Does this happen to you or am I just plain crazy??

I found this site after asking my husband what he was reading on his phone, he wouldnt tell me so I looked myself, and found that he was reading an article from here about being married to someone with ADHD.. I was diagnosed with it when I was a child, but I also had a very hard home life with an alcoholic mother and acreditted alot of my childhood abnormalities to that. I made horrible grades in most subjects and then would have the highest grade in the class in others, my parents just thought I was lazy and only cares about what interested me. I have always had a very very hard time keeping up with things, always wanted to, would make attempts, even as a young child, to hyper organize myself and "start all over" with work folders, my locker, drawers, my room, I would organize it all to a T and tell myself I will do better this time, I also had many teachers intervien and do the same, within weeks or even days it would return to a chaotic mess, crumpled papers misplaced homework and books, dirty clothes everywhere, makeup in the underwear drawer and underwear, well became optional because most of the time I couldn't find it... As an adult, wife and mother of 3, a similar pattern has followed just on a much more domestic scale, laundry piles up, I will spend hours one day doing 7+ loads only to not put it all away and have to start all over because I don't know what's what, dishes pile up faster than I can clean them, I forget to eat, brush my teeth, take a shower or anything simi normal most days. I feel absolutely out of control, my attempts to try to gain it back are short lived and I end up feeling more defeated than before... My husband is at his whits end with me, he is very organized and likes things clean, he will ask me to do simple things and moat of the time I get so busy they slip my mind, the car is a mess, the house is presentable at first glance but everything except his designated areas, every drawer, every closet, everything is a disorganized mess, I want to just throw everything away except what we absolutely need to survive to make things easier but I know more will replace it and what little I would have would somehow find itself a mess as well. He gets upset with me because he doesn't understand how everything gets this way. I really don't have a logical explanation for him either, i just feel like it just the normal every day crazy that happens, and I was too exhausted at the end of the day to fix it. I can never find anything, I get so frustrated with myself, why is it so hard to just put things back in the same place every time???!!!! Seems easy enough, but the keys are in the laundry room, my bank card is Ina pocket somewhere my license... Um good question, I'm running out the door late as usual, get everyone in the car and head down the road to realize I don't have my phone or the diaper bag, at this point I want to cry, and do often.. I see other people and wonder why is everything so much easier for them, what am I doing wrong? What is wrong with me, why is every day life sooooo ridiculously hard?? I feel like a discombobulated mess all the time... I want to help my husband I want to do my job, when he mentions things to me I automatically try to do them right then and he says no, stop, you don't need to do that now, but why is it like this in the first place?? (trash piles in the car, old food in the babies carseat, no telling what's growing underneath the kids booster seats) things like this are, I won't say normal because I know it's not, I'll use a regular occurrence, and I hate it!! Please, anyone and everyone feel free to share, i just want to understand what's going on with me and why, in hopes that I can one day have a "normal" life..


I get very defensive and upset, even cry when my husband mentions the chaos that seems to follow me, I feel like I am trying so hard to get dinner for the kids or make sure I get them up in time for school, just the immediate things and I feel a sense of accomplishment if I actually do, then he comes home to the trail of messes and is upset, I feel like I let him down, I race like crazy to get things done before he gets home, have the kids help too, and it seems like he comes in and finds all the things that I didn't do, this makes me feel so unappreciated and inadequate, but I deep down it hurts, I know it's not okay for things to be the way they are, I never mean for them to be, it just happens.. Whatever is wrong with me, I am not looking for an excuse to continue the same distructive behavior, I am seeking the solution, I have thought about being medicated so many times, thinking it's depression because I feel so worn out all the time, but I'm not really unhappy, I'm just frustrated with myself and overwhelmed, I have tried to explain some of this to a doctor and they thought I was bi polar, but none of that medication helped,in fact they made me suicidal and very depressed, had a different doctor tell me there is no way I'm bi polar and I agree, but it's something...something is not right... I haven't even really known what to say, running it through my mind, hey doc, I have this problem, laundry and dishes make me want to cry, I can't brush my teeth everyday for some reason and oh yeah, I can't pay you either because I lost my job because I was late for the 3rd time in 1 month... It just never seemed like a medical issue to me I guess. I was a single mom for 3 years and always thought that every single mom was worn thin and I was just like everyone else, until I have met other single moms who do a much better job than I, and just equated it to well, everyone is different, I guess I am just dealing with the emotional reprocussions of my divorce or a failed relationship, it has always been something.. I don't know, I guess that's all for now.. I just want to give everyone as much info to go on so I can get the best answers possible.

Have you been evaluated for ADHD?

It certainly sounds like all the things I read about it in books but you need a professional evaluation. My husband got help through the psychology clinic at our local university. There are usually non-profit counseling services available if you look hard enough for them. (I know that feels like just one more thing on an already-overloaded plate.) Please try to find help for yourself. You'll never be "perfect" but you can feel much more in control than you do with the right help. Read some of the posts on here from the ADD spouses like yyz and ellamenno. They have so much insight.

