About

I’m a thirty-something human with ADHD. I wasn’t diagnosed until I was already a thirty-something human with ADHD. And it wasn’t some big revelation when I was diagnosed, it made all the sense in the world, it just hadn’t become a big enough problem for me until then (though that doesn’t mean it wasn’t causing problems). Trying to function in life and grad school simultaneously pushed me past all of my abilities to cope. My anxieties were at an all-time high. The old tricks didn’t work anymore.  I needed to diversify. And I needed, once and for all, to know that there was some kind of explanation for my eccentricity. There’s nothing wrong with eccentricity of course, but living with an ADHD brain is a little intense – it’s easy to think there’s something “wrong” with you, when really, you just need to learn better manual steering (and maybe some chemical steering).

One person’s ADHD is not everyone else’s, but I know that when I was first diagnosed I craved first person accounts from others with ADHD. I was in grad school so I could look up all the research and facts I wanted – and I did. But I really needed to know that I was not alone, and I really wanted a glimpse of adult life with ADHD. I started the blog for myself as a journal, but realized eventually that it might also be useful or helpful to others, who may be seeking just the kind of information that I was.

And so…this blog is an unvarnished description of my ADHD life. There is no pride or glamour in this…but I hope that it might help someone else in one of those dark and confusing moments when they feel alone. In those moments when they need a reminder to laugh kindly at themselves. When they need a reminder to lighten up, because it’s just ADHD. Or when they just need to laugh at me, because I’m occasionally ridiculous.

And you can call me Mrs. Rollins.

When I’m not embarrassing myself by blogging, I’m a wife, stepmother of three, collector of animals (I AM NOT A HOARDER, we are at capacity at five!), an artstrepreneur, event planner, social media/marketing consultant and compulsive civic project instigator. I can often be seen around town with my ADHDog in tow.

Perhaps you’ve read me in Additude Magazine:

My Brilliant Buds, Summer 2012

Have You Considered Every Option?

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31 thoughts on “About

  1. Great blog. I am a veteran with ADD which prior to Iraq I did not have. I am, thinking of setting up a blog for veterans. I have failed at things as a result of the ADD that before I managed easily. Concentration and focus are shot. I would like your thoughts on doing this. Thanks

    • Thanks for writing, Greg, sorry it took me a while to respond. I’m a little busier than usual these past few months. I think blogging is a great way to share a personal story and I think the best blogs do. I know that many veterans struggle with various mental health issues, so I think that focusing on that topic could be very beneficial to a lot of people. Make sure to set a reasonable goal for yourself. Think about how quickly you write and how often you think you can realistically post. I think the biggest challenge most people have with blogging, is finding a way to maintain a schedule, but your readers will appreciate it. WordPress is a great, free way to get started and I find it easy to use.

  2. Super Job Katy. For so long I was ashamed of having ADHD and being on Ritalin as a child. I was a high school drop out and an at risk youth. Today I own a marketing firm and I am Forbes endorsed as an emerging Billionaire. Keep up the good work. If there is anything I can do to help you, feel free to contact me. God Bless!

    • Thank you!

      And good for you, keep kicking butt! You are proof that we of the ADHD can learn to make different kinds of decisions…such an important skill to have at your disposal… I’m not sure which is a stranger experience, going through school with a diagnosis, or going through it without one like I did. I think each type of experience brings its own challenges.

      Viva la Ritalin, lol…

  3. Dear Mrs. Rollins,

    I love your blog. I am an adult with ADHD, wife and mother of 5. I am always interested in finding out more about ADHD and different ways to tackle my days. I read in your “Have you considered every option?” article that you have found help in a good therapist.

    I have tried many that claim to specialize bin ADHD and after weeks or months realized that this is just one of 20 other specialties they claim to have and that most did not really understand ADHD. I am hoping you will be willing to share contact information via this blog or privately to my email address for this therapist that you have found to be helpful as I have not been able to find a good ADHD therapist yet.

    I look forward to hearing back from you and thank you in advance,.

    • Even better than a recommendation from me, I wonder if a good approach might be to contact the nearest CHAAD office? I bet they could get you connected with someone that knows their stuff. My own person also has a variety of specialties…and the likelihood of you living anywhere near me is probably fairly low!

