blog | Jan 6, 2011 | 3 Comments

My journey with ADHD starts here

We enter the room at the community center. Cement walls, a handful of people chattering, a table and projector screen at the front of the room.  We entered holding hands, because we’re dating and in love.  I scan the room looking for clues as to what this meeting will be about, anxious to soak it all in, to understand it, and mostly to place my mark on it, because I’m sure I can help.

I do a quick review of the others sitting in the room, looking for common themes. There are none.  Just a hodgepodge of people gathered around a common topic. I look at the clock. It’s 5 minutes past the hour, not bad for us. Late, but we haven’t missed it.  I then realize that there is no one standing at the front table ready to lead this meeting.  No one else seems to find this odd.  My bells are going off. Shouldn’t we get started? Who is the leader? Should someone go find them? I get a little twitchy. In my world, a meeting starting more than 10 minutes late is a crime and one without a leader is a travesty. You see, I teach time management for a living.

I try to entertain myself by chatting with my date, my beau, my true love. We poke a little fun at this guy and that gal and discuss what we’ll eat for dinner. At 15 past the hour, in blows a tornado of a woman with stacked books and loose papers trailing behind her in a frenzy that stirs up the room immediately. Our leader has arrived.  I only know she’s our leader because she runs to the front of the room and haphazardly drops the books, loose papers of all types still flying about as the tornado loses speed. She’s breathing deeply and trying to tuck the loose strands of hair anywhere they’ll fit and smooth her rumpled jacket from carrying the books. Finally she looks up and smiles.

I’m expecting a huge story about how her car broke down 3 miles away and she’s walked with the books and, and, and …… But this is not the case.    This is her life.    She smiles and says, “thanks for coming to our ADHD Support Group meeting.”

As quickly as she makes her opening remarks, she begins rifling through the books and loose papers and talking so rapidly I look around to see if anyone else thinks that someone may have accidently pushed her fast forward button because I can only understand about half of what is coming out.  Something about this great article that just came out and she really wanted to open with it because it something …something  …something.  And every second or two she looks up to smile, not because she’s nervous, because she’s really nice and so glad we’re all here.

Finally she gives up on that article and goes to her original talk. At least what I think is the original talk. Looking back I don’t think she had an original talk, she just came prepared to talk. And talk she did. She thanks us again for being here at the meeting about ADHD and tells us how excited she is to be learning and sharing about this important topic.

I’m looking around the room trying to squelch the giggles that are rising because I think this might be the warm up comedy act before the real meeting begins. I’m hoping to get some eye contact from others that have a little grin.  I look around; no one else seems to think this is funny.  One guy is biting his nails and studying them like a scientist, another is looking at her own book, and a few are smiling back at our leader with polite smiles.

I can hear the leader finally talking about some stuff that might be important about ADHD but I’m so lost in my own assessment of this situation, I think this must be a candid camera moment.  I look over at my guy, searching for any clues that he also thinks this is crazy, but he’s got that look in his eye.  His eyes are looking at our leader but I’d bet $50 bucks he’s thinking about what he’s going to order at the sports bar we’ve decided to hit after the meeting and if he’s having beer or a mixed drink tonight during the game. I’ve loved him for a short time but I know “that look” well.  The, “I’m listening but really on vacation in my head” look.

I settle back for another minute trying to take it all in but it’s like trying to stuff the yarn and needles back into the basket after they’ve unraveled across the floor, it just doesn’t fit.  I lean over to my guy and whisper, “this is crazy.” I want to end it with a question mark just to make sure it’s not me that’s crazy but I’m not letting this get the best of me. I know a good meeting and I run good meetings and this CLEARLY isn’t one.  He looks at me and smiles with those big blue eyes that I fell in love with. He says, “You want to get out of here?”   Uh ….Yea!    Of course I know this is a self serving move, not one of helping me escape, because he didn’t want to come to this meeting to start with. Had we not been young and newly in love I’m sure he would have flat out told me no.

We stand up in the middle of the meeting and walk out.  I don’t make eye contact with the leader or anyone else because even though she’s driving me crazy, I hate to be rude.  I really wanted to help her but I just needed to save myself.  Letting the ADHD woman lead the ADHD meeting is the proverbial ‘blind leading the blind’.

We get into the car.  I’m going on and on about how crazy and disorganized that was and how could they call that a community meeting and on and on and on.  I look at my guy and he’s just smiling. He says, “Welcome to my world.”

That my friends and neighbors was when I realized, this was going to be tougher than I thought.

But I was in love and there was nothing I couldn’t handle with my ‘young love’ super powers and I smiled to myself thinking, “Oh honey, it’s ok, I’m super organized and effective, it’s a good thing you found me because I’m going to make your ADHD life better.”

Those were the early days of my 16 year journey of learning about and living with ADHD. I married that man, his name is Blaine and together we have two beautiful children. Our boy that we lovingly nicknamed, “Dude” and “the girl”. Dude is also ADHD like his father and the girl is a type-A freaky like me.  

This is my story of what I’ve learned about ADHD relationships. Learned means; I’ve screwed it up multiple times, apologized, then fixed it, screamed my head off, almost divorced, and set up a therapy fund instead of a college fund for the kids.  Learning is a relative term. I’m not a doctor, I’m not a scientist. I’m a wife and a mom. I happen to teach about relationships and organization for a living which means God really does have a sense of humor. It’s taken me 16 years, but I think I’ve screwed it up enough to write this book about what is now working and resonating with others as I talk to those living in ADHD relationships.

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3 Comments

Love! Can’t wait for more!

Michelle Hubner

1/6/2011

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Rebecca Hession. Rebecca Hession said: Testing out an intro to the book – craving comments – #notwrongjustdifferent #adhd http://bit.ly/hNJnK2 […]

Great job! I love it when people tell the truth about their lives. We all have out struggles…just remember that.

Debbie Movelle

1/6/2011

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