There is Nothing I Will Encounter Today That I Can’t Learn

Sean’s Story, Interview by Patricia Schwabb

I am 52 years old and just randomly read an article on Facebook about ADHD and right away recognized myself. As I read more about this disorder I looked back and saw many ways it’s had a negative impact on my life. School was always a big problem for me. I always thought of myself as quite witty and funny and so did my teachers for about the first two weeks.

Things really got serious when I was unable to comprehend math problems like the other kids. I can still see the disappointment and exhaustion on teachers’ faces when I just quit trying. I acted out my frustrations with a cornucopia of shenanigans, like my stand-up comedy routines or remarks such as, “What are you talking about lady, this seems like a good time for a nap?” Of course this behavior led to many trips to my old friends at the Board of Education. Things came to a head in high school and because I had skipped so much school and my ten year efforts at stand-up classroom comedy didn’t give me enough credits to graduate; they decided it was time for me to leave.

I could write an entire book on my shenanigans as an adult so I will summarize by saying that, with all the energy I put into my work life, I should be a billionaire. Now here I am unemployed after 15 years working as the guy in charge of building all the really cool displays at a big home improvement store, but I was terminated because of a misinterpreted reply to a comment on social media. (I thought it was funny.)

For years I couldn’t understand how I can rebuild a truck engine and make it scream or build just about anything out of wood or rewire my house or build a website, but I can’t pass my GED?

Now after being tested and diagnosed with ADHD, I’ve just started taking Adderall and I can’t believe what a difference it makes! After so many attempts at getting my GED, for the first time I’m actually able to read the study materials and not only understand them but retain the information in my brain!

I will tell you this much; if I don’t laugh about it, the past really depresses me. So I try to make it as humorous as possible.

I also breed and train Belgian Malinois, a dog that’s used by military and law enforcement agencies. My dogs are my Zen and keep me grounded and outdoors. The commands are in Czech and sometimes I get the commands or the dogs names mixed up. It’s hilarious to see the expressions on their faces as if they’re trying to help me out by saying to me, “Dude what’s next… let me give you a hint, see, now I am laying down, now I am sitting.” Now I know why!

I am relieved to know that this has a name and I haven’t lost my mind. It’s going to be interesting to see what the future has in store for me. My new motto in life, “There is nothing I will encounter today that I can’t learn.”

    • Larry Wooley
    • March 19, 2017
    Reply

    Thank you for your story, this last week I have been labled as having ADD/ADHD, in that, finally giving a feeling of such relief. I am confident with further exploration, my issuses will be addressed and my problems worked through. My life is changed not only from the clarity, but also the overwhelming need to understanding what “normal” people are feeling. My identification of the problems stemming from my disorder has left me with a future that is as bright as the sun. Believe it or not “You can teach an old dog new tricks at 52 years old, that is 364 in dog years”.

    • Johonna
    • March 9, 2017
    Reply

    Your are perfect, just the way God intended. Only now you know it too. Bam, now that is an epiphany. Love this story.

    • Luis Diego Ramírez Guerrero
    • March 8, 2017
    Reply

    In other words, we sometimes tend to think that in a given situation, we are to blame or, the most likely to receive the blame for a perceived problem when in all actuality neither is true, simply because no problem exists.

    • Luis Diego Ramírez Guerrero
    • March 8, 2017
    Reply

    I’m an Inattentive ADD Adult; diagnosed (as many), when my eldest was diagnosed at around preschool age; he’s nineteen now.

    I’m an anesthesiologist; something someone in my condition isn’t supposed to be. That makes me more thankful than proud, though; and, must admit, I’ve had my share of problems in a very stressful profession. Nonetheless, my coworkers and my own fears on potential disasters have not, thank God, materialized. So, that brings me to my own personal conclusions: for me, at least, dealing with other people’s expectations about myself rather than a realistic view of my own has been my main problem, more so than actual consequences of my condition. In a nutshell, comorbidity has been my real monster. I’ve been taking Strattera for almost a year now, and I just can’t believe how I avoided taking meds for such a long time. Of course, they are not a universal cure all and there are definitely difficult moments (as everyone’s life). But, it’s definitely been greatly positive, enabling me to think and with much more clarity.

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