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/