growing her up more nurtured than she was when I was a kid..and me acknowledging how lucky I am to be loved by  someone who accepts me at my worst and adores me no matter what.adhd and all.

It was the most vivid dream I’ve had in a long time.

Tweezers, library cards and Burnt Lunch

Today on twitter a fellow ADDer messaged and told me about finding her lost library card that had been missing for quite some time.

It was right where every ADDer puts it.In that safe place so we won’t lose it. The one we promptly forget as soon as we put it there.

This was funny to me because just this week, I too, found my missing library card. It was right where * I * put it. In that safe place. For 5 years!  It was on the fridge, magneted to it in one of those postit note and pen holders.

Life’s Laws

You’ve heard if Murphys law right?

Well, ADDer’s law says…If you’ve lost something you put away safely….go out and get a replacement and you’ll be sure to find the original within  24 to 48 hours.

By this rule I have found my first pair, the replacement pair and the third and 4th pair of tweezers everytime I’ve gone out and bought a replacement pair.

I now have a pair I keep in the car,  one in my purse, one on my bedside and one in the bathroom. Yet, I can still manage to not have a pair near by when I find a stray perimenopause black chin hair to pluck out!

ADD can so very often leave us feeling defeated, teary eyed and like we should just give up trying for how often we fumble. But, being able to laugh at our foibles and share our common ADD blunders really helps us get through .

I love my twitter ADD tribe. They get me.I get them. I love when I get random messages telling me about similar silly struggles through the day. Its nice to know I am not alone.

I know don’t have to even explain how, when I tell them about how I burned the grilled cheese for lunch on Sunday while watching a season 6 episode of Grey’s Anatomy on my phone. They just understand.

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When envy is a good thing..or not really even envy at all

Time and time again we are made to feel that jealousy is a bad thing. From the time we are little we are chastised for seeing someone and desiring what they have.

We learn this is bad and we should not feel jealous, therefore we must be a bad person.

Last night I was flipping through my twitter list of awesome women and saw that someone had done The Bloggess at a Con for cosplay. It was really rather epic!

But, suddenly I felt really crappy about myself and I started to look at how I arrived there.

Here was my thought process when this happened…

“Holy crap! That is awesome! Great cosplay too! You know you are “somebody”when people dress up as you at a Con! Wow…I bet no one will ever dress up as SuperADDmom.If they did that is when I’d know I “made it”.Well, first I’d have to actually do something worthy of being admired as much as she does! I suck! Look at me sitting here being jealous of someone because someone else cosplayed as them! I can’t even concentrate long enough to finish writing my book ffs! And what kind of jerk an I being jealous!”

In less than 2 minutes I went from feeling ok to feeling like a complete bitch for being jealous and beating myself up for being envious of someone I actually admire.

I put it aside and went to bed feeling bad about myself thinking I still had a lot of work to do at being mindful if I can so easily become jealous!

But…then today I read something that really put it in the right place for me.

I’ll paraphrase it and save you the click thru to an article half of y’all wouldn’t click anyway. (From a fb page link about positive self image selfhelp stuff)

“I don’t think that your jealousy is mean-spirited or rooted in wishing your friend ill. It’s highlighting something you want to move towards/experience in your own life.possibly something you’ve not even recognized until now.

I wonder if it’s possible to see your friend’s situation as inspiration and motivation, a reminder that you have goals you want to achieve and feel are possible for you too?”

So yeah..that hit me like brick in the head and woke me up! Not to mention the timing!!!

Suddenly today…I see everything different! This negative programming immediately stopped altering how I take things in and it is….AMAZING!

I was lied to!!!! You were lied to!

I’m not a mean spirited person & I never have been. This feeling I’ve been feeling bad about for 39 years because someone else told me to feel bad about them is actually desire to have the same type of things!not envy or jealousy at all. Jealousy is where you act negatively towards the person you feel it for. Ty to damage their successes you are jealous of.Jealousy is abusive and mean spirited and not something I’ve ever really experienced!

The things I envy/desire are natural normal non negative things that every person needs in life. Acceptance, Signifigance, connection/love, contribution to the world….

Being told all my life that my desires were bad is really kind of….totally fucked up!

So, I’ve started shifting envy to desire.

