The AA Way of Life

This might seem an inappropriate topic for this forum, however, I think it very relevant. I figured out my alcoholism long before I figured out my ADHD. I spent many years in AA meetings and working the 12 steps and learning about myself. I learned to say or at least think, "I could be wrong." I learned to figure out my most blatent "character defects" and work on correcting them.

Through all of this and a wonderful relationship to a man I eventually married, and also had to lose to cancer, I still knew there was something wrong, something that made me messy, lose the same things over and over, not pay bills on time, forget things, interrupt others, forget what I was about to say, and on and on.

The lessons of AA still help immensly with my behavior. I may suffer from these diseases, but I am accountable for my actions. This keeps me centered most of the time through all the mess that I create around me. I have a great tolerance for clutter, yet love things neat and clean. I have created some systems that work for me such as keys on a lanyard around my neck so I can find them after shopping.

I am in a relationship with a nice guy who I believe is undiagnosed ADD. He is a lot like me and does a lot of the same things. We both laugh at the lost eye glasses just as we are leaving to go somewhere. He does the talk in circles thing and making comments completely off topic in a group conversation. I can watch his mind wander off as mine does all the time.

I have been reading the comments in this forum with horror and sadness for the suffering. I feel blessed that AA taught me to keep looking at myself, without recrimination, for ways to work on my issues. I still slip into depression from time to time and recognize it as something that will just keep happening and I live through the episodes.

I am continously amazed at how my mind works, can't focus, can hyperfocus (I love that part), can think faster than anyone I know... then am bored waiting for them to catch up and can watch the dynamics in a meeting between others and just wish they would stop ... and get on with it. Ha ha... they wonder why I drift off!!!

I am not without self image issues from years of dealing with feeling less than and stupid. Sometimes knowing that I am pretty smart and creative and fun is not enough... sometimes it is!

The most fun is that I love to have fun. In my old age I bought a jetski and love riding the lake with others, yet in my own solitude. My mind can wander all over the place and my riding companions have no idea!!

At work I use a noisecancelling headset with my ipod to stop all the input from the noise around me. It really helps the concentration. I keep the TV on in the background at home so I can concentrate when working at home.

I turn the rock and roll loud and start dancing around the house and soon find my self picking up.

My ADD daughter will call me on the phone and we both talk for an hour or so (using a speaker phone hanging from my shirt) and both are cleaning the house while we talk. It is amazing how much we both get done, yet bond as well.

I work very hard to not blurt things out in converstations... the down side being that I look bored... and am bored.

I have read all of Dr. Hallowells books (actually have trouble reading lately so listen to them from Just knowing I am not stupid or lazy or any of the other thing people call us is freeing.

Thanks to Hallowell, Solden, Ratey and the other guy who has run the on the phone seminars, for helping me understand my disease and provide guidance. Thanks to AA and my fellow alcoholics for keeping be sober and sane and able to be in relationships without driving everyone completely nuts.

Thanks to you all for listening. This is the upside of ADHD.