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We have ADHD in our family. I have ADHD and my some of our kids have ADHD. I was diagnosed as a child and I was medicated during school hours till I was 12. In kindergarten I saw a therapist. I loved it because she played games with me and I left regular class to see her. I don’t know why my parents stopped my prescription medicine when I was older but I think it’s because they believed I could function without it. I maintained A’s and B’s in middle school, with an occasional C in subjects I had no interest in. I never studied. I still hate studying to this day. I always tested for advanced classes, yet I got a D in Algebra and Spanish. Probably because I never did my homework. My Algebra teacher was the most boring teacher I have ever known. Boring is a fail for a school teacher. How do you maintain the excitement of a class of 25 kids? Okay, okay… I know it’s still my fault… I should have studied… I also got a D in Spanish, but here I am, in Mexico, slowly learning to speak the language ;-) I love Spanish and my teacher was awesome in high school. But there was a really cute senior that sat right beside me in class and he was a flirter. Yep, that’s the truth, Mom.
After my freshman year I begged my parents to homeschool me. I had friends that were homeschooling, and I wanted to pioneer in our Bible ministry. Pioneering means we put in 60 or 90 hours a month in the ministry. This was back in the early 90’s. I graduated on time after my parents threatened to take my license away. I was and still am a terrible procrastinator :-( I started pioneering in 1994 and at age 16 my parents gave me the family cleaning business. I was homeschooling slowly but with good grades, pioneering in our Bible ministry, and learning to work and run a business during my high school years, despite having ADHD. That’s what I call, real life experience. Now here I am a mom of four, living in Mexico, homeschooling my kids, putting about 20 hours a month in our Bible ministry and having lots of fun as a blogger and a traveler.
ADHD is part of me. I get distracted easily, I procrastinate, I schedule more than I can do, I always have multiple projects going, I have trouble paying attention at our Bible meetings, I speak or act before I think about it, and sometimes my brain feels like it’s spinning. I also have anxiety issues and panic attacks, which I take medicine for. One of my doctors told me that children with ADHD are more likely to have depression or anxiety as adults. This made a lot of sense for me. If synapses in your brain are not firing correctly, then it’s going to cause you various mental health problems. Sometimes I wonder if I should be medicated for adult ADHD but right now I am in a happy place so why mess up a good thing? Plus the meds are expensive in Mexico when you pay out-of-pocket.
I feel like my parents did the best they could with me. I appreciate the direction they gave me, especially during my high school years. Love you, Mom and Dad! ADHD did not stunt me or hold me back. If anything it constantly pushes me forward, to explore whatever interests me and to take the world by a storm. To medicate or not to medicate? That is a personal question. Maybe it is good for some and not for others. Don’t judge. My ADHD can be very frustrating but I try to manage it the best I can and I never give up, unless I decide backing down is in my best interest. Do you have a story about ADHD or a similar mental health problem? Part Two will be about ADHD and my children. Stay tuned. Signing off, Tina