As a child, about the age of 8, I was diagnosed with ADHD. I was given medication (Ritalin) and sent on my way. After being singled out every year of school after that-told I was LD and frequently embarrassed in class by the teacher, I decided to learn some strategies to help me concentrate in school. I started by marking the time on the clock on the wall and trying to attend to the teacher as long as I could while trying to absorb every single word and understand what she was saying. And when there was a pause, I would look up at the clock to see how long I was focused on her. I ultimately stopped taking ritalin because I didn't want a crutch and I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it and that I wasn't a failure. The time was short at first and then it got better. I eventually stopped looking at the clock, I filtered out unimportant things, turned my brain on like a tape recorder. That worked for me. Prolonged concentration became easier for me. I noticed my grades started improving and by the time I finished highschool, I had a 3.2 GPA. Cumulative 2.8, but I passed. My first 6 months in college were okay, then I was hit by too many distractions, I lost my focus and dropped out of one college after two years and transferred to another for a fresh start. Ended up changing my major 6 times and eventually dropped out again after 2 years. Went back to school-community college this time and went to my original major and was not able to get into the program. Decided to switch to a sister program and got in. Spent 4 years in a 2 year institution. As adulthood had fully set in, I had 2 part time jobs working 2nd and 3rd shift while in school full time. I ultimately passed and began working. Work was very easy for me because I was able to use a lot of strategies to be successful. I often didn't have to think twice about it. Of course, I decided to go to grad school and finish what I started. I would have my master's in 3 years if I did it right. I was hit by the distractions of life and after the first semester I got booted out. I had to wait a year then restart. I made it somehow getting through the premature birth of my daughter, moving 2 times for employment, frequent threats of divorce, loss of identity, the writing off of my family, occasional organization problems at work, isolation and the inner turmoil of my own efficacy. I passed by the skin of my teeth relying heavily on my classmates to clarify things for me and helping me stay organized. I re-took 2 courses when they came back around the following year. I had to retake my national board certification and because I missed a few things regarding my licensure, I have to wait jobless for another week for my background check to be completed. I had realized by the end, that my strategies were no longer really working and didn't have enough time nor energy to refine them. My lack of awareness is my biggest limitation I believe.
Life at home has been very rough. Up until 2 weeks ago, I really thought my wife hated me. She yelled at me all the time telling me I have to "man up" and "get my shit together." I had no idea what she was talking about. We've been on the brink of divorce for about 2-5 years with intermittent spells of incredible bliss. I had to cut all ties with my family because of their hatefulness towards our relationship, so that ended some fights between us. When I started clinicals, I began cleaning the house more often and caring even more for the needs of my daughter. My wife and I agreed that she was the financial chief in our home and that was settled because I was not as good as she was at it. When everything was done, things began to slip at home. I would not pay attention to how hot the stove was when I was cooking, I'd leave the front door unlocked, I miss my street while driving, I'd forget to answer emails, call certain people back, take the trash out, etc. My wife just began to get more and more angry with me and I didn't know why. I was doing everything I possibly could to mend our marriage, be responsible and have things done before she could even think about it. Nothing has worked and I don't know how to make anything better. Of course I'm jobless right now, that doesn't help. I'm not aware of many things that make her angry. She's fed up and so am I. We finally put it together that it was more of an adult version of ADHD. I've been off of any ADHD medication for about 20 years and I'm really considering seeing the doctor, get diagnosed to get back on medication in hopes that my concentration can be restored and our marriage can begin to mend. Today, we took our daughter to see a kids show. I was short on paying the parking attendant and we were going to be late for the start of the show. While my wife had our daughter, I ran to the ATM then the parking attendant to pay him. I also asked for the quickest route from the parking garage to the theater. When I turned around my wife and daughter weren't behind me. I walked back into the parking garage and my wife had flames in her eyes. She said I disappeared and she couldn't find me. Two families were helping her find me and I had left my bank card in the machine. I thought she was with me the entire time. I need to get some help before something bad happens. I'm very discouraged.