Unfogging the Mind

The past couple of months have been busy and a lot of life has happened.  The biggest thing that has happened was that I was diagnosed with ADD (Attention Deficient Disorder) and was placed on medication.  I’ve been doing a lot of processing, and making connections with my past.  I had always suspected that I may be ADD, but actually having an official diagnosis was really freeing.  It’s nice knowing that there can be answers to how and why my brain works the way it does.

I have struggled for years with a mind that would always go 100 miles an hour and bounce from thought to thought.  I love people, but would have a hard time going into large social situations because there would be so much stimulation, I would shut down, or start feeling agitated.  Staying focused, especially on mundane things, was an incredible challenge.  I would zone out in conversations, and not feel fully present or engaged.  My mind would start wandering, or I would be trying to focus on one aspect of the conversation, I would miss the big picture.  Instead of thinking through what I was saying, I would blurt out what was on my mind, and end up doing a lot of damage control.

When I was younger, the school had wanted me to be placed on medication for ADHD because when I would get bored in class, I would get up and wander around the classroom.  I was a socially awkward child (and still am sometimes), but a lot of it was attributed to the fact that I was “gifted” and really smart.  I ended up developing different coping mechanisms to control the symptoms.  For example, I try adhere to a schedule and always have a calendar on me because I would get distracted easily and forget things if I didn’t have reminders.  I write lists so I can keep track of stuff.   My Blackberry is my memory.

And because I was gifted, and a girl, ADD was never really brought up after the first suggestion by the school when I was younger.  I always wondered, but was encouraged by some friends to seek out help because the symptoms were inhibiting my relationships.  To figure out why I did the things I did.

Even though I have been on medication for about a month, it has been life-changing.  I never knew that my mind could stay in one place.  I’m able to stay focused, and I feel more engaged and present when I’m with my friends.  There still are things to work on, but being able to think clearly, I’ve been able to pinpoint things and make connections much easier.  I’m able to see the big picture better and have been enjoying my time with my friends more completely.

There are still things I am working on, but having a big piece of the puzzle figured out helps a lot.  I had been feeling like I had been running on a treadmill and not getting anywhere, and it’s been freeing to move forward.

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Author: graceintherain

I'm follower of Christ learning about life, love, and grace in the rainy Northwest. I love coffee, good conversation, baking, and hanging out with my cat.

2 thoughts on “Unfogging the Mind”

  1. Hi Joanna!

    Wow I didn’t know that about you. Thanks for being open and honest about your experiences. You seemed normal enough to me 🙂 But that just shows how well you’ve learned to cope. You know I work with so many young kids with ADD/ADHD and sometimes I wonder what it’s really like in their heads, why they act the way they do, and wonder the merits of medication. I know a lot of parents say the meds make the kids overly subdued, not themselves. It must be a tough balance between what would help the kid be successful in school and what would inhibit their personalities.

    Has anyone besides yourself noticed a change in you since you began the meds? Do you think that you will stick to a daily schedule of taking the meds or will you give yourself “a break” from the meds, so to speak, like some parents do for their kids over the weekends? Do you notice any side effects from it?

    Welcome back to the blogging world, by the way!

    Linda

    1. Hey Linda!

      It was something that I didn’t really talk about, but sometimes you can only cope so much. The very first day I was on medication, I was so incredibly focused and it felt like my brain was unfogged. You know how when you look through a very dirty window, and then slowly adjust to it? Then, when you finally clean it, you are amazed at what you can actually see. My mind wasn’t running a hundred miles an hour, which was so nice. One of the symptoms is also being tired. When you have to try to focus, you expend so much energy, that you end up overtired. And being overtired makes the ADD worse. I have noticed an incredible increase in energy because I’m not as overtired and my energy is being focused elsewhere.

      Others have noticed my increase in energy and ability to stay focused and track conversations better. One friend noticed, after we spent a Saturday hanging out at Pike Place Market (with all the crowds), that I was a lot calmer and less agitated than I normally am. I don’t feel as over stimulated, and I do plan on sticking to a daily schedule of taking meds because I can feel a major difference. I fortunately haven’t had any side effects, but it always takes a little bit of time getting used to the medication.

      Thanks for the welcome!

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