I was diagnosed with primarily-inattentive ADHD at the age of twenty-three, after it had already wreaked havoc on my entire life.
Now, I am a mildly-neurotic part-time college student attempting to Figure Things Out. I am studying computer programming and game design and, in my spare time, I photograph urban decay and sometimes cows. I’m also making a game, appraising antiques, relearning algebra in my spare time, and learning German. And, of course, I am blogging. (I could never be satisfied without wearing a lot of hats.)
I also may or may not have been compared to a squirrel on numerous occasions.
- Primarily-inattentive ADD
- Major depressive disorder
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Essential tremors
I grew up in Ohio and started college at the age of sixteen. By eighteen, I had forty-six credit hours and was graduating summa cum laude. I had issues with organization and planning, but these were chalked up to character flaws that I needed to discipline myself to counter. I went on to attend the University of Michigan, and it was there my life fell apart.
I felt like I was fighting my brain every single day. I couldn’t get myself to do anything, and I spiraled in shame. This eventually evolved into suicidal ideations. I didn’t understand what was happening to me, and I had a terribly incorrect fear that if I told anyone they’d lock me up and throw away the key.
Around this time, I met a guy who saved my life and tried to pick up the pieces as best as he could, given his limited experience with mentally ill girls who cried all the time. I was ultimately able to start therapy and psychiatry thanks to him, but after five years our relationship ended and I had to move on. Executive dysfunction is hard to relate to if you don’t have it.
I now live in Massachusetts, where I’m getting ADHD-focused psychotherapy in the hopes of better managing my symptoms. Currently, I go to school part-time while I live with my boyfriend Phil’s mother, helping her out around the house.
Phil is the closest man I’ve ever known to unfailingly kind, with a seemingly bottomless well of patience, and he is presently functioning as about half of my brain. He is literally the human stand-in for my executive functions. His mother is equally kind and we have a very similar sense of humor. When I am having a low spoon day, when I am not so functional, both are very understanding and helpful.
I have a wide variety of interests (as do many people with ADHD), which generally fall on the more creative spectrum. I am first and foremost a storyteller, and I love to write. I am actually studying video games because they are the most interactive form of storytelling that exists. I’m also a photographer, amateur chef, polyglot (French, Russian, Finnish, and starting German), historical architecture enthusiast, and far more things than I can actually fit in here.
There is not one big cosmic meaning for all, there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person.
– Anais Nin