Who and What

My name is Hailey and my grandfather is a farmer. I'm the 7th generation to live on the family farm, and my babies (when the time comes) are going to be the 8th. My husband and I are even renovating a trailer on my grandparent's farm so we can move back to the family farm sooner. This blog encompasses the things that are important to me. These things are:

~Special Education
~ADHD, including my own battle with it over the years. It's now my superpower.
~Farm Life
~Equal rights for women.
~Goal setting
~Fitness and health
~Financial Stability
~Personal Happiness

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

5 Truths About Being an Adult With ADHD

I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was seven years old. I was technically considered gifted, but some things, like keeping my desk organized and remembering homework were completely lost on me. Over the years, I have learned how to make ADHD work for me, but there are still daily struggles. Sometimes it's funny and sometimes it's frustrating, but it's a piece of me. Here are 5 truths about being an adult with ADHD.

  1. You WILL get treated like a criminal every time you go to get your meds. This is what getting my meds looks like:
    1. Step 1: Ring, Ring!  Receptionist: "Dr. Robert's office, may I help you." Me: "I need to have my script rewritten." Here is the part where I can tell if the receptionist is new or not, because if they are, they tell me that they don't do that. Me: "Yes you do, if its a controlled substance such as ADHD medication." I then get handed off to someone else. They ask for my date of birth, name, etc. They tell me they will call when it is ready. They NEVER call, so I call them back a few hours later. On a good day, its been written. On a bad day, my doctor is out of the office and I have to wait. 
    2. Step 2: Once it is written, I go pick it up from the office. I then drive it to CVS. I give them my name, the script and a pickup time. If everything goes well, I pick it up in a few hours. However this is not always the case. 
    3. Step 3: Option 1, I go pick it up, show my ID, sign a piece of paper and get my meds. Option 2, I get a call a few hours later saying they didn't realize but they were out. The inexperienced pharmacy tech tries to fax it to another pharmacy, but doesn't call me back when it doesn't work to tell me to come get my script to take somewhere else. (I should have known better, since you can't fax scripts for controlled substances.)
    4. Step 4: I show up at the other pharmacy, they look at me like I'm crazy and I call the other pharmacy, only to be told of their error, which I then kick myself for not catching. By this point it is 9pm at night and I can't get it until after work tomorrow. I complain to both managers, but to no avail. 
    5. Step 5: Go a day without meds, park in a handicapped parking spot by mistake, forget my lunch on the kitchen counter, miss important details at a staff meeting and become generally frustrated. 
    6. Step 6: Finally pick up meds and promise myself I will never allow this to happen again. 
  2. You find yourself having to defend your decision to take meds. There are two sides to this fence. Some people feel meds are chemicals, that they turn people with ADHD into zombies, and that you can manage without them by training yourself. While this is true, my life on medication is much easier. To each their own, but please don't judge me for doing what is best for myself. Here are some tips for coping with people who question your decision. 
    1. Remind them that you are an adult and have made the decisions you feel are best for you, regardless of what side of the fence you fall on. 
    2. If you're against meds but struggling, B6, B12 and Niacin can be used as alternative therapies. 
    3. Stimulants, such as caffeine don't work the same way on our brains, and result in a semi calming effect. Be mindful of this when consuming these things. 
    4. Consider counseling, even if its only a few times. It can help you to process things and learn alternative tools for managing your ADHD. 
  3. Timers, day planners, checklists and organization tools are my best friends. However, I have to be careful not to rely on too many things at once. One to do list in one place is best. Here are tips for using these tools. 
    1. Make only one to do list. 
    2. Decide on 3 things that MUST be done for the day to be a success. 
    3. Identify your maximum amount of time you can spend on a task and still maintain productivity. 
  4. It's a little bit of a super power. I'm a SPED teacher, so my ADHD allows me to identify my students needs more readily. I have really good organizational skills that I have forced myself to learn and those come in handy. Plus I have wickedly good multitasking skills and can focus on something that interests me for a long period of time. Some ways to use ADHD to your advantage.
    1. Don't hide it, but be mindful as to how you present it to people. 
    2. Don't get over focused on a task to the point you let other things fall by the wayside. 
    3. Know your strengths and weaknesses and take advantage of them as much as possible. 
  5. Creativity abounds in your mind. However, you have to remind yourself to finish tasks that you start. Here's how you can use your artistic spirit effectively.
    1. Write down your ideas and remember none of them have an expiration date. 
    2. Keep your creative space organized. 
    3. Break down tasks into smaller steps. 
I'm not saying every day of my life has been easy. There have been days where I was so distracted I wanted to scream. I had some teachers who thought I'd never finish high school. However, I fought the downsides, embraced the upsides and turned it into my super power. Getting my Master's in Special Education was one of my proudest moments, and I hope many more kids will learn to be ADHD super heros. 

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