A Semi Serious Post About ADHD and Parenthood

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I’ve been through two what would probably count as classic “clinical depressions”…or maybe just one really long one with a slight uplift in the middle. It was pretty awful, and I do my best to completely shut out a lot of those memories. On any given day of the week my moods are pretty volitile. Not just highs and lows, but sideways, too. Half the time I have no clue what I’m feeling or why I’m feeling and I drive myself crazy trying to figure it out. After reading multiple books on ADHD (don’t ask me the names, I forgot, but they’re usually straight off the shelf at Barnes and Nobles or my mom’s counseling wall) the moodiness apparently is part and parcel for many ADHDers.

But here’s the thing. I’ve been dealing with the emotional turmoil that is myself for my entire existence. I don’t remember NOT being easily angered, easily upset, easily euphoric, easily curious, easily bored, easily sad, easily uncomfortable, easily confident, easily terrified….all within the span of 24 hours. That’s pretty normal. And, in my current situation, I’m calling it a perk.

I was told so many times that having a child is life changing (and it is), and it’ll rock your world (and it has), and it’s an emotional upheavel (…weeeeellllllllll). I prepped super hard for any chance of me developing Post Partum Depression since I had been depressed in the past and I did NOT want that to effect Cade. I braced myself for the wildly fluctuating hormones and possible crazy personality shifts. When I started feeling run down around the 6 month mark I got a prescription for Zoloft just to be safe (I think I’ve taken a total of five zoloft pills, I don’t remember to take medications very well). I waited for the sense of wonder and euphoria after having Cade to wear off and the tedium to set in….and I’m still waiting.

Truth is, it was NICE to have hormones to blame for my fluctuating moods and crying at the drop of the hat. I KNEW why I was reacting to some things the way I was reacting and that made it a lot easier to cope. Cade can’t derail my emotions because my emotions never stay on track in the first place, but it’s nice to be able to say to other people, “Oh, well, you know, he isn’t sleeping through the night yet…” and them be all understanding (as opposed to, “WTF? Why are you so upset/angry/sad/gloomy/weird?”).

Don’t get me wrong, having a child is a  new experience and it brings along a lot of emotional ups and downs with it-but for me, ups and downs have ALWAYS been a part of my day to day existence, Cade just makes the ups so much more fun! I think parenthood may be more of an adjustment (in some ways) to those who are NOT as emotionally, ah, flexible? …ok, ok, moody. For them, the change in day to day routine is drastic, the fluctuation of moods and unfamiliar emotional responses are considerable because they aren’t used to dealing with them. For them, having a child is wonderful, but the change is definitely extreme. For me? Pish. I’ll be emotionally volitile for life, I’m just so glad I’ve had all those previous years to practice controlling my emotions before adding a munchkin to the mix. 🙂

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