A Dilemma...

It was a tough decision over which forum I should put this thread in, because it touches several of them...  Here's it goes, because right now its a frustration.

So, a lot of you guys have been following me along since I first started posting here.  To keep it concise, I feel like I've come a long way in a short time.  I'm zeroing in on a medication and a dosage that's working well.  Between my counselor-coach and the forums here, I'm sorting through the landfill of emotional garbage I've collected over the years, I'm slowly but surely making progress on my "primary" ADHD symptoms, and I've effectively put the kibosh on my "secondary" ADHD symptoms.  As far as I can tell, I'm doing better as a husband (as far as DW will give me the opportunity, for the moment), I'm doing a LOT better as a father, projects are being completed (as far as finances allow, at least) at a steady pace, I'm even getting more productive and responsible at work (though it wasn't an issue before).

In general, I feel better about myself than I have in years.  I am in better control of myself than I have been for a long time.   I feel more like "myself" than I have at any time since we graduated college, got a real job, got married and had kids.  I just weighed in at -50 pounds since my heaviest two years ago.  I'm looking into going back to school for the second time (I've already have two undergraduate degrees into Physics and Industrial Electronics...  I'm thinking about going back to get a Master of Engineering degree online from the University of Chicago, since the lab I work for will pay for it 100%).  I'm even looking into regaining a few old hobbies, and picking up a few new ones, once I get the spare cash.  I may be a little bit optimistic about this self-appraisal, but I'm happy with myself right now.


Money's a little bit tight right now, since I'm sinking a lot of money into paying down debt.  I don't have a lot to spare.  School registration fees for the kids were a bit more expensive than I'd anticipated, gas prices are up again, and the heat wave/drought pumped up our utilities bills a little bigger than usual this summer.  School is starting in a few weeks, and I'll need to find money for school lunches...

The problem is, the one additional expense this year is my collective ADHD treatments: medication, doctor visits to monitor the med hunt, and counselor/coach visits.  Our insurance is helpful in that most of it is covered by co-payments, but the Vyvanse is considerably more expensive (but also works much better for me) than the Concerta I had been taking, and there's enough appointments each month that they begin to add up.

All that to say...  It might be necessary for me to at least cut back on the counselor/coach visits, if not cut them out all together, temporarily until my debt reduction plan frees up more monthly cash flow.  It worries me a little that I might start backsliding if I do, though.  I think that I'm at a point where I can get by with less coaching and counseling less often, but I don't want to be too over-confident about it.

Bleargh.  The kids have to eat; they're most important.  That thought alone will keep me in line.

Thanks for listening.



COngratulations on how well

COngratulations on how well you are doing and how seriously your approach is to dealing with ADHD and with life.  My suggestion is that you not cut out your coaching and counseling sessions but, if necessary, reduce the frequency.  

Pbartender's picture

The Short Story...

I had a an appointment with my counselor/coach yesterday, and one with my doc today.  I mentioned it to both of them...  And they both effectively said they had been thinking about it anyway.

The Vyvanse is working well.  I am NOT giving that up.  I'm seeing improvements in my personal performance in all areas -- even some I wasn't exactly having trouble with -- but I don't "feel" the medication unless I really look for it and there's practically no side effects.  It's just about perfect.  We decided to bump up the dose just a little more for the next prescription, and leave off any more doctor visits for monitoring the meds for now.

The counseling helps quite a bit.  As far as managing the ADHD symptoms go, most of the coping strategies I had previously were fine...  Just with stress and conflict and too much focus on trying to fix a problem I didn't understand, I'd let a lot of them fall by the wayside.  She's been a big help rediscovering them, and also fine-tuning them so they work a little better.  So, her opinion was that at this point, I'm doing pretty good...  Keep it up.  Don't slack.  Don't get down.  As far as practical ADHD management tips to help the marriage along, she doesn't seem to think there's much else to do (other than the groundwork that I'm already doing  in the background that will may prove to her that I am trustworthy and reliable and caring and so on...) until DW gets on board and decides she wants things to get better also.  I know what I need to do for now, I just need to make sure I keep doing it (and you guys help me with that as much as she does).  So, for the time being, we're scaling back to once a month and I can always schedule in extras, if I feel I need them.

I also like going to her, if for no other reason it's nice to have somebody to talk to about the frustrations...  You guys help out a lot with that, too.  But being to talk to someone face-to-face makes such a big difference, and while you guys speak from personal experience, the professional opinions and advice I get from her give me a whole different perspective and understanding of the situation than what I get from here.  So, I am NOT giving that up, either, but we do have to throttle it down a little.



