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I am 33 y/o and have been in counseling for 6 months. I finally took my therapists advise and went to a psychiatrist. He prescribed me Adderall. I have the generic which is called Amphetamine Salts 20 mg. I took my first dose 1 1/2 hours ago since I just got it at the pharmacy. He told me to take one in the a.m. and one at lunch time.
I know I took it too late, but wanted to try it while I'm at home. I didn't want to start this for the first time while driving or something.

I've struggled with ADD my entire life. I am also dyslexic. I was diagnosed as dyslexic when I was in junior high. However, they had a different name for it then. Then I went through testing in college due to troubles I was having on the standardized test they required. I could get through the college classes that I was interested in by listening. However, I struggled with keeping up with reading and the written assignments. If the classes were boring or distracting I had trouble listening.
Some how I made it even though it took a long time. I graduated college when I was 30 y/o. Which was huge for me. I was told by some family members and my ex that I wasn't smart enough and could never get through college. People really thought I wasn't smart because of my learning disability. I can't spell but luckily now a days we use the computer and it underlines if it's spelled wrong and theres spell check.

Okay, enough of my background. I thought finishing school would solve my problems. I thought that was my only difficulty. Now I struggle so much at work. Once again, people laugh at me or they think I'm careless etc. Some think I'm lazy or don't try.
I take my job very seriously and want to do well. I work for CPS as a social worker. I can't keep up with my administrative duties. I have forgotton about court(and didn't show after being subpoenaed), lost files, am always delinquent with turning in cases, my office looks Hurricane Katrina hit it, and so on. I feel like crying when I think about it. I know I'm good at what I do. I do well with my clients and I'm very intuitive and can tell when people are lying to me. I do well with figuring out the investigative stuff like if a child was abused and how etc. I just suck at the rest.

I also am the parent that always forgets to sign my kids report card, or other papers. I have also lost those things. I get my kids to school late and forget about specific school projects etc. My youngest is just like me and I feel like a failure because I can't help her keep up with her stuff. I can't even keep up with mine. I have forgotton to pay bills and/or lost them etc. My youngest daughter is also dyslexic. I paid a lot of money to put her through a program to help her. I am supposed to follow up with it at home but can't seem to keep an organized schedule to accomplish that plus her homework and cook dinner and complete laundry. Before I know it it's 11 p.m. and I have a mess surrounding me and my daughters in tears cuz its past her bedtime and we didn't get her stuff done.

I really am sorry for this long post. I'm just feeling extremely depressed. I feel like the biggest failure and looser. Everything in my life is in such bad shape and I'm the cause. My finances, my job, my home, my kids, and I can't get control of it. I can spend a day focused on organizing my life. I've written schedules, budgets, and even make it on excel documents. I print them and put them on the fridge. ....I just can't seem to follow it or I loose it or I get off track without realizing it until it's too late.

I do this at work too. I will stay there late one night or come in on a weekend and organize it so I can do better, but before I know it Katrina came back and destroyed everything.

I still wonder if I really have ADD or if I just am really inadequate? Could I really just be careless and lazy or a flake? Could I be in denial or could I doubt myself due to the way my family views me? I am afraid to take Amphetamines due to it being addictive.
I took my first one today and I felt light headed about 30 minutes after. It's now been 1 hour and 40 min ago and the light headedness has warn off for the most part. I'm a little sick to my stomach, but I didn't eat before it like I should have.
I have never used drugs and I don't drink alcohol. I should say I rarely drink alcohol. Once in a great while I will have a drink...and usually don't even drink an entire drink on those rare occasions. I grew up with alcoholics and drug addicts and swore I'd never become them. I'm the only one who went to college and obviously the only one who graduated. I have a Bachelors degree in social work. I know addictions can be hereditary. I am worried about taking ADD meds. I don't think I'd get addicted because I don't like taking any meds and I don't like the light headed feeling I get when I do have alcohol....hence why I don't finish my drink.

Is the light headedness something that will go away as my body gets used to the meds?

I am sure I sound crazy now with this mega long post and I'm sure no one will even bother to read it. I just needed to get all that off my chest to people who may understand and not laugh at me.
I know that I am really not a flake or air head. I also know that I am intelligent regardless of how I come across to some. I really want to appear intelligent and I want to look as though I'm in control and have myself together. Not just look that way....I want to be that way. I want an organized and structured life for myself and my children. I'm not doing well at providing that to them and not showing them how to do it either. My 12 y/o helps I loose my car keys daily. I have them in my hand with out realizing it and set them down without realizing it. She pays attention now and picks them up where I leave them and puts them in my we aren't running around the next morning looking for them.

Anyway, if you actually read this...thanks and sorry.
Thank you for all your replies. means a lot that you all don't and wont think I'm crazy. Thanks all for making me feel welcome.
Once I get everything off my chest my posts will be mush shorter.
I wrote in All Caps at the bottom what my main questions are....since it seems to be a little disorganized. And you may not have time or the attention span :) to read through all this! That won't offend me cuz I don't know if I could read through it all. ;)

I have gone to quite a few counselors in my life. Many dismiss what I would say and others would say I'm just overwhelmed etc. I have been told I'm irresponsible. The worst is when my family would call and say, "I just don't understand how you live. You have got to get yourself organized" and so on. I would snap back at them and feel myself getting very angry.

I have a couple more questions.

First of all, my 10 y/o daughter is just like me. I was told and believed that she is this way because she learned it from me. My family told me this. Is it possible for her to pick up some of my negative ADD traits? I feel really bad for her during the school year. Her teacher will tell her over and over to bring her Social Studies book home to study for her test. Guess what....she comes home with no book and forgot she had a test all together. She's the kid who shows up to class everyday without her supplies. She's lost her pencils, pencil sharpener got left in the car, homework...oops what homework? She even went to school without shoes once. She climbed in the back seat and drove them to school and she got out of the car and realized she forgot her shoes.
Luckily she is in a good Charter school now that is very big on hands on learning. She does not get in trouble for this stuff at her current school.
K through 3rd was horrible for her. 3rd grade was it...I went in there and caused a scene and withdrew her and my other daughter that day. I guess that was my ADD at play because on the way home my kids asked what they were going to do the next day and I had no idea. That was a complete impulsive move on my part.
I was so fed up with them. I will call my youngest daughter Susie on here. In first grade Susie had to go to restroom and teacher wouldn't let her. She had an accident. Teacher noticed her puddle at her chair and her pants all wet. Teacher asked her if she had accident and susie said no due to embarrassment. Susie then got in trouble and got her folder signed for lying.

2nd grade Susie forgot to bring her lunch with her to lunch everyday. Teachers started refusing to let her go back and get it. They also wouldn't help remind her. I would remind in her the morning but that left her brain by the time she got to school.

3rd grade she didn't hear, listen, or understand her instructions. She did something wrong on her paper...and her teacher wadded up her paper and threw it in the trash in front of the entire class. Many more issues in between all that but that 3rd grade thing was it for me. My child was in tears daily begging not to go to school. She was miserable!
She begs me to help with with these things. We will sit and talk about it and come up with solutions to help she and I to not forget her stuff. I always screw it up and forget to remind her and she forgets.

