I am 39 years old and was diagnosed with ADHD 4 weeks ago and have had the usual veil lifted. I am currently taking a time release Adderall, low dose and I have been referred to a CBT. All good things I know. Honestly I am looking forward to learning more than I have and working diligently to accept and grow with having an actual diagnosis.
A short summary is that I struggled in school but managed a decent GPA, I came from a small school so I was gifted the opportunity to play 3 sports a year, participate in German club, FFA, FBLA, Band, Marching Band, Knowledge Bowl Team, Math Team and I worked for the family farm anytime that I had a vacation from school. After high school I struggled to stay focused and did not perform well in college because my structured high school life was no more. I floated around for a few years and I starting dating my wife at 23. Like a true ADDer I asked her to marry me after 8 1/2 months of dating, we were married 9 months after that. Honestly, best decision of my life. I started school again and was getting a 4.0. Then my Dad had to have major heart surgery and I started going to school 4 days a week and driving 150 miles a day to take over the farming responsibilities. Soon thereafter my wife and I moved to the farm and I started farming full time and going to school online full time. About a year after I joined my father in the trucking venture that he had for many years. So at that point I was going to school full time, trucking full time and farming in between. Not but a year later we were pregnant with our first. So 9 months later I was going to school, trucking, farming and trying to be a father...full time.
Unfortunately between a few bad crops and my parents accrued debt those ventures failed and my wife understandably wanted to see more of me. But, what I ended up feeling was a sense of failure that I still harbor today. After those ventures failed I quickly finished my degree and pursued a career in insurance...I tried the office life. After a year and a half of unhappiness in my career and a new found love of making sure my children ate healthy foods, my wife and I started a new farming venture, one on the smaller scale than the 2000 acre one I had with my father, and we started trying different types of farming.
So, after many years of trial and error, learning animal husbandry, trying to find a niche in the marketplace and marketing and branding our butts off we finally had something to show for it. My wife and I were running 10,000 pastured meat birds that we sold nationwide, we had an egg laying flock of 700, we were running cattle and I was farming both hay and grains. More information than necessary but I wanted to qualify what happened next. Our flocks came down with a bacterial infection. That year we lost over 8,500 birds and all of the birds that we processed came in under weight. Needless to say we were not able to continue farming and we had to move everything we had back to my hometown, 450 miles away. Twenty four loads of stuff and animals later (I still have another 4 loads to bring back and some very large equipment) I found myself extremely depressed. I wasn't in a rut, I was in a canyon with a pile of boulders on top of me. For me farming has and is my life and I do not see myself doing anything outside of agriculture, it is my identity (see suicide rates of farmers and the accompanying articles and it helps paint the picture). So after having now having 3 failed business ventures go down by the time I was 37 made me feel like an absolute failure.
To cope with the depression and the ADHD that seemed to be ramping up during this period I was using alcohol to cope, escape and for whatever reason gave me enough clarity to focus my thoughts so I could at least take an idea and follow it through in my mind. The last became something of a target with my alcohol. I would sometimes find myself abusing alcohol, severely, in the middle of the day so that I could find the clarity to make sense of the myriad of ideas/thoughts that flood my mind. So, I have given alcohol up, possibly for good, because of the turmoil that I found it caused in my life. ADHD meds are helping but the counseling is what I believe is going to help me unlearn some of my defense mechanisms and behaviors.
This long spiel is out there because I know that for the last couple years my wife has had to put up with a lot of crap with me. My depression and alcohol abuse made the emotional outbursts that I used to have much worse, sober or not. Since discovering my ADHD I have had enough self awareness to recognize why something small will send me into such extreme anger, it doesn't change what happens but I now recognize it. Throughout all of the failure that we experienced in the past 2 years I have still been able to keep that dream alive, to farm and produce good foods. We have taken our last dollars and tried to make a go of it again with a more precise focus. At the same time we are navigating debt collectors and the inevitable bankruptcy (which also causes an extreme amount of anxiety). So my ADHD mind continues to spin a million miles a minute, coming up with different ways to improve our operation or to expand it. The expansion part is where my wife and I have a large miscommunication problem. Through my education I have been taught to look towards the future and never stay complacent with where you are. To set goals and to at least have a loose business plan/goals, that can guide the business towards something. I am not innocent by any means here, I tend to have several different ideas that I am constantly working on in my mind and I can typically run a cost benefit analysis in my mind as I am working throughout the day. So I am certain that at times I sound like a broken record and it is probably scary that I am always coming up with new business ideas when we are currently under financial duress.
So my wife gets upset with me, I in turn get upset with her, the argument escalates into a fight and then my emotions take hold and it just gets worse. My new tactic which actually upsets my wife more, is that I stop talking and shut down because I know I am going to make it worse. In regards to my pattern of thinking and trying to come up with new ways to make the business work I do not know how to slow or stop that. If I was going to be able to do that, I would have to be on a pretty strong tranquilizer.
So I don't know how to proceed. I don't know how to stop looking. I do not know how to slow that part of me down. I certainly understand that I need some very serious help in concentrating and focusing but that is not going to stop the way my mind works.
Sorry for the explanation, just wanted the situation to fully explained.