adult ADD

Insomnia, Pain Meds, Delusions and White Noses

So, I finally upgraded my phone.  I can once again take pictures without working the system and going through Snapchat.  My apps are also updated and current (including WordPress).  This means, to my friends, 1,001 more cat and sky pictures a day and, to you, it might mean I’ll be posting more often (though, hell, I can’t make any promises…pretty sure it’s been years since my last post).

So, anyway, if you’ve read my blog at all before now, I’m pretty sure I’ve made it clear that I struggle with sleeping.  Sometimes I have trouble falling asleep.  Sometimes I have trouble staying asleep.  Sometimes both.  And sometimes I hallucinate in the middle of the night.

Currently, my room is the worst it’s been in a long time.  Clothes are hanging everywhere.  This mess makes it easier to blur the lines between reality and hallucinations during the witching hours of the night.  I see a stark white shirt hanging in the dimness and it morphs into a being from the other side.  It’s fun stuff, let me tell you.  Figments of my imagination merge with reality and commandeer nightmares that leave me paralyzed by fear.

I try to talk myself out of the crazy, but panic attacks often overwhelm.

Anyway, my back has been a disaster since February.  It’s much better than it was to start out with, but the pain occasionally still warrants some medicinal remedying.  Two nights ago was one of these times.  I took a Tramadol and a Flexeril and headed in to watch 13 Reasons Why.  I’ve taken both of these meds before and not had a problem.  I’m certainly not blaming them for the hallucinations that ensued that night, but I’m not counting them out as possible contributing factors either.

Well, I fell asleep before the first episode finished.  Next night, I went to replay that episode on my Roku and got the following screen:

Roku search white nose

“What in the actual hell (to keep it PG-13)?” I thought.  

The hallucinations from the night before came flooding back into my mind, but I was insanely confused.  I had no recollection of searching for, “White Nose.” And I had no clue what the hell I might have been seeking.  I honestly began to freak a little.  Had something actually been in my room?  Had it (they?) taken over control over my Roku?  Were they trying to communicate with me?!?!?!?  I took the screengrab and sent it to one of my best friends being like, “WTF?” and then I proceeded to tell my parents.

Both of my parents were equally as freaked, if not more.  I mentioned my hallucinations, which I’ve mentioned to them before, but I think they found them unsettling.  Not that I don’t.  I just…well, they happen.  I deal.  I sucked it up and went back into my room.  I was a little panicked about who my roomie might be, but it’s not like I’ve never been afraid of who might come, “A knock at my door,” and who might be, “Waiting for me.”

Meanwhile, my friend had written me back…and what a relief!  “Ha ha ha!! Were you wanting white noise?”  And then, “That made me laugh so hard.”

And then that part of the night came back into my mind.  I had fallen asleep watching the show and then I’d woken up to the hallucinations and the deadening silence.  I didn’t want to get out of bed because…well, the monsters might get me…and I also didn’t want to disturb my cat.  Some might say my priorities are super whacked.  

I went searching for white noise on my Roku.  I got pissed because I knew I’d found it before.  But hey, you can’t find it if you search, “White Nose,” or so it turns out.  I’m blind and can’t see very well without my glasses.  What can I say?  I eventually landed on just using one of the apps on my phone for the white noIse instead.

Once I realized that my friend (who knows me oh, so well) had actually connected all the dots, I, too, laughed at my ridiculousness.  I told my parents, to give them some relief…that I might not be as crazy as I appeared and/or that I might not be actively being stalked by beings from the great beyond).

To wrap this up, I don’t know why I decided to share this here.  The need for white noise, the lack of sleep, the disrupted sleep…sure, that can all have something to do with ADHD, but mostly I just found myself laughing at myself and thought I’d share.  Since it’s been a while, I thought I’d run with it.  Hope you enjoyed this silly anectodote about my crazy life.

Maybe you’ll be seeing more of me from here on out…maybe not.  I’m gonna try, though!

ADHD Awesomeness Anniversary

5 Positive Traits of ADHD Adults

When I signed on to WordPress tonight, I got a notification that yesterday was the 2 year anniversary of signing up with the site.

Can you imagine how awesome it would have been if I had blogged the whole time…instead of taking over a year off?  …but I didn’t.

Still, I’m back.  Or…I’m trying to be back anyway.  During my hiatus, I received multiple comment notifications on various blog posts.  Even in my state of silence, my published words and experiences were reaching other members of the ADHD community.