  4. Hello Mrs. Rollins, I some how stumbled across your blog, I was just doing a little digging about ADHD. A friend was discussing the subject with me and it caused me to search some info. Your blog is very insightful. Please tell me, how does a person know they have this??? I have always suspected myself. But have never been tested properly I guess. Do you believe Good brain Nutrition helps?

    • Well, it’s typically categorized as a neurobiological brain condition that is lifelong. It should be diagnosed after a thorough assessment that involves a thorough medical and behavioral history inventory. There are physical ailments that can cause symptoms that resemble ADHD – for example, some nutritional deficiencies, could cause symptoms that look like ADHD. Other causes should be ruled out. In my own case, I had report cards dating from age 6 that commented on my inability to complete schoolwork. I went through a handful of appointments over a series of weeks, with a variety of mental health professionals – a social worker, a psychologist, and an ARNP – who all concurred that I seemed to fit the diagnostic criteria and that I seemed to be experiencing a level of impairment that was worth diagnosing.

      How does a person “know” that they have it? There are a lot of pieces to that puzzle. Again, I can only really refer to my personal story with specifics. From childhood, I have struggled with certain types of focus – and yet hyperfocused in other ways (this is also a symptom). School was rockier than it should have been for a child as bright as I was. Did I cause disruption? No. But I chronically underachieved and never quite found my groove. At one point I was kicked out of a program for “gifted” students because I was too disorganized and disengaged to keep up. Sitting in class often gave me a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach and a sense of dread. Listening in conversations is challenging for me and I talk way, way too much. I was lectured by one teacher in high school who pulled me aside to inform me that I would basically never amount to anything because of my inability to “focus”. I spent weeks and weeks of my high school life in detention for tardiness. Jobs that require timeliness are generally not a good fit for me – or a struggle unbelievably to make it there and I’m miserable. A coworker handed me a copy of “Driven To Distraction” and told me to read it, in my 20s because her son had ADHD and she was pretty sure that I did too. I have a million other examples, but would sum it up by saying that if you think that you experience impairment in work, relationships, or other areas of life, relating to issues of focus, distractibility, hyperactivity (or hypoactivity), mood swings…go talk to a mental health professional who specializes in ADHD. Good brain nutrition isn’t going to cure ADHD, if that’s what you have, though it doesn’t hurt to make sure you are generally healthy, and hey, if you have a nutritional deficiency, you should figure that out too. Good luck to you.

  5. Wow. I am a woman who has been finally diagnosed with ADHD at 32 pretty much in the midst of a career… well, let’s just say my career is in a serious state of transition right now. It seems a blog like yours might be very helpful for me. Thanks for putting this out there.

  6. ever consider a meltdown when WordPress decides not to post your comment and you quite literally decided the second before that you would not do a quick “Ctrl + C”, just in case, because even though it’s happened so many times (lost writings) you were just to impatient to press “send.” le sigh. which then leads to the thought “how is this my life”.

    But, yes. I just wanted to say yes. Affirmation. Confirmation. Recognition. Trials and Tribulations. Joy and desperation. I read and felt.

    I jumped on the 30s diagnosis of ADHD, as well. It’s quite en vogue. At least that’s what I tell myself during the grief, glee, discovery, medication, and therapization process. I’m a problem-solving, implementation, facilitation, jack-of-all, constantly unemployed and too smart for my own good ADDer.

    Hive mind: I’m with you on libraries, planning aisles, waking up, staying up late, PMS/ADHD satanic combo, really… just all of it.

    and now I need to stop sitting on my couch in my underwear, throw in a laundry load, get dressed, finish resume, apply for jobs, write a post for a as of yet uncreated but newly inspired blog, go to yoga, make some food… I believe we should get awards for being quite possibly the most optimistic yet unrealistic people in the world. Truly, we know we can never get the things down that are on our list (if that is, we’ve started a list, found any of the preexisting lists… but we still like the idea of lists) and yet we pursue the idea with a relentless determination.

    ….

    I just clicked “Ctrl + C”

  7. Hi! Author Dana Ellington Myles here to let you know that I’ve nominated you for the Very Lovely Blog Award! To accept your award, just nominate five other bloggers, and post seven things about yourself you’d like to share here with your readers. :-).

  8. Hey Mrs. Rollins. I took a self-test online several years ago and determined I had ADHD. Not that I didn’t think I was new to the diagnosis (as I often felt I had something wrong with me that my parents, teachers and even relatives deemed as a complete lack of attention and utter laziness). I’m married, father of 2 girls and a 70-pound english king boxer named Honey.

