Monday, January 31, 2011

Too much ADD to even make a point

I'm looking at a fairly long list of things that have been bumping around in my brain today but can't seem to SETTLE on one and expand on it. LOL I've been completely overwhelmed with life today despite there being relatively little going on in the grand scheme of things.

While I wonder sometimes what God had in mind when He wired my brain this way, I am still in the camp that slowly came to realize that this is often as much of a blessing and a gift as it is a major pain in the butt.

My biggest trigger is sound...especially REPETITIVE sound. And, if you've ever had young children in your house, you can only imagine how crazy and around-the-bend I get by the end of any given day. LOL

I've explained it as ADDers "ear filters" are broken. It feels like I can hear everything exactly the same volume with no way to turn any of it down. Even sitting here typing, I can hear the keys clacking, the Vikings' baby snores, the air filter thing buzzing telling me it's time to wipe down the innards, and some traffic going by at the end of our block. And, somehow, I've gotta pick out what's important and try (and try and try) to stay focused on just that one thing.

And, as stress goes up so do one's ADD symptoms...and our life has been chocked FULL.

In the last year, my ADD has manifest itself in ways it never has before (with still embarrassing results) but I've also found some better ways of coping with it as well.

From an ADD/ADHD management/coaching group: " You wake up feeling like you’re running behind. You go to bed feeling like you didn’t accomplish enough. You’re always stressed out. In general, you feel overwhelmed, unorganized, unproductive, lazy, and guilty."

And, I'd add an over-reaching sense of anxiety about every minute from when one's eyes open until the time one falls into bed exhausted. That anxiety is a tough taskmaster - making one feel like he/she is not matching up and/or keeping up with the world. One feels like he/she is juggling a tall, teetering pile of life just within reach and just about to tip out of control.

I've been med-free since I got pregnant with Flicka in 2003. And, I had every intention of going back on some type of ADD stimulant as soon as I weaned Pojke. However, when we updated on life insurance stuff after his birth, the agent told me that my premiums would be higher than DaHubby's (whose family has a strong history of health issues) simply because my ADD meds were a stroke-risk. And, I figured if anything I was putting in my body made me THAT big of a risk for droppin' dead on the sidewalk at any random time then it was time to start learning some more behavioral stuff for coping with the day-to-day mess that can be my life.

And, all this has been rattling in my brain even more so than usual since Flicka's report came home this quarter. Comments about her messiness, social-ness, and her difficulty focusing during whole class activities have my "momma alarms" going off.

My experience as a kid and then as a teacher has been that (on average - no assumption covers ALL students) male student ADDers are located and diagnosed more quickly because they tend to express their ADD by acting out and disrupting a classroom. However, female student ADDers (again on average) tend to withdraw and the ADD symptoms manifest more with "air head" and organizational problems.

While I don't want to jump the gun, label Flicka early, stuff her full of meds, etc., I also do not want her growing up being considered the "air head" and having self-esteem issues because she sees how much easier some of the organizational and academic stuff comes to her classmates...exactly what it was like for me.

So, for now, I'm focusing on being the adult for Flicka that I wanted someone to be for me when I was feeling lost, clueless, and less than others all those years before I got my diagnosis and my "ah HA moment".

Teaching more metacognition (knowledge about HOW she learns) and how to use her strengths to be successful.

Modeling what I'm doing to keep me organized and on-task sometimes.

Being as patient as possible with the messes and with the continually forgotten and lost objects.

Keeping up with fair and consistent natural consequences (a la Love and Logic)

Like ADD symptoms themselves, no one symptom is a deal-breaker or a sure-fire diagnosis but when SEVERAL come together in a way to affect quality of life, some intervention needs to be undertaken.

Well, my parenting goals taken one by one sound like goals any parent could have but taken together, I may be able to jump into her development early enough that she finds coping mechanisms so natural that any ADD symptoms she MAY one day manifest in a greater way don't disrupt her lie and she can focus on all the blessings they can provide!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Walking Away

I tend to talk...a lot. LOL And, I tend to work things out in my head by talking them through with someone. I've learned this about myself and I am blessed to have a couple trusted friends and family I talk to when coming up on big decisions.

Then, due to my ADD, I tend to speak first and think later. LOL And, because of that, I tend to obsess about losing friends due to my ADD due to interrupting/impulse problems, forgetfulness of details, and just generally socially awkward.

But, sometimes the ADD is a blessing...and my brain surprises me with some raw insight.

I was chatting with someone from church tonight about our current living situation with the kids and I here and DaHubby in Illinois. It's been a rough week here at the Viking Hus - we've hit a type of wall with regards to missing DaHubby. We were running pretty smoothly until the last few days when everything kinda fell apart.

