I write to always be this mother.
I have read before that it is suspected Edison had ADHD. Both of my sons have ADHD, and I am starting to wonder if my daughter does as well. My oldest struggles so much in school. I tell him every day, “you can do this, even if people say you can’t” Just this morning, he was getting frustrated with getting dressed. “Baby, I won’t yell at you, because I know it upsets you more if I yell. I will keep telling you that you can, but you need to start telling yourself that you can, too.” He was distraught before because his handwriting was ugly. “Bud, I don’t care what your handwriting looks like and neither should you. Focus on getting the info down, and stop thinking about it” The more I believe in him, the more he believes in him.
I tell my kids all the time that their brains are their superpowers. The way they think and feel makes them special. They can see the world differently, and they can do things differently. I believe there is nothing my kids can’t do. ADHD is a superpower. The amount of information that can be assimilated, acquired, and retained is incredible. The emotional rollercoaster of ADHD, though, is chaotic. I tell the kids every day that I love them more than anything. When they screw up, “Guys, this doesn’t make me stop loving you. It’s like emptying the ocean with a tea cup. You made a bad choice, you’re not a bad person.”
People say “Oh wow, you are a single mom of kids with ADHD?” Yes, very proudly. Trust me, I am NOT perfect. I have my limits. I get frustrated. It is not easy. I read this, I started sobbing, because I am as emotional as they come. Especially right now, because I started Lithium. My diagnoses have changed continuously, and I have fought for (and with) myself for years. I have yet to find a medication that doesn’t fundamentally alter everything I love about myself. This is not “oh you like being manic” because I have no idea what that means. When people say I’m behaving manic, I am depressed. When people say I’m behaving depressed, I’m trying to slow myself down, because my thoughts are racing. I describe myself in terms of anxiety and depression, because those are the symptoms I feel.
Right now, the diagnoses are Bipolar, OCD, GAD, PTSD, Borderline. I don’t mean to sound dismissive, but it is alphabet soup to me. At this point, I have spent 5 years struggling to find answers and be healthy/stable, I’ll try anything that gives me support without killing me. I have been diagnosed PTSD and ADHD, schizo-affective disorder, GAD/MDD/OCD/ADHD, PTSD/GAD/MDD, and on and on and on. This is the second or third time bipolar has been diagnosed, second or third time I am trying bipolar medication.
At this point, spirituality has done more for me than any medication I have ever taken. Meditation has been more potent than medication, but my life is anxiety at a baseline. I was having panic attacks just getting the kids on the bus. I was sobbing at my laptop trying to work. No, no more.
I want to be the person and Mom I am meant to be. I will not let my brain lie to me anymore. My brain loves to tell me to kill myself. My brain loves to tell me to hurt myself. My brain loves to tell me I am worthless. My brain loves to tell me that the world would be better off without me. For 20 years, I have argued with my brain. For 20 years, I have won that argument in one sense, while my body/mind/soul lost. I wasn’t dead, but I certainly wasn’t alive at times.
For 10 years, I have been a mom of a child with ADHD, and for 10 years, I have struggled in every way imaginable to be the mother he, then my daughter, then my youngest son deserve. I have been hospitalized 5 times for suicidality/anxiety/nervous breakdowns. I sobbed one night to my ex “It’s not like I haven’t tried!” I blamed myself for years that my mental illness ruined our marriage. That if I had a pill, I could have saved it. “No one loves you, and you don’t deserve love anyway” is the lie my brain loves to tell me.
Yet, I have 6 eyes staring back at me with all of the love in the world. There is nothing my children can’t do. There is nothing I won’t do to make the world a better place for my babies. I work every day to be healthy. Baby steps, forward, always. For me. For them.