Kindergarten...she'd play with her shoe laces at circle time. She even tied her shoes together several times. Her teacher would tell her to stop doing that and pay attention. Susie did stop and within minutes she was doing it again. Sure enough she'd get her folder signed.
I talked to susie about that and her response was..."I did stop when the teacher told me to". I reminded her that she turned around and did it again...and susie said, "I forgot that I wasn't supposed to do that". I know my child and I know she really forgot and didn't realize she was doing it again.
For the first time ever she loves school. She just completed the 4th grade at this new school. In fact she got so interested in reading that I'm buying her a chapter book one to two times a week cuz she reads them so fast.
Her spelling is still very jacked up but I know that's the dyslexia. I'm thankful she can read now.
I always knew she was very intelligent. Even at the age of 3 she used large vocabulary words that typical 3 year olds don't use. She couldn't read in kindergarten at all, and 1st grade she didn't read much. I worked with her and she'd end up doing headstands and flips off the back of the couch. Now I know those words were moving all over the page and she couldn't read.
Give her a social studies or a science book to read...and we are in big trouble! She cannot do that. I tried reading to her and within minutes she's trying to tell me a story or she's doing Kartwheels on my living room floor, or she's thirsty etc. No attention span with those books.

Even though she loves school now she still becomes very upset when she shows up without her supplies or homework. She does cry over it and causes her grief.

My older daughter who I will call Mary has other problems. She's been talking about killing herself since she was 4 years old. She would actually try to run into ongoing traffic. Long story..but bottom line I took her to doctors and counselors and was criticized by my family and the kids father. I was told it was my fault. I got her a neuro psych exam at the age of 5 and was told she had PDD NOS. She was in the NICU for a month following birth. After all the critisism I stopped taking her to docs and just did counseling.
Now Mary is 12 years old and no better than she was back then. A few weeks ago she mentioned suicide again and I finally said no more. Now she's getting to an age where she could actually do something. And I don't want my daughter to continue suffering. I have an appt. for her to see a doc next week. Counseling hasn't helped. I have a new therapist appt. set up as well.

Between the 3 of us we are really a train wreck. Several weeks ago when I made the appt. for Mary I realized I need to make one for me. My counselor dxd me with ADD 5 months ago. I knew then that I have to be serious about getting Mary help and I can't help her when I'm all over the place and can't remember what day it is. ALso, my temper has gotton out of control and I have had no patience in dealing with my kids. I've been yelling at them more than usual and said things I shouldn't have said.

I reached my rock bottom. I felt like I wanted to get in my car and drive far away from everything. I can no longer deal with my life alone. I cannot have the added stress from bills not being paid, being late to work, late taking them to school, loosing important papers at home and work, and just living in such chaos. I can't do all that and be patient, consistent, understanding, and focused solutions for my kids problems.

I looked at myself and realized I'm just as self destructive as my mother. Only I am not a drunk and I don't do drugs.
Yes, I need therapy to help me cope better. I learned coping mechanisms to help me survive childhood that no longer serves me. My counselor worked with me on new coping strategies..but I would forget what they are when I came home. I wasn't able to impliment them before. I hope I can now with my ADD treatment.
Also, sitting in a quiet room with my therapist is hard at times. My eyes will start burning, my body feels stiff and uncomftorable, and I can hear the sounds of nothing in the air and my counselors voice in the background. At times it's tough for me to sit there and listen to her. I focus on my burning eyes and stuff. Then I fight it so it doesn't appear as though I'm bored or uninterested.

I need noise in the back ground and it's too quiet there.

Anyway, I promise I will not make all of my posts so long. I feel relieved that there are others like me and understand. I am feeling so relieved that I can get my life in order.

I did hire a financial coach in April. I haven't followed the budget as I should. IN fact I can't find it but I have another copy on my work computer.

Due to my financial mess I don't know that I can afford a life coach. My counselor told me that because I lack inner structure I need to find external structure. There is no external structure in my home. I don't know where to find it as I'm limited financially. I'm a social worker and a single mom...that alone is a reason I'm broke. But also, I'm behind on all my bills.

Okay, I'm about done.

I do have a problem with drinking excessive caffeine. I understand now that I was unknowingly looking for stimulants. My therapist told me months ago that ADD/ADHD people tend to drink a lot of caffeine, and smoke due to needing stimulants and something to do with their hands etc. I also smoke.

I would stay up late at night and drink coffee. I also fidget with my hair, my nails etc. I never considered myself hyper. In fact sometimes I feel lazy. I can't make myself get up and do things...even though I need to.

However, I can't stand to stay in one place too long. This is what i like about my job. It's 75% local travel. When I feel like I can't stand sitting at my desk any longer I go outside and smoke. When I stop and think about it I really don't even care about having a cigarette. I just want to go somewhere.
I also get fidgety when I'm driving and smoke then.

I can already tell with this medication I don't need to drink caffeine and would love to stop smoking. I have quit many times. However, now they are habits I've formed.

How do I stop these habits that I no longer need? I'm sure it's not even healthy to drink caffeine while on a least not the amount I'm used to drinking.

I did eat something before taking my meds this a.m. and I don't feel as dizzy as yesterday when I didn't eat first...maybe after a few days of taking it and eating the side effects will subside.

I am very sensitive to medications anyway.

Okay, I'm done.

[B][U]IF YOU JUST WANT TO SKIM THROUGH THIS...MY MAIN QUESTIONS ARE: [/U][/B] [SIZE="3"]How to stop the habits I've formed to help me and no longer need...i.e.caffeine and smoking

Could Susie really have ADD/ADHD? Or could she have picked up my bad habits and ways.

Also, any info regarding kids and ADD meds you can share? I am worried about giving my child a stimulant.

I don't know if Mary has ADD or not...but she was born with heart problems and I would never feel safe giving it to her. Although, she no longer has a diagnosis of a heart problem. She was said to be fine when she was around 7 yrs old. I almost lost her at birth and don't want any more medical issues.

Oh, man, what you're saying about your younger daughter is really so much like what I went through at that age. Every single day of first/second grade, I went to school and was in trouble. A lot of the time I literally did not know what I was being punished for ("You know what you did!") and almost all the rest of the time I hadn't done it deliberately.

I was one of those rare girls with true hyperactivity. My mother swears my first word was "Up!" as in, "Mommy, ungate the stairs and let me climb up them!" Hyperactive little boys get away with being called "rambunctious," at least for a few years. Back in the mid-1980's, hyperactive little girls were obviously severely emotionally disturbed and came from bad families. I could read at age 4, but I wasn't really ready for the discipline of a regular school classroom until I was about 10.

I'm not saying ADD kids shouldn't be disciplined, they absolutely need consistent appropriate discipline, but the expectations should fit their capabilities. Sending a kid to time-out for punching a classmate: Good. Sending a kid to time-out for not following instructions she didn't hear because coloring was just so INTERESTING: Bad.

Direct answers to questions:

Yeah, Susie probably got it from you. That's because it's genetic. The other things you can give her are lessons in how to manage it, both from educational resources and by example.

Mary honestly does not sound ADD to me. Not sure what's going on there.

Quitting bad habits: It's entirely possible that with appropriate doses of Adderall, you just won't need the coffee or nicotine as much anymore. Still, one thing at a time. Maybe try to change one thing in your life per month, and possibly quitting smoking should wait until other things are a bit more orderly. What do you think the biggest problem you have right now is? Keeping track of time? Keeping track of stuff?

Coaching doesn't have to cost a lot, and with the right person, you may be able to make progress in just a few weeks.