From now on, if I feel what I’ve been told is envy or jealousy all my life. I will stop and look at what I’m envious of and remind myself it is a desire I have.

Change your mindset and everything looks completley different and in this new light, isn’t even a problem anymore!

So…who do you envy admire? What is it they have that you desire?!

Figure that out and detach the negative from it and start seeking to find ways you can also achieve those desires in a way that suits you and who you are!

It really IS that simple!

Being “on”, adhd blunders & lessons

Today hubby and I went to town with the boy.

On the agenda was: get the boys glasses fixed, pick up seeds,  rubber boots for me and groceries.

The first stop was the glasses and because it was pouring rain, hubby decided to wait in the car for the 15 minute visit to the eye glasses store.

This, is right about when ADHD snuck up behind me and whacked me in the head with a 2×4.

You see…I have processes for everything I do. I have to. I do this so I don’t mess up… and when I don’t do these processes, I forget things. I end up making mistakes. A lot of mistakes.

Yes,everyone does this…has processes…but they eventually become second nature to most. They gluide through them with relative ease…making routines smooth. Doing them almost on auto pilot.

But, for me with ADHD, there is a necessity of paying deliberate attention constantly. For people with executive functioning deficits like me…it is mentally exhausting. It requires being “on” at all times.

With adhd…when you don’t do the processes, when you are too tired to be “on”, or you chose to alter the process for a split second…you mess up stuff. And, we tend to do this on a daily basis.

A DAIlY Basis!

It is hard to not feel like a complete and utter failure at life due to this.

So tonight, I’m trying to process the days events, and extract the lesson. Excuse me while I ramble it out to figure it out.

So, where was i…..oh right….back to today’s blunder…

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When hubby stayed in the car, I no longer had to complete my process of leaving the car the way I usually do,because I was leaving the keys in the ignition with him. (Today I learned…do the process anyway…no matter what!!!he has his own keys.)

Because I didn’t take the keys out of the ignition- I did not shut off the car lights….and because I didn’t shut off the lights…

you see where this is going…

When I came back from a 20 minute errand at the eye glasses place, the van’s battery was,of course…dead. deader than dead!

failing to just do one simple thing…take my keys with me anyway…now had us stuck in town, in the pouring rain with a dead car. 14 klm from home.

Town not just a few  blocks away…it is not like I can just hop on a bus or take a cab. And a boost from a towtruck costs about $50. Something we can’t afford.

To make it even worse an ADHD blunder… because I do this more often than you’d think….A battery booster pack-the back up provision  for such occurances…was not in the van either!

Why…you ask? BECAUSE…..hello..I have ADHD.

TYPICAL!

I have a terrible time remembering to bring it into the van from the house when we go out. And, I very often leave it in the van for days after I do take it with us, too.

It’s a “new” process I have not fully mastered yet. A process we’ve been trying to instill in me for over 3 years.

In fact…this is the second battery pack we’ve owned because the charge in the battery dies off and it cannot take a charge when you let it die down too many times. Another consequence of ADHD

*sigh*

So…..back to being stuck in town in a dead van….

Now what do we do to solve this!!!???

First, cue the negative self talk most adults with ADHD have. Which is encoded in us and learned well from the people around us all our life.

I constantly dissapointed people with my adhd ways for 30 years before I ever knew I had it. So this negative self talk is still a given for me.

Inner voice:
“Fuck fuck fuck. You stuipid idiot…now what are ya gonna do huh? ! You know better than  this! What the fuck is wrong with you that you can’t just NOT do this stupid shit ALL THE FUCKING TIME?! Your such a fucking useless peice of shit CAN’T YOU DO ANYTHING RIGHT FOR FUCKING ONCE!!!?”

Then the anxiety that hubby is gonna be mad with me for yet another ADHD blunder that messes up our plans and schedule.

15 years of daily fuck ups…..he has every right to be mad at me for this. That is how everyone in my life has always been. So,  I automatically brace myself emotionally for the next step…which is getting yelled at….so I get on the defensive, ready to protect myself from the anger that is about to be thrown my way.

Anxiety, stress, adrenaline, anger at myself,  fear of dissapointing my husband and dissapointment in myself for dissapointing him all are flooding through my veins.

ADHD people are in a constant state of putting out fires and  grieving on one level or another each time they mess up.

