Tattered Paper Worn Thin From a Lifetime of Holding On

In the wake of an adhd and ocd storm (life) - messy roomToday is National Honesty Day, apparently.  I feel like my writing was extremely honest and raw just after receiving my ADHD diagnosis, so I think I’ll share another one of my newly discovered Xanga posts.  A lot of people seemed to like (or at least shared) my Colored File Folders and the Organization of Life post, so I thought I’d post something similar…but first I’m gonna preface it a little bit.

Processing An ADHD Diagnosis

After being diagnosed, I was flooded with all kinds of emotions.  In some sense, I was relieved – to know there was a reason for so many of my unresolved challenges.  I was hopeful – that being able to understand my diagnosis would allow me to resolve some of those stubborn challenges.  I was angry – that I slipped through the cracks and survived school, even college, successfully because, if I had been diagnosed earlier, I might have actually learned something or, at the very least, I would have suffered less in the process.  I was sad for my younger self and all the things she’d had to overcome and all the potential good times lost in the battle.  As you learn to reassess your life, post diagnosis can be an emotionally chaotic time.

Having an answer of sorts (the ADHD diagnosis) drove me to research the hell out of everything, trying to find more answers.  From new ways of learning to new ways of organizing, ideas and new possibilities were running rampant in my ADHD / OCD brain.

Not for the first time in my life…and certainly not for the last…I was trying as hard as I could to get above water again.  Maybe I could even swim again.

Understanding That You’re Not Alone In Your ADHD Struggle

Since starting this blog, several people close to me have said that they had no idea that I had struggled (and continue to struggle) so much or that anybody had to live with these challenges.  That sounds like a pity-me statement and I don’t mean it that way at all.  I just know there are others out there who struggle with the same (or similar) issues and I want them to know they are not alone…and frankly, that it’s not typical to have to struggle in these ways.

The road to healing is a long one and it’s rarely as straight as we would like it to be.  Still, if you suffer with ADHD symptoms that are negatively impacting your life, I definitely recommend getting help of some kind.

Diagnosis Isn’t A Cure-all

In The Wake Of An ADHD And OCD Storm (Life)

All that said…and in the spirit of full disclosure (Happy National Honesty Day!), that picture at the top is my room (my nemesis) as it is today.  I’ve come a long way since the days of early diagnosis, but I still have a long way to go.

The funny thing is, I’ve had more than one person say that they’d hire me to be their professional organizer.  Of course, that wasn’t based on the organization of my room.  That was based on my organization at work and with projects in general.

Tattered Paper Worn Thin From a Lifetime of Holding On:

A Flashback To A Not-so-former Life

 Here’s the original post I intended to share.  Didn’t mean to carry on about it for so long.

“I’m cleaning today, which I know is a huge surprise to all of
you.  When am I NOT cleaning?  Perhaps “cleaning” isn’t the
best word choice.  I’m not dusting, vacuuming, or windexing…or
anything else of the sort.  The house (and my mind) is far from a
state that would allow such “cleaning.”  The piles are
everywhere…  Some are categorized appropriately…some are still
mere collections of my life, bits and pieces from here and there and
everywhere in between.  I don’t reget holding onto all of this
stuff, for I always knew I clung to it for reasons that were not
materialistic in nature.  I cannot allow myself to delve too much
into thought right now…at least not shared thought.  My thoughts
are constant, as they always are, and I try to sort through
them…  I try, desperately, to understand myself.  I’m
finding clues for the first time.  Each of these random objects
tells a little bit more about the places I’ve been, the person I’ve
been, and, most importantly, the person I am today.  Pages and
pages of class notes..illegible fragments of attempted knowledge,
incomplete information that I couldn’t focus enough to hear properly,
so it didn’t get translated properly or even coherently, random
thoughts in the margin, doodles that clutter the page…handwriting
that screams desperation as it tries to record every word it possibly
can with the intentions of rereading and digesting it all
later…unfinished letters that never got where they were meant to go
and some that served as rough drafts for the defining moments in my
life…important documents stained and crumpled from a life that
yearned for perfection, but resulted in chaos…  There’s much to
take in…  “I’m just sorting through some stuff…” I’m tired of
saying it…tired of hearing, “You’re always going through stuff…how
long could it possibly take?”  It could take a lifetime…