Just remember that you are doing this for your children, and don't let anyone's judgmental ways stand between your family and the help you need.
I'm going to try to avoid answering the same questions Jane did, because she's entirely right. I do have a couple of things to say though.

First, take a deep breath and a mental step back and understand that getting your ADHD treated is absolutely your number one priority. Fire your financial coach, because unless he/she is knowledgeable about ADHD, you'll just end up frustrating one another. Use the money you were paying the financial coach to look at an ADHD coach. An ADHD coach will teach you to build that external structure at home. They know ADHD and can help you learn to pay your bills on time, get to work, do the laundry and get the groceries. They can also teach you how to accept yourself so you can stop feeling guilty and worthless and use your time to make life better for you and your kids.

Forget about everything else for now. Keep the bad habits if you still need them, take the meds, take care of your kids and work on this ADHD thing.

Your craving for caffeine and nicotine is absolutely self medication. As an ADHDer, you're short on the neurotransmitter dopamine, the neurotransmitter responsible for the feeling of satiety, among other things, and when you don't have enough of that, your brain craves it desperately. Coffee and smoking release dopamine, thus making your brain feel and function slightly better. There are other ways to self medicate: I always did so with food. Overeating releases dopamine, and that's how I subconsciously chose to do it, leading to the inevitable result of chronic overeating. Others get their fix through extreme behaviour, illicit drugs, alcohol, and all kinds of other self destructive ways. I think you did pretty well just drinking a lot of coffee and smoking. Obviously you do want to quit those, but take things one at a time.

I'm going to bold my next sentence, because it's extremely important for you to understand. [B]The simplest way for you to undermine your progress is to expect too much too fast.[/B] I fell victim to that one, no question. Take your time, don't heap too much on your plate right away, and no matter how hard it is, don't get discouraged if things don't improve as fast as you would like. Early on with the medication treatment, you're likely going to experience euphoria. You're going to find that you have more energy, more focus and more will to get things done. You'll be excited by this and feel that everything's all better. It's not. There is still a lot of work to be done. It's not easy, overcoming a lifetime of undiagnosed ADHD and learning to function, but it's absolutely worth it.

A couple of little suggestions that might help, might not. If you're really worried about your caffeine intake, have you thought about switching to decaf, at least for your late-day coffee? That will give you the comfort of still having your coffee, but cut back on the late-day stimulant which can absolutely interfere with getting decent sleep (lack of decent sleep, of course, will magnify your ADHD symptoms, so you want to sleep as well as you can).

As far as forgetting to bring things along in the morning, something that's worked for me (when I remember to use it, lol) is a checklist. I literally made up a checklist in word and printed it out and check everything off before I walk out the door. Is the garbage out? Do I have my keys, my wallet, my phone, etc? You can make one up for the girls as well, and make something of a game of it, like pilots preparing for takeoff.

I've also put a little bin on the kitchen counter where I throw everything when I get home. My wallet, my keys, my ipod, my cell phone (obviously not everything stays in there, but at least I know where it is at first). This keeps everything in one place and I know where it is. Other people have hooks near the door to put their keys on.

If you have time to read, pick up the book [I]You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?![/I] by Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo. This book lays out what ADHD is, how it manifests and some strategies for working around it. I promise you, when reading the first half of the book you'll have plenty of 'Oh, THAT'S why I do that!' moments. You will definitely be better off for having read it.

As far as medicating the kids, they've been treating kids for ADHD with stimulants since the 1950s, and as far as I know it's a safe practice. That said, there is a lot of info on the web about the effects of stimulant medication on children, you'll probably want to check that out. I know a lot of kids don't like stimulants, they tend to make the kids feel like zombies, which is a sensation they don't enjoy. Adults don't have this problem. Honestly, if Susie is doing well at her new school, you may want to leave her unmedicated, as you get your own situation under control, you should have more success providing the structure necessary for her to thrive anyway. It's a big decision, take your time, there's no hurry, do what you think is best.

Remember you've taken the biggest and most important step, finding help, now keep things in perspective and keep putting one foot in front of the other. You're doing great.

Best of luck!
Thanks again for all your responses. My daughter was most definantly hyper. She is the only baby I ever saw stand up in the middle of the floor and take off. Typically babies pull themselves up on furniture and then walk accross furniture. She never pulled herself up on furniture. She just walked.

I think I will wait until I get myself under control and see if I can help her more. She doesn't get in trouble at this school for her behavior. They don't see her as a behavior problem. In fact her teachers think she's funny.

Today was day 2 of my Adderall 20mg. I have terrible muscle aches and feel stiff. I have early stages of degenerative joint disease. I was diagnosed with this a few months ago. I do have joint and muscle pain off and on that is pretty painful. I don't know if I'm just having one of my episodes or if it's related to the meds?

I also have an upset stomach.

I do feel more alert and more aware of things...does that make sense? I can't explain it but it's like a visual thing. Things actually look clearer to my eyes as if I were wearing glasses.

I also feel more depressed. I find my self in tears a lot over the last 2 days. I don't know if this is because I'm more aware of how jacked up my life is? Or is this because I don't feel like I'm any better at being organized. I still have hundreds of thoughts going through my head at once.

In some ways I feel more focused...but I am still lacking the motivation. I don't feel as irritated today. My car broke this evening on my way home from work. I had to sit in my car and wait for roadside assistance to tow me home. I wasn't the least bit irritated. It sucks but what can I do? I don't get paid til Wed. so it's gonna have to wait. I can get a friend to take me to work.

I don't know if I would have been irritated with that before the meds. I think it would depend on whether I had plans and needed my car that night. I don't have plans tonight and wasn't in a hurry as I am a lot of times.

I don't have much of an appetite.

My main concern regarding side effects is the depression and muscle/joint pain and stiffness. I was not this depressed before the meds and I don't feel depressed now. It hit me a few times today and a little yesterday and I just started crying and didn't know why.

In regards to my financial coach..its funny someone brought that up. I e-mailed him today and asked him if he would change up our plan. I told him about my ADD and explained I'm not using it as an excuse but until I get more help dealing with it I am not capable of following the budget the way it is written now. I haven't followed our current plan anyway...but have been beating myself up over not following it. Now I realize I just can't right now. I also can't afford anymore financial screw ups. I do need him but I need it done differently. I asked him if he's ever worked with ADD clients.

He currently has it set up where I mail my bills. I take a certain amount out of my account and take it another bank and put there for non-monthly expenses. I also put a certain amount in a money market account. I then take a certain amount of cash out and only use cash for groceries and maybe something else...cant remember.
That's the jist of it.

We developed the budget in March or April. I still have not even opened my non-monthly expense account or money market account. And I don't mail anything. I can never find my envelopes or stamps. If I did I wouldn't make it to the mail box and I'd end up loosing my payment.

I know myself and I know that is too many steps for me and too many errands. Knowing me if I took the cash out for the non-monthly expenses...I'd pass by a Starbucks and think oh...i'm going to get a coffee. $3 missing from this cash won't make a difference. Then I might pass a garage sale and stop to look and find something to buy....o'well whats another few dollars. The kids might ask for a new book and then I'll remember this book I've been wanting to get so we go to the book store...then we are hungry...o what the heck lets splurge and go out to eat. Then we come home and relax. If I'm lucky I'll wake up the next morning and think....oh no I forgot to deposit that money in the bank. I will then say ok we have got to go get that done. I get purse and my money's gone. I will not understand where my money went. I only spent a few dollars on coffee and at the garage sale. THose books were on sale and pretty cheap. I will have lost all concept of how the money is gone. Then I feel really bad about myself and worried about what my financial coach will think and what can I tell him? I might even snap at the kids and get irritated with them because they are the ones that wanted to go to the book store in the first place and how could I allow them to convince me of that etc etc etc...... O.k. You get the gist of what would happen with that idea. And that's if I actually took the money out and headed to that bank that I never opened. I haven't even made it that far yet.

