Have to laugh...

So I've been reading Delivered From Distraction and oh my, it is enlightening. I've been reading tons of books about ADD. As I've mentioned on this board, my DH was diagnosed in college almost 20 years ago, but I never took it seriously (we've been married for 13 years) and he hasn't had any real treatment since he quit taking meds after he became a bit of a "dealer" in college. He had a breakdown of sorts just over a year ago. I went into what I see now was a pretty deep depression, although I didn't realize it because while I've been depressed most of my life, my depression was always more suicidal and this time I didn't want to end my life, I just couldn't deal with what was going on and so I shut down. 

Anyway, I've been reading a lot of books and reading Delivered from Distraction has been pretty funny. I took all the self-evaluation tests. I did make it to the end of the long questionnaire, but I was chuckling quite a bit along the way. Not only do I see my DH, I see myself and at least two of my three kids.

So my Dh was saying tonight how he hadn't accomplished much in his life (we're close to 40, we own a home, two cars, a dog, have three very bright kids, he's graduated from college and is a "higher up" in a software development company) and I mentioned how it was a symptom of ADD to feel that you haven't accomplished much with your life when you really have. And he says, GET THIS, he says, "I don't think I have ADD. I think you just have to pull yourself up 'by your bootstraps' and 'get'r'done.'" Honestly, I laughed. I wanted to say, "Are you new here?" but I didn't. 

While my tendency is to personalize everything I read, I'm trying to keep in mind that these are his experiences also. I'm trying to let it help me be more sympathetic and yet less, erm, responsible. For example, when he couldn't find the shoes he was wearing yesterday (and hadn't left in the mudroom, where, you know, all the other shoes are, except the ones scattered around the kitchen by my daughter) I didn't let it be a crisis. I scanned the room, but didn't see them. I found them later in a place I would never have looked. But, you know, I don't expect him to keep track of my shoes. I'm very intentional about where I leave my shoes, since if I deviate, I won't be able to find them (a clue that ADD may not be my problem?). 

But for him to say, after everything we've been through and talked about, that he thinks he's doesn't have ADD? It makes me want to flick him on the head. Dork. I don't honestly think he was serious. He's really struggling with having a "disorder." I'm trying to help him see that it's part of who he is and it would explain a lot about why our life is the way it is. We're at a point where we can still change the future. The past does not dictate the future. But man, if I didn't laugh, I would cry...

carathrace's picture

Is it catching?

Hi Ladybug, I too have been reading everything I can get my hands on about my hubby's ADHD, and found myself wondering if it's contagious...cuz I seem to be getting more forgetful and easily distracted...but it could be just that aging thing.

One book calls ADHD a "Way of Being".  I like that better than a disorder.  My hubby and I have been going back through his whole life and rethinking it in terms of ADHD.  For him, it's a relief, because it means he's not a loser and a f*up.  If your guy had a breakdown recently, it seems like maybe he'd be more open to doing things differently?

Ermigerd, I have the same

Ermigerd, I have the same thoughts about it being contagious! I do think that some of how I behave now is accommodation to living a peaceable life with my husband. But, when I look at my growing up years through the grid of ADD, I see things that make sense. The funny thing to me as I read these books is how many of them talk about problems in school. I switched schools three times before 4th grade and ended up being homeschooled from 5th grade through high school. So my mom, as my teacher, was totally able to accommodate my brother's and my weird learning styles. I would have died in any regular school, public or private. This also means that I didn't see how hard things were for me until I went to college. And then I would drop out to live a different state and then I'd go back because I love learning, and then I'd drop out again because I moved again and so on. 

Reading Delivered from Distraction has been really cool because it is so positive about the benefits of ADD. I think my husband's problem is that he realizes that dealing with his ADD will make him have to make choices that are hard and that change our lives and he doesn't want to make them. For example, he loves hanging out with several guys in our neighborhood. They're all really great guys - husbands, dads, professionals. But they drink a lot of beer. My DH is struggling with substance abuse and if he were to quit drinking, he wouldn't be able to hang out with them. They're his main friends and they're great people. At this point, he's not willing to give up the relationships to be totally sober (and let me be clear - his drinking does not affect his work. It has affected our family life and it is a problem, but I have raging alcoholics in my family and he's not one.). But moderation is not his strong suit. 

He is trying to do things differently and we're making some headway. I think that my acknowledging his ADD and taking it seriously has been a big thing for him. I have a congenital heart defect that has affected my life in big ways. I don't see his ADD as being any different. But I blew off my heart defect for a long time, too, with very serious consequences. I think I'm finally old enough and mature enough to accept both of us for who we are, not who we thought we should be. He'll get there, too. 

Thanks for your reply. :)