I’m being techno-blanked…

When I’m not at work I’m bored. I need something to interest me but nothing does. Dom suggests a hobby – but they’re all just fads. I dunno if it’s ADHD related or what, but I’m lonely!

I find that I stray to the pub after work just to scroll through the contacts in my phone for someone to talk to, but none of them are contactable… mainly because I’m either waiting for them to reply to the last message I sent (I obvs can’t text consecutive messages, because That would just look needy and desperate), or they just haven’t even bothered to read or reply to my last message in the first place!!

The two ticks on WhatsApp are a dead giveaway…

God, it’s lame posting this. Where are real life people? Where are my friends???

BPD + Me = Forever Alone?

When lockdown first happened I reached out to loads of people who I’d not spoken to in years. I felt more forced into isolation than ever before, and I’m quite a social person naturally, I just can’t keep hold of friends for some reason..? All of a sudden I was connected again! I felt revitalised, like I suddenly had