I do the same thing with my debit card...I just spend a few dollars here and there....why is my account over drawn or empty. Did someone steel my card and empty my account???
Then I have disconnect notices in the mail from my utilities. I call them crying an beg them to make arrangements with me.

As you can see I need a financial coach....but I cannot follow that plan. I need everything set up on automatic payments. I have too much trouble paying bills over the phone or online...let alone trying to mail a check. Speaking of I haven't even seen my checkbook in months. I'd have to order more checks.

I hear you all talk about a ADHD coach. I don't believe I can do it. I feel like I need a live in ADHD coach that will follow me around all day long and make sure I'm on track and doing what I'm supposed to do. Not a friendly fun ADHD coach cuz then I'd just want to talk and socialize with them and be offended and irritated if they put me back on track.

I know myself there too. I'd go to my appointment with the coach and I would be really excited about his/her plan for me an would feel such relief that now things will be different. Then I'd get home and forget what I was supposed to do or not understand when I'm supposed to do it. So I think I'll call and clarify the next day....but forget to call. Then I can't remember when my next appt. is so I will think in my mind every day how i need to call see when I'm supposed to come back. Before I know it I've missed and now I'm too embarrassed to reschedule...or I will think of a good reason why missed and not admit I forgot.

I have written more lists in my lifetime and always lost them or forgot to use them.
I can't keep up with my calendar either.

I don't really know how I can really change this time. I've tried so many times.

I feel some difference on the meds but I don't feel like I'm improved enough on the meds to make all those changes. I don't want a higher dose because I fear these side effects will increase. I can't continue to start crying in the middle of the day for no reason and this body pain I feel is too much for me. I will get less done if I'm hurting.

I want to underscore a principle both Jane and Thu touched on.

Jane said, "Maybe try to change one thing in your life per month, and possibly quitting smoking should wait until other things are a bit more orderly."

Thu said, "Forget about everything else for now. Keep the bad habits if you still need them, take the meds, take care of your kids and work on this ADHD thing." Further on he said, "The simplest way for you to undermine your progress is to expect too much too fast. I fell victim to that one, no question. Take your time, don't heap too much on your plate right away, and no matter how hard it is, don't get discouraged if things don't improve as fast as you would like."

I made the same mistake. I also expected too much too fast.

I read or heard somewhere that it takes 21 days (three weeks) to form a habit. I just looked it up to confirm that "21 days" is the correct value. My memory did not fail. "21 days" was once thought to be correct. My source proved beyond all doubt that 21 days is a gross underestimation. My experience concurs.

Most likely, the "21 days" figure came from a book published in 1960 by a plastic surgeon. The surgeon noticed that amputees took, on average, 21 days to adjust to the loss of a limb and he argued that people take 21 days to adjust to any major life changes.

The study, my source, concluded that habits take between 18 and 66 days to form where 66 days is both a plateau and an average, that is, by the 66 day point the action had become as much of a habit as it was ever going to become and most of the participants needed all 66 days. The 96 participants felt their new habit took between 18 days up to 254 days to form.

The researchers found a curved relationship between practice and "automaticity" or habit. The participants that took the longest didn't practice regularly. Two variables account for the range of 18 to 66 days. 1) The difficulty of the action. 2) Regular daily early on practice. Missing a day or two early on was detrimental. Missing a day or two of practice later on didn't affect the chance of forming the habit. Easy to form habits formed toward the 18 day end of the range. Harder to form habits took closer to 66 days if practiced regularly especially early on.

I credit the researchers for noting a third critical variable easily overlooked. The researchers noted the much-repeated 21 days to form a habit is a considerable underestimation unless it is your only goal in life. If I lost a limb, adjusting to the loss would be my only goal. The surgeon's observation of 21 days to adjust to loss of limb is evidently accurate. His logic failed to cross the bridge to all new habits because very few new habits have such a high level of priority to demand becoming are one exclusive goal in life until reached.

I wanted to confirm "21 days." I ended up with a valuable, perhaps invaluable, education in forming new habits. The research confirms the accuracy and validity of Jane and Thu's advice.

1) "Try to change one thing in your life per month." "Forget about everything else for now." Make that one thing your sole goal in life.

2) "The simplest way for you to undermine your progress is to expect too much too fast." If you add another goal before the first has become nearly habitual, the second goal will cause a significant loss in goal 1 progress."

Make each goal specific and meaningful. I do something similar to Thu's "checklist before out the door." My checklist is my "plan of action after I'm out the door." I write a todo list that includes how to do the do's. This AM my "list" had the item, "inflate trailer tires." I prefaced that item with "get the compressor out of the back shed and move to garage." Without my "how to do" preface, I would have went to the garage, discovered the compressor missing, couldn't inflat the tires, plan stalls and brain jams. Yes, on that one account, I would have unjammed rather quickly lossing just a few minutes. I can lose most of my productive day trying to find what I need, or gathering the prerequisites needed to do the scheduled tasks from multiple small time losses. Plus usually much more time per incident is lost than my example.

May I suggest that you make a daily checklist your first goal whether of Thu's type or my type or a combined type. Let your needs dictate. My checklist or daily action plan makes the difference between ending the day with a sense of satisfaction or frustration. No other singular new habit has helped me nearly as much.

Without my med, Adderall, I would never have learned my checklist habit or any other new healthy habits. ADHD is the "why" I couldn't form healthy habits and by default formed chaos causing habits.

Adderall controls ADHD thus removes the cause. Think of it this way. A building catches fire. The firemen come and put the fire out. The cause of the damage is removed but the damage done remains. A fire damage restoration team comes in and corrects the damage done. Coaches and therapists are part of the restoration team. New healthy habits are our "structural materials" like the new walls, ceilings, and paint used to restore a fire damaged building. Those new habits will give you the structure you need.

3) Practice, practice, practice each day by completing your checklist. Just do it, don't worry about its quality. Implementation feedback will improve its quality. Practice, practice, practice, each day by completing each day your checklist. If you miss a day, resume the next day. Try hard not to miss any days for the first two weeks. Even so, miss a day, resume the next day.

I doubt if 21 days is enough for your checklist to become habitual. In reality, you can't make it your only goal in life. There are simply too many other things screaming for attention. Go a full month per Jane. Add your next goal at month's end. Your next goal may cause some loss in checklist habit progress. As soon as you see any losses, try integrating your second goal with your first. For example, if your second goal is office organization, use your checklist to help you organize your office. My efforts that produced a nicely organized office, reverted to office chaos in less than a week because I did not have a good office organization maintenance habit in place. It's ongoing. Continually putting stuff back in its place keeps offices organized.

I almost always need a written action plan to put stuff back after I'm done using it. Lots of stuff must be moved from many storage areas into working space. I have a hard time remembering where each item is stored hence have trouble putting things away.

(A discussion for another time: Since I can write down where each item goes, the problem can't be I can't remember. The problem lies in our brain's working space. It is as complex as complex gets. So another day, another time, we can chew on it. I've found a basic understanding helpful in controlling my symptoms.)


