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Getting Through : Dealing

insomnia

from smashingrrl - Monday, December 10, 2007
accessed 726 times

can't sleep tonight:

I wish I could give you ADD for one day. One day should be enough to make you understand. You hear all these people joke about having ADD everytime they forget something. They have neither the problem nor a clue. Imagine being in a dance club. Imagine music so loud it's thumping through your skull. No, not one song, try three at a time. Now add twenty people screaming into your ear. You can make out every fourth word or so. Now try to read Shakespeare. Try to understand the words on the page. Try to remember them. Now do this for the next thirty years. You'll have a small understanding of the cacophony inside my head. No wait, add one more voice; the one voice you actually can hear. This one voice, louder than the rest and it never leaves. This is the voice you've heard those thirty years. It will tell you you're stupid. It will tell you you're just lazy. It will tell you you're just not trying hard enough. It will tell you you're crazy. It comes from inside your mind. It comes from your parents, your friends, your girlfriends, your teachers, your bosses. I comes even from doctors who you've trusted to help you. It comes from everyone. You try to fight off that voice. But some part of you believes it's true.



Maybe you'll understand why I wasn't paying attention. Maybe you'll even understand that I WAS trying. Maybe you'll even understand why I'm so angry. Now that I KNOW what it's like to have some semblance of peace in this head of mine; it's difficult to not be angry. I'm angry at everyone who told me I was lazy, stupid, acting out, unmotivated, undisciplined. I want to kill every fucking shepherd who told me I had a demon. They were right. I had many. We had to call them "Uncle" and "Auntie". I'm angry at myself for the time I've wasted not knowing it could be like this.



I wish I could give you these dreams for one night. I wish you could see and hear and feel what I fear when I go to sleep. I wish you could just once wake screaming without sound. Be afraid to fall asleep. Be afraid to wake up in case it's not a dream. Use every last part of your will to stumble for the light. Lie there in your sweat and tears and try to shut your eyes again. Go through days never sure if you're asleep or awake. Try to hide the bags under your eyes. I'll laugh and assume you're hungover.



Maybe then you'll understand why I need my dog snoring beside me. Maybe then you'll finally get why I jump when I'm touched. Maybe then you'll know why I'm so tired.



I wish I could take just one day of your childhood. That childhood with the new bike for christmas, sleep-overs with friends, school, grilling in the yard, the family pet, macaroni and cheese, the neighbors to play with on summer nights, it seems like a movie to me. I wish I could give you one day of mine. One day of postering, taping, runny eggs, no forks, powdered milk, socks and shoes that don't match, get out taken away, creeps at night, the books telling you that this is the way it should be, hating yourself for the doubts, someone always watching, demerits, devotion, manual labor, silence restriction, the stench of too many people's rotten breath, knowing that you know nothing necessary to survive out there, the songs, the beatings, the screaming children I couldn't help, the hunger, the pain, the loneliness, the humiliation of it all. Don't laugh too hard or loud. Don't ever cry. Don't talk too loudly, or too quietly. Don't be happy. Don't be sad. Don't want to win. Don't lose. Don't complain. Don't make eye contact. Don't look like you're hiding. Make yourself ugly so they will leave you alone. Worry for your siblings. Wonder where the fuck your parents are. Wonder what the fuck is wrong with you. I want to trade. One day for one day is that enough to make you see?



Would that help you understand why I get so angry? Would that make you see why I feel so alone? Would you have some fucking compassion? Would you cut me some slack for the mistakes I've made? Would you understand why I've tried every substance to feel just a little closer to okay? Would you give me a break when I drink too much? Would you not laugh at all that I didn't know? Would you leave me alone then? Would you run? Would you even begin to comprehend why I have to lie about my past? Would you then know that look I dread on another's face? Would you feel as out of place, as different? I'm angry at those who think this is some fucking joke. I'm angry that you just don't fucking get it.

Reader's comments on this article

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from thatata
Saturday, December 22, 2007 - 17:34

(Agree/Disagree?)
I might have ADD but the reality of it doesnt strike me as much. like is it spacyness; lack of concentration or perhap excessive conscientiousness, trying to cover all angles; even to your own harm? Like a character says in The Brothers Karamazov, and let me paraphrase ' Stupidity is straightforward and honest; intelligence is crooked and a knave.'(by this Im not saying Im inteligent(and I mispell), infact I feel like an Idiot in this world, what Im meaning is the nature of thinking, shit, becomes convoluted!) Its a mess. Speaking of freedom, you can speak in opposites in antiphrasis, because there is 'freedom of motion' and 'freedom of choice', these can be thought of as opposites. Well, Ive been thinking of getting myself some StraightEdge. Ive been thinking of getting more straight and Im not talking about sexual ambiguities. Still there is no Truth.
(reply to this comment)
From ----
Sunday, December 23, 2007, 17:46

(
Agree/Disagree?)
so this is sort of an admission? (reply to this comment
from solemn
Thursday, December 13, 2007 - 15:58

(Agree/Disagree?)

