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An absentminded professor who can find a cure for cancer but not his glasses in the mess on his desk 
20th-Feb-2008 02:29 pm
"Why does it feel as though I've wasted the last few years?"

"Oh. That's a separate issue, Honey. It's serious, life-changing and inevitably fatal."

"Oh God! Tumour time! What is it?"

"It's called 'growing up'."
A Girl and her Fed by "Otter"

The main reason I read A Girl and Her Fed is not the commentary on civil liberties, and big important people interfering in little lives. And it's not Ben Franklin with little fairy wings. It's that I identify with the main character so much it's scary sometimes. Especially given she talks to ghosts and is occasionally psychotically violent. I was first introduced to the strip by steely_glint emailing me the link to a filler art I now can't find, in which she wears a T-shirt proclaiming: Adult ADHD: Making life interesting since... oh, about 30 seconds ago. Which... yeah.

A lot of what CAT did was to try and heap me out of depression, make me aware of anxiety and help me recognise zoning phases. Anxiety awareness has helped me a lot, because I can recognise that - for example -my flatmates DO NOT currently hate me**, it's just that the things that my stress levels mean my anxiety level is high and so I'm picking up on non-signs. Also, they're stressed with their lives, so we've amplified and OH BOY THAT'S FUN. It's helped me recognise that my irrational crying fits are - well, irrational, but not because I'm irrational. Therapy helped. But my therapist didn't know anything about ADD and we didn't talk about it much.

Except she wanted to know why I seemed to be constantly searching for a mental "condition" to categorise myself, especially given my aversion to gender roles, my shrugging off of sexuality labels and so on. Why have I tried to convince myself that I'm bipolar (I'm not), that I had PTSD (I probably didn't), that I'm OCD (eh, maybe), or ADD (my current obsession) I even currently describe myself as having 'anxiety disorder'.

Well, if I'm honest with myself, it's because I want something to blame.

I have to keep telling myself It's going to be OK; you can do this. just to bring myself down to a state of mind functional enough to actually do anything about making it OK, and doing this. When I'm not knackered from work, I lie awake at night hating myself for wasting the last three and a half years. The urge to cut and run right now is overwhelming -the only thing stopping me from doing so is the fear of failure - of letting down my supervisors, and my parents, but primarily what people will think of me if I fail: supervisors and parents top of that list, but y'know, everyone else ever - but then surely it'll hurt less in the long run if I just give up now. (But then, I tell myself that if I don't get a PhD, I can kiss ORO goodbye)

I've fucked up. I'm getting through day by day now by telling myself I can fix my fuck up, and that even if I can't, that's OK. But I have fucked up. And I want to say "My ADD fucked up" rather than "I'm a lazy bitch who doesn't deserve what she didn't work hard enough for." ADD provides a convenient excuse for me being distracted when I should be working:

MYTH: ADD is just a lack of willpower. Persons with ADD focus well on things that interest them; they could focus on any other tasks if they really wanted to.

FACT:ADD looks very much like a willpower problem, but it isn’t. It’s essentially a chemical problem in the management systems of the brain.

There are other things that I'd just feel better about myself if I could blame on ADD - like for instance the fact that I can't drive.

As you can tell, this morning I was so anxious breathing hurt. As I work this morning, it's improving, but still. I am, frankly, at the lowest point in my life so far, and it's only the assurance that it's temporary that is getting me out of bed in the morning.

I haven't finished with the love meme. I'm going to get back to it and go through it VERY SLOWLY so no one's allowed to be emo 'cause I haven't done you, mmkay? Kay.

*Subject line from Martha Denkla, at Johns-Hopkins

**Uh, unless they do hate me and haven't told me, in which case, their problem, not mine!
20th-Feb-2008 02:33 pm (UTC)
I don't know how to offer you any help - because I don't understand enough - and I don't know how to offer you any good advice - because I haven't any - but I will offer my opinion that you are bright, smart and definitely going to be swanking around in the near future with a shiny new doctorate. It has never even crossed my mind that you will fail, because... you just won't. I don't see it happening.

And hugs. Because although hugs are not very helpful they are nice.
20th-Feb-2008 02:51 pm (UTC)
As I've learned to my cost elsewhere on LJ, it does no good when I attempt to offer "wisdom" on topics I know nothing about, and I know pretty much nothing about ADD.

So I can do nothing more useful than hope that things will get better for you soon and I'm here to offer *hugs* and other such things until they do.
20th-Feb-2008 02:56 pm (UTC)
wisdom is welcome here, with or without speechmarks!
20th-Feb-2008 03:09 pm (UTC)
When it's coming from me, I think the speechmarks should be firmly in place!
20th-Feb-2008 03:12 pm (UTC)
Then it's still welcome! I may tell you you're talking bollocks, but only if you are.
20th-Feb-2008 03:19 pm (UTC)
I absolutely insist that you tell me when I'm talking bollocks!
20th-Feb-2008 03:22 pm (UTC)
Oh don't worry, I will!
(Deleted comment)
20th-Feb-2008 04:46 pm (UTC)
Yeah, could be.

I mean, actually I think our culture seesdisorders where there aren't really, a lot of the time. People say "OMG I'M DYSLEXIC" or "OMG I'M ASPIE" to explain being a poor speller or having social problems, which is fine, dyslexia and Asperger's syndrome exist, but sometimes people just fall to a side of the bell curve.