You got quite a few replies during the time it took me to research the time it takes to form new habits. Those replies plus mine should give you "the something that works for you."
I feel very impatient. I don't think my meds and my dosage are effective for me. Maybe that's not something I can tell this soon.
I think a smaller dosage is worth a try. I can call my doctor on Monday and see if he will do that.

I need to figure out what goal I want to start first. I think the daily check list sounds great, but don't know if I'm ready for that. Writing a daily check list also entails planning for the day. In just imagining trying to plan for a day feels very stressful to me. I don't plan my days...other than I know I'm going to work. I can't even plan a work day....I have tried that and always loose that list.

I also have a problem with motivation and avoidance. Yes, my financial situation is very stressful and I want it fixed. Then thinking about getting on it tomorrow is scary for me. I tend to want to do things later...never now. In getting my finances in order and paying bills means I have to deal with it and see how bad it is. That makes me want to run.

For the one who mentioned missing sound just like me. I am a social worker and often get subpoenaed. I'm supposed to be a professional witness. 2 weeks ago I totally forgot about a subpeona I recieved until I got a phone call from the judge. The judge asked why I wasn't at court. It was humiliating.

I was subpoenaed today to...had to be there at 8:30 for a hearing. I didn't get there until after 9.

There was one time I was so late for court that they started the trial. I was called to the witness stand and I wasn't there. The attorneys were calling my cell phone. Luckily I was near then. When I walked in the court room it was dead silence and all eyes were on me. I was told to go straight to the witness stand.

How professional is all that? And that is only a couple court mishhaps...there is much more as you can imagine.

I know there were other suggestions but I can't remember them.

I guess those to made me nervous...the list and finances. I know I brought up the finances.

Honestly, what I really want is to not ever look at my bills and money. I want someone else to do that and then hand me my spending money, grocery money, and gas money.

The same as an organizer...I would really like for someone to do it all for me and follow me around to make sure I'm on track and don't veer off somewhere.

I know i sound completely lazy. I don't really know if I'm being lazy or if I lack the confidence in my ability to do this.

I am afraid to tell my kids anything about lists or schedules etc. They don't take any of that seriously. They've heard it before from me.

I actually did make my daughter a check list for everything she needs to do in the morning and how long she has to do it. Because I would be walking out the door to take them to school and she'd be in her jammies and laying down. I did the list thing because when she didn't know what to do she layed down instead of ask me what to do and I don't have time to watch over her to see what she's doing in the morning...since I'm getting ready for work and making lunches etc.

She used the list for a few days before we lost it. The other problem is that I over sleep a lot so she has to really move it on those days...and that list irritated me because she slowly went down the list even though I told her we have 15 min. to get ready.

I also made a list for them after school. I'm not even sure what happened to it. My kids would forget to look at it anyway, and I wasn't here to remind them. I meant to call them to remind them but didn't. I had a babysitter here but I only had her stay with them for an hour so I could save money.

I could go on and on here.

My problem is that I think too much and make it more complicated. Instead of thinking of a simple list I think of having to plan. I really can't plan because unexpected things come up and that would throw me way off track and I would feel as thought I'm not following my list.

The other thing is that I am usually all or nothing. I either let it all go or I am a complete perfectionistic freak.
The lists I made in the past were so specific. I had timed everything. Like walk out the door at 7:40; arrive at work at 8:30; start working on so and so's case at 9:00 etc. I did that so that I can manage my time better. I would tend to spend way too much time on one thing or procrastinate so much I'd not do it at all.
The thing is that if I was late and didn't get to work until 9 then I would spend an hour going through my list to change the times on everything...since I started 30 min. later everything on my list was thrown off schedule.

Bottom line...I don't know how to plan my day and make a list.

I know it sounds crazy but I don't know how to make things simple. I always think of the what if's and the possibilities that could change my plan and how do I change with out creating more chaos. I drive people crazy with this.

I don't know how to focus on simple things and block the rest of stuff out of my head.

I don't really know how to explain what I'm trying to say. And I can't believe I am up this late. I usually am up late but never this late..I didn't even realize what time it is.

Bob, I'm going to read your research more thourogh tomorrow. I couldn't concentrate on it. I got the gist but I need read it again.
I took my first dose of meds on Thurs. afternoon and then I took both my doses yesterday...which is a.m. and lunch time.
Both Thursday and Friday night I only slept 5 hours. I don't know if it was really a full 5 hours because I tossed and turned a while before going to sleep.

I think I read in my prescription not to break the tablets? Mine are pills and not capsules. They are IR too. I'm not sure if I should wait until I get a less mg. dosage before taking it again? Or keep taking taking it.
If I can break a tablet that would be 10 mg.

I am usually very sensitive to medication. I get nauseous from medicines that don't make anyone else nauseous. My doc would say that's not even a listed side effect. It doesn't matter...I feel nauseous with every prescription I've ever been given including antibiotics.
I refuse to take any pain meds because that tipple time and I'm vomiting everytime no matter how much I eat with it. Prescription Aleve makes me too sick. I just do over the counter for my arthritis stuff.

I always expect side effects. The problem with me is that I usually find I'd rather deal with whatever my problem or ailment or whatever is than I would deal with the side effects of the med to treat that problem.

Therefore, I rarely go to the doctor because they will just give me some other prescription. I had knee pain, ankle pain, back pain, and shoulders etc. for quite awhile, but I felt it getting worse. It seemed like maybe I even had a kidney infection because of the pain in my low back. I went to the doc and tests were fine. She sent me for x-rays and then was told I have the early stages of degenerative joint disease. She said it's a progressive disease and will worsen over the years. I already know this as my mother has it too....hence her addiction to prescription pills.

I don't want to take pain meds for this...especially if I'm in the early stages. And this disease is progressive...I don't want to get sucked into the pain pill trap. I would take a pain pill as the absolute last possible thing to try. I'd do acupuncture, yoga, physical therapy...anything put the pills.

I know my mom has severe pain...don't doubt that. The problem is she never tried any other method of pain relief. She's been on pain pills now for 16-17 years. She's also type one diabetic and she swallows the pills with alcohol. I've called her docs and told them what she does...and she finds another doc. I don't care what she does's her life. But I will not make her mistakes. The last time I called her doc was 12 years ago. Nowadays I stay away....but make a little visit.

I sound bitter towards her because I am. This is irrelevant to ADHD...but 7 months ago A man broke into my mothers house and nearly beat her to death. Every bone from the waist up was broken or fractured..fore arm, shoulder, ribs, facial bones, skull fracture, vertebrate, and so on. She had ruptured lung. Plus black eyes..bruises from head to toe. Her teeth were even knocked out. She spent 2 months in ICU and Critical Care and almost died several times. She got pneumonia several times. She then spent some time in a rehabilitation center and then spent time in a brain rehabilitation center as she had some brain damage.
I took 2 months off work using my sick time that I built up and I didn't mind at all. I wanted to be there and wanted to support my dad. My dad works nights and felt guilty cuz he worked over time that night. If he came home normal time he would have walked in on what happened or prevented it. He normally gets home around 11ish...but that night it was nearly 3 a.m. He came home to police cars and ambulance etc.

My dad has been clean and sober for about 20 years.

I was at the hospital every day. My dad and I took shifts so someone was always there. He and I are the only family in the state.

