My whole life I have struggled with my self worth. I was diagnosed at 16 and honestly middle school through my sophmore year of high school were the worst. Once I was diagnosed my Junior year, life was better just knowing that ADD was the reason I was this way, but it did not take away the damage that had been done. I have always had issues with the way I looked, and I would have to say that though I am spontaneous and laid back in general, I am extremely nervous and unsure of myself in social situtations so I hold back a lot. In middle school I was awkward. My body went through normal changes, but it was not pretty. Kids are mean, and long story short my peers RUINED my self-image and any confidence I had. Once I got to high school and my body balanced out, I couldn't see it. My mind still saw a pimple faced, chubby 12 year old and I could still hear the things people would say to me "you're lazy" "you can do better than that" "what is wrong with you?" Even my family didn't understand because they didn't know... ADD manifests itself in such an ugly way, and people think you are lazy, you don't listen, you don't care, you never finish anything, and you say and do stupid things. Good greif, after all of that I hated myself. I have gotten better, I met the man of my dreams my Senior year of high school and he gave me a sense of worth and purpose. We got married summer of 07 and life was better from then on. Now, I am 23 and a mother and I am proud to said that becoming a mother has given me purpose, confidence, and a sense of self worth I never felt before. I feel so much better about myself than I used too, but old habits die hard and confidence is one of those things that is so hard to learn. When you spend over 8-10 years thinking that you are ugly, or that you cant do anything right it's hard to switch the thinking. I lean hard on my husband and my mother because I need someone to remind me to "snap out of it" or be my voice of reason. These days I still struggle with self-worth. I have a post-pregnancy body, even worse a post-c-section body, and I am so not a good housekeeper, and that makes me feel like I'm not good enough. I often shy away from social events because it's intimidating to see all these women who "have it together" and can do so much, while I am struggling with my one little girl, and tiny house just to keep us healthy, and to keep the house clean. Remembering dr. appts. and baby showers and birthday parties. Trying my very best to be socially acceptable. I wonder what some of you do to help your confidence?? I know I'm not the only one, because ADD does this to you... It makes you feel so out of control, and so frustrated... how does this effect you? How do you cope?
I realize what I ramble this is and honestly haha, I don't have the time right now to revise it, so I'll just post this the way it is! Thanks!
Issues with self-confidence is something that is so common for people with ADD/ADHD no matter how much we accomplish, no matter how many things we do get right, no matter what strategies we try to create to help us feel better about ourselves. I struggled actively with this myself for like 8 years post-diagnosis. I had read 30+ books on ADD/ADHD up to that point, recovered from severe depression, had been in ADD/ADHD coaching for several years at that point and been with the same psychiatrist for 7 of those 8 years. I had read story after story about how even highly successful ADDers seemed to have trouble with their self-confidence. So one day decided that low self-confidence is a symptom of ADD/ADHD and dealt with it accordingly. I finally accepted it as part of the ADD, and that finally broke most of it's power. I began to trust myself I do have the ability to do the things I want to do and that I just need to find a different way to do it. For example, I used to have no confidence in my ability to solve math problems, even though at that point I made it into at least 2nd semester calculus and had gotten high grades in a few of my physics classes up to that point. I always got nervous if the math problem turned out to be short and easy to solve and if it was long and messy. After getting several of them right in either extreme I began to realize that maybe I didn't trust my own ability to solve math or physics problems. Also learned to be careful with myself talk as well. Self talk can have a profound affect on your ability to succeed and feel good about yourself.
I have a feeling that in your areas of interest, you can do marvelous work. Housework and other mundane tasks are hard for the ADD brain to do. I will also tell you a secret, those women who seem to "have it together" probably don't and they aren't facing the same challenges you are. Boredom to the ADDer's brain can be like kryptonite to superman. To do these more mundane activities you will need strategies to make them more interesting. ADD is very situational, meaning it can manifest differently in different environments and internal conditions.
I hope this helps, I will share more later.
*coming late to the party - what's new?? :P *
I feel you about the post-Csection body. I probably could have gotten my "old" body back, but eh... he came out healthy - even if later determined to be ADD - so it was worth it after 3 yrs of trying w/ no luck.
For the housekeeping - I found flylady.net to be a life-saver, both as a SAHM, and now as a outside-working single mom.
And for those who "have it together"? Much like finances, I think a LOT of people, women in particular, white-wash or flatout BS about how together they have it. We (women in particular) judge our fellow humans easily & harshly, and far too many I think, think they're a failure if they don't "have it together"; nevermind that for most of us, our lifestyle & environment is very different from our mothers.
I know personally, while I can commiserate about single-momhood w/ my mother (dad was active duty or long-line truck driver much of my life), she was a SAHM. Thus after a certain point, she had the school day to do errands, clean house & get dinner ready, as well as socialize (her long time, eventually out-of-town bowling league was sancrosanct unless we were puking-sick). Working 2 jobs, w/ a 1hr+ commute each way = not the same amount of time to do the same tasks. It's caused some friction about how I "need to better use or organize my time".
Folks won't bewail if they feel guilty about being working parents, or their kids aren't "perfect", or such. Well, maybe the imperfect kids, particularly if it's for something that doesn't hint at "bad parenting".
To help my confidence: seeing a therapist prior to my son's ADD dx & after (knowing it "wasn't my fault" nor was I crazy or a mean mommy), coming to boards & forums like this one & others for parenting ADHD/ADD & recently BEING an adult w/ ADD, cleaning my house by Flylady's guidelines (or as my mother's plaque says: Clean enough to be healthy, Dirty enough to be happy), and just doing what I can. More recently, getting myself dx as ADD, and realizing that living by my planner is what works non-Rx for me. I'd stopped cuz my ex & some friends made me *very* self-conscious about doing so, and when my son was born & I became a SAHM I figured "why do I need it?". I'm now barely functional, and it's impacting my son's life & my professional life - in turn my personal/social life. So I'm using meds to help me get some mental clarity, and re-learning my planner-based life, as well as finding a new therapist.
And to *insert nasty place of choice* w/ any future SO that can't accept it ^_^