Writer’s block of a different kind: ADHD. No, literally.
What to write… what to write… and then what to post.
Because I have like 10 articles, finished and unfinished, saved as drafts for this blog… and I just don’t know when (or if…) I’ll be ready to post them.
So no, I’m not suffering from writer’s block. At least not the traditional kind. It’s probably more of an ego block. Because although I’ve made a lot of steps in my vulnerability journey, I am far from perfect and not always courageous. Some things are harder to be courageous about. Some things are still healing.
But I did have a recent discovery that I have finally digested enough to talk about.
That discovery was a diagnosis of ADHD. Maybe that’s why I keep writing future posts instead of something to post now…?
If you knew me in high school you’re probably reacting something like this:
“Whaaaat??? No way… you were always organized in school. You got good grades didn’t you? And you weren’t hyperact-
Ohhhh… yea I can actually kind of see it.”
Well, maybe that wasn’t your reaction. But that was mine. And my parents to some degree. Although they actually connected the dots a lot sooner than I did. They even mentioned some examples of behaviors from my childhood that aligned perfectly with the diagnosis, and boy do I see it now. Clear as day. A sunny day.
You see, I have four brothers. Three of them have ADHD. And me… well I function very differently than they do. Because women with ADHD tend to exhibit symptoms a lot differently. Which is usually why women with ADHD tend to be missed when they’re kids. They can skim by, any problems unnoticed, until bam! A huge responsibility or life change throws them through a loop, and they’re suddenly not so great at coping anymore.
Here’s an example. Growing up, the tidiness of my room always reflected how stressed I was. When I wasn’t stressed, I kept things ship shape. When I was stressed, well let’s just say you wouldn’t think the same person could live in both those environments. I remember once when I was young you couldn’t even see the floor of my room for a couple weeks. Clothing is a really easy one to cover a floor with.
Well, that wasn’t such a big deal. Because it was normal for a teenaged girl to have a messy room sometimes, especially when she was particularly busy. And the clothes always made it in the hamper eventually. And I did my own laundry, so it’s not like my mom had a pressing need for me to be faster about getting them in the wash.
But then I grew up. And I got married. And I had a baby.
Whew. Let me tell ya that’s a lot at once. Especially for someone who barely wasn’t a teenager anymore.
And suddenly my home was chaos. The clutter totally out of control. Because when it’s not just your teen bedroom… when it’s your whole home, and you run it, it’s a lot more obvious when you have a problem keeping it tidy. Especially since being a mom kinda meant perpetual stressing.
And here was the weird thing: it’s not like I had an issue with cleaning. No. I’ve always kept the house very clean. Scrubbing the bathroom, wiping kitchen counters, vacuuming…
How can I do those things if I don’t tidy, you ask? Well, I move things over then I put them back.
Yea… I know… illogical right? Like I literally kick stuff around the floor with my foot while I vacuum.
So, something else MUST be up… right?
And that’s what got me asking questions. Questions that eventually led to the diagnosis that would explain literally EVERYTHING.
It explained why I felt like I used to be this put-together super person, and after having a baby I was some sort of tragic hot mess. It explained why I had always felt introverted around my peers but extraverted around people either older or younger than me. It explained why I struggle sticking to a list when I go to the grocery store. It explained why some tests in high school and college were so incredibly boring that I had to re read questions multiple times to understand, while other tests were rushes, making time and space disappear and leaving me dazed afterwards with almost a kind of high. It explained how I could be so good and so bad at academics at the same time.
As kids, we always heard adults say not to grow up too fast. That being a grown-up was not all it was cracked up to be. And we would say, “oh yea, sure I get it. It’s more complicated, whatever. I can handle it.”
But oh we had no clue.
Because words cannot prepare you for he complexity of adulthood. Nothing is as clear as it was when you were little and naive.
And that complexity hit me like a ton of bricks when I added parenthood to the mix. It sent my whole world reeling… and it never stopped reeling.
And that’s the best way I know how to explain what it feels like to have ADHD manifest in full force. Boy what a relief to know it wasn’t “just me.”
But now I also know that it isn’t just a phase…
So here I am, embarking on another, new kind of mental health journey.
I’ve learned to live with anxiety, depression, and PTSD. I can handle ADHD… right?