Anyway, what did she do when she came home from all that???? she started on the booze once again after not having any alcohol for 3-4 months. She was on something to help the withdrawal while in ICU...but not the same thing.
She quickly went back to criticizing me and just being a total b**** towards me as usual. Don't get me wrong I would have done that all over again even knowing how she will treat me in the end. The guy who did it came in through her garage because she leaves it open. I tell her to close that garage..hasn't she learned anything. She still keeps it open when my dad is gone. He gets really mad too....but I learned many many years ago to be there and help when she's sick and keep my distance in between.
Due to being diabetic and she doesn't take care of herself she gets sick often.

She tells me I cause my kids problems because of the way I am. She is mean and she says things that cut to the bone.

I know that's irrelevant, to the topic here, but thought I'd share that since it was fairly recent.
The problem is I get away from her and finally start to feel better about myself...and then some tragedy happens and I'm sucked back in.
She's still my mother and I can't turn my back on her in those times of need.

As the years go on it's much easier to turn off her criticism from my head.
However, I still have this inadequate feeling about myself. I guess I would take her less seriously if my life weren't such a train wreck.
My kids tell her that I get them to school late and all my issues. I can't hide anything from her because of the kids. I do let the kids visit her 1 to 2 times a month and they talk on the phone with her. I only let them spend the night if my dad is off work.

Do any of you have a relative that is overly critical of you and just out right mean?
Anyway, back to my point.
This is the first time EVER that I am willing to suffer the side effects to get better.

I did put my doct. appointment in my phone calendar and did mean to put more in just haven't.
I have a work lap top that I am on a lot. I haven't figured out how to use that Outlook calendar yet. Other people in the agency that make appointments with me put in on there some how so that little reminder thing pops up...I didn't put in in though. Not sure how that works?

I did apply for another job. The job opening just closed on Thursday. So I'm expecting them to call for interviews this next week or so. It's under the same agency but a different thing. It's a much less stressful job with much less of a workload. I was really hoping that I get this job. Now..I'm second guessing myself. I'm worried I'll get too bored since it's a much less exciting of a job...but my current workload is too much for me to keep up with.

Right now I work for CPS. I investigate child deaths, or any severe abuse. Severe abuse is babies with broken bones, or older kids with bad injuries plus rapes etc. They also consider any referral regarding a child under the age of 5 to be severe. Those are the only cases I get.

I've been doing this for 3 years now. The job I applied for is just ensuring residential facilities are up to code and in compliance. Sounds a little boring.

Sometimes I think I need a boring job because it may help me get my stuff together. It's not as bad as an office job would be...I could never do that. At-least here I will still be out in the field and not tied down anywhere.

Do you think a more boring job like that would do me better or should I stick with my current?
I may not even get offered the job or an interview. But I need to decide if I really want it in case I do get called. They are both state jobs and my benefits are the same....I will not loose my time and leave either.
Bob, thank you. You are right about the daily goals and lists. I often have things I want to accomplish in a day and things don't get done. I tend to do other things that are not as boring to me. Just make sure you recognize the things you do get done and be happy about that. Focus on the positive things you have accomplished. Not that you don't but that is something I had to work on. This is an ongoing battle for all of us. Like Bob said, the pill makes it easier for us to learn the life skills we need and think more rationally. We all have to have ongoing support. I have been living with my mom who has ADHD and she is a mess right now. She lost her job and has been in a depression you could say. The house is a mess and so on. My room there is a complete disaster. Since I've been staying with my boyfriend, I clean everyday! I get more things accomplished. My point with that is I agree with the toxic relationship comment. I was a mess when I was living with my mom....I still am a mess but it's getting better. I hope someone can make sense of what I was trying to say lol.

ccmitche, you asked if anyone else had a family member be mean and not supportive. My parents got divorced when I was 5 and my dad was very bitter about it until he died. I couldn't stand being around him....he made me cry everytime I saw him. He used to tell me my mom was no good, she was disorganized, and blah blah. He was never supportive of me at all. He married a witch, so of course that made it 10x worse. They used to gang up on me (when I was younger) and say bad things about my mom and about myself. He even used to criticize me for not smiling! Anyway, when you were talking about how your mother tells your kids everything is your fault it really hit home with me. The week before my dad passed I got closure from the whole situation. I told him how I felt about everything....he still didn't feel like he did anything wrong. I have peace knowing that he is in a place of perfect understanding and he knows all of his wrongs now.

But how do your kids react to her when she says those things? I'm sorry that my posts are so long, it takes me a while to explain what point I'm trying to make :)
Bob, thanks. I feel a little better know knowing that I need to do some prerequisites before doing the daily list.
I did feel a bit overwhelmed with the list thing again. It seems everywhere I go I get told to make a list. No one but you guys seem to get the flaws with that.

Sticky notes are my worst enemy. In fact my old secretary forbidded me from using them. She actually hid them so I wouldn't sneak a pack. lol I am not exaggerating when I say this, but over half of my desk was filled with piles of sticky notes with random phone numbers and such on them. I don't like throwing them away because I might need one of those numbers which sounds ridiculous because I didn't write names with the numbers. I scooped them up and put them in a big envelope and shoved it in a drawer. At least I feel better knowing I didn't throw something important away.

I don't think I have the right dosage or medication or both. I took half of a 20mg tablet at 11 a.m. I waited that long because I didn't know if I even wanted to take one. I was in a lot of pain yesterday with my joints and stuff. I also stayed up for 22 hours straight. After staying up that long I only slept for about 3 1/2 hours. Yesterday I woke up on my own at 6 a.m. (very unusual for me as I am difficult to wake) and I didn't go to sleep til 4 a.m. and woke up at 7:30 this morning. I may have been able to sleep longer but my dog was standing on me and barking in my face. That's what woke me up...and she wouldn't leave me alone. I finally got up and let her outside. At that point I felt awake so I just stayed up.

I do not notice anything with that half of a pill. I'm feeling frustrated and disappointed with this who medication thing. With 20 mg being too much and 10 doing nothing. It's been 3 1/2 hours since I took the half of a pill and I feel tired. I'm afraid to take a nap though because I don't want to stay up all night. Maybe 15 mg would be better? I don't think I can cut these pills in 3 parts to get 15 mg. They are small pills and crumbled a little when I cut it in half.

My financial coach has a list of people that he endorses. They range from dentists to auto mechanics. I found a life coach on his list. I looked at the life coach's website and I can't afford his fees. I e-mailed him and told him who referred me and I am looking for someone to help me with organization, but can't afford his fees. I asked if he knew of something to help me.
He responded and said he's going out of town for a family reunion and to call him on the 7th and he and I can talk about whats going on.

I don't know what that means. Whether he will work out something that I can afford or if he can refer me to someone that would fit my budget...which isn't much. There really isn't room in my budget for this at all. However, I can't afford not to do it either. I can't follow my financial coach or any other plan without help.

I fear my financial coach thinks I'm crazy. I sent him that e-mail telling him how I don't think I can manage following his budget. The truth is I haven't followed it yet and we developed it 3 months ago.

I always worry what others think. So many people don't believe ADHD even exists and they think it's laziness and lack of will power. I don't know what his opinion is. I sent it to him in an e-mail...cuz i don't think I could face him or say it over the phone without knowing his opinion on this. The other problem is that I haven't paid him either. I paid him his down payment but then I'm supposed to pay him $50 a month.

