Who in their right mind would want to be with me?

I was listening to an educational video today during my workout when the professor went over the Impact on Executive Functions on Adults with ADHD. This list took my breath away and made me wonder if I even have hope....

  1. Poor persistence towards tasks/goals
  2. Failing to plan ahead or anticipate future consequences
  3. Poor time management
  4. Poor emotional self control
  5. Impulsive decision making
  6. Disorganization
  7. Problems keeping promises and commitments to others
  8. Difficulty keeping track of several things at once and seeing them to completion
  9. Inability to stop an ongoing enjoyable activity to shift to a more important or urgent task
  10. Depending on others for maintaining order or direction
  11. Underachievement in school or work
  12. Loss of jobs/impaired performance
  13. Unsatisfactory relationships
  14. Poor driving
  15. Poor money management
  16. Trouble organizing household & raising children.

I may not exhibit all of these traits but I've definitely been guilty of the majority of them. My wife has left me because of it. I have no family near me, no true friends to rely on near me. I have no luck finding a support group near me that doesn't interfere with work. I've tried to reach out to my counselor for some advice throughout the week via email since our meetings are only once a week. I'm having to adjust to medication that I'm not used to. The only thing that keeps me sane is my career, exercising, and trying to understand more about this damn disorder. I try to stay positive and hopeful but reading many negative posts and comments on these forums makes me loose hope.

Your not alone

Hi there, 

i was only diagnosed a week ago I have started taking Ritalin and it has changed my life! My girlfriend left me aswell she said it was because I wasn't trusting and a controlling and possessive boyfriend. 

Since she left I hav lost 11kg (24lbs) in two months, I am now 77kg (170lbs) and am on my way to a six pack :-) 

Virtually all my procrastination, intrusive thought, and frustration have gone, I'm not trying to rub itin but there is a success story and its only been a week so far 

any questions please ask 


Thanks for good news

I was diagnosed 5 months ago. I am taking Aderral XR (extended release). The Adderall increased my OCD and my anger outbursts which is why my wife left me and took our 15 month old daughter with her. My family is my life so it's hard to stay positive right now. Nonetheless, my exercise regimen has allowed me to loose 40 lbs so far. My Dr. added Lexapro to help stabilize my mood. which takes 2-6 weeks to really kick in. it's been two weeks so far and I still find myself depressed or angry daily even if I try very hard not to be. I keep wanting to just focus on myself and get better but I can't stop missing my wife and my daughter. As time goes on, I feel more and more lonely and hopeless.

carathrace's picture


Your list of the symptoms of ADHD can be looked at one way:  as a checklist of failures; or another way:  as a description of symptoms.  When you have ADHD, areas of your brain misfire or malfunction from what is considered "normal".  I have a granddaughter with epilepsy.  When she has a seizure she is not a failure and she has nothing to feel guilty about.  The seizure is a symptom of her brain misfiring.  There are things she can do to mitigate the seizures, just as there are things you can do to work around, retrain and maybe even heal your brain.  You might find this book helpful:  Healing ADD by Daniel Amen.

It's normal to be down on yourself after the breakup of your marriage.  I hope this will ease in time as you see more clearly that you have a lot to offer.  My husband is very lovable, in spite of and even because of his ADHD.  I'll give you an example.  We adopted 2 cats in January and they are making me crazy.  What with pulling down the antique quilt from the wall, ripping the screens and pooping in the bathtub, I was ready to take them back to the shelter.  It was my husband who convinced me otherwise, with his compassion for creatures that can't help what they do (hmm wonder where he got that?)  Now we're employing some techniques and work-arounds to train them and help them behave better.  A lot of parallels there.  Maybe the cats give my husband hope that there are coping strategies for him too?

Understanding the symptoms

Yes, I'm currently reading Healing ADD and I've been spending most of my free time either reading other books, articles, or videos on the disorder. I just finished Change Your Brain Change Your Life. I write in up to three different journals daily, one for my daughter, one to track what has happened since my wife left me, and one just for me. I've been putting techniques my counselor has been teaching me to use. I've been Exercising daily and eating an ADHD diet. Taking medication daily. Regardless, the love and support of the person I want to be there with me during this struggle is gone.

I am happy to hear that you and your husband were able to make it work. I know there are alot of success stories here. I hope one day my story is also a success to be shared. However, right now, my world feels shattered.


The thing is, okay, he may have feelings of empathy for those cats, but who is doing most of the work?

 I like what you are saying about techniques for training.  I am just at a place of such skepticism, right now. 

 I don't even know how couples without ADHD can stand to take care of a puppy without someone willing to dog-sit.    

I don't even know how I will take care of myself in a relationship with my friend. I have a great job, good relationship with my family, a good friend who I can talk about most things, and my freedom and independence...

[Oh.  That freedom/independence crap.  I think he might want to keep his, too!  Selfish Guy!]

Yet, I dream of us together.  Of making a home where he would be comfortable.  Why do I always assume that I will end up abandoned emotionally and sexually?  It is not because of ADHD.  Maybe one reason I like him is because he seems a bit more honest, to me.  I believe that sexual and emotional abandonment are inevitable.  Is that why it is so easy to let my guard down with someone who seems to be apathetic?  Has he got that message and is thus afraid to seem like he cares?

