Posts tagged adhd
Posts tagged adhd
And then I would further like to invite them to BITE ME.
The really sad part is that I still haven’t been able to train myself to put the cups away in that cupboard - I always try to put them away in the cupboard I moved them from in 2010.
(I caught myself after opening the door and lifting the milk up to the cup shelf; I think the reason I caught myself is that the milk is twice as tall as the shelf.)
The trouble with taking on new projects, for me, is that it lets my impatience shine through like nothing else. I have lots of practice trying to be patient with things that I’ve seen happen a gazillion times, but this whole “I planted a seed and it should become a green thing probably” deal is new (in the sense that Reagan was President the last time I tried it.) The seeds were planted per the instructions on the bag on Sunday, and quite frankly, they should already be several inches tall as far as I’m concerned.
(It also bothers me that this was a “wildflower” mix, and so it included lots of inorganic matter like sand to help make distributing the seeds easier… and so I can see all these flecks on the ground and it makes me worry that none of the seeds are under the dirt even though I’m sure they are. Because I put enough seeds for 1600 square feet of soil on 10 square feet, amongst other things.)
Staying up later than you should is very destabilizing for people with serious mental illness and other neuropsychiatric disorders, no matter what the reason for staying up happens to be. Your health is never worth sacrificing for the sake of another news update; the information will be there in the morning, I promise.
(You generally “should” be actually sleeping for at least 8 hours, while it’s dark outside, every night. You specifically cannot count “lying in bed reading on your phone” as sleeping.)
I use index cards a lot to keep myself organized, because I can’t trust my memory in the heat of the moment, and also because it helps reduce my anxiety if I have something written down to check back on. And, any one index card doesn’t hold THAT much information, so I won’t get overwhelmed if I’m having cognitive issues and I won’t go overboard with added details if I’m heading toward hypomania.
One random example from just now: Every time my meds change (dosages or anything else) I write out on an index card exactly what the dosages are supposed to be for each medication at each time (each dosing time - AM, lunch, PM - gets its own card.) I write the date at the top.
The cards stay on top of my medications bin; whenever I refill my medication boxes for a new week I always have the cards right there to double-check what I’m supposed to be doing, and whenever I get freaked out and need to make sure the current boxes are filled with exactly what I’m supposed to be taking, I know exactly where to look.
I also write out a final card that just has the names of each medication, the dosage, the pill size, the number of pills I take per day, the number of days I need at each fill (30 or 90,) and the date I will run out of that medication (from the dates listed on the bottles.) This card goes with me to the doctor’s office.
Always writing the dates on the cards makes it easier for me to pitch them in the recycling bin, and also means that I know right away if a card is too old and can’t be trusted.
Oh, and speaking of the bins, I use the kind with a drawer that slides out, instead of one with a pop-off top, to hold my current bottles, and then a second bin underneath that to hold the upcoming refills. The bin is shoebox-sized; I put the week’s lineup of pill boxes on top (with the cards) so I know exactly where the pill boxes are. I also deposit the empty boxes there, set off to the side and turned upside down so I don’t accidentally grab them.
By the way, all of this is not because I’m super organized and well put-together; it’s the exact opposite. The reason I decided to write this out is because half an hour ago the index cards saved me from accidentally setting my daily boxes for the next few days with just 450mg of Trileptal instead of 750mg (one and a half pills instead of two and a half pills.) I just thought that titling the post “index cards may have saved me from accidentally causing a huge neurological crisis for myself and possibly ending up in the hospital” would sound a little bit overly dramatic.
Today I had to talk with and interact with about a dozen people for four hours, and participate in many sustained conversations. This was… challenging. Especially the eye contact and the shaking hands.
I got home feeling like I was about to crawl out of my skin, and eventually had strip and then spend half an hour trying to convince myself to put any clothes back on and get back out of bed.
Oh, and all my clothes are basically contaminated and have to be washed again before I can put them on; it was a major victory to keep my socks on (and they were the second pair I wore today, and my feet are itching like crazy and I will probably take them off when I hit “publish.”)
It is seriously a victory to be interacting with the universe as much as I am right this second (typing on my PC,) and oh by the way, I can’t get myself to turn on the TV or any music or the fan over my stove (noise,) and I will have to stop typing now because the sound of the keyboard is driving me up the wall. I think the only reason I got myself out of bed was the sound of the automatic light timer buzzing.
I’ve been struggling a lot lately with remembering appointments.
So, here is the process I’m now using to keep ADHD, etc., from making me miss appointments and other events:
I just added the “taping cards to the planner” and “adding the note about not seeing someone” because I panicked last week, specifically due to not having any entries in any calendar for my therapist on the usual day, and worrying that I might have just forgotten to enter an appointment in any of the many places it should have been.
(She was on vacation, but I’ve had two missed appointments with her this year so far, one due to me not putting appointments in any calendar.)
The cards are especially handy for mornings like today, when I have written down that my appointment time is 8am but I know for a fact that the office isn’t open till 8:30am.
(In my electronic calendar entries, I generally put the “you should aim for this because you’re always late” time as the appointment time - I am, alas, inconsistent about remembering to hide the real starting time in the extended description.)
Seriously: I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow, and I’ve used at least four different life-organizing hacks to make sure it goes well just in the last few hours: setting alarms, checking lists, writing things out on cards, counting pills, verifying my counts against preexisting lists, packing my bag the night before, emailing myself reminders, calling to make sure I have the appointment time right, checking my calendar on my phone and PC, and so on.
All of that is mostly so that I can get refills, particularly on my Adderall (which helped me do half of those things up there.)
Life with ADHD is like living on a battlefield - you need a heck of a lot more armor and ammunition than the average person ever contemplates using.
It’s been over a year - close to 14 months, I think - and it’s very very very past time.
I hate doing this so much; it sets off about twenty triggers for me (strangers, people touching me, change, lots of smells, crowded, mechanical things all over the place, my head feels like it weighs too little for like five months, etc.)
The last couple of times I’ve actually cried. There have also been some regrettable incidents in which the hairdresser cut herself, or cried in frustration, or whatever.
But I’ve run out of time; it has to be done. The good news is that in, like, two hours, I’ll have bought myself another 3 months of legitimate “get out of getting a haircut” time, and at least 9 months of actual “I’m still not getting a haircut yet” time after that.
Sometimes having ADHD means setting alarms to remind you that it’s time to go to bed.
On a related note, there is nothing quite as satisfying as managing to set a timer so exactly right that you manage to get from your kitchen (where the timer is) to the laundry room (where the clothes dryer is) at the precise moment when the clothes stop tumbling.
That almost makes up for the whole “I set between four and seven alarm clocks every night just to make sure I can get up in the morning” thing.