Insomnia sucks.


(reply to this comment)

From Yes, it does, but...
Thursday, December 13, 2007, 16:28

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(
Agree/Disagree?)
Don't lose any sleep over it. (reply to this comment
from just so you know
Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - 19:59

(Agree/Disagree?)
posted this on my blog. don't sue me for plagiarism. i gave credit to "someone else wrote this"
(reply to this comment)
From smashingrrl
Wednesday, December 12, 2007, 20:02

(Agree/Disagree?)
lol. works for me. (reply to this comment
from Teji
Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 23:03

(Agree/Disagree?)
Smashy, thanks for the article. I can relate... I wrote one a while ago...itís mainly just a rant in the form of a bunch of questions but, you might find it interesting...there is also a book I recommend (at the end of the article) that you might find helpful or at least comforting...

http://movingon.org/article.asp?sID=2&Cat=18&ID=4098
(reply to this comment)
From smashingrrl
Wednesday, December 12, 2007, 00:06

(Agree/Disagree?)

I'll respond to you some of your questions here. (Seriously, consider upping your meds or find some that actually work. I had to read that damn thing three times and still gave up.)

What I've found works:

1. Find a job that's interesting, even a little. It doesn't really matter what the job pays. Why? Because a high paying job you're not interested in will do you no good. You're going to quit or get fired anyway. Actually, you won't quit. You'll just stop going. So don't bother. Find something you care about and you might be able to make the rent this month.

2. Find something, anything to do that will give your mind a break. Some people play video games. Some people read. Some people exercise. Puzzles work really well. I had a roommate in the military who would polish boots. He actually made a crap-load of money doing so. But the detailed work helps. I'm a reader. It has to be something on which you can focus completely. You have to find something that slows down your brain when it gets to be too much.

3. Shut off the distractions. You will never be able to block them out so stop believing you can. If the TV is on in the other room, you'll be trying to listen to it. If you can hear a radio, same problem. If someone is having a conversation anywhere near you, you'll be trying to hear it. Explain this to those around you. If they're trying to talk to you and expect you to understand, they need to shut off the TV, radio, any other stimuli.

4. You'll likely never be all that good with verbal instructions. The sooner you and those close to you realize this, the better. Find them in writing. If you can't; make sure you understand before you walk away. Yes, people with think you're stupid. You're likely used to that anyway though.

5. Make lists. Don't skip around in the list. No, you can't actually multi-task. You just think you can. Become fucking religious about lists. I use my cell phone. I have a friend who uses a PDA. This goes for current or future partners too. They need to give you lists. Now repeat after me: I can not multi-task. I can not multi-task. I can not multi-task. Look around you. All that shit you've started, haven't finished a goddam thing have you? Yeah, that's what I thought.

6. Use auto-bill pay services for EVERYTHING. No, you won't fucking remember to pay it so quit pretending and trying to convince yourself that you will.

7. You're going to quit if it gets frustrating. Learn to ask for help. This may be the hardest thing. Learn to take a breath but start forcing yourself to go back to it after a break. Do NOT start something new.

8. If and when you do find a partner, be honest with them. They need to know and understand. If you live with someone, you need your own space. This can be your own room or just a desk, dresser, bookshelf, etc. You just need something that's yours to organize in whatever fucked up manner you believe makes sense. Follow their rules in the rest of the place. They're right that your rules make no sense. The best case scenario is finding someone who is willing to take care of shit like paper-work and bills in exchange for whatever you can do for them. Become a good cook; it worked for me.

9. Shut the fuck up. Seriously. This is one thing you will never accomplish without medication or a ball-gag. But that bright idea, funny comment, important question that you have to blurt out doesn't need to be said. It's the wrong thing to say. It always is. Your friends may learn to forgive you but you're still hurting or embarrassing them.

10. Leave the credit or debit cards at home. You spend money like a priest at a kiddie porn convention. Take out a certain amount from an ATM once a week. If you run out, tough shit. You really didn't need to buy that DVD. You won't starve if you have to skip lunch one day.

11. Cut yourself some slack. No one else has to and they may never bother. But you can give yourself a break every now and then.

Here's the other thing. You rant about people not trying. You're not trying. That post? You have every opportunity to check it over before you send it. I know, it makes sense to you when it looks like that. You also need to know it's almost impossible to read without inducing a massive panic attack in anyone but a coke-head. So don't post it that way.


(reply to this comment

From a regular poster
Tuesday, January 01, 2008, 19:44

(
Agree/Disagree?)
Wow smashing, I have never cared about anyone so much in my life as I care about you right now. And if that came out wrong, fuck it.