And no,that is not me being hard on myself. That is the reality of living with ADHD as an adult with emotional baggage from a lifetime of being considered a failure at being normal by everyone around me.

“You’re smarter than this! Why are you being so lazy! You’re better than that! Pull yourself up by the bootstraps and prove it!”

For the record…though hubby was rightfully upset and disappointed…he didn’t scream and yell or back up my negative self talk with similar complaints.

I am very very lucky and thankful to have his unconditional love and support in my life.

Not all ADHD people have such patient and understanding spouses. It is hard living with a person who functions like a forgetful child who needs to be told /constantly reminded of everything, and who often resents being told everything to stay on track.

I know this. The divorce rates for people with ADHD is higher than average and reflects how hard living with ADHD truly is.

Then, the next step when this kind if blunder happens is the problem solver panic mode setting in of trying to brainstorm a solution to minimize the consequences we are now suffering for me forgetting to do my key routine.

I am lucky to have even had a solution!!!A solution hubby helped  come up with, thankfully!

We ended up calling our daughter who was at home. Walked her through charging the back up battery pack for 30 mintes…. Cause, Hello..ADHD! of course…I forgot to put it on charge last time!

Then, I called a friend who works near where I live and begged her to take the battery pack and drive through town when she would be leaving work 45 minutes later, and take the detour, dropping off the battery pack to me on her way home.

With that planned…we had to then wait the 50 minutes for her to meet us.Which in the end. Gets us home 2 hours later than we intended.

She saved my ass! And went out of her way to do so.Again. I’m lucky. (note to self: thank her again!!)

ADHD is not just hyperactive children and lost homework.

It affects every single aspect of your daily life and  ADHD is not a children’s disorder that goes away at 18.

I have had ADHD all my life…it is genetic. And I can clearly see it in the older genertions in my family.

It just was known as being lazy and defiant when I was growing up.

It is often misdiagnoased as depression and anxiety in adult women my age who missed being diagnoased as a child or teenager.

Adult adhd people often self medicate with nicotein, caffiene, drugs and alcohol and it can be easily missed even now.

I was very lucky…once again to have a therapist who suspected ADHD when I went to her for depression and anxiety that came on during my 2nd trimester of my 2nd pregnancy back in 2005. She sent me to an ADHD specalist who diagnoased me. I was the only adult patient in that waiting room back then.

Still. Im lucky to at least know what I’m dealing with, so I can learn to cope with it better.

As I’ve gotten older…my ADHD has gotten worse, as it often does for females as they have to take on more and more responsibilities for children and households….go through hormone fluctuations with childbearing and then perimenopause.

ADHD impacts your life beyond ways that non ADHD people can really truly comprehend unless you live in a house with ADHD people and have it impact your life daily too.

I WISH a pill COULD fix it! But it doesn’t. Meds are like a crutch for a sprained ankle…even with the crutch you still struggle to walk as fast as a person with two  functional feet. And, if the crutch is out of reach…you hobble about clumsily trying to get around.

Meds help. Routines help. (When we do them)

The coping techniques we develop help. But, even still…without being “on” at all times, which is impossible, we will in all likelihood stumble daily.

This is why I say on my twitter bio. “SuperADDmom:some days I’m super. Some days, The ADHD is.”

It really is a daily battle. Some days I am on the losing end of these battles…like today’s…but I learn. ..or I try too.

As a result of today’s blunder….dinner was going to be late…amd famiky fun night would have been ruined so hubby suggested a takeout pizza for supper. Which I am very grateful for!

It’s not easy. But the forgiving myself and taking the lesson from these blunders do help make it a little easier…even if that progress is so small it is not detectable with the naked eye today. But I MUST take the lesson and apply it. Otherwise. This will just happen again and again in different variations.

The hardest part of learning to live with ADHD now that I know, is reminding myself that I am not a failure as a “normal”person. I’m a victorious at living and learning to thrive with neurological disability.

It is something I am only coming to accept about myself now, even after 9 years of being diagnoased.

Yes, I go two steps forward and 3 steps back a LOT. And yes a victory is often a day in which I didn’t make things worse…never mind getting a head on the house clutter and daily routines…..but I keep going a least.

One of the good things ADHD gave me is the tenacity to keep trying. To pick myself up and go again. Being too stubborn to let ADHD win.

