A day in the life of an adult living with ADHD – forever NIJ
Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder or ADHD is a Mental Health disorder affecting 6% of adults in the United States. Though it’s mostly common among children, adults too are affected by the disorder. I am one of those adults living with ADHD. I have been living with the disease all my life but as an adult, it can be quite difficult since more responsibilities are part of adult life. Additionally, I have insomnia and generalized anxiety disorder. I for one, have to live every day making sure that I am on track and don’t become sidetracked.
A typical day in my life begins around the same time 3:30 a.m. I wake up even earlier sometimes. Being an insomniac can do that sometimes. If I get 4-5 hours of sleep, then that is a very good day. I get ready and check my google calendar to check if I need to take care of something before leaving for work. Google calendar is my best friend. It keeps me on track. If I need to take something to work, it’s in the google calendar. I leave for work before 4:30 am because the roads are more empty during that time. Driving can be very difficult with ADHD. My mind cannot go to la-la land while driving. I make sure to keep my sit upright so that I don’t take too comfortable. I don’t turn on the radio and my both hands are on the wheel. Most of all, my eyes are on the road all the time at all times. I keep talking to myself to keep me alert. I make sure I don’t go over the speed limit. It was hard in the beginning but I know it has become a part of my life. If I have a passenger with me, that person’s job would be to help me stay alert and not get distracted.
When I am at work I have a list with priorities for that day, things to be done, and deadlines for projects. Additionally, I don’t have any other unnecessary browsers open, because before I know it one extra browser becomes 10 extra browsers. Hence, I don’t open any extra browser. My list keeps organized and on track which does not easy for me. My work is important to me and making careless mistakes is not acceptable. Looking through the list and double and triple-checking my works helps. I also take 5 minutes at work to do a guided meditation. Meditation not only helps me to be mindful but also keeps me grounded and be in the present, an important skill to have for someone whose mind often drifts into la-la land. I don’t need to have too much interaction, especially now, which is a blessing in disguise because it can be so exhausting to interact with others and try my best every moment to make sure I don’t speak out of turn or interrupt a conversation. My current communications are mostly in writing, which helps me take a deep breath and keep my thoughts focused and organized.
When I go home, the first thing I do includes at least another 5 minutes of guided meditation. That helps me unwind and relax after stressful days. Face it, trying to keep my interaction professional and working constantly to make sure that my life does not get out of control, is so stressful and exhausting. Guided meditation after work helps me unwind. Moreover, it allows me to have compassion and love for myself. It helps me to recognize my extreme emotions without any judgment and move on. Thanks to guided meditation, now I am more compassionate towards myself than ever before. I only watch the weather in the news because, in the current state of affairs, all other stories are very distracting and exhausting. I have Alexa give me the most important headlines of the day. This is I can be informed about the important news of the day, and fill any gap if needed. I even have a calendar reminder to set aside some times every day for my blog and other social media sites.
Nevertheless, after an exhausting weekend, I leave the weekend to my ADHD run free. This is the time when drifting to la-la land is encouraged not condoned. I called that side my creative side that does not abide by any rules or routine. This can a great tool for painting, and that is how I outlet my free spirit. Without that, I would suffocate and break down. The phrase, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” is true in my life. Thanks to the weekend, I have dedicated times when I am free and can be just me. I roam free full, and not care about any disorganization, and clutter. Everything I do during the two days at the end of the week is to keep my free spirit be free and full of creativity. I may not complete every project I take on, but I know that if nothing, my freedom-loving self is satisfied and will keep me moving. As my favorite poet, Robert Frost said, “And miles to go before I sleep. And miles to go before I sleep.”
In conclusion, ADHD may be a hard mental health diagnosis to live with as an adult, but having that diagnosis has helped me to have more compassion and forgiveness towards me in my life. Additionally, letting my free spirit to roam free, allows me to be more productive at work and be the true and strong version. ADHD is part of me and it helped me to be aware of myself more. It has opened up my creative side and let it roam free, full of compassion and mindful awareness. I may fail at being society’s definition of being normal, but who I am is more open to keeping my creative side free and being able to live life with mindful awareness.