As a side note, I look around and wonder if I am too much for this
world.  The words do not come as I try to explain this
notion.  Perhaps later…  I will not force it.  More to
be sorted out…in due time…”

Posted February 11, 2006 at 3:51PM


  1. As i read this post i am amazed by the similarity to myself, not suffering from the same diagnoses, but suffer with similar issues. If that makes any sense. I too, have endless books of paper in hopes of figuring things out later( ok there not everywhere scattered and misplaced), I also have ppl say that they never thought of me as suffering at all threw life., But i have suffered plenty right in front of them. Most of my life i have felt like an alien among others. alone and unlike them. So i really wanted to say that your post is like a light in the dark. A hope ( for me) of becoming “human” slow and steady .. hard work will prevail. just like one day you will open your bedroom door and be stunned and proud to see… the floor…your accomplishments.. your fulfillment. Just as stunned as i will be when i get threw a whole day as just me (paula)…………Fighting the urge to delete this…. I will NOT delete it because as you said its National Honesty Day…..


    1. Thanks for commenting (and for not deleting it). 🙂 You really summed up the purpose of my blog when you said this post is like a light in the dark.

      Sure, I want to reach out to other ADHDers to try to inspire them (and sometimes myself) to not give up. But, everybody struggles with something and I think that a lot of my struggles are relatable to a lot of people, even if, like you said, the diagnoses are different…or heck, even if there aren’t any diagnoses.

      Thanks also for the encouragement about my room. The OCD makes me need it to be perfect, but the ADHD clutter and distractability can cause problems. I’ve managed to get it super clean and organized and keep it that way a few times. Maybe I’ll share some positive, hopeful…clean room pics at some point (ha ha).

      But when life gets overwhelming, which it tends to do…my room (and a lot of times, my car) is the first to fall apart.

      Anyway…I’m basically writing a whole ‘nother post here in this comment. I just meant to say thanks, really…for reading, for sharing, for being honest…and for being supportive.

      Sorting things out for ourselves can be a long road, but I really do believe we can get there. One day, you WILL get through a whole day as just yourself and it will be awesome. And then hopefully it’ll get easier and easier to do. You haven’t given up yet…you’re still trying for a reason. That’s what I believe anyway.


      1. never give up !! never surrender.. i say that alot to get me threw the hard times. P.S. sorry i don’t punctuate and capitalize more often.. i find it hard to.. for me its about time really.. i never know how much i have so i don’t actually take the time to make my writing formal until i have typed it out.. then i go back and correct…if i’m still around…


      2. No worries! Punctuation and capitalization are secondary to the points you’re putting out there, so you’re doing it right. My OCD makes it hard to ignore them when I’m writing (not that I don’t make mistakes), but that’s just me. Totally understand where you’re coming from and it’s not like I can’t make sense of what you write…it’s all good!


  2. How did I not come across your posts before?? I’ve been looking under ‘ADHD’ tags for people in the same boat – anyway, here you are, and I can so relate. Our family is riddled with ADD/ADHD, hence my name – we walk the chaos path. I can relate to actually not functioning well in chaos, but creating it so accidentally! I will be trying to get back and read a lot more here 🙂


    1. Glad you found me! My family is riddled with ADD/ADHD, too (the genetics thing is definitely true)…and I love your name. It’s such a contradiction, isn’t it? Creating chaos everywhere (unintentionally), but needing to be chaos-free to really thrive. Such a conundrum. Ha ha… Well, here’s to more adventures…I checked out your blog, too, and I liked what I saw, so…here WE are. Thanks again for stopping by! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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