But YOU definitely want to hear this story. I went out with a fellow ADHDer actually. And had a GREAT time.
I’m not going to bore you with the great stuff though, I’m going to fast forward to the REALLY great stuff: The feeling of absolute panic when I realized suddenly that my medication had worn off and I had gradually transformed, in the later evening, into a raving, proclaiming, ADHD space case, wandering around trying to remember what I was going to do with that glass in my hand and walking away while he was trying to talk to me, and interrupting like machine-gun fire because my brain was suddenly moving at full speed again and I couldn’t stop myself.
And the “logic” part of my brain was popping in from time to time with “it’s okay, don’t panic, he totally knows what this is like, look, you’re even interrupting him and he’s SMILING about it”…but I started to panic.
I started apologizing repeatedly in between bursts that sent me to and fro around the room. In my core I suddenly felt like I was about 5 years old. Like I was trying so hard to be a big kid but suddenly it was apparent that I was just a stupid little kid who just wanted really badly to be a big kid. We had had this really great time and I’d done such a good job of pretending and here I was blowing it…by being “the real me”.
I felt tears behind my eyes but I couldn’t let them out. I just kept stopping and trying to reset myself and I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t do it.
He said “it’s okay. I get it.”
This is when it really hit me that he had actually been smiling the whole time. Smiling like I was a giant ice-cream cone in the best flavor in the whole world.
As panicked as I was for several minutes, I learned something important. Well, a few things important. But a big one was “wow…this feeling of being an imposter has followed me for my entire adult life”. I always feel like I’m faking it, like I’m putting on a costume, like I’m putting on a mask in so many situations in life to make sure I’m the right fit, or doing the right thing. Or…I DID. In my more recent life I have been making more and more choices in which I place myself at the center, as the standard, sometimes consciously, but more importantly, sometimes unconsciously. I am learning to live at the center of my own life. But even on a date with another ADHDer, of all people, that old impulse that I wasn’t “fitting” was tugging at me still.
Also: this is the first person I have “dated” since my diagnosis. Of COURSE I totally panicked, even though we have absolutely discussed the fact that we both take medication for anxiety and ADHD. First of all, I had become accustomed to being in a relationship with someone who despite what was coming out of their mouth, could not support me through action. Someone who when I said “I need you to go talk to a therapist, for US” said “why, do you think I’m crazy?”. This here is a different ballgame. This is someone that actually DOES get it from the inside, and is in treatment, already has a therapist (her name is Lois) and a treatment plan, and really and truly doesn’t seem to care that I’m, well…ME. Doesn’t hurt that he’s smokin’ hot either. Just sayin’…maybe Bryan is onto something with that Adult ADHD Can Be Sexy thing 😉
It’s also worth noting that…dammit, I abuse ellipses all the time, but I have to point out that I had to insert them right there because I could not remember the name of my ADHD MEDICATION, lol. CONCERTA. Got it. Okay, so it’s worth noting that I am the parameters of the Concerta. And now that I see them, I see even more clearly that the Vyvanse, while it’s an awesome drug, was probably not the right fit for me…because of the “off” fit I think my dose ended up being too high because we were trying to figure out if it was the drug or the dosage. In any case…I’m digging the Concerta. I have written that the Vyvanse would kick in and make a certain calm wash over my brain, and I did like that. But it didn’t feel like it was doing as much as it should be doing. And when the dosage increased it just made me feel driven, but in a totally different way than my usual, HAHA, which is damned funny. It also made me feel a tiny bit loopy. And again, not in the usual ways, OOPS.
Concerta – I don’t actually feel it kick in AT ALL, I just gradually notice that I feel good and I feel settled. And it actually helps me feel kinda sharp, NOT 1,000 widget focus, just a useful, satisfied clarity. Makes me feel like I just had a really good snack and I’m ready to get some work done. Yes that’s it, Concerta acts on my brain like a tasty ham and cheese sandwich. And it lasts for quite a while, but damn, it sure ebbs away gradually because now that I think about it, in the car ride last night I started getting REAL chatty, REAL emphatic and by the time I got home there I was wandering, fidgeting, forgetting, you know, the usual, lol. Took probably an hour for my ADHD to go from noticeable to OH YEAH THERE IT IS. Now I know.
So back to the date at hand, once he said “it’s okay. I get it.” I was snapped back to reality, where I was having a great time, and realized that indeed…I didn’t need to worry, or be anything other than myself.
Wicked. Totally wicked. For my non-New England readers, wicked’s about as good as it gets.