I described my surprise at how much harder this season is than I expected and my frustration and how anxious I am to get over there to DaHubby. Then, I surprised myself by saying "y'know, I don't even wanna pack. There's nothing really in the house I can't do without. I'm tempted to just leave it all there and just GO!"

And, my brain went "WHOA" for a second.

If there were no negative consequences to DaHubby's new employment or our combined financial lives, I'm really tempted to just walk away from this house and all its STUFF!

My latest Bible study has been a book called "Becoming a Woman of Simplicity." We've had conversations about our schedules, our kids' schedules, our homes, etc. We've talked about our goals and our dreams about what "simplicity" would look like for each of us but this comment really caught me unawares about what is really going on in my head. LOL

So, now I ponder what it all really means.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Shaken and Refined

The last year has been one of change for the Viking Hus.

DaHubby was laid off in February from a place he had worked at for nearly 20 years.

I worked outside the home for the first in a long time in March and April.

DaHubby graduated in the top 5 of his class in May with a degree in his new field.

Flicka began all-day school in September.

After many interviews and some traveling, DaHubby finally landed a job in October (I think) but it didn't start 'til January.

I worked outside the home again in November and December.

DaHubby moved to another state in December while the Vikings and I continue to hold down the fort here in Michigan.

The layoff has brought a shaking to our finances, our marriage, our friendships, our extended family, and to our parenting of the Vikings. It has seemed like God was slowly taking away bit by bit and refining what remained all year.

We've learned how much we can count on each other.

We've learned how much farther we can stretch a dollar. LOL

We've learned we are incredibly blessed with extended family and friends as well as having awesome church family.

We've learned how little we truly need to live.

We've learned to be happy with less and enjoy the simple things more.

We've learned that "keeping up with the Jones" is a lie of the devil and that our only focus should be on things eternal.

We've learned that being "weird" is better than going into debt.

We've had opportunity to discuss with the Vikings a neat and novel concept called delayed gratification. LOL

We've been able to show the Vikings why waiting and then paying saved-up cash is better.

We've learned that eating out is most often a waste and very rarely tastes as good as home cooking.

We've learned that even if we don't have money, we can still serve our church and community using our time and talents.

We've learned that no matter how little we have financially that we still can afford to give and tithe.

We've learned to *really* and "truly* lean on God's provision and on His timing.

We've learned to swallow our pride.

We've learned there is no shame in asking for help.

And, while DaHubby is now working full time, we are not just suddenly out of the proverbial woods. We still have a bit of a long road back to complete financial "peace" again not to mention we have to get our family living in the same home again. But, it's coming.

The work isn't done. Mid-2011 is a line-in-the-sand of sorts. And, as a result, 2012 is gonna look a heck of a lot different than 2010 did.

And, my prayer is that we will remember and take all these lessons into that new life. That we will remember this valley as a time of testing that God, our families, and our friends carried us through. That we will remember what is truly important and not fill our new life with all the junk we just painfully spent the last few years shedding. LOL

Amen! Let it be so!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Horoscope Hubbub

You never want to say "good luck" to DaHubby. LOL It's a pet peeve of his. His typical short retort is "no such thing as luck" but the longer response will get you an earful about God being all-powerful and, if you truly believe that, He's in control of all things at all times so there is no "luck." Things happen with His guidance and direction.

So, I think I've now found my equivalent pet peeve.

I've been hearing all over the internet and Facebook today about those upset with the change in the astrological signs.

"I've been a Leo all my life - I'm not changing NOW!"

"Once a Sagittarius, always a Sagittarius."

*sigh* Seriously, people...well, to be more specific, I'm talking to just those that identify themselves as Christians. If you've accepted Christ, been baptized according to the tradition of your particular denomination, or have whatever is required for you to declare publicly your faith in Christ and believe that He is holy and the all-powerful God of the universe and in control of your life and this world...why are you worried about horoscopes and/or what sign you were or are now?!?

In the interest of being real, I struggle with worry and anxiety...a lot. Technically, simplistically, and Biblically, those struggles are nothing more than a lack of faith. If one believes God is in control of all things, there should be no worry and anxiety as one rests in God's loving care and direction. So, I'm not throwing stones or pointing fingers but this horoscopes thing *really* gets under my skin for some reason.

The only Truth for a believer is the Bible. Period. No star charting, no signs, no fortune telling or casting of runes.

Secondly, I'm kinda offended by the assumption that God would go through so much thought and care for knit me in my mother's womb to make me just like everyone else who was born at the same time of the year.

So, I politely suggest to my fellow followers of Christ to perhaps consider today...who or what directs your course? Who or what makes the grand plans for your life? Whose or what advice are you following to make decisions about your day?

Are you living in the knowledge of who you are according to the stars or in Christ - the One who made the stars?