I need to take the lessons in my mistakes and keep applying it to get a little less a puppet of ADHD. And more the driver of my ADHD.

There is a deliberate thinking that needs to happen…for EVERYTHING. And it is not easy to instill these routines. It takes time and a lot of repetition. It.can be disheartening when sonething like today happens.

A large part of me wants to just curl up in a bawl and cry….”it’s to hard…I can’t do this anymore.my husband deserves a better wife than I am capable of being”

It exhausts me trying so much all the time.

The double checking your pocket for your keys as you get out of the car to make sure you have them every single time…because the one time you are not paying exact attention to where you put the keys while your spouse asks you if you remembered the reuseable grocery bags as you’re getting out of the car (which of course you forgot AGAIN)…you wind up misplacing the keys because you can’t remember where you placed them…and then, you are spending 20 minutes in the parking lot at the end of your shopping trip digging in your backpack looking for them, not even sure you didn’t lose them out of your pocket in the grocery store because you can’t recall putting them in your pocket or your bag in the first place.

Needless to say…anxiety and ADHD go hand in hand… We spend a lot of time at a near panic state internally, dealing with all the things we mess up a lot.

It is not easy to come to terms with the fact that I will likely never stop dealing with anxiety due to my ADHD.

Sigh…

I’m not even sure I am explaining this in a way for people to understand well, the severity of this mental chaos people with adhd deal with ALL THE TIME.

We don’t lack attention. We have a surplus of attention with the inability to focus that attention for long enough to complete things.

It is like being in a room with a million tvs on and not being able to shut any of them off and hearing them all….All the time.

Whatever tv makes the loudest noise to draw our attention to it, is where our attention goes.

We can’t NOT pay attention to everything. We have a focus deficit. And an inability to organize the priority of all the things going on around us.

An inability to shut out certain sensory inputs, while dealing with the one that requires our attention.

Our brains go a million miles an hour jumping from one thing to another faster than we can really even process it…and it is constant.

It is so exhausting.

If anyone talks to me while I’m cooking…dinner is likely burnt. So, now I operate in anxiety all the time when cooking. Well at the kids to leave…. fear of burning dinner.

If my son comes and asks me to tie his shoe while I’m getting dressed for the day..I’ll forget to put underarm deoderant on my left arm pit unless I make him wait. My anxiety might make me snap at him harshly because I’m being interrupted in the middle of my process.

A typical person would make him wait…not have anxiety…not snap at him…but an ADHD brain gets drawn in and pays attention to whatever thing is the “loudest” currently..while everything else is whirling around with it in my head… so, I chose not to be cranky from anxiety…and I put the underarm deoderant on the dresser to tie his shoe and go back to getting dressed…and because my routine was interrupted, I forget where I was in the process and I never remember I didn’t put on underarm deoderant until I lift my arm up  to grab a bottle of pickles out of the cupboard a few hours later and smell my own armpit and go “ahh shit! I forgot!” I do this more than I care to admit currently.

With ADHD, Pretty much everything out of sight is literally out of our mind…until it grabs our attention again.

Real live houseplants? Forget it.

Quiet animals like fish and gerbils? Forget it.

The pot on the counter with dinner leftover in it…
It will likely moldy in 2 days when I remember to clean the pot.

Of course I didn’t clean the pot because making dinner took so much concentration and mental stamina to do…I literally cannot focus  on the dishes afterwards long enough to do it.Or…I started to run the water to fill the sink…forgot and went to clear the table and don’t remember it is running until there is water all over the floor and counter and THAT becomes the #1 priority to handle currently.

Everything I do as a homemaker takes me 2 to 3 times as long as typical because of my ADHD.

Ron Poepeil with his “Set it and forget it” idea…not ADHD friendly.

So…to cope…
I make habits. Strict habits to counteract this type of chaos in my brain that living with ADHD just is.

Without the strict habits. My fridge does not get cleaned for 2 months and I’m throwing away  moldy leftover foods I cannot even identify any longer.

I double wash mildewed clothes from my washer I forgot to put in the dryer more than I care to even admit if I am not diligent about my laundry routine.

This kind of stuff is why it really pisses me off when a typical brained person forgets a few things one day and jokes. “Oh I’m so ADD today!” Or laughs at me when I share I have ADHD and they joke back. “Oh I know! Don’t we all!”

