Where Have I Been?

            All my life I have struggled with jumping from one thing to another, usually due to some new interest that has appeared, or just because I got bored with my current interest. There are a few things over the years that I continually return to or have never lost an interest in, movies, photography, art/drawing. 

One of those interests, photography, has been one that I’ve been wanting to turn into a career for almost 5 years now. As I get the little details ironed out, I hit one personal roadblock after another. I just can’t seem to decide where I want to take my work. I want to do landscapes; I want to do portraits; I want to do travel photography. The indecision forces delays in which I begin doubt myself, and begin to question my own ability. The downward spiral forces me to set aside my camera for months on end, and when I do pick up the idea again, I feel the need to start from square one, where I inevitably run into the same roadblocks, the same indecisions, and the same doubt. The vicious circle continues.

It feels like this:

Andy Dwyer.jpg

 

Two months ago now, I was sitting in my studio that I have rented now since February, and have only used to photograph myself. I set a goal to launch a portrait business to the world, but I spent two entire weekends just sitting in front of my computer doing absolutely nothing. The problem isn’t that I’m lazy. It’s that whenever I’m faced with something I need to do, I feel this overwhelming compulsion to do anything but that thing. I can feel it physically in my chest like something inside me is trying to stop me from doing whatever it is that I should be doing. This causes me to become stressed, which leads to the anxiety, and then the depression that I've wasted my time. When the depression hits, I lose interest in everything. I just stare into space not able to complete the simplest task.

It was after those two wasted weekends that I decided to seek help. These feelings have been going on my entire life, but I only recently started to feel like something was wrong and that I should talk to someone. So around 4 weeks ago I made an appointment to see a psychologist.

After several rounds of talking about my past and taking several tests, today I learned that I have ADHD with depression, anxiety, and obsessiveness. I had suspected ADHD for a few weeks before and felt a somewhat great sense of relief sitting in the doctor’s office. 

Having ADHD may sound like something that isn’t as big of a problem as others, and I’ve already talked to one person who downplayed my revelation, but adults with ADHD are more than 2 times likelier to have depression, and a 30% greater risk of suicide than those who don’t have it. I say that not to say that I’m suicidal, because I’m not, but to say that ADHD isn’t something that is easily tossed aside as a less than type of disorder. For me, it can be a real struggle that can lead to dark places.

The treatment phase begins now, which both encourages me and scares me. I’m hopeful that I will finally be able to control the things that I struggle with and begin to live a more normal life. I’m also scared that the treatment won’t work. How many different prescriptions will I go through before finding the right one, the right dosage? One? Two? Ten? The unknown worries me. Which leads to more anxiety. Why can’t I just be normal like everyone else? Are you there, God? It’s me, Margaret. 

There are a host of things that come along with ADHD that I was unaware of until just recently. I’ll go into some in more detail later, as they can lead to some very interesting life choices. But for now, I’ll just try to make it through each day, struggling to overcome the chemical imbalance in my brain that causes me to behave the way that I do.