This is all justification and ranting.

Thanks for your patience.


Recognizing strengths

Yes ADHD can create big difficulties. But your wife was likely attracted to you, in part, because of the ADHD. It's not all bad. Quick wit, out of the box thinking, often good in a crisis (other people's). Thom Hartmann is a good resource for playing up the positive while mitigating the negatives. The tragic thing about ADHD is when it goes undiagnosed, because it is manageable. All the the things on that list can be mitigated if you are willing to do the work. Meds, a counselor or coach for developing strategies, exercise, eat healthy, and sleep. It can take a while to find the right meds mix, but persist. It is important that the desire to change be internally driven, not for other people but because you want what change brings. Best wishes.

Thanks for support

Thanks for the support, Shelley. I'll definitely plan to continue my new path because I want this change for me.


A list like that might be seen as depressing, but it helps to get as close to reality as possible when thinking about your condition. It might even be beneficial to have it pasted up somewhere prominent to get you thinking about how each item is going. Complacency is one of my major issues.

    Poor persistence towards tasks/goals - Very dedicated on any active task, little awareness of other tasks, no specific goal setting beyond the immediate.
    Failing to plan ahead or anticipate future consequences - Yes, roll with things in the moment by default.
    Poor time management - Yes, should begin to just double any estimate I attempt to make.
    Poor emotional self control - No, too controlled, too disassociative.
    Impulsive decision making - Not really, sometimes impulsively launching into a mis-prioritized task, but not in the reckless sense this phrase implies.
    Disorganization - Physical space? No. Mental space? Yes.
    Problems keeping promises and commitments to others - Yes, consistently forget about tasks agreed upon in passing. When in another task these mentioned ones do not exist. Recently using Astrid android app to help with this (voice recorded task entry)
    Difficulty keeping track of several things at once and seeing them to completion - Sort of, can keep several things up in the air at once, targeting one at a time. Not multitasking, but most of the open items get done eventually.
    Inability to stop an ongoing enjoyable activity to shift to a more important or urgent task - More like complete lack of awareness about the important or urgent task. Engrossed in current task.
    Depending on others for maintaining order or direction - Yes, not predisposed to making any kind of schedule or following any plans/goals other than whatever is in front of my face.
    Underachievement in school or work - School? Yes. Work? No.
    Loss of jobs/impaired performance - No, structure from my wife allows me to follow the family routines she establishes, show up for work, and do good work.
    Unsatisfactory relationships - Have only had two serious relationships, both negatively impacted by symptoms. Unsatisfactory seems to disregard all the positives.
    Poor driving - No.
    Poor money management - Not with online banking tools and centralization of finances in a few key places.
    Trouble organizing household & raising children - Of course.

carathrace's picture

What I'd like to see

...is, instead of a list of how you fulfill the requirements of being ADHD, a list of coping strategies for each one.  What are some concrete steps ADHDs can take to eliminate "poor persistence towards tasks/goals", or "poor time management"?  What have you tried?  What has worked for you?

This is the plan I started

This is the plan I started almost a month ago now. It's evolving as I learn more and my journals are filling up. I'm at the point where I'm about to transfer some of this stuff to very large pieces of paper I can stick around the house as reminders.


I see the two major

I see the two major categories for improvement being retaining/executing tasks and setting longer-term plans/goals. The former I'm trying to get a handle on with this android app called Astrid. It has voice entry, so you can make note of a task in under ten seconds. I am also trying to incorporate more recurring things into sequences of habitual behavior that is already established. Linking something on autopilot to something you wish to be.

For long term goals I am not really sure. I very rarely consider these things in anything but the most vague way. I want.. a strong, loving partnership with my wife, my kids to thrive and be great people, a comfortable living arrangement, savings to take care of us in retirement, and interesting work/experiences throughout. I guess one could have scheduled time for planning and reflection, but that reeks of ridiculousness. The times when I do set larger wheels in motion (retirement savings, new house hunt, etc) is in a burst of hyperfocused activity. Two weeks ago I transferred all my investment and retirement assets to one firm. I spent close to three hours moving various accounts over the phone, went to the bank to get notarized signatures, and sent the required forms in the mail. All is in order, but they can't finalize all of it because the name on my account at the firm is just my first and last name, whereas my name at my previous financial providers had middle initial and suffix. I have to submit another form certifying that these represent the same person. I got this info a few days ago but haven't done it because it wasn't part of that burst of activity.

Yah something that helped me

Yah something that helped me write out my long term goals was using "The One Page Miracle" exercise Dr. Amen suggests in his book Change Your Brain Change Your Life. Basically, you write down in detial what you want in life from the following aspects:




Extended Family-








Once you've written it down, you make copies and post it in areas you can see it often. Carry a copy in your pocket. Keep doing that until your actions are always based on reaching the goals you have described. It's definitely helped me begin to clearly focus on a more long term fulfillment.

Great suggestion

Thank you for this suggestion. I'm definitely doing this today so I can focus on how each relates to me and what I can do to improve them.

Let' It Do

Concrete strategies give me so much hope.  I need them to address my own (non-ADHD) behaviors, as well as those of my (ADHD diagnosed intended).

Did I mention that I love this man?