"Is That REALLY Real?"

I am often hearing the question, "Is that really real?", when I explain that I have ADD. This kind of drives me a little bit crazy. Yes, it is really real. Yes, it may be over (or mis-) diagnosed. No, I don't think it is fully understood at all.

This sign is about the jist of how my brain feels around other people.
I questioned the validity of it myself upon being diagnosed. I voraciously began to read everything I could get my hands on. With every new page turned, I felt like I was reading my own unauthorized auto biography.

People say to me, "Everyone is forgetful or spaced-out sometimes. How is that any different? Does that mean EVERYONE has ADD/ADHD?" Here is the difference (or at least biggest/clearest): frequency & severity. There was a humorous post (and debate) recently at Scary Mommy about loosing baby weight. People were questioning the ability, or rather impossibility, to forget to eat. This was a perfect example of one of the clear differences and inspired me to address it here in this post.

My whole life I have had long (ok, in my opinion it's long because I am a snacker) stretches where i forget to eat. I am so distracted I don't even notice my hunger symptoms. On the flip side, I will desperately try to remember (at least several times a week) if I ate breakfast. I even go so far as to look through my dirty dishes and cabinets to jog my memory! When absolutely nothing comes to mind I eat again. Fast forward 5 hours later, and it hits me: "Oh yeah, I had oatmeal! Crud...wasted calories."

Take for another example, Kekito's TB shot for school. It hit me on a Friday afternoon right as the shot clinic was closing that he needed his test read. But we also needed groceries, and I wasn't sure the boys could make it through both stops (we were already walking in the store). I also couldn't remember if he had it Wednesday as in two days ago... Or Wednesday as in nine days ago. Truly. I sat frozen with my mind racing frantically for five minutes trying to think it out. If it was only two days ago, I wanted to book it fast to get the results read... But if not, then groceries were crucial. I started rifling through my phone & texts for clues. I even called my friend asking if she noticed a TB shot on him last week or if i had mentioned getting one? It seemed so far away I was convinced it had to have been nine days earlier. I beat myself up for forgetting to have it read, and found out on the following Monday that it was actually just "Wednesday as in two days".

Last example I will leave you with. I promise. Ok, it goes something like this:

Me: telling story... Me: in middle of story... Me: mid-sentence... Me: frozen with brain turned off.
Me: "umm, umm, umm, umm, umm, umm..." The best I can describe it, is like having your brain compared to a vinyl record skipping.

It ends with, Me: saying, "I forgot what I was telling you about." Usually a whole new conversation begins and 10 minutes later it turns into Me: interrupting You with a loud, sudden shout of, "Oh! I remember!!"

So... Do you do this most of the day, just about every day (for your whole life- important factor)? Because if so, then yes you may also have ADHD, because yes, it is real.  In whatever form or thing it "really is", it is at the very least, real.

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