Today was a difficult day. It was an easy day at school, and everything was fine. The difficulty came with realization and vocalization that I’ve really been struggling lately.
I got a text from my mom that my dad was upset that we didn’t give him a card for his birthday. His birthday is the day before mine. I knew it was coming, I just forgot to get something. When I did, I then forgot to give it to him, so it’s been in my house since 5/8.
I sent a text to my mom, apologizing for being so scattered. I told her that I’ve really been struggling lately. I sent my dad a similar, yet longer text. I guess I didn’t realize the extent of my struggle until today. It took being made aware that I forgot to give my dad a card and gift to make me realize it.
I often feel like I have it together. Then I’m reminded that I don’t. I feel like I’m trudging through quick sand. I can keep my head above water. I can see the other side. I just can’t move fast enough or hard enough to get out of it. I have two planners – one is a calendar and one is where I keep my lists of things to do. I’m very organized, bordering on OCD. I’m also incredibly scattered and forget to do things that are sitting right in front of me. A students will tell me something in class, and I tell them to text it to me, so that I see it. I won’t open the text until I have the time to do or send what they need. I’ve never lived like this before.
My husband has ADD. I’ve dealt with his forgetfulness, procrastination and scatter-brained behavior since we met in 2002. I’ve always been the one who was structured, organized and had it together. February 2018 undid all of that. I’ve often said that I feel like I have situational ADD. I don’t need medication. I know it’s related to my PTSD. I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to normal. It’s incredibly frustrating to feel like a stranger in your own mind.
I went to Eagles’ Haven today. They were holding an art class, focusing on mandalas. I don’t draw well, but I am creative. I thought we’d be coloring mandalas from an adult coloring book. We were given that as an option, along with the option to create our own. The instructor (who I realized went to high school with me) had a paper explaining chakras. That was the basis of my mandala.
While driving home, I called my husband. I told him how awful I felt that I upset my dad for his birthday. How being so scattered makes me feel. He said he understands how I feel, since he has ADD; I told him that although he’s lived his life like this, I went the first 37 years of my life wired differently. I have tried to wrap my head around what’s going on inside of my head for the past 15 months. I can’t. I’m really trying. He asked what he could do to help me. I’ve been asked that question by my mom, friends, etc. I honestly don’t know. I can’t look for ways to help until I’m knee-deep in a situation.
I used to plan things weeks, months, years in advance. When we got married, I had a 3-inch binder with color-coded tabs. When my son had his Bar Mitzvah, I had random papers in various places. My desk at school used to be immaculate, with things properly filed in labeled folders. Now I’m lucky if I even have room for my water. I used to pay bills the Friday I got paid, as soon as I got home from school. Now, I pay what I remember and the rest gets paid when I get a call or email “Oops. It looks like we missed your payment.”
I’m responsible, and hate that to the outside world it seems like I’m not. I don’t care what others think about me, but I know the impression I might give off isn’t a true reflection of who I was – or who I am now.
I really hope that this summer brings my brain the peace it needs. I go to therapy weekly, but will certainly increase it to two days a week, if needed. I don’t like living like this. I know that this is still a recent change in my life, but I’m also moving farther away from the way my life used to be – a life to which I doubt I’ll return.
This is my “new normal.” It’s not normal, though.