I hold on tight every single day, praying that I won’t slip into another episode. I lose focus, mind feels almost like it’s loose in my head. Controlling ADHD with will, prayer, and hopefulness is a near impossible quest that I intend to conquer. Failure is not an option but at times it seems like the goal is never so far.
Many years ago my doctor diagnosed me with ADHD with symptoms of anxiety and depression. I already talked about my bouts with it here and here. More recently, the depression has completely subsided but the anxiety and ADHD are still as confusing as ever. I’m not hyperactive. I don’t have traditionally clear symptoms that are associated with ADHD. Most of the time, I feel great. Other times, I feel like I’m floating or something is slipping from my grasp.
Have you ever had someone come into the room while you were sleeping, wake you up about something, know its important, but are too tired to care or focus on what was really said? That’s how I feel most of my day. I can concentrate for about 20-25 minutes and then I feel floaty. I start looking around and my mind slips down a rabbit hole.
I find myself chasing the rabbit for five or ten minutes in the class period until I make it back. I desperately try to steady my brain on what’s in front of me and all that happens is that I spend more time focusing on me focusing than on the material. I am blessed to be able to comprehend and understand abstract and convoluted concepts pretty easily but I struggle with staying on task and completing assignments. The importance of this blog, is proving to myself that I won’t lose interest this time.
Part of my struggle is not being able to calm things down inside my head. I struggle with too many thoughts, feelings, and ideas to focus on one. It’s almost like I have a pinball machine between my ears. It only takes one tweet or text to get the balls bouncing around again. Sometimes, I get attached to one thought that starts a mental spiral into more thoughts and more ideas that trigger even more. The hardest part is when my anxiety mixes with it to create a spiral of doubt, fear, or shame. It takes a lot to bring me out.
My coping mechanisms have been talking and writing. I talk my way through my thoughts. I write my way through my feelings. I’ve really seen the positives of ADHD being when things flow out of me, they are pure. I appreciate the purity in my art and my ability to absorb and understand in a speedy manner. As I’ve been learning to recognize my weaknesses, I’ve been building methods to cope with them.
I exercise to keep my mood positive.
I eat to keep my energy high.
I sleep to turn my mind off.
I write to soothe my nerves.
I cut off social media to concentrate.
ADHD often feels like I am not in control of myself anymore but the more I battle, the stronger I become. Things are becoming easier for me to recognize. I don’t know how to keep everything under control yet but things are getting a little easier. I still hit walls where nothing works the way I’d like but like any relationship, it takes a lot of patience to build something that will last. I felt like a stranger in my own body for years but, now he’s not so strange anymore.
Any advice from the mental health survivors out there? Tips or tricks of the trade? Any thoughts about mental health in your communities or family? Stories about overcoming? Please share in the comments below.