Apparently I've had ADHD all this time. Well, since puberty, probably. I remember 6th or 7th grade I had a teacher who would sneak up behind me and yell "boo!" just to entertain the class--because I was always so spaced out. In high school I couldn't remember my locker combination, ever. I've always mixed up my words, starting with the wrong consonant, or starting one word and then changing my mind halfway and uttering some bizarre portmanteau. "Dismapointed" for dismayed and disappointed. Once when I was introducing my favorite, most beloved professor at a public event I blanked out on her name. I can't remember entire swaths of my life because I wasn't paying attention at the time. My mind was elsewhere.
I didn't know this was ADHD. I thought that was something hyperactive little boys had. I didn't know there were different types, like inattentive, which is what I probably have. What people are saying now is that boys are overdiagnosed and girls are underdiagnosed--because ours is quieter. We're just airheads. And anyway, isn't everyone distracted these days? (The reason why the H is still in ADHD even though hyperactivity isn't a component of all or even most cases is a long boring story but there you go. Some doctors remain very much attached to that H.)
Anyway, I didn't seriously consider that I might have ADHD until recently. Ashwin and I had a series of arguments because I kept spacing out in the middle of our conversations. He would say "red" and I'd go off on a reverie about cadmium and cochlea bugs. That sort of thing. He was frustrated because he wanted a PARTNER who was PRESENT and he wanted to feel CONNECTED and you can't do that if one of you is thinking about cochlea bugs. That and I kept leaving projects unfinished. I have a major block when it comes to mailing anything larger than a letter.
I kept telling him that we're just wired differently. He's a linear business guy, I'm a creative, bla bla bla. But I started noticing more of what I called my quirks and I realized that not only were they disruptive to a relationship I care deeply about, they were disruptive to just about everything. So we started reading and found out about the different types, and I read more and realized I'd been playing with this deck since the age of 10 or 11. It's hard to realize you have something if it's all you've ever known.
I did one of those spit-and-urine diagnostics to test the neurotransmitters in your system (which only measures what's in your digestive system, not your brain, so it's not perfect, but it's something). And then I've taken a million quizzes and tests. And it looks like I'm also maybe a little bit low-key depressed as well. Basically I'm low in all of the neurotransmitters, which is the secret sauce in my menopause sandwich. How am I even still functioning?
So. What am I doing about it? I'm wary of meds, so I'm working with a naturopath and trying amino acid therapy (nootropics), first. I think I've been able to offset some of the effects with morning exercise and eating mostly whole foods. Now I've started taking (in case you're looking for a supplement K-hole to lavish your afternoon on) L-tyrosine, rhodiola, L-methionine, and macuna in the morning, and Taurine, amino-phenylbutyric HCI, L-theanine, and hydroxytryptophan at night. Also iron, magnesium and a bunch of other minerals, high-EPA fish oil, and a bunch of vitamins. And yes, that's a lot.
We'll see how it goes. I'm already feeling like my night dosage is too much. I felt like I was on ecstacy last night, but also really sleepy. Honestly, no one needs to feel such an enormous sense of well being as they're dropping off to sleep. And then I was kind of groggy in my workout. I had to ask twice as many questions as usual. But once the dopamine-growing aminos started kicking in I started feeling pretty good. I mean, I still squandered half the morning doing meditation, but I'm feeling fine.
Anyway, no wonder resilience has been such a struggle. I feel like someone just turned on the lights, you know?