Dyslexia's the big one - it gets used to give extra time in exams for people who have it so mildly it doesn't affect the rest of their functionality.

OTOH, recognition and study of these 'disorders' provide us with a toolbox to deal with 'normal' people - methods developed to teach dyslexics to read have been acknowledged as the best way to teach most kids, though that was worked out stupidly late.

So, what I mean is, I feel guilty for looking for an excuse, while at the same time looking for a toolbox to help myself. Am I making sense?

20th-Feb-2008 09:44 pm (UTC)
I don't find it an excuse, I find it a reason for not being able to finish things. Because, I try. I try so damn hard to concentrate, to finish things and not get obessed with something else that I will send myself into tears.

It's the same thing with trying to think without meds. It's a fog in my mind, of broken sentences and words and ideas and I can't filter it, I can't make sense of it, it's a fog and a cloud that I can't get out of and more than once I've given myself a headache trying to sort it out. That SOUNDS melodramatic, but I was at work at the time and trying to not just zone out like I did at school.

I'm smart. I know this - I'm fall into the 'bright' range. But I've always never gained the marks for it, just because my brain is ADD. It doesn't mean that I can slack off or not do things, but if getting help for it means I get extra time and a bit more understanding so I don't fail, well, I'm selfish enough to want that.

It's...I don't think of it as an excuse. It's a reason, and now that I know it, I can adjust and set about using and...I hesitate to use the word 'fix', because I like the pluses of ADD, but...well, being able to use it.

I can't make any judgement calls on whether you are or you aren't, but Rami had up a link to a quizz that I've got memoried, which I could go and find for you?
21st-Feb-2008 12:27 am (UTC)
Because, I try. I try so damn hard to concentrate, to finish things and not get obessed with something else that I will send myself into tears.

It's a fog in my mind, of broken sentences and words and ideas and I can't filter it, I can't make sense of it, it's a fog and a cloud that I can't get out of and more than once I've given myself a headache trying to sort it out.

21st-Feb-2008 05:38 am (UTC)
Fun, isn't it? -_-

Want me to find that quizz for you? It's long and excellent.
21st-Feb-2008 09:23 am (UTC)
I seem to remember starting it and - getting distracted. Uh, twice.

Sure, dig it out.
21st-Feb-2008 11:34 am (UTC)
...*grins* I finished it! It was just COUNTING it was the difficulty.

here! I think even if you don't actually do it, just read through it first and see how things fit? If it's like ticking a checklist, I'd go see someone, or at least count it as a serious possibility.
21st-Feb-2008 10:29 am (UTC)
Actually, I did do it last year, so there you go.
21st-Feb-2008 11:37 am (UTC)
Well, there you are *grins*
21st-Feb-2008 11:40 am (UTC)
I think there will be GP tomorrow and asking for a referral. I can't pay for a private therapist, but Gordon Bless the NHS.
(Deleted comment)
20th-Feb-2008 04:47 pm (UTC)
It's SIGNIFICANTLY HARDER for people without a PhD to come into the USA to seek work.
20th-Feb-2008 04:43 pm (UTC)
I have nothing useful to impart, so here are some very helpful Internet snuggles.

*snuggle* *cuddle* *snuggle* *hug*


*edit* Gosh, I broke your layout. *eyes* Sorry. Also, I haven't gotten to you on the compliments meme yet 'cause I fail at stuff, but allow me to take this moment to say you're a thousand kinds of awesome and way adorable. *beam* And I totally want your dress sense. The trenchcoat! And the skirt! And things! :D?

Edited at 2008-02-20 16:46 (UTC)
20th-Feb-2008 07:58 pm (UTC)
I know what you mean. (I think)

My depression makes it quite difficult for me to work on projects or even work on day to day tasks. Sometimes I just feel like a lazy, dirty person because I don't have the energy to push myself to finish things that other people seem to do with ease. Room tidying included. *guilty face*
20th-Feb-2008 10:37 pm (UTC)
Honestly? My brain-issues sound a lot like your brain-issues, and at the thing is, the line between "personality" and "personality disorder" isn't that clear-cut. If it interferes with your life to the point that it makes you unhappy, then it's something that can and should be treated. People who are just lazy don't WANT to fix that.
21st-Feb-2008 12:51 am (UTC)
If I'd seen this before I'd have given you a real one:


You'll be fine. Seriously. Plod through the data, get the conclusions, take it slowly if you have to. I don't know how long each analysis takes, or how much time you have to physically spend in front of the computer. I'm sure you know, so set yourself targets you know you can achieve, and take each week as it comes.

You'll get there. You've got time. No-one normal finishes a PhD in three years.

Great as CCK is, (and much as I hate to suggest giving up something you clearly enjoy) you may have to consider your options- the hours aren't great for your social life or for getting things written up. (There's no way I could have done the masters, the voluntary work and paid the rent working anything other than a regular retail shift. The only reason I'm still with my current job is because of the voluntary work I'm doing.)
21st-Feb-2008 12:54 am (UTC)
I can't do the job seeking thing. I hate it with a firey passion and am happy at my current job.

I'm sorry you don't get to see me much, but paying rent is more important.
21st-Feb-2008 01:27 am (UTC)
I couldn't agree more with the job seeking thing, if that's how you feel. (I just mentioned that it wouldn't have worked for me. I'm not a morning person).

Rent should always come first. Everyone understands that you've got other priorities right now. We'll make up for it when you are around. ;)
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