NO. WE DON’T ALL. NOT AT ALL!

Do we all have check lists attached to the door and walls like a kindergarten classroom, so we know where things go and what to do? Do we all check our pocket no less than three times evertime we get out of the car to be sure we have the keys? Do we all forget the reusable grocery bags in the car EVERY SINGLE TIME we go to the store?!

No. We all don’t.  By the time we are a teenager we don’t need the morning routine list to remember to brush our teeth.

I’m 39..I have ADHD and need those lists.

And, until recently I felt stupid to need those lists…I’ve  balked at needing those ques to do things like a child. Because I was told all my life I’m smarter than that. So, what the fuck is wrong with me.I should not need so many lists!

I’ve been trying to set aside the false pride the chastised “lazy child who should be smart enough to know better and do better” has been encoded with…and it has been hard to let that go.

I don’t know how I accept that I am a person with a neurobiological disorder that needs these aids…without feeling like a failure in our society.

But today has cemented in me that I need to be more diligent with my routines. And not let them be interrupted or not chose to not do them once because otherwise I am always playing catch up.

And I’m tired of playing catch up.

Study finds ADHD and obesity in teen link

The following below  is the article being retweeted all over twitter this week about a new study linking ADHD to teen obesity.

Tech Times

TAG ADHD, Obesity
Childhood ADHD connected to teen obesity, study claims

By Pierre Dumont, Tech Times | March 8, 9:53 PM
Share(5 )Tweet(6 ) 0 Comments
Children

A new study of 7,000 children in Finland suggests that childhood ADHD may be connected with teenage obesity.
(Photo : Brooke Anderson)

A new study suggests that children who have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be at a higher risk of becoming obese as teenagers.

There have been previous studies associating ADHD with obesity, but what exactly explains the relationship has remained unclear, as has whether additional weight or behavioral problems come first.

“In general, people think of children with hyperactivity as moving around a lot and therefore should be slim,” senior author Alina Rodriguez said.

But Rodriguez said that children who have ADHD tend to be overactive in a fidgety way.

“Children with ADHD are not more likely to participate in physical activity, as we show in our report,” she said.

The team’s study suggests that kids with behavioral problems are less likely to be active as they age.

For their study, the researchers examined almost 7,000 children in Finland to determine whether ADHD symptoms at age eight were linked to greater chances of being obese by age 16. They interviewed parents and teachers of the children to determine their ADHD symptoms and conduct disorder symptoms at the ages of eight and 16.

The results of the study showed that children who had ADHD symptoms at a young age were nearly twice as likely to be obese as teens. This was true even after taking into account childhood weight.

“Obesity is a growing problem that we need to watch out for in all children and young people, but these findings suggest that it’s particularly important for children with ADHD,” Rodriguez said. “It appears that lack of physical activity might be a key factor. We think encouraging children with ADHD to be more physically active could improve their behavior problems as well as helping them to stay a healthy weight, and studies should be carried out to test this theory.”

According to the American Psychiatric Association, about five percent of U.S. kids have ADHD, a condition that usually involves difficulty paying attention and lack of impulse control. There is no cure for the condition, but treatment through a combination of medication and behavior therapy exists, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to Doctor L. Eugene Arnold, child psychiatrist and professor emeritus at The Ohio State University in Columbus, parents of children with ADHD should encourage active pursuits and join their children in being active if necessary. They should also limit screen time and keep health snacks available to prevent adolescent weight problems.

The results of the study were published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

What! ? They don’t know the reason for this? REALLY?

I find it interesting that medical scientists cannot put two and two together and see just exactly WHY this is a link.

I noticed it over 8 years ago and I didn’t need a study to see it, or to figure out the cause or correlation!

Maybe that sounds conceited of me. But as a person with ADHD, perhaps I have an inside knowledge on this they are blindly missing? I mean medical scientists with years of university education can’t seriously be this blind, can they?

What we already know.

Through studies we know that adhd brains have been shown to lack proper dopamine production and regultion.

We know that people with ADHD do well on stimulant medications.

And, we know that people with ADHD often self medicate with stimulant drugs like nicotine and caffiene and sugary foods for a dopamine boost.