    I started really looking at a diagnosis a little over 7 years ago, but my family doctor said it sounded like I did my homework and blindly prescribed Adderall. 3 years later and an additional diagnosis of hypertension (from the Adderall), I switched doctors and because these meds are controlled, my new doctor would not prescribe and sent me to a psychiatrist. I still see him and am now on Vyvanse, but am now threatening to lose my marriage and family because I’ve learned meds alone don’t work.

    I find myself being too ashamed to even talk about my ADHD anymore and my wife (after dealing with all my symptoms for 14+ years) is convinced that whether its ADHD or just a complete lack of interest in her and my girls…I am the one who has to fix it. Yet I’ve read enough in books lately and online that it has to be a willingness by both partners to make the change successful.

    Do you have any self-help suggestions on how treatment outside of meds? I have the meds and they work…at work…but at home, where I have 10x the responsibilities i have at work, I am lost and struggling. I need to talk to my psychiatrist, but the costs involved on top of meds scares me to the point of not wanting to go down that road.

    I will continue to read your blog and seek help in your posts. Great work…I have a site myself that seem to help me manage, but its less ADHD and more tech-based. Good reads and any suggestions are appreciated.

    • Many folks SWEAR by exercise, so I’d say that’s a good place to start, because it’s a good thing to do for your health anyway. Sounds like you could really benefit though from reading “Is It You, Me, or Adult ADD” by Gina Pera. It’s a classic, and it’s all about how ADHD impacts relationships. Sounds like your relationship can use a little TLC right now so I’d start there if I were you. It also has lots of good information about meds and other strategies that you might find helpful. It can be tricky to find a therapist who works with people with ADHD, but it’s worth calling around to either mental health centers in your insurance plan’s network, or community mental health centers in your area, to see if they have some. Therapists who aren’t familiar with ADHD might not be as helpful to you because they won’t understand all the ways it can impact functioning and impact your life. Those are my best suggestions for where to start – good luck!

    • binary – what books have you read? If it weren’t inappropriate, I might humbly suggest my own, about using strategies.
      My next question then would be what specifically is causing you the most problem at work -very specifically?
      Next – have you tried an ADD ADHD coach, which might be less expensive than a psychiatrist?
      Finally – echoing Katy Rollins-exercise, and also omega-3 fatty acid (fish oil), sleep, structure, outdoors,and some from this list: prayer, meditation,yoga, acupuncture, massage.
      good luck.
      Doug

  9. Katy,
    I just discovered your blog and I really like it. I am a creative person and an artistic one but not in the crafty, DIY way. I am trying to figure out how I am creative but cannot put it into words. In one of your blogs, you mentioned that you are not creative in that sense either but in other ways. he helping businesses or coming up with ideas, etc. (sorry but I am trying to paraphrase here). Could you please point me to the correct blog post? Oh, I just had a thought. The blog may have been where you shared about finally leaving your day job.
    Cheers,
    Maggie

  10. Hi Katy! Really like your blog. It is such a beautifully and brutally honest, entertaining collection of daily life struggles… 🙂 Can I get in touch with you through email to ask your opinion about a smart accessory that we have been developing? Would highly appreciate your thoughts.Thank you!

  11. Katy – Love your blog..Love your honesty and I feel you are “in my mind” ESPECIALLY with the bag stories!! LOL..I am 51 and formally diagnosed last year when life was becoming extremely difficult to manage and cope. However, I made the HUGE mistake of telling my employer, and now they are trying to fire me. So, going through a long battle with that right now. As you can imagine, my brain is exhausted when I get home. Boyfriend gets soooo frustrated with me at my lack of organizational skills like his when comes to paperwork, so he is going to help me with documentation this weekend. But to anyone else who reads this: NEVER tell your employer, as it will be used against you later when they want to use you as a scapegoat.

    I am in the process of starting my own blog for parents ODD/ADHD kids. I know it will take a while, but my hope is over time, I can earn enough income to work from home and not be around people. We moved to an open environment at work, and i HATE it!!

    Love the blog!!!

    • Thanks for reading 🙂 I disagree somewhat on the employer issue. I think in many workplaces, you are probably right, it might be best not to mention it…but I’m generally very open about it myself, and haven’t had any issues as a result.

      kr

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