You described ADHD so well, honestly I feel like I'm about to cry thinking about it. I worked so hard in TF and out trying to tune in, to walk out of the room 20 ft without forgetting what I was supposed to be doing, trying not to be lazy. I would use my user id connected to my picture, except I dont want it connected to me saying that I've gotten very close several times to ending it all because I must just be defective. Finding out that it was a real medical condition and is treatable (provided we take steps like you mentioned above) with medication has been everything to me, a long, and often unsuccessful journey, but we gotta keep at it till we find something that works.

I have to agree with you on the entire list, #1 is very true, I made it thru college (top of the class) because someone made sure I SHOWED UP and even though were not together now, she did more for me waking me up every morning than anyone before or since. But I went through several engineering jobs, couple months at each, till I came were I am now, less pay but love getting dirty fixing CNC mills/lathes, almost no reports to do.

My life is alot better now and I realised that I now do most everything on yr list, except #7 would help me alot if I start, #9 too. I need to print this out and tape it to the steering wheel.

#5 I now keep lists, but the " U dont know how to multitask" part is so true. We just keep forgetting what we were doing so it looks like multitasking.

I tend to hate talking about my skillset because I just get people asking why I'm not doing more with what I got, answer is #1. Although I finally had to renege on my calling aderall-takers lazy-asses -- as much as I wanted to fix myself by myself, it was spinning tires in the mud trying to do the above without it. I finally admitted defeat and went to a psychiatrist and am on Aderall and it's like the fear of forgetting what you're doing is gone, I'm not freaked out about losing my job anymore.

Just writing that I went to a psychiatrist hurts me to look at it -- I'm a fix-my-own-problems guy, not a whiner see-a-psychiatrist-for-everything pussy. I went to see the doctor I train in the gym with (besides this, havent used my medical ins.) and HE sent me to the psych for a second opinion cuz aderall's controlled -- I wish they'd rename the profession because of the implication that only whack-jobs see them.

Shit, I need to start talking to U smashing, bad. Maybe I just need a 2nd ID where I admit the suicide and psychiatrist stuff, then I can leave the good me alone.
(reply to this comment
From smashingrrl
Wednesday, January 02, 2008, 10:36

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

I get really tired of people equating therapy and psych drugs with weakness. You have a head-ache so you take an aspirin. You have infection so you take antibiotics. You're near-sighted so you wear glasses. Why is it so different to use science to help you cope with your head? We can try to fix all the problems we want, but if my leg's falling off, I'm better off seeing a doctor than trying to sew it back on alone. Yeah there's a limit and people do take all sorts of shit they don't need. But some people drink too much and it doesn't mean that if I have a beer, I'm a drunk.

I'm glad you got medication. If it fucking helps, then those who don't understand can go fuck themselves. If anyone needs proof that ADD is a real thing, the fact that a stimulant is the only thing that calms us down should be sufficient. I don't tell anyone I take it either. For two reasons: 1. Everyone wants one so they can stay up all night and party. 2. I don't like explaining to people what they don't need to know. Don't be so hard on yourself. Really. I know it's impossible though. Email me anytime if you want. (reply to this comment

From Teji
Wednesday, December 12, 2007, 00:21

(Agree/Disagree?)
Well, you certainly seem to have.....it to together. Thanks for the suggestions; I will take them into consideration. Like I said earlier it was more of a rant....just thought you might relate.... or at least find the book interesting. (reply to this comment
From same regular poster
Tuesday, January 01, 2008, 19:59

(
Agree/Disagree?)
OK Teji, it's late and I get up early tomorrow for work, you seem like a good person and I think I know what Ur article was trying to say, you really seriously need to tape the smashinggrl list to yr bookbag/dorm door or wherever the hell you'll see them. I'm not trying to be a TF shepherd though my tone comes out like it, just very emotional about having the 3.9 in a dual-degree porgram, overachieve, but when it comes to "just focusing on a scheduled task", I'm dumber than an illiterate inbred.

If you cant afford doctor visits/aderall, I went through school without it, U need someone who understands it and has got yr back. Hell, if U dont have anyone at school doing it, I've got 1600 anytime minutes I never use if U want me to call U every day at 7 AM and 7:30 AM & make sure Ur getting to 8 AM class (reply to this comment
from madly
Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 20:20

(Agree/Disagree?)
I really liked what you wrote and I think you described A.D.D. perfectly for people who donít have a clue about the disorder and use the term lightly. Having A.D.D. in TF must have been tough. It would have been tough to have had any type of disorder in that cult since they looked at any disability as a punishment from God. It would have been nice if you could have gotten the medical attention (or at least some understanding and sympathy) you needed as a child instead of letting it go for years with you thinking something was wrong with you, when all along, something was wrong with them. You should be angryÖ you have every right to be.
(reply to this comment)

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