We are here to help you and each other.


Your situation sounds familiar, that's because it is, to many of us.  I have one kid and luckily I have a husband who is constantly trying to make things better for me, us, now that he is aware of the issues related to my ADD that impact our home-life.  He is the one who told me to come take a look at your post because so much of it is similar to things I've dealt with.  I was diagnosed at 28 after I quit drinking, my doctor was very helpful because he listened to me and knew the difference between my complaining and my ADD symptoms.  I took non-stimulant meds initially and they worked great, life went on, I became a Mom and the meds stopped working.  There were constant ups and downs with work that eventually resulted in my being fired for inconsistent performance (while trying different treatments, meds).  I quickly rebounded and got a new job, which I was fired from 6 months later.  That sent me into a depression like none I've ever felt before.  I couldn't keep a job, I couldn't keep my house clean or organized, I couldn't handle my kid, my husband was miserable, I had an anxiety attack that sent me to the urgent care and was given instructions to follow up with the mental health docs ASAP.  I did and was diagnosed bipolar, taken off of the anti-depressants I had taken for the past 10 years immediately, told to stop the adhd meds I was on and was given bipolar meds.  Like you they did nothing but sedate me, create suicidal thoughts 24/7, make me gain weight and feel worse than before.  I think part of my suicidal ideation was abruptly stopping the SSRI (Zoloft) I'd taken for so long without any warning from my doc but it really didn't matter what the cause of my misery was, I just didn't want to be.  Slowly but surely I was able to find temporary work that allowed me to at least get out of the house and eventually realized, after reading every book I could find on bipolar, that the diagnoses was wrong and the first - major depressive disorder and ADHD - was correct.  I went back on my anti-depressant and stimulant (adderall) and eventually found more stable work.  I am not a stay at home mom and even if I was independently wealthy and didn't need to work I would still not be a stay at home mom because I am a better mom when I work.  I have nothing but respect for stay at home parents because it is a job I know I couldn't do because of the requirement for independent motivation and organization. 

I have been on some kind of ADD medicine since my diagnosis and some worked very well for a while, others have worked for some aspects of the symptoms that I don't like, others work on other areas but trial and error have been the only way I've found any relief since my diagnosis.  I was able to function with work-arounds and techniques I created out of necessity before I was diagnosed and certainly felt the effects of the negative side of ADD but I was single, had very few responsibilities and was not held accountable by anyone but myself-and I didn't care if the dishes were dirty.  I can't count the number of times I've started over with a renewed belief that this time I will keep up with the housework, the organizing, the responsibilities and within 24 hours everything is back to "normal".  With a child, dog, cats, spouse, house, full time job, family, friends, everything the "american dream" is supposed to be I was failing miserably and didn't-don't-know how to manage it all.

I marvel at people who get up (same time every day), make the kids breakfast, get ready for work, get kids to where they go, feed pets, kiss hubby on the cheek and work a full day, come home to play with their kids and happily make dinner as everything else just falls into place and hums along nicely.  Wait.  That doesn't exist in real life.  I am amazed by parents who stay at home and are able to care for the kids and house and not go crazy but I have done the stay at home thing too-not by choice-and would never expect some June Cleaver version of spotless house, sparkling well-behaved kids, beautiful meal on the table, I don't think that exists and if it does I wonder what those people are on.  I had to lower my expectations for some things, I am very anal about cleaning, not organizing, cleaning and will hyperfocus myself into a tizzy working on cleaning the things that bug me most but don't keep up with them like "normal" people would.  I don't know what it's like to live with someone who has higher expectations of a spotless house than I have let alone expect me to be the only one to get the house to that condition but I do know others whose spouses do.  I would never expect a stay at home mom or dad to have everything perfect every day and don't know of anyone who isn't stuck in the 1950s mindset who would place that expectation on their spouse.  If my boss told me every single part of my work had to be organized, complete, done well and efficiently at the end of every day I would find another job, or review the company expectations with someone else at the very least because that is an unrealistic expectation.  Why would it be different for a stay at home parent?

I say pick your battles, lower expectations in areas you can, get treatment-what's the worst that could happen, you stay like you are and try a different one until you find something that works? There isn't a magic pill or method or answer other than to leave no stone unturned.  If you know there is something that could possibly help and you choose not to do it just know you are creating your own misery.  Start somewhere, try a local university's psych department, ask your children's pediatrician-they are usually more educated about ADD than grown-up docs, meds won't cure you but they can certainly make life a little easier to deal with.  Make sure you educate your spouse, most will think you're just trying to find an excuse or won't believe ADD is a real diagnosis for an adult but knowledge is power and it's up to each of us to decide what to do with it.

No one is perfect, no one's house is clean all the time, no one has an empty laundry hamper, pick your battles and talk to your hubby about realistic expectations-you should have those too.  We can't do and have it all, not perfectly at least, but we can do and have what is important to us.  Baby steps.