She's Fun Times Bobbie but she really just needs to chill out.
"The pixie wants to stuff her face with chocolate while shopping for gardening tools I’ll never use and paperbacks I’ll never read." - loved that line, my beauty. Hope the experiment with meds goes well. Also love this: "Through getting to know the pixie I’m better understanding my mind and body and that always feels like a win." That sounds like self-compassion.
And the smoking and vaping thing? Mind-blowing to me, really. I remember visiting a relative in hospital where every person in the visitors' room including my relatives, nurses and other patients was a smoker except for the kids. Imagine?! Sending big love from my corner of Londontown to yours. Clare x
✨🌾 🧚♀️ thank you for writing and sharing your journey with neurodivergence here. 💜
Those comments under the Red Noise YouTube video though. 🤣. I hit the link to check that out and got distracted reading the comments and remembered to come back here and finish your post about an hour later. I always go down the ADHD rabbit hole following links 😂
There are so many things here I can relate to. In fact, yesterday I was "hyper-focused" on researching ADHD to try to figure out if I "have" it or if there is so other factor contributing to my butterfly brain (which I call squirrel brain). From what I've read, I think mine is more the Inattentive ADD type, because I don't feel the need to get up and move around and yes, getting distracted is HUGE for me. Also, I SOOO get the not feeling motivated or able to do much until late in the day. For me it's roughly 4-6pm which is THE WORST time because that's pick up the kiddo time. Even though I am a stay a home mom, we agreed to let my kiddo go to the afterschool program so that I could pick him up later because there are some things I want to do and I never seem to feel ready to do them until late in the day. It was a huge productivity game changer for me.
We were also using the term "hyper-focus" before we knew it was a thing. (We is my husband and myself) He thinks my forgetfulness is because I just don't care, I think it might be something else.
I also thought of you yesterday because during my research I came upon an article that describes how changes in hormones can effect ADHD and the medication used to treat it. It was quite interesting.
All this to say, thank you for documenting your journey. Oh and I also relate to the productivity videos thing! I just bought a digital planner DESIGNED for the ADHD brain (supposedly). I spent an hour this morning exploring it, 30 minutes looking at the different pages, 30 minutes coloring one of the coloring sheets included (for times when your brain needs a little break). I didn't mean to spend 30 minutes coloring, and I never thought coloring on an iPad would be so satisfying! Thank goodness for the timer I set for myself before I jumped into figuring out the planner.
Love the Pixie. Living with 3 people that are all neurodivergent, I have learned to become more aware of my own idiosyncrasies. I am sure that I am ADHD or ADD, but I honestly don't have the time or money to go down that rabbit hole. I always thought that I was able to shift tasks easily and get things done, but I realize that I flit about procrastinating doing the thing that actually NEEDS to get done. I can clean a room instead of make an important call. I can join a new online community before getting the appointment to fix my car. I seem to find all kinds of ways to derail any real progress. I am now slowly learning how to schedule my time and put tasks on a calendar. I use my phone timer to keep me at a task. It's helping, but irritating at the same time. Oh. Our wonderful brains.
The smoking thing? Hit me as well when I was diagnosed - of course that was why I got through a packet of Marlboro Lights every day in my twenties! Of course that's what helped me sit and write from the minute I got home to about 2am and then lurch, zombified into a job I hated with colleagues I didn't understand unless we were sharing a smoke in the office - of course that's why I follow (Pepe le Peu-stylee) anyone whose just lit a cigarette in the street and inhale the scent as though it's the holy grail - because it WAS my holy grail at one point in my life. And the meds? Huge, HUGE help (to me, at any rate) got me through an MA during lockdown - and no, they don't stifle the creativity process (again, in my case) they shine a light on them if anything - reveal a clarity that usually isn't there because they're all rushing through at once and falling over one another - I've stopped mine for a while as it was discovered I have a heartbeat anomaly and it spooked me, but I'm sure I'll start again once things have settled.
Loving all this discovery! Having struggled with depression that yanks me up and down nearly my entire life, I had the same fear about meds squashing my creativity. I’ve found, in my case, similar to Debs, meds helped and I haven’t felt squashed. Granted, this is a different class of meds, but I so relate to the concern. How frustrating that we need to worry about that tradeoff- what do I give up to be able to function in this world that isn’t well built for people having anything outside the “normal” experience. So many of us don’t have the normal experience- I’m beginning to think they are the minority, just a very powerful one, that built a lot of systems the rest of us chafe against. 🤪
So much of this resonates for me - I have been playing host to the ADHD pixie for my entire life and in fact used to have an alter ego known as The Pixie, who fitted this description eerily accurately... I loved your image here of the babysitting needed, and also the power it takes to keep the pixie going in social situations - just exactly that. Thank you for sharing.
As always you put words to exactly how it feels to live with adhd. I was diagnosed at the beginning of last year. It has been a rollercoaster of realizations, epiphanies, back-pedaling. I’ve had similar realizations on self medicating -- with smoking, food and alcohol among other things. Thank you thank you thank you 🙏🏻
Hi Susannah, Thank you for a very interesting post and a really good newsletter in general! When reading this post I was reminded about the graphic novel Marbles by Ellen Forney, have you read it? In it she documents her struggle with starting medication for her bipolar disorder, because she is afraid medication will affect her creativity. Of course it’s not the same as ADHD, but I thought that maybe her work could still be interesting to read for you! If I remember correctly she does in the end decide to use medication which is how she was able to start publish books. Hope this helps!
I never knew about the smoking thing! OMG it makes so much sense! Thankfully I quit when I found myself accidentally pregnant 27 years ago and then I refused to be a smoking mama so I've been smoke free ever since. Phew!
My partner pointed your newsletter out to me, because... So, so, so much of what you say describes my exact experience, having been diagnosed at a relatively late age.
One thing I want to note that has been revolutionary to me: the research that is being done into the influence of hormones (specifically estrogen) on women with ADHD, because of the links to dopamine. It. Is. Astounding. Edit: oh wait! I see you talk about this in your other post!
Also - there is another person on this planet who has Buffy on in the background. <3
I love your realizable how long it takes to build up enough dopamine. And upon reading about the possibility of you starting ADHD meds, I realized I hadn't taken my Strattera yet today. Lol
You were diagnosed a month before me. I also may not be able to try certain meds. Need to have some heart stuff checked and NHS waiting lists aren't my friend. Thanks for sharing so elequently about this!