Yesterday, I had my first appointment at the therapist office. The PA asked me what my main concern was, and I told her that I’d like to know if I still have ADD. I had it when I was younger, and only stopped my medication because I got pregnant with my daughter. I haven’t had my medication in thirteen years, but as of late, I have found it increasingly difficult to do so many things without it completely exhausting me. I attributed this to how hard I work, how many different things I have to do, being that I’m a Ophthalmic Technician in such a small office. I told her that the most difficult thing is falling asleep at night. Once I get to sleep, I’m fine. But it’s getting to that point, despite my exhaustion, that’s the hardest. I told her that it was compared to her having her internet browser open, and having 50 tabs open all at once. That is how my head feels all of the time. There is so much stuff processing, so many different things coming and going in my head. I’m pretty good at multi-tasking, but this feels like it’s just breaking me. Being able to constantly shift gears all of the time leaves me feeling burnt out at the end of the day.
She listened, and typed things in. She asked questions about when I was growing up. She asked if I saw things that weren’t really there, heard voices that weren’t there, felt paranoid, etc. Of course all of those answers were no. Then I had to take an hour long computer test for Adult Attention Deficit Disorder. That was hell to get through, but she was nice enough to review it while I was there doing my drug test (standard procedure, I don’t do drugs). There were twelve different parts I was tested on. You could either score Above Average, Average, Low, or Very Low. I scored Average in 2 categories, Low in three, and Very Low 7. My PTSD test was borderline. She wrote me a script for Adderall XR, and I set up to see her again in a month and meet the therapist who will start therapy with me for my childhood trauma’s and past abuse. I briefly explained my stay at the mental hospital when I was a teenager for suicide attempts. I feel like I have accomplished something in this. I was worried that she would look at me as just another person out there trying to score Adderall. I had no idea there was a computerized test. The last time I was tested, was when I was in elementary school, and I hardly remember it.
I am a person with very little to say. So much so that my husband constantly asks me if I’m okay. I’m perfectly fine. But there is so much processing through my head, I can hardly keep up with it enough to verbalize it instantly. I think that’s why I’ve always been good at writing; it’s why I prefer to write. I can type something and delete it instantly and think about what I’m really trying to say. When you speak, once the words are out, that’s it. You can’t take it back.
I can’t even explain what all is flying through my head at any given moment. Sometimes it’s random, sometimes it’s things from my past, sometimes it’s things in my future. But they are all there, all of the time, and my mind is constantly switching from tab to tab, over and over again. I can’t fall asleep until I go through every tab, close them out after reviewing them, and then shutting myself down like some damn computer. And heaven forbid if I think about work before I fall asleep and realize I forgot to do something, or can’t remember if I did. I will panic and have to tell myself repeatedly that there is nothing I can do about it tonight, it will have to wait until I get to work in the morning. Sometimes, it’s just hell living in my head. Not that there are bad things always flying through there, but because it’s just chaos in my mind. I couldn’t figure out why I was so damn tired all of the time, and then I really got to thinking about it, and wondered if perhaps the ADD didn’t go away during my childhood.
I’m looking forward to my head being more organized. I’m looking forward to the energy I will gain back from not having to mentally wear myself out every day. I’m looking forward to the decreased appetite (I eat when I’m bored, happy, sad, angry) and I do remember that when I took this medication, I was a lot smaller than I am now. But mostly, I’m just looking forward to knowing what it feels like to be normal again.