Sadly, I didn’t respond to many of these comments.  I’m not sure why.  My ADHD blog was doing just what I had intended for it to do.  It was reaching people, but I wasn’t acknowledging them or their experiences.  I feel badly about this and will likely respond to those comments at some point over the next few days (weeks?).

The thing is, blogging, especially about overcoming my ADHD, OCD, etc. struggles, makes me feel like I’m making a difference.  Well, at least the positive response I get from many of my readers makes me feel that way.

I’ve thought about going back to school to become an ADHD coach.  There are many tools out there that can make the ADHD life easier.  I could be an advocate for other ADHDers.

Anyway, I’m almost digressing here.  I am still very lost, but, the point is…I already am an advocate for ADHDers.  I’m not trying to toot my own horn.  ADHD readers have voiced this…or at least voiced that I’m writing things they can relate to and that I’m helping them think of their struggles in new ways.

And so, as I sat here tonight trying to figure out what to blog about (having taken pics for multiple potential posts and having started multiple drafts), it occurred to me that maybe I should pay homage to the original post on this page: 5 Positive Traits of ADHD Adults.

After all, at the end of the day, despite my personal and professional struggles over the last year or so, I do still believe that adults with ADHD are determined, creative, intelligent, resilient, and courageous.  And part of the reason I came here to blog in the first place was to help prove that to the rest of the world.

ADHD Adult Coloring Book

Adult Coloring Books and My ADHD / OCD Mind

Well, it’s been over a year since my last blog post…

WordPress is now foreign to me.  I don’t know why this catches me off guard; good technology is constantly updated.  It’s just that I’m navigating it all for the first time again, while trying to complete a blog post that part of me believes I’ll abandon midway through (Yeah, I still have ADHD and my OCD still wants perfection or nothing at all).

A lot has changed since I’ve been gone.  Although, in reading my last blog post (which references an ancient blog post of mine), it seems quite a lot has actually stayed the same (even since the ancient times).

Either way, this blog post isn’t about what happened during my hiatus. It’s all those things, I believe, that has kept me away for so long.  It’s not like I hadn’t intended to blog earlier.  I’ve thought about doing it nearly every day since I last did.  However…life.  The longer I was away, the bigger I felt my reintroduction needed to be.  The all-or-nothing that so frequently plagues the ADHDer conquered me for far too long.  And I feel it conquering me even now.

I’d planned on pouring it all out.  Adele’s freaking “Hello” calls to me like a ghost from the beyond (“the other side,” as it were).  Like so many people, I’m sure, but in a very different way.  Anyway, I’d planned on sitting with my laptop, with the damn song blaring through my headphones.  I even asked for Adele’s 25 CD for Christmas (Who the hell buys CDs anymore?  Me.).  Except, I didn’t.  Amazon screwed me up, guys.  Or my impulsive ADHD did.  One of the two…maybe both.  I was creating my Amazon Wish List and I knew I wanted the new Adele CD.  An Adele CD popped up at the top of the screen, so I assumed it had to be the new one.  I got it for Christmas and was excited (or some other more appropriate word for the type of anticipation that comes with preparing to pour your heart out about a lot of hard crap) to sit down with the song and pour my heart out.  When I put the CD in and heard “Rolling in the Deep,” I knew I’d screwed that up.

To be fair, I could very easily just pull the song up on YouTube.  Maybe I don’t want to blog about all of that yet.  Maybe I’m not ready.

I’m kind of just going to pretend that I didn’t disappear for over a year. I’m going to blog as if I blogged yesterday.  Inspired by my friend and her new blog Ever After McNeil and much encouraged (and somewhat threatened (in a do or die kind of way)) by my other creative friend, I’m just going to do it.  I am just going to write…something.  The rest of it will come; I’m sure.  It has to.

Part of me feels like this post is too long already.  Ahh, screw it.  Maybe some of you have skipped ahead to the actual adult coloring book part…and that’s totally okay.  Heck, it’s not like I probably have any readers at this point.  I’ve left you all high and dry for quite a while.

If, however, you happen to be still there lurking in my shadows, please hold tight.  I’m really, really going to try to come back here more often.

And now…the moment you’ve all been waiting for…an actual blog post.

Adult Coloring Books and My ADHD / OCD Mind

the time garden a magical journey and coloring book

Adult coloring books are all the rage (Just Google, “Adult coloring books,” if this is news to you).  Unlike Adele’s 25, I got one (and some awesome colored pencils) for Christmas.

