Cathartic Confessions: Part One

For months I have been writing this blog.  I start and then stop, I delete and then write; I have blog in my mind that I can’t get on paper.

For months I have been writing this blog.  For months, perhaps longer, I have been hiding.

Last year a good friend suggested to me that I write for Disability.gov.  I should tell my story about being a learning disabled/ADHD adult.  I cried off and on as I wrote that blog.  It was my announcement that I am not ashamed of who I am and what disability I have.

For the next few months, I felt pretty darn great about myself.  I made a confession, and didn’t hide from it.  I would openly talk to people about my disabilities and when they would ask what I was doing to help myself; I would just give a quizzical look.  I was doing nothing.

The Realization of Loss

As I am sitting on my sofa drinking hot tea on a dreary day, I am reflective at this moment.  I am starting to look back on the last few years and wondering when was the moment I lost my fight with my ADHD.  There has to be a moment, right?  That one single moment in my life where all hell broke loose and I couldn’t possibly recover, right?

No, there isn’t a moment.  It’s been a series of moments; a series of events that have derailed me slowly and I allowed the ADHD to take over.

I’ve been back to school, I’ve survived deployments, a child was born into our home that made it a better, happier home, and the list of moments goes on and on.  With each deployment, each TDY, and all the new projects and tasks I take on, my tether of control to my ADHD becomes weaker and weaker.

The Light Came On

Something happened a few months ago that got me thinking.  A question was posed to me asking me about my son’s disability.  Weird, my son doesn’t have a disability, I do.  In fact the only person in my house with a disability is me.  ME!!!  I’m the one with the disability.  That’s when I figured it out; people assume Ian has the disability and not me.

And let me write this out before people get upset.  I’m not saying there is anything wrong with raising a special needs child.  Nope, what I’m saying is I don’t like the assumption being made.  I fight for pediatric healthcare because of unique healthcare needs my son faced.  I fight for special needs children because I was one.

Yes, I was one.  I was a special needs child that couldn’t get an IEP because I was in gifted/AP classes so that meant, I couldn’t have a learning disability.  I didn’t realize that I couldn’t be smart and have LD/ADHD.  Was that discrimination or what?

My disability isn’t visible and since it isn’t; an assumption is made.  From that assumption I am transported back to a time in my life where I had to prove how “disabled” I actually am.  Do you know how frustrating that is?  If I say I have a learning disability and I’m ADHD, then I should be believed.

Life is hard enough, and raising children is tough work.  We should be building each other up; not tearing each other down.  We should accept each other for our abilities and disabilities.

Being disabled isn’t a competition.  Being disabled doesn’t mean that you or your child is the label.  Being disabled is just part of who I am and I like me.   I really do like me, but I don’t like my ADHD being in control of me.  I think it’s time I get some help, and I am.

This week, I started the process to get back on medication.  I was so nervous in the appointment; I couldn’t stop talking about the most ridiculous stuff.  I know that my son loves Thomas the Train, but I went on for ten minutes about the different trains.  Ugh…that was ridiculous.

Now I’m starting this process over again and while some of it’s frustrating, I know it’s worth it.  I think one of the best ways I can help myself is by sharing with others.  I will continue to write about this topic in a blog series titled “Cathartic Confessions”.  Please check back.

For more information about adult ADHD please check out: http://www.danarayburn.com/

4 thoughts on “Cathartic Confessions: Part One

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