So, it would stand to reason that teens with ADHD would seek self regulation for their brain by naturally craving sweet treats for a lift in brain stimulation since caffiene and nicotine are frowned upon as a teen.

As children they ran about a lot, and got all their food from parents. When they become teens, they often start to be responsible for half to 2/3rds of their own food intake daily, and as they get older they often become less physically active with school all day, 2 to 3 hours of homework 5 days a week and just normal changes in lifestyle as they age.

10 year olds climb trees and tend to only get food treats when a parent gives them to them.

15 year olds hang out and gossip or play video games, go to the mall or hang out at a local hang out and can buy their own treats. And, they can tend to be less physically active as teens….with or without ADHD.

But, an adhd teen brain is growing and changing. ADHD can get worse through puberty and perhaps they are craving more stimulation as they require a change in meds to cope with ADHD that is being undermedicated for the level of severity of their adhd now.

Or maybe they are not medicated at all, and as they get older and have more things going on in life requiring stronger executive functions that are underdeveloped in their adhd brain. Thier brain would naturally crave a boost through sugar.

Also…let’s not forget the social struggles teenage ADHD kids go through. School work is harder, time management is harder, fitting in is harder.

Depression and anxiety is often a side diagnoasis for kids with adhd because of struggles with fitting in with peers, or struggles with physical abilities with sports if they have other issues like SPD or Dyspraxia that often stop them from being on the soccer team or the football team or the swim team.

Lack of dopamine in the adhd brain is why they tend to be daredevils seeking adrenaline, sometimes with shoplifting or pranks, picking fights, or dangerous hobbies like fast driving or backyard wrestling for example.

It is why teens can hyperfocus on stimulating video games or surfing the web for hours,  giving them a constant drip of dopamine for a brain boost.

It is why adhd kids can tend to smoke cigarettes more, get in trouble with drugs and alcohol more, and why they get in fights and argue more with peers and family more. They are all stimulating for the adhd brain looking for a dopamine boost.

So if we can see all that and understand it about adhd…why can’t we see that sugar and food cravings could be an issue for teenage ADHDers?

When I went on stimulant medication for my ADHD at 32 years old I immediately stopped having sugar and carb crabings as badly as I used to because my brain was being given what it lacked and it stopped seeking it.

If teenage ADHDers are seeking stimultion through sugar….they are going to risk gaining more weight than their peers . It’s a simple math.

This study tells me nothing I didn’t already know.

ADHD brains will seek to regulate itself and if the way they regulate itself is unhealthy, the treatment protocol for that ADHD person needs to be reevaluated.

So, if so many teens with ADHD are creating a statistic like this…maybe the treatment protocols overall for ADHD needs to be looked at.

Like maybe stopping the suggested medication vacations on weekends because stimulant medications scare society because they are addicted to non adhd brains would be a good start.

And, maybe changing the suggested medication dose limit based on age or weight of a ADHD person, and instead basing it on the level of severity of lack of dopamine production and regulation in an adhd individual. Can we get some studies on that?!

It is not hard to look at what ADHD brains lack, what sugar does to a brain, and look at stat data and figure out why adhd teens could be more overweight than their non adhd peers!

If your ADHD teen is seeking brain regulation through overeating high carb foods and gaining weight, maybe  it is time to let them start drinking a coffee or two a day, or get their meds reevaluated with an adhd specalist doctor.

Please share your experiences and or opinions here in the comments below, or reply to me on Twitter @superaddmom.

Auditory Processing Disorder and How It is Different From ADHD

My son and I have CAPD. I beleive my father does as well, though he also has a physical hearing loss and has a cochlear implant. And, I recall that my younger brother also has signs of CAPD as a child.

image

While CAPD is different to ADHD. It can seem very simular in action. So the CAPD is often missed. Especially since it can vary in its degree of dibilitating effects on the person with it.

My son has it far worse than I do. He has to watch movies 3 or 4 times to get all of the dialogue. He misses so much auditory due to his brain slowly or poorly processing the sounds it receives fom the ear he often cannot think on his feet to talk if another person is speaking because  how he processes how his brain hears his and others voices at the same time as speaking, it makes him stammer, and then get over frustrated in his inability to express himself well and he starts to cry.

To complicate matters worse. CAPD and ADHD can occour together.