I’m in an ADHD group or two on Facebook and I’ve seen a lot of people mentioning how awesome adult coloring books are for kind of grounding our ever-unsettled minds.  I didn’t ask for the coloring book, but I’d definitely thought about buying one.

In fact, the idea of coloring being a calming activity isn’t new to me.  I’ve bought many regular coloring books over the years…just haven’t actually colored in them…though I have many pristine packs of Crayola crayons.  I do tend to bare down too hard and break the crayons.  That’s the OCD striving for perfection…and creating a callous on my middle finger.

As any of you with ADHD know, it’s hard to calm your mind, it’s hard to shush all the noise…of all the things.  For me, especially unmedicated (which I’ve now been for more than a year), I feel most alive and most in tuned to a particular thing when I am hyperfocusing on that thing.  This is one of the gifts of having ADHD.  Sometimes it feels like a super power.

The things we ADHDers hyperfocus on are the things we are most passionate about.

Adult coloring books kind of give us a place to focus, with the delusion of them being important.  It’s important to pick the right colors, to color with the right intensity, and to stay within the lines.

…or is that the OCD?  …because coloring books don’t really matter.

Who cares?  I tried it tonight, guys.

ADHD Adult Coloring Book

I like it.  I gave it 20 – 30 minutes.  My hand cramped, reminiscent of my days in school when I scrambled to write all of the words the teacher said because I couldn’t comprehend them as she spoke, but I was totally going to type them up (and did), so I could study them later.  For the first time in years, I realized I need a pencil sharpener.  I chose my colors carefully.  And tried not to commit to completing the whole thing in one sitting.  I colored a bit. And it was therapeutic.  It was rewarding, calming, focusing…  As my hand started to cramp and enough time passed, I started to make mistakes (My OCD kicked in and the mistakes pissed me off.).

I decided if I was going to finish this blog post, I better go ahead and check out.  Cause, the thing is, engaging with this blog post isn’t simple.  It requires me to tap into my inner being…it requires me to write (which I actually take pretty seriously)…it requires me to take photos (which I also take pretty seriously, but don’t do nearly enough…although, retrospectively, more often than I write anything of much consequence)…and it requires me to focus (the hardest of all the things).

So, guys, I think I’ll wrap it up.

I’ll definitely revisit the adult coloring book concept.  And I might even try coloring in a regular coloring book.  Although, I prefer the stronger paper provided by the adult coloring book.  I just wonder if the lack of detail in the regular coloring book would be better for both the ADHD and OCD, allowing for perfectionism, but not presenting so many damn slivers to fill in so perfectly.




Truths That Will Change The Way You View ADHD

The Art of ADD Manifesto Video

I challenge you to not be impacted by this video.  The Art of ADD Manifesto outlines, in a short two and a half minutes, 20 – 30 truths about people with ADD / ADHD.  I say 20 – 30 truths instead of giving an exact number because it depends on how you group them…but the overall point is that the video is pretty amazing.

A Note for Fellow ADHDers

If you have ADHD, make sure you count yourself as part of the “we” as you watch the video.  The Art of ADD Manifesto puts such a positive spin on the ADD / ADHD mind that you’re gonna find it hard to walk away without feeling at least a little rejuvenated and stoked about being you.  Focus on the good, my friends.  It’s quite empowering, if I do say so myself.

A Note for Non ADHDers

Take to heart everything that the Art of ADD Manifesto says.  Really think about it…and know that, despite the stigma, like I’ve been screaming, those of us with ADHD are pretty awesome…if you’ll just let us be ourselves.

More to Come

This Art of ADD Manifesto video couldn’t be more on target to where I am at the moment.  I could write a post on each of the 20 – 30 truths and my personal reaction to each of them, but I really want you guys to experience it for yourselves first.  That said, if things go as I hope they will, I’ll have a lot more to say about this video and the things going on in my life very soon.

Okay, okay, my top ADHD truths (in this moment):

“We are not broken.  We are whole.”

“We are distracted by all the possibilities and connections we see…the ones others miss.”

“Our thoughts and impulses can lead to wonderful things.”

“We act on impulses most people secretly wish they could.”

“We are the visionaries, dreamers, explorers and creators.”

“We get there eventually.”

But yeah…more on all of that later, guys!  Sit back and enjoy this refreshing and positive spin on the gift you have been given with your ADHD!

Special Thanks

…to Andrea for creating the Art of ADD Manifesto video and her blog The Art of ADD.  I haven’t had the chance to thoroughly peruse the blog itself yet, but I definitely wanted to give props where props is due and I wanted to point you in her direction!

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