Cut out anything you can but

Cut out anything you can but do not skimp on your treatment. In my situation (I am non-ADHD wife, DH has ADHD) there is very little that is more important than his counseling and meds. I can tell a difference even from where he started seeing his counselor every other week. Not to mention, you keeping up your 'treatment' (every aspect of it) might be all your wife is holding onto right now...so if you stop going, she might (if she's like me) panic and feel like throwing in the towel.

don't stop treatment

Sherri, my thoughts exactly. I have to admit, my gut reaction after reading this was, "I knew he wouldn't stick with it...." That is likely to be your wife's also.

Plus, quit talking about all the things you are going to do for yourself that require MONEY eventually. Don't need a motorcycle class unless you are thinking about getting a motorcycle. Great that you are feeling better about yourself, but hearing these plans for the future would make me nervous about when you are going to jump out there and buy something expensive on impulse. Sounds like preliminary plans in my mind.

The whole post sounds just a little like, "Gee, I have really accomplished a lot and am doing well. I think I'll reward myself with a little backsliding. Just a little....."

From my experience, with my

From my experience, with my marriage, he had 38 years to hone and perfect his destructive ways of coping and what seems very normal to him. THAT has to change or we don't stand a snowball's chance in hell. There is no medication in this world to fix that.

PB, with your marriage on its last leg, quitting ANYTHING treatment related should be the very last thing you would ever consider. To be honest, it scares me a little for you that you did (are) consider it. It scares me for your wife too. The debt can wait...your marriage can't. I expect my husband to see his counselor for a few YEARS, just to be honest. I expect her to be there during his next 'crisis' mode and help him see where he goes wrong during those times. I'm sick of doing it. I'm sick of trying to make him see that self medicating, cheating, and other very hurtful (to everyone) behaviors are NOT an acceptable part of 'coping'. I always just end up looking like the bad guy and I'm not doing it anymore. He needs to live life with some 'back up' for a while and I am not filling that role for him anymore. Just knowing that he has a counselor to work through some of his stuff with (or a coach, in your case) bring me a LOT of peace. I am very aware of his appts, if he's going, when he's going, etc. I would not be happy if he stopped. I cannot stress it enough...just because YOU feel better doesn't mean you're equipped to face your marriage without some unbiased help. I would hate to see it come back to bite you. I really would.

Pbartender's picture

No, I'm not quitting.  But I

No, I'm not quitting.  But I do need to dial back the frequency of the professional help.  I simply can't afford it at the rate I've been going.

The CAN'T wait...  I'm paying minimum payments at the moment.  With all the other bills, I've barely got enough left over cash to pay for gas to get back and forth to work and the school lunches for the kids.  The only reason I could get such a good head start on the treatment this summer, was because the weren't in school with all the extra expenses that implies.  I've given up almost all my hobbies (and given up buying anything new for the few I have kept), I don't eat out anymore, someone else paid for the tickets for the only movie I've been to in months...  I saved my pocket change and gave up drinking coffee at work for two months, so I could save up the $23 registration fee for that motorcycle class.

If I can hold off until Halloween, things will be better...  While I'm only making the minimum payments, one of the two student loan will be paid off by then.  That will free up several hundred dollars.  Most of that will get rolled over into another debt to start "snowballing" them, some of it can get shuffled back into counseling sessions, a little of it I'm going to set aside for hobbies and projects.

Anyway...  Yeah, I think I'm going pretty good and now that I'm starting to feel like the person I should be, I DON'T want to give it up.  That's why I'm posting my frustration with this.




Hey PBartender, Hey Ladies....

Here is the problem with ADHD logic and reality:  We can't see what we look like from the outside.

The motorcycle class is FREE - as you stated.  It is something that makes you happy, makes you feel better about who you are and the idea of who you will become 'someday.'  I understand this.  It's something I do too.  When I get any time to myself, I practice the instruments I have that are neglected...  The last time this happened was May.  I'd asked my DH to watch the kids for an hour in the afternoon so I could play an instrument I hadn't had time to play for... oh... about a year.  Now, I was not doing this because I was rushing to practice for an upcoming audition or gig.  I was not doing this because I was deluded into thinking I was going to suddenly make a living playing this thing... I just wanted to play it.  It needs new strings.  It needs repairs.  I was not planning to spend any money.  I just. wanted. to. play. it.

