ADHD/Social Interactions

I think that the whole point of DS is that it helps us remember that there are a lot of people everywhere with difficulties - our difficulties are different, some struggle with poverty, others physical handicaps and diseases, others addiction, and yet others mental illness.
That said,  life with ADHD certainly presents its own special set of struggles
I defintely have suffered a lot because of my illness.
None have been worse then the loss of relationships with friends and family I have endured over the years. I live with my mom and my brother and rarely speak to either. It's because I am moody and erratic and a lot of the time, too engaged in other things to be bothered with them. I yell at them for interrupting me when I am watching tv, or writing, or reading. They are tired of walking on eggshells when around me. I am tired of being told to wash a cup I left behind.
Failures at work and poor professional relationships are a big part of my history too. I lost my last job under horrible circumstances all of which involved 1) poor performance due to ADHD 2) Painful feelings of rejection because of my sensitivity about the mistakes I made 3) Burnout from trying to overcompensate for those mistakes 4) Deterioration of work relationships because I felt so misunderstood and angry because even though I had ADHD I was the one who had to do all the conforming.Controlling my ADHD in social settings is definitely a challenge for me every single day. Tonight, I went out  to a bar with some friends of my best friend. I am rarely comfortable hanging out with people who I am not close with. I use to abhor the concept of acquaintances. At the same time, I have been spending a lot of time inside and alone and definitely needed to be around others. It is funny to not really want to be around people but  also have a real primal need to do so.So I did my best to smile and be friendly (something in the past I wouldn't have bothered to do). And lo and behold whereas  before I was feeling depressed and down on myself for sitting in my apartment alone and watching tv, I now feel better, more connected,  and less lonely. I get labeled as stuck up, selfish/self-centered, and bitchy.  So when I go out, I ask myself if these are things I want to be known for. My answer is no. So when I am out, I keep in mind a list of behaviors that might make people think poorly of me.There was a time when I felt angry about having to change myself (act in a way that feels somewhat unnatural). But I am not angry anymore because I am learning to just accept life for what it is. Being angry or sad about it won't change the fact that every social action has a consequence: If I am late or cancel my appointments, people will say I am irresponsible. If I don't say good morning to people, they will think I am rude (this one was huge for me). If I don't smile and listen to others (they will not like me). If I tell jokes that cross the line or use foul language (they may get offended). How I cope:When it comes to my relationships with non-ADHD people in general, I consider myself an other in their world and they are an other in mine. In my mind, having ADHD is a trait, like being black (which I am), or female, or whatever. It is simply something I cannot change and not something everyone can relate to.Also, I don't bother looking for accommodations anymore. I have found that few non-ADHD people have any clue at all about what ADHD is,  what the symptoms are, or what to expect from a person with ADHD. And, it is hard for them to accept ADHD  because concepts like be on time, be polite, etc. are as hard wired in their brains as they are deficient in ours. And after that, they are enormously reinforced in our social environment. I am simply too small to contend with such set-in-stone social institutions. So I just do my best to respect the rules associated with the world that I live in. One might say, that isn't fair. I am no longer concerned with fairness - there are a lot of things in life that aren't fair.The best ways, I find, to deal with my ADHD and my social life:--I work hard to maintain the good relationships I have. I acknowledge birthdays. I write thoughtful text messages and emails and remain and try to only say positive things  And, I hold back  when someone does something to anger me. Most of all, I try to listen when someone is speaking to me, I  mean really listen. It works wonders. My ultimate goal in my relationships is to avoid doing anything that jeopardizes that relationship. This is because I have hurt so many people that care about me already because I let my ADHD get the best of me,  lost control, and said whatever was on my mind. Now I try my best to make sure that I think about how what I say is going to make someone feel before I say it. --I spend  time doing things I love to do on my own. I take time to read and write and draw. --I try to maintain my physical integrity. Grooming is something that is hard for me. I struggle to keep my hair done, my eyebrows clean, my nails healthy, etc. When I was working I got into trouble because I refused to maintain a professional appearance. Now, the key is, wherever I am, I try to dress like everyone else dresses,  be tasteful, and try not to look disheveled even though I may feel that way inside. This also includes maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise.



WOW! You have said a lot, and I can not see anything you have said that I can disagree with. I almost feel you wrote about me. Your right about one of the things about non-ADHD people, is that it is one of the hardest mental illness\'s to explain. I feel exhausted, and not getting anywhere with it. Geez, I still can not get my own mother or one sister to understand, even though I was raised with them. The only one that understands, is my one sister, who is also diagnosed with Bi-polar.

It is obviously not others responsibility to change to meet our needs. I know many times I feel that way to, because I did nothing wrong to be born like this, except having a racist, bigoted, egocentric, narcissistic, violent, chauvinistic, etc, father that I have not spoke with in over 16 years.

It would be better if more people understood us, and there are even other people that have ADHD that feel bitter about their circumstances, and have grown up with no help, that say get over it, because they had to. The point is, this does not make a better society, just to get over it, because most people with ADHD, like you said with your job, are maladjusted to society as a whole. I have lost count on how many jobs I have had, and how many I have quit over crap, or gotten fired over for stupid things.

What makes our problem, or at least my problem even worse, is that I can not even get help with this controversial illness.

I do like that you see the defects in your character, and are willing to voice it here and try to change it. It helps me a lot that I am not alone, and thank you so much. Like they say in GIJoe \"Knowing is half the battle.\" LOL