Words of inspiration

I wanted to provide some words of hope for those of you who may be where I was.  To be honest, I was at what I believed to be the point of no return.  As the non-ADHD spouse I felt lonely, sad, overwhelmed, angry, and just plain exhausted.  I would wake up in the morning and hate the person I saw in the mirror, I knew I had become someone I was not proud of.  I could see the strain in my dear ADHD spouse as well.  We were barely speaking and when we did there was no substance - it was mainly what's the weather today, can you grab the mail.  I was frustrated because after almost 8 years of trial and error we still seemed to only get modest results from the medication and it seemed he was doing nothing to try to fix it.  I seriously considered leaving.  I joked that we would not have kids because I already lived with one or that he was my roommate.  Again, I was not proud of the dark place I had hit.  About six months ago I called my mom to vent, she gave me some tough love that I needed.  I think her advice was something to the extent of if you're not happy you need to act.  Is he hearing the words you're saying.  What are you doing to help.  I came to the realization that I was leaving everything up to him and I had resolved to be the bitter, nagging spouse - something that wasn't making either of us happy.  I had educated myself some on the symptoms of ADD so I knew some of his reactions he was either completely unaware of or I was interpreting them as a personal offense because it was easier than acknowledging this was just part of our life.  I honestly took every one of his actions as a personal attack - even if they weren't.  After some reflection, I set a timeline of 2 years, even wrote a contract in my journal that I would do everything in my power to help our marriage for the next 24 months and could walk away with no regrets if it didn't help.  The good news is, it did.  I started with online research and began keeping a journal of the symptoms I felt were impacting me / our relationship.  I decided to try to find someone who specialized in ADD in our area and discovered this website.  This site did two things for me 1) I found the book and many other answers and 2) I tackled some of my loneliness by finding a place with people who understood what I was going through.  I read the ADHD Marriage book twice and made a plan of attack.  I sold him on diet (everyone can benefit from less caffeine and sugar), fish oil supplements, and a multi-vitamin.  I buy every food I can find with Omega 3 or DHA in it.  It seems to help.  I attacked our budget and outsourced the tasks that caused major fights - laundry service is pretty affordable and everything comes neatly folded in a nice clear bag, grocery delivery is good if the week is busy or we're both just exhausted, and I signed up with my bank for automatic bill pay.  We were going to hire a housekeeping service but at this point he has taken over enough of the chores that neither of us is overwhelmed.   Through my notes I realized a pattern to the medications that worked and did not.  We went to a specialist in our area and got an official diagnosis and some recommendations on medication.  Finding the right combo of meds made a huge difference.  He became happy, engaged, and an actual partner.  I also took some of the blame, I was definitely part of the problem.  I had to work on myself.  I joined yoga to help me decompress.  Plus it was good to do something just for me.  I followed some of the key tips in the book - giving up holding a parental role, accepting good enough, being supportive...they have all really helped. When we have a rough day, I take a deep breath and remember where we were and how far we have come - even our worst day is better than our best days used to be.  We signed up for the online ADHD Marriage seminar to help let go of the past challenges, anger, and hurt.  We're still in the course and I really feel it has helped us to get through the muck of our past life more quickly and in a healthier way.  I also feel like we have a solid foundation to move forward from.  We both see the progress, and have learned to laugh at the trials and tribulations.  It's not always easy, but we can both take a deep breath and laugh it off now.  He's become more vocal which is helpful.  If I get particularly bossy, he'll say to our cat "uh oh, mom's home".  I laugh because it makes me realize I've crossed the line.  I've become more direct.  If I can tell he's not listening I ask if I should write it down or text him.  Putting things in writing really helps.  I am proud to say we finally have found a place of peace, understanding, mutual respect and love.  I know that our life will never be storybook perfect and some looking in from the outside may think we're completely dysfunctional but it is now PERFECT FOR US.  To all of you who may feel you've hit a brick wall, stay hopeful.  It can get better.         

Thanks for writing this

Melissa - thanks for posting your story - it's great to share turn around stories!  And bravo to you and your spouse for your hard work.

Excellent way of making the

Excellent way of making the point I always try to make...you don't have to WAIT for someone else to change to find ways to make your life better. And, your situation is a prime example of the best case scenario...when you change, they like what they see, and they change too. I think just taking the pressure off of them to be 'perfect' (because that is what our anger SCREAMS at them) and taking charge of our own crap and being accountable for ourselves is a HUGE step in the right direction. I think I am going to try your journal idea. 

Congrats! I pray things continue to blossom and bloom for you guys! :)

Thanks for this post,

Thank you for sharing this with everyone,this could really help myself and other's be less doubtful and bring in some encouragement,I stand along side you, and I too have been reading a lot and following up on line,and my marriage is getting better already.Still a lot to be done,but,we would get there I trust with the right tools and method.

Thank you.