What can I do to get a job and keep it?

To start off with, I love someone who deserves someone functional and want to be that person.  He's fairly successful but I've never had a job for more than two months in my entire life.  I've got dyspraxia (sometimes known as NLD in America), ADHD, joint hypermobility and dyscalculia. When I first started work I often lasted just one day when I started a new job.  Over the years I've tried retail work, care work in an elderly people's home, food preparation, bar work, data entry, cleaning, administration and a voluntary graphic design job to see if I could do that.  I've tried unpaid work placements, courses and volunteering to see if it would be possible to get enough experience but it's always been the same, I'm told I haven't picked up the skills quickly enough and to a high enough standard. 


I'm now working in a clinic as a self employed massage therapist.  I don't seem to have any intolerance of work other people might find boring, I because so many simple skills are complicated to me they actually become quite interesting.  For instance (if you can believe this) I actually enjoy cleaning.  The problem is picking up skills doing tasks quickly and accurately enough, organisation and planning.  I was always told it was because it was because of 'motor sequencing' (getting physical actions in the right order) but suspected it was attention.  After years of nagging at doctors I found there were things I could do to help myself, thanks to this site so thank you! 

After a two year wait I've been prescribed ritalin and have a coach, the techniques and different brain chemistry seem to have been helpful so far.  In Britain this is all new but now it's been recognised by the National Health service which means now (as in Holland and Canada) people at the bottom of society can access medication and counselling.  If you've been told you're a helpless little thing but there, there, live on welfare forever it's great to find there's something you can do about it.  I always thought it's much better for something to be in your hands or even your fault than to be an innocent victim who can't do anything about it.   To a certain extent it was the view of some professionals I saw here, and it may be more humane to accept someone has limitations on one level but on another it's very inhumane because it limits the aspirations of that disabled person to improve. 

But how much expectation is realistic?  I avoided relationships for years so as to never subject anyone to my problems but met my now boyfriend a year ago.  He lives a long way away and we'd like to move things forward and spend more time together.  I'd love us to be together long term- for life but sometimes wonder if even now I'm being fair even being with him and giving him a hope of a future if it all falls through and I don't manage to keep a full time job.  We both hope, but will I succeed?  Only time will tell.  I could never just abandon him unless he wanted me to go but I don't want to lead him up the garden path.  I've been as honest as possible over my condition with him but he still probably doesn't really understand just how challenging I could be to live with.  I don't think that's possible till you experience it.  I was jittery and on my last hour of ritalin when I wrote the title to this, but the real question I have now is am I being fair?








If you've been up front with

If you've been up front with him, then you've done all you can do. Perhaps he truly loves and is willing to weather whatever storms may come your way as a couple.

My husband didn't even know that he had ADHD when we married so there was no way he could be upfront with me. Nevertheless, through separation both enforced by work and by me, we've come through it. Everything is not perfect, and I don't expect it to be, but we're closer than we've been in our nearly five years of marriage.

You're getting help. You've been honest. Keep moving forward. That's all you can do.

Good luck!


Thanks Dazedandconfused, and I'm glad to hear you're closer than you were before. 

The thing is I don't want him to have to weather my storms, even if he wants to.  Obviously he'd have to face difficulties in any relationship, but at least most people find simple jobs easy enough to do and won't lose their jobs again and again.  I feel you should go into a relationship to enhance the other person's life, thinking about what you can give, rather than what you expect to receive.  Looking through these forums it does stand out that most people with adhd seem to be far less affected than I am, at least when it comes to employment.

 We don't live together but I can just about keep a house clean, cook, budget and keep shopping supplies up to date with a white board shopping list at home, but that's because I can do it all in my own time and it takes me a lot longer than most people.  I try to be comforting after he's had a difficult day but sometimes find myself drifting off when he talks to me.  I tell him when that happens but still find I'm doing it.  One technique that seems to work is to paraphrase what he says back to him.  Then if I haven't listened or understood, it shows.  Would that seem a bit annoying or condescending though?  I guess he's the one to ask.

My mum says I spend too much time thinking and worrying and that takes up time I could be spending overcoming problems every way I can.  There are things I can do and as you say I've got to keep moving forward with them. 


Absolutely. Your mum is

Absolutely. Your mum is right. Don't get caught up in your head.

If he loves you, then don't let your doubts get the best of you. You are so much more than a paycheck. Plenty of women are homemakers and if you excel at that, you are bringing something to the relationship. And as before, if he knows that keeping a job is difficult for you, then he knows what he's getting into. I think your willingness to keep looking for a job that fits speaks volumes for you. You're doing the best you can and that's all you can do...it's not like you're sitting on the couch at home being a slob. :-)

Hang in there. You have worth and it's obvious that your partner values you.