I don’t have the answers
Many people ask me what they should do. Sometimes I have great ideas; I don’t have all the answers. None of us do, which is why I can’t imagine working with a therapist who listens to me but doesn’t guide me on the road to my solutions. That’s why psychodynamic therapy wasn’t the best fit for me. Sometimes I resent having ADHD. It makes me angry. It’s incredibly challenging for me to structure my day and maintain my commitments to people. I can’t get anywhere on time or focus on things for longer than a few minutes. Focusing is my nemesis. I wish I could concentrate the way others do. I can hyperfocus, meaning tune everything out except the thing I’m doing at the moment, but if you put a mundane task in front of me, I cannot make myself do it; it hurts my brain.
What I like about my therapist now is her to get me back on track when I stray from what I meant to discuss. Focusing on one topic at a time is challenging for people like me. When OCD symptoms, it’s different. I will focus on one thought over and over and over again.
I need structure
I was born with a unique brain that lacks executive functioning. I watch my friends and coworkers make deadlines, manage their time, and be punctual and it feels miraculous to me. I wonder how they do these superhero-like activities. One of the things I work on in therapy is finding ways to understand how long things take and effectively get things done. It’s so hard, but I don’t give up. Having a therapist that understands how time works make it easier for me. I’ve gotten fired from many jobs. It’s so frustrating when my ADHD symptoms sabotage me. Sometimes my bosses would cut me some slack, sure I was 30 minutes late to work every day, but I worked my ass off to overcompensate for my lateness. It wasn’t an ideal scenario, but I was able to find ways to work around my deficiencies. They weren’t things that were wrong with me, but qualities that society doesn’t account for as a person with disabilities. My sense of time doesn’t exist. It makes me appear inconsiderate, rude, flaky or lazy. I don’t want to be this way, but I get distracted. I don’t want to use my diagnoses as an excuse for anything.
I’m used to people getting sick of my behaviors associated with ADHD and throwing their hands up, and I don’t blame them. Who wants to be interrupted, inconvenienced by my lateness, feeling like I’m not listening to them, finishing their sentences when they didn’t want to say what I think they wanted to say? It’s probably annoying, and I hate the feeling that I’m irritating other people. Maybe it’s today; perhaps it’s because I lost a friend because that person thought I was rude, impulsive, disrespected them. I don’t mean to do this. I don’t even want this person to know that I’m talking about them. I’m afraid they’re going to know it’s about them. But the truth is this isn’t the first time I’ve hurt someone because I came across as inconsiderate when I’m not. I try so hard to be respectful of people’s boundaries, and I fail sometimes. And if I do it enough, people leave. It’s okay; I probably deserve it. I don’t want you to feel bad for me. I’m trying to change the way I relate to interpersonal relationships, so I don’t appear insensitive and oblivious to people’s needs. I’ve had men break up with me because they don’t know how to “handle” me. So whoever you are reading this, if you’re my friend, please don’t leave me.
I don’t want to see a therapist who allows me to figure out my problems. I know what my issues are. I need help resolving them using practical solutions. I’m not asking for my therapist to solve them for me but guide me on the “choose my own adventure” path that seems more likely to work. I’m tired of failing at listening to people. I know I’m “too hard on myself” and I’m not trying to get you to feel sorry for me. I want to change the way I make people feel devalued. I try so hard to give other people what they need. I hope they can at least see that that’s my intention.