A common misconception about individuals with ADD is that we’re always hyperactive and that part of the purpose of taking medication is to “calm us down.” Perhaps this is why so many females are never diagnosed because males are predominantly the ones that suffer from hyperactivity while more often women are quite the opposite.
Every day I have these grandiose plans of waking at 5:30 so I can get so much accomplished but the truth is, just getting out the door, showered, with a toddler, and without forgetting anything important is my biggest challenge.
You see, I wake each morning with what I can only describe as brain fog. Getting started is challenge one, but that doesn’t mean I’m on task just yet. Until medication kicks in, I have to focus on each step in my daily routine as if it’s the most important thing at that time in order to get things accomplished.
Think about a time you were swimming underwater and you heard someone speaking. Do you remember the feeling? The way the voice you heard sounded? That’s what my brain feels like.
To understand how ADD affects me is best-described with a little test I performed. I was struggling with my medication, feeling like it just wasn’t working anymore but I don’t have a great support system at my primary care physicians so if I ask for a higher dosage, you’d like I was a known drug abuser the way I’m treated at times. So I thought, perhaps I needed to get the medication out of my system to jump start the positive side effects again. So I decided I would go as many days as possible without it.
Day 1: Overwhelmed with anxiety, accomplished nothing and stared at the walls in my apartment for hours
Day 2: Moments of crippling anxiety only relieved by the moments of extreme fatigue – more hours spent staring at my walls and accomplishing nothing
Day 3: See Day 2
Day 4: After 10 hours of sleep, I finally managed to get into the shower and proceeded to just give up on the day, and life in general, and laid down on the floor of the shower. ZERO energy, unable to do anything.
I have the ability to accomplish so much, but as much as I fight it the bottom line is I need assistance through medication. I’ve seen therapists, researched for hours and have implemented so many techniques to help manage my ADD but nothing can help with that feeling of lethargy. Even with medication, I have to fill my days with management techniques in order to survive and by the time I’ve left work and am driving home, I’ve used all of the energy I have left to give, I have no words left to speak to my son….I’m done!
For me, ADD is a constant battle against brain fog. I work in a high-stress environment, that requires a lot of overtime, a lot of strategic and creative thinking and a lot of relationship management. Don’t get me wrong, I love it but it does cause issues. Battling the fog requires a lot of energy and maintaining high-levels of energy from the moment I wake until the moment I lay my head on the pillow can be brutal. On the plus side, it is VERY rare for me to have any trouble falling asleep.
Have you had similar experiences?