Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Pain of Regret

The Strattera I take every day treats my ADHD and does double-duty as an antidepressant. One of the results of having ADHD is having a difficult time getting out of bed in the morning and shaking the grog out of my head (some may argue it never leaves). This has been the cause all of my life up until recently. No matter how much sleep I got, I rarely felt rested in the morning and struggled to get up and moving. This problem frequently made me late to work and other things, sometimes missing appointments entirely.

I am now in my fifth week of taking Strattera and it has treated the groggy problem. I can wake up in the morning like a normal person and actually feel energetic. It is a wonderful feeling. I'm in the middle of reading a book called ADHD Friendly Ways to Organize Your life written by doctors who also have the affliction. While the book has been enormously helpful in providing tips and techniques to make my environment work for me in a more productive way, I can't help but feel a little anger that this sort of information is coming to me only now when I'm 48 years old. Yes, I know that the whole ADHD thing is a diagnosis that's not all that old and treatment plans for adults is a product of the last few years. The kind of treatment that I needed growing up and then as an adult wasn't available. Most of my poor habits were chalked up to being careless and even lazy. I could not even counter such accusations because I didn't understand myself why I was the way I was. Sometimes it bordered on self-loathing. What the hell is wrong with me? I would ask myself.

But I try not to think about the missed opportunities and ruined relationships and friendships certain ADHD habits caused - I try but I do not also succeed. The important thing, of course, is that the help is here now and that is certainly better than never. The reality is that I have always managed to accomplish what I set out to do.

And if I died today, I would still feel good about what I have done with my life. If there is a way to improve upon it, I will take it.

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