I have kept in contact with him though. I send him an e-mail every month and knowledge that I haven't paid him. I don't want him to think I'm being dishonest or not good on my word.

I'm very embarrassed to admit this...but my account was $1000 over drawn in April and it carried over every month. I have direct deposit so that money was taken every month and I didn't even have enough for my bills and couldn't pay him. I did tell him that.

Anyway, on the first of this month I went to my bank and asked for help because I see no end to getting out this mess. They gave me a loan for $1000. So my account went even and they took off overdraft protection so I can't go negative again until my loan is paid off. I have to pay them $180 a month for 6 months. That's pretty low interest. That's an extra bill that I can't afford, but I also couldn't continue being $1000 overdrawn every month. I signed a form that said I do not want overdraft protection put back on my account after loan is paid off. That overdraft gets me in too much trouble.
What I had to do each month is quickly withdraw $1000 from my account and then hurry up and pay the important bills before the bank registered I didn't have money in it....that's how I continued to be negative. I had to do that to make through the month. I only get paid once a month.

I explained all of that to my financial coach (FC) and I advised him when I got the loan. I told him I would ensure he got his pymt. in July. He told me that was okay and he didn't want me to not pay a bill to pay him. He is also frustrated that I'm not following the budget. I couldn't follow it when I was neg.
Now I'm behind on stuff and have to catch up. don't know how to follow it now.

Anyway, you can see I'm in a real financial mess and don't know if I can come up with the funds for a ADHD coach.

I don't have any personal friends or family members that I would want to be my "coach". All but 2 of my friends do not understand my ways at all. Some of them cannot understand how my stuff gets so messy and cluttered. They are very anal and extremely structured and organized. I know if they were around me more I'd drive them too crazy.
The 2 that do understand it are too much like me. I wouldn't be able to count on them. One of them irritates me too. I am closer to her than any of my other friends. In fact she and I live in the same neighborhood. She's less than a block away. As close as we are...she really gets on my nerves sometimes. She always thinks she has a solution and tries to give me suggestions when I'm confiding in her about stuff. That really irritates me because I don't like her solutions and I don't even want her to do that...I just want her to listen.

She always talks about how much better she's doing and I don't see it. I know this is terrible but I find myself judging her. And the crazy part about it is I judge her for things she does and I do the exact same thing.

I have 2 is working towards progress and wanting to change and the other is destructive. I go back and forth between these two.
When I'm in my cleaning myself up phase I clean like crazy and get everything super organized and make all my lists and bla bla bla. When I'm in that phase and go to her house and it looks like Hurricane Katrina went in there...I find myself judging her and thinking "how can she live like this". LOL I just laugh because history shows Katrina will be back to my house within a week.

I feel like a bad friend sometimes. She never judges me. When she comes to my house and it's a hot mess she offers to help me clean. She always says it in a nice way and says she understands and knows if we clean it I will feel better. I don't do that with her.

Part of it is that in my house it's my mess and I don't feel as grossed out. For some reason when I'm in someone else's mess it grosses me out. I feel very uncomfortable and I want to leave.

She really struggles too, but I don't know if she has ADHD or not. She doesn't think she does. She said she used to be very organized and this is all new to her. I don't know if that's really true. Don't think she's lying but she may see it that way. I've known her for 10 years and she's been a hot mess like me the entire time.

She's a teacher and the other teachers judge her because she's always late turning in her grades. She also doesn't get papers graded and back to the kids. She ends up staying up all night the night before grades are due and grades them the kids never know where they stand before report cards.
She gets parent complaints and feels bad about herself. She stays at work late every night trying to get grades done but doesn't accomplish anything.

She's stubborn and always thinks she's right so me suggesting that she see someone would not go over well.

Our friendship is really not as toxic as it seems. I can depend on her...I just know she'll never be on time. Vise versa...she can count on me but I'm never on time and sometimes forget.

My posts always end up really long too.

My kids are a couple hours away with their paternal grandparents this week and then they go to their dads house and return home Thursday. I won't be posting this much when they are home.
Anyway, my youngest daughter is already stressing over the school year starting at the end of August.

She told me that she went into the 5th grade classes sometimes and saw stuff on the board that made no sense and one of the 5th grade teachers taught her class once and she didn't understand anything the teacher said.

She's also afraid of failing her state tests next year. She failed them this year and in 3rd grade.

I know when I was a kid and even in college I couldn't do the standardized tests either. I always failed them. I knew why...the tests were so long and boring. I would get headaches and was tired of reading those stupid questions. I lost all focus and half way through the test I no longer cared if I passed I just wanted to get the H*** out of there. I remember feeling like it was stuffy in the room and I needed fresh air. There were times I just started coloring in answers on the scantron and didn't even read the questions.

I'm going to talk to her about when she gets home. I'm going to ask her how she feels when she's taking the test and if she reads all of it etc. I'll ask her all that without telling her what I did.
I know that she knows the material. I also know they word things funky on those test and when my brain is tired I'm unable to figure out what they are trying to ask.

I have a follow up appt. with my psychiatrist in 2 weeks. Do you recommend I continue with this and wait and see him then or should I call him on Mon?
I really don't think the 10mg is doing anything for me. The 20mg gave so much side effects that I couldn't really see the benefits. Visually things looked so much if I put on glasses. Is that weird?
I guess that's why I had more W2's than anyone I knew for the longest time. Some I quit and some I got fired from.
I worked at an ice cream shop in high school. I closed the store by myself and did all the closing duties including mopping the floor.

The next day I came in after school and my manager was not so happy with me. He advised me that they just got the store opened for the day because when he arrived that morning the store was completely flooded. OOps...I left the faucet on when I mopped the floor.
I worked at a drug store and got fired for sucking the helium machine and talking over the intercom. I also got rude with a customer. Customer service was not for me. I wasn't about to suck up to them because they were customers. lol
The list goes on and on as far as my jobs go.

My thing as a kid was smoking and some drinking...experimented with Marijuana. I was afraid to try anything else. My dad was a meth addict and used to inject it. I guess that kept me from trying that stuff. Although my friends did drugs. I went to parties with lots of drugs..I just didn't touch them. I guess the drug people were more fun and entertaining than the other groups. They were wild and crazy and we did wild and crazy stuff.

I barely graduated high school. I had to take classes at the junior college and classes through the mail in addition to my high school classes to graduate. I was missing a lot of credits from skipping. My senior year I was told I wouldn't graduate and I should get my G.E.D. or I could come back another year. I sure as heck wasn't going back another year. And the fact that they told me my only other option was a G.E.D made me want to prove them wrong and I did. I worked at a fast food.

I was given a hard time about job hopping that continued after high school. I didn't really work regularly when I was married. I took on jobs here and there as I wanted but never stayed long. I never liked any of the jobs. I did office clerical work and customer service jobs. I even got a job taking newborn photos at the hospital. My biggest struggle was getting to work on time and being nice to the customers. I didn't like waiting on people. I hated waiting tables. I was the waitress that was brave enough to tell people to get their own salt and pepper.

I worked at Target once and I was so bad with the customers they put me in the back and had me answer phones. Their last straw was when this guy put this huge heavy item on the scanner belt. I scanned it and slid it down. I rang him up and handed him his receipt and moved on to the next one. He stood there staring at me and I ignored him for a minute. Then he asked if I was going to put his box in his cart. Are you kidding me? I told him that he can pick up that box a lot easier than I can and he's the one who put it on the counter in the first place. I preferred him to leave it in his cart in the first place. He complained and I was answering phones which was very boring so that didn't last long. He was a jerk and I didn't care if I got fired. I wasn't going to pick up that box.

