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Tex Commando

I'm not angry, just outspoken

There’s nothing to be ashamed of.

It’s perfectly fine if you have to take medicine to be able to function the way everybody else does.

You haven’t done anything wrong.

It’s something that has contributed to what makes you the wonderful person you are.

I love you no matter what.

Those are all things I told my soon-to-be 16 year old daughter two years ago when I was trying to get her to see a doctor because I was pretty positive she had ADHD. I meant every single one of those words I told her. I still mean them. For her.

I’m a different story. Let me back up to the day I went to the bookstore with Mr. T to get a book about ADHD. He asked me if I was getting the book for myself. No. I’m getting it for our daughter. Why? Do you think I need it? Sometimes.

I tucked that conversation away to a part of my brain I don’t use very much (the part that is organized), and decided to focus on getting my daughter the help she needed.

Not too long ago, she started taking medication for ADHD. It has come with its fair share of complications, but for the first time EVER she was able to focus in school, complete tasks, and feel smart and successful. She even ended the year on the honor roll. I felt so happy for her. And jealous.

I’m ashamed to admit that I was jealous of my 16 year old daughter. I was jealous because she was succeeding in school, something I very much didn’t do. I was the kid who frustrated every teacher because I didn’t apply myself. If I would only do my homework, I’d get an A in the class. “Yes, Mr. English Teacher, I understand that if I don’t complete that research paper, I’ll fail English and have to take it in summer school.” I did summer school two summers in a row. I was the smartest kid in summer school. I knew I was smart. My friends in chemistry class would laugh at me because I unintentionally MEMORIZED the periodic table. I could pass notes all during math class, and even sometimes snooze in class, then raise my hand and solve the equation that the ‘smart’ kids didn’t know. My only A’s were in JROTC and Spanish. I barely graduated.  No wonder I joined the Army and was a Spanish linguist.

I’m also jealous of my dear husband. Did you know that in less than three months, he will be retired from the Army? Did you know that he has had no less than 6 (probably more) firm job offers? Did you know that he’s known as the guy who gets shit done? He’s the kind of person who makes a list and keeps it and refers to it and keeps referring to it until he has crossed everything off of the list no matter how long it takes. He is a do-er. I love him. I love that about him. I hate that about myself because I’m exactly the opposite.

I get a brilliant idea. I am enthusiastic about it. I share that idea with people. They, too agree that it’s a fantastic idea. I make a plan to accomplish the brilliant idea. I start moving on the idea. I talk about it. I do it. I love doing the idea. Until I don’t. I don’t do the idea anymore. Or I forget about it. Or I realize it was a hard idea that will make me work harder than I had anticipated and I get overwhelmed and don’t know how to continue. This happens all the time. I always get in the way of my brilliant ideas. The jealous of my husband part? I could be successful too. I’m smart enough. It’s not fair that I’m not and he is.

I usually have  no less than 10 things in my head that I need to do. Call this person to set up an appointment for that thing. Fix that broken thing.Eat lunch. Wash the clothes. Cancel that. Start this. And in the middle of all that, there’s my iPhone, laptop, facebook, blogs, books, knitting, kids, husband, pets, TV shows- all requesting my attention.

For the past 13 years, I have been able to use kids as my excuse for not getting much done. You people all have kids. You know how they are. As soon as you sit down to take a shit, someone needs something. The difference is that you still remember to shit after you’ve finished taking care of whatever the kid needed. With all my kids in school I have no more excuses. Time to face the facts.

I secretly went to a psychologist that specializes in adult ADD. It was one of the hardest things ever to make that phone call. When I talked to the doctor, it was the first time I had ever spoken those words out loud. I’m crying right now as I write them. It’s sad and frustrating to think about how different my life could have been if I had been diagnosed and treated when I was a child/teenager/young adult. It’s comforting to know that I have gotten my daughter the help she needs.

Mr. T knows. He reacted the exact way I knew he would. He hugged me, told me he was proud of me for seeking help. I’m not sure how I will deal with this yet. I guess I’ll keep you posted.


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