I’m ADD. I was diagnosed at the tail end of my junior year in high school. This is one of those subjects that tends to spark debate. I don’t debate the issue. I know I have it. There is no debate. I have had numerous people tell me that it was made up, that I was looking for an excuse or that I shouldn’t take medications and procede to give me a layout of a diet I should follow. I find this offensive, vulgar, and completely uncalled for. These people don’t have medical degrees. They don’t know my life. The only person(s) that knew me enough to see my disorder was my family.

I’m going to state right now, that I have a mild case, not hyperactive, simply inattentive. In fact, you may be telling me this great story, and it looks like I’m paying attention, but in reality, I’m thinking about that really cute dress that I saw, or I’m distracted by a movement behind you, or I’ll say something completely random that makes no sense.

My mom saw something when I was a kid. I didn’t have friends. I didn’t go to many slumber parties. I was kind of a loner. Mom said that she didn’t think too much of it because I seemed happy, but she said she worried about me. I suppose I always knew that there was something different about me. I didn’t know why the kids made fun of me. I was pretty normal… I didn’t have any thing that was that obvious to make fun of. It confused me.

My freshman year in high school, mom mentioned something to me about getting tested. I was dead set against it. I didn’t want to be different from everybody else. Why give them ONE more reason to tease me? I went the next few years struggling in my studies. No matter how hard I studied, how many tutors I had, or study guides I had, I just couldn’t get the grades that my parents and some of my teachers said I should be getting.

By the end of my junior year, I started to panic. I was applying to colleges and not hearing anything. My GPA was awful.  I started to get scared that I wouldn’t get into college. I went to my mom and told her that I wanted to get tested.

A few weeks later, I was in a doctors office, two hours from my house and going through a set of tests. I was nervous. At the end of the day, about 5 different tests and three doctors later, I was being told that I was ADD Inattentive. The doctor explained to me what it meant, told me some things to look out for and some warnings. He told me that I shouldn’t use it as an excuse for anything. It wasn’t a crutch. He told me that I wouldn’t grow out of it. He explained to me that my synapses in my brain weren’t firing correctly which caused me to daze off and become distracted. He said that I had choices when it came to treatment. My mother, who is an elementary teacher and specializes in Learning Disabilities, said that I was not to take Ritalin. She saw what it did to kids and didn’t want me to feel like that. I was put on a low dose of Adderall.

The first day I took that little blue pill I could tell a difference. In the following months, I wrote a killer cover letter for my college applications. I was rejected from almost every one I applied to. I was beginning to fear that my dream of college was going down the drain. I was lucky to have a loving family and a super awesome boyfriend at the time. I noticed that my notes from class got better, less doodles in the margins, more detailed notes. My grades had improved and I was on top of everything.

I finally heard from a college. I was accepted on probation because my grades were so bad. I didn’t care! I was so excited. Those 5 years I spent in college were the best. I wish I could go back.

Now, I’m pretty open about my disorder. I don’t openly admit it to employers or friends but if it’s brought up I will make it known that I am. I am more than happy to talk to people about it. I have been approached by parents asking advice. I’ve been condemned for taking drugs. Which makes me laugh and pisses me off at the same time. Who are you to tell me what is good for me? Hey… I think casts are for whimps! You break your leg…fucking deal with it! PUSSY!

I haven’t been on medication for a year now. I make adjustments. Sometimes I see myself in a rut and have to consciously pull myself out. I would like to go back on medication, but its so expensive and sometimes insurance companies don’t cover it. (Here’s a big FUCK YOU to insurance companies.. almost as bad as oil companies). I do think that this disorder is overly diagnosed due to parents who don’t want to discipline their children or can’t handle kids who are rambunctious. I believe that there maybe some instances where maybe medication isn’t the best idea. Having a schedule is my saving grace. If I don’t follow my schedule, I’m no good. Sometime I get overwhelmed and have to step back but as I grow older, I can see my weaknesses and my strengths better and understand how to use them to the best of my ability. When I was younger, I wouldn’t have known how to do this. I believe that children need help, you can’ t just medicate them and expect them to be okay.

*disclaimer* I support an open conversation on this subject. Anyone who is negative on this subject or acts like they are fucking God, can shove it!

Live Long and Prosper.

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