I guess after my divorce I had to work. I hated those jobs so much that I knew I would never hold a stable job. I couldn't raise kids like that. My only option was college. Knowing how much I hated my jobs kept me going to school even though I wanted to drop out many times. I didn't care about my G.P.A. I just wanted my degree so I could hopefully find something I could do longer than a month.
Besides it was better sitting in class that waiting on someone. Part of that time I worked as a teacher's assistant.....thought I wanted to teach. I realized that I really don't like children other than my own.
I also realized that teachers are required to suck up to parents and that wasn't me either.

Now in my job I don't clock in and it doesn't matter if I'm late. I can say whatever I want to to my clients. If they are nice and respectful and good parents then I'm kind and polite and helpful. My clients that aren't those things hate me. I'm very intuitive so I know when my clients are full of s***. I let them know that I know they are liars.

I can't stand rude and manipulative people. I really am a very nice person. I go out of my way to help those that deserve it and need it. I just will not cater to undeserving.

I see what your saying about staying away from boring jobs as I know my history with that.

My interaction with clients, police, attorneys, ME's office, doctors etc. is the fun part of my job. I go out in the field and meet lots of people. The worse of a child abuse case is the most interesting to me. The minor stuff bores me.

The problem is that I have too much administrative work to do. I can't keep up with it. I hate it and it takes great effort for me to complete it. I'm always delinquent.

I'm thinking that although this other job doesn't have the interesting cases...I also don't have the large amount of administrative work. This job is even more mobile than my current job. I would have an office somewhere but that's not a place I would go to daily. I love being out in the field. I don't feel like I'm really working. I also have the freedom to run errands too. I go home early if I want. I like the freedom. I will not stare at a clock and wait for 5 to roll around. I want to leave when I want to.
Aside from having my own business this is the only job I can do that it..that I know of.
I can also work from home sometimes. I have the flexibility to go to the kids school programs, teacher conferences, and eat lunch with them if I'm in the area. I don't have to ask permission to the stuff I want to do.

ALthough I have the freedom to do all that I am always stressed about my administrative work. I know I should go to the office and get that done...but I don't want to. I struggle with making myself do those horrible tasks.

In the new job I will not have that dilema. I can come home early to my kids a few days a week and not worry about all the stuff I'm behind on.

The good thing about working for the state in this field is that there are so many agency's to bounce around and so many different jobs. So far I've worked in 3 different areas in almost 3 years. I will have worked for the state 3 years in Aug. I can't stay in one place for long. Here it doesn't look bad to move around though. I'm already considered a tenured employee.
And 3 years is the longest I've ever worked anywhere. Even though I've been to 3 different employer has been the same.
I did work at that school for 2 years...but I had summers off and all those breaks. I hated that job but liked getting off at 3 and having all those breaks. It was good to have while I was in school. I also worked with a teacher that knew I didn't like the kids and she allowed me to do things where I didn't have interact with them too much.

I haven't even been called for an interview yet...but if I do and if they offer it to me I think I'll take it. a year I can change again.

Although when I was at court on Friday I found another job I'd like to have. Its a court social worker. I talked to one of them and they said they are out in the field a lot and they get off around 4. She said it's really flexible and has good benefits. It's working for the county. The only thing is they want licensed social workers. I'd have to go take that standardized test that I never got around to taking.
I may consider that.
That's my problem I am always thinking about what I'll do next. I never have the intention to say where I'm at long.
I would love to and do social work over seas. There are so many jobs open to Americans to do that. I just can't do that with the kids. Maybe when they are older.

I'm really not all that social worky and not into all that. But, the balance between field work and office work suits me well. I also like to interact with people that I don't have to suck up to.

I've also thought about becoming a probation officer. I have my list of jobs that I'm sure I will get to them all before I retire. Not that I'm overly anxious to do them all....I just want the change and the chance to do something different.
My goal is to stay with the state at least 5 years so I can be vested. I'd love to retire there cuz of the benefits...but not sure I can stay there that long.

Anyway, I did not take any more meds today. I am not feeling well. I layed down for a 1 1/2 hours on the couch and dozed off some but didn't really sleep deeply. I'm very tired but can't sleep. My stomach feels sick too.
I mentioned my trip to a friend and she said she might want to come too with her child.
I don't know if I want them to come. I know I'd have fun with them, but I like to do things my own way. I do not want compromise on anything. I also think she will want to take her car because it has less miles and has more storage space than mine. However, she does not have any more seating room than me. I can't stand to ride with her. I would go crazy if I had to ride with her for 5 hours!

She drives way too slow and when she's talking and driving she drives even slower and misses exits and turns etc. She also never leaves on time and is never ready on time. I know I'm also late often too. However, I do tend to leave on time for trips.
I also want to stay in the hotel that I want to stay in. She's throwing ideas of other hotels etc. She has a friend that works for the Hilton and thinks we can get a discount. That may not be a bad idea....but I only get to take the girls on the trip for one night. This is not something we ever do so I'd like it to be special. There is a really cool hotel that was built in 1859 and it's right next door to the main tourist attaction we are going for. That hotel is $15 less than the other hotels. I don't care about that $15 and she does. I don't even want to share a hotel with them.
I don't think I could tell her all that though.

When I do things I like to do them the right way. To me if I'm going to take the kids on a trip we should stay in a unique hotel that is nice and go to a nice unique resaurant and do things we don't normally do. Isn't that what a vacations is about?
There are Hiltons and Holiday Inn's everywhere. It's not like there is a huge price difference.

I can be controlling because I do like things my way. That's why I know I'll probally never re-marry. Very few could tolerate my odd ways and there are very few people I can live with anyway.
I always think I'm right and my stuff makes sense. To others I make no sense and they try to discuss it and I don't want to discuss it.

My ex used to move so slowly. Everything he did was in slow motion and I could not tolerate that. Then he drove like a maniac and could of killed us many times. We'd fight about that....he said I wanted him to drive fast and I did but not wreckles. I was usually the one driving because when he drove we fought.

I hated the way he did things. And I find that I feel that with a lot of people. I know some of that was my issues....but don't get me wrong he was a jerk. He left me and our 2 kids with an emptied bank account. I had no food to feed our 6 mo. old baby. My car got repoed and house foreclosed on etc.

Is this a normal ADHD thing...or is this something else? He used to even think slowly. I'd ask him a question and he wouldn't respond...that would make me mad. Then he'd say he's thinking. Thinking??? He should tell me he's thinking then and not ignore me and why does it take that long to think?

I find myself feeling that way when I'm around people too much. By this I mean I can't tolerate talking to someone on the phone daily for too long or being under the same roof as them for long.

I don't want to be like that but I can't help it.

I got a response from my financial advisor and he said he can't respond to all that over e-mail. He said I can call him to discuss it.
I'm nervous about calling him.
It's not going to be an easy fix. There will be backsliding, there will be bad days, but for some simple long term goals, like:

1) Be on time for meetings and appointments most of the time

2) Usually pay bills on time

(I didn't say all the time. No one can do that!)

That's doable. And being able to talk to the people whose job it is to help you, putting it right out there what you need, is a good first step.

How did the meds treat you today? Were you more productive? Did you remember more things that needed remembering?

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