Auditory processing disorder, also called central auditory processing disorder, is characterized by an inability to process, interpret, and retain what a person hears.
People with auditory processing disorder may struggle to understand speech in noisy environments, mix up similar speech sounds, fail to follow verbal directions, and misunderstand verbal instruction, which leads to difficulty in task completion both at home work and at school.

The National Center for Learning Disabilities lists four types of auditory skills needed for a person to properly process what they hear:

1. Auditory discrimination: the ability to notice, compare, and distinguish the distinct and separate sounds in words. If a person has difficulty with auditory discrimination, they may confuse similar words like seventy and seventeen, have trouble learning to read, and be unable to follow directions even when they appear to be paying attention.

2. Auditory figure-ground discrimination is the ability to pick out important sounds from a noisy background. A person who struggles with auditory figure-ground discrimination may be unable to filter background conversations and noises to focus on what is important. This is a large issue for me personally. And, a child at school for example, may miss lessons in class if he or she can not filter extraneous background noise in the classroom. That noise could be as little as a child.behind him tapping his pencil on the desk.

3. Auditory Memory is the ability to recall what is heard after a period of time and includes both short-term and long-term memory. Difficulties associated with auditory memory may include remembering people’s names, memorizing telephone numbers, following multi-step directions, and recalling stories or songs.

I personally cannot recall a movie a week after we’ve seen it. And when I meet new people I immediately write down their name and some notes on them because I cannot recall their name as soon as we stop talking. It can seriously hinder social interactions and cause embarassing situations when we meet again.

4. Auditory sequencing is the ability to understand and recall the order of words. Difficulties with auditory sequencing may include confusing numbers like 93 for 39 and confusing lists and sequences. For example, a person with  auditory sequencing problems may not be able to complete a series of tasks in the right order. He or she may fail to be able to do so even when appearing to have heard and understood the directions. Between this and my ADHD inattentive attention span, it is often very difficult to get anything done in a day. Thankfully. Lists, alarms and my patient husband work to keep me on track.

At first glance, a child with symptoms of auditory processing disorder may be thought to have ADHD since he or she may appear to be inattentive. It can often be missed the younger a child is diagnoased.

We learn to read lips and guess on the spot with scarey accuracy at a young age, so our CAPD is missed and we just seem to be ” not listening”and being defiant…in  addition, the outward frustration exhibited by a child with auditory processing disorder may be mistaken for impulsive or oppositional behavior.

As a person with CAPD and as a parent of a child with CAPD,  I  strongly encourage parents to closely observe their child’s struggles and difficulties in various settings to ensure he or she receives proper diagnoasis and support

One of the tell tale signs of CAPD I have seen happen first hand is physical pain when noises are sudden or too loud.

My son cannot understand what you are saying if you yell in fruatration at him. It sounds like charlie brown’s teacher to him and he covers his ears. Or…when he looks at me with a blank face and cannot answer my question. I know he has no processed what he heard and we ask him. And repeat as necessary.  We have a lot of “tell me what you heard me say” conversation feedback sessions.

When we go to a movie theater he wears wax earplugs for the loud scenes as the pitch of the sound overwhelms him and it physically hurts his ears.

Learning to advocate for your CAPD can help a lot to lower frustration. Knowing myselfnwhat it is like to have these issues. Helps me teach my son coping techniques.

My husband sends me text messages with lists of things he asked for and he no longer talks with his back to me or his mouth covered.  I read lips a lot. Especially in loud places like stores or crowded events. These are coping skills I have learned to adopt in the last 8 years of knowing I have CAPD.

Using the closed captioning helps me with accents in movies.

And, the one thing that has helped me greatly….When I am in a situation where I need things repeated. I point to my right ear and say ” I’m sorry, I have a hearing disability and there is too much noise. Could you say that again please.” Or I will tell people that I read lips. To please say it again. They are usually happy to do so, and they will speak a little clearer.

It took me a few years to get over the internal embarassment of admitting I misheard or admitting to a hearing disability. But it has helped so much. Especially after I knew what CAPD was and was able to own it and not feel like I was lying to say I could not hear in a situation where a non CAPD person would have no issue.

Do you think you have CAPD? Does your child or spouse? Feel free to leave questions or share your experience in the comments below, or hit me up on my Twitter @superaddmom

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