HOWEVER....  in the past.... I may have suddenly thought I needed to buy new strings.  I may have suddenly decided I needed to practice, practice, practice for hours and as a result I'd neglect making dinner, getting the kids in bed, etc. etc. etc.....

So, when my husband nervously asked why I suddenly decided to get this thing out of the closet and dust it off, I just told him what I realized is the truth:  "I just really want to play it.  Just for an hour.  Then I'll put it away.  It's like when you play video games or, watch dumb YouTube videos for a couple of hours after you come home from work.  It's entertainment.  That's all."

He seemed relieved.  I put it away after an hour, and have no plans to get it out any time soon.

Normal people do things linearly.  They set goals, break up the tasks needed to achieve those goals in manageable steps.  We don't do that.  We jump into things.  Sometimes hyperfocus and will power will get us through, but for a vast majority of the time we get in over our heads, then abandon ship.

So, what you may see is a harmless thing to help you keep your sanity & uplift you (motorcycle class) may be seen as a threat (precursor to large purchase).  Too often we (ADDers) entertain fantasies for entertainment, not realizing we're doing it and it scares the shit out of the people around us.  My father used to get realtors to show him really expensive/amazing properties in foreign countries while on family vacations.  My mother panicked until finally she realized he was just getting high on the dream, so to speak.  He of course, in the moment, really thought he was going to buy one.

Now that I recognize my tendency for this, I try to figure out if what I want to do has any long term value.  If it doesn't, I won't do it.  Or, perhaps I'll indulge in something that doesn't cost any money and doesn't take more than an hour, and doesn't inconvenience my husband... BUT  I have to make sure that he understands that i'm not going off on some crazy tangent, or he will assume (like the Nons here said they did with you) that I was about to unravel.

Anyway - my advice:  hang onto as much treatment as you can afford.

does this make any sense???

gotta run


I am somewhat different in

I am somewhat different in that I don't see a problem with motorcycle classes (or cooking classes, like my DH wanted, I paid for, then he attended only one out of 4)..especially if it is free. My DH plays guitar...often. God help him if he even mentioned wanting to buy another one...or another amp...or another pedal. Not a concern. He flat out stated that in the fall (this was a few months ago) that he was getting a motorcycle...basically, he wasn't asking, wasn't open for discussion, he was getting one. I kindly pointed out that as soon as his $2000 in medical bills were paid, the two mortgages that are 2 months behind are caught up, the $5000 student loan he took out for my SD without my knowledge was paid off, and he had saved the cash to buy it flat out (we couldn't get a pack of gum financed at this point) then he had my blessing. Haven't heard another word.

I, too, panic at the thoughts of him wanting to make a big purchase...or I guess, more accurately, the battle that will ensue and the feeling in the end that I am the bad guy because he cannot have what he wants in life. I have learned, after 15 years, that what is best for the family matters much more than him getting angry with me over it for a few days. He has spent thousands and thousands of dollars through the years on things he likes. If he cannot see what he has before him, all of the things he has that the rest of us don't have (in comparison), then nothing I say will change that...but I can protect the family from further damage when we're barely making it as is.

However, I don't really see an issue with anything PB wants to do...but I am not his wife, don't know his history (other than what he shared) and my only concern is that he doesn't skimp on the one thing that should be a priority for him. I know sometimes it is hard to see the forest for the trees...it is for all of us...but that's why we're here for each other. ;-)

Pbartender's picture

I was wondering when a post

I was wondering when a post like this would pop up...  ;)

Okay...  Let's face it...  If I really wanted to quit, I wouldn't be posting this, would I?  I would just quit, and you wouldn't hear a word about it from me.

See it for what it is...  There generally seems to be two types of people on these boards.  People like you: non-ADHD spouses trying to get their ADHD spouses to pull their own weight.  And people like me: ADHD spouses who genuinely want to do better, and are looking for a little extra "back up", as Sherri puts it.

So, no.  I'm not looking for an excuse to quit.  I'm concerned, because when school starts this fall I won't be able to afford to continue the pace of counseling that I could to summer, and I DON'T want to backslide.  I'm happy with how far I've gotten already, I like where I'm headed, and I want to find a way to keep it up, while temporarily economizing my treatment a little.

Oh, and the motorcycle thing...  Ellamenno pinned down my thoughts on it precisely.  The motorcycle class in an inexpensive way to get out, have a little fun, learn something new, meet a few people and maybe make a new friend or two.  Some day, yeah, I'd like to get a motorcycle, but it's like what you said below about your husband...

"He flat out stated that in the fall (this was a few months ago) that he was getting a motorcycle...basically, he wasn't asking, wasn't open for discussion, he was getting one. I kindly pointed out that as soon as his $2000 in medical bills were paid, the two mortgages that are 2 months behind are caught up, the $5000 student loan he took out for my SD without my knowledge was paid off, and he had saved the cash to buy it flat out (we couldn't get a pack of gum financed at this point) then he had my blessing. Haven't heard another word."

...I have that same conversation with myself in my head...  As soon as the credit cards are paid off, the student loans are paid off, and I save up enough to buy the damn thing with cash.  Then, I'll buy one and not before.

So, I'm not planning on skimping on my treatments so I can have fun...  if I skimp on them at all, it's so my kids can eat lunch at school every day.



It does appear you have a

It does appear you have a much better grip on your finances than my DH. Kudos to you for that!

For the record, I did take your first post as you thinking you might quit counseling/coaching...and for that misunderstanding, I apologize. I could have sworn it read that way, but I will have to go back and look. Scaling back is a better option than quitting. My DH loves his counselor...she IS his 'confirmation' and 'back up' and I am glad for that. He gets a lot from her that I really don't want to have to give...things that make me feel more like a mother to him than a wife/partner. Just having that complete acceptance and understanding (she also has ADHD) from someone who understands really helps him...and helps me. There are many other reasons I think he needs to continue to see his counselor, and you also, but bottom line is 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'. If scaling back is the only option, then I completely understand. I can totally relate to financial stresses caused by medical expenses. My other concern is that my DH's counselor also 'scaled back' a bit, started seeing him every other week, and issues were coming up that he wasn't dealing with very well...and got pissed off at me and started the same "I cannot talk to you about anything" routine when I tried to be helpful. That had stopped almost completely when he was seeing her weekly. The issues were work related, not marriage related. Maybe I am NOT helpful when I think I am being helpful...or maybe he is just taking his frustrations out on me...either way, doesn't matter...I would rather he let her help him through it. That's not to say I don't want him to be able to talk to me and come to me about things...but this was a situation where things started to go in a direction that made him uncomfortable and his initial reaction was to bolt...quit. Even if HE isn't 100% at fault for the issues, even if he isn't 10% at fault, quitting isn't an option for us...and I need someone else besides myself to make him see that RUNNING from his problems isn't the answer...not anymore. She seems to really be helping in that aspect...but I am not sure my DH would even recognize it. You might not see things that others see...benefits of the counseling.

I am very sorry that your wife isn't participating in the marriage much anymore. I really am. I am not one of those "well you have done XYZ for all of these years..." I just truly believe in everyone pitching in and doing their fair share of work...or getting the hell out. Period. I've been through hell and back, sure there are things that I have decided are not going to be tolerated anymore and there are things that I simply refuse to try and help him with myself, but I am here, I am in the same bed with him, creating memories and a life together...loving him for the efforts he IS making and for taking control of his life and trying to do better. If it all ends tomorrow, then it is out of my control but at least I can say I didn't turn my back on him when he was trying harder than ever before. That is all I have ever wanted, really. Keep up the work...YOU will benefit in the end...regardless of whether or not she chooses to take the leap of faith and give things another go.

Pbartender's picture

Yeah...  I've already cut out

Yeah...  I've already cut out just about everything I can, otherwise I wouldn't be having this conversation.

And to be completely honest, since my diagnosis, my wife hasn't shown one ounce of concern about it, or a single moment of interest in my treatment.  She hasn't bothered to educate herself on any aspect of ADHD or its effect on a person or a marriage.  She gives absolutely zero feedback -- good or bad -- about how any of it's working.  And if anything, her personal behavior and her attitude toward me have gotten worse since I began treatment and started improving.

I would be perfectly happy to work with her to make things better between us, but she's been making it clear that she doesn't care about it and is not really interested in that right now.  (This won't sound right, but I don't know how else to put it... I hope you get the gist of what I mean.)  Until she changes her mind about that and starts sharing what she's thinking, what she thinks isn't much of a consideration as far as my treatment is concerned...  I'm done with guessing at her thoughts and emotions and motivations.  It's too easy to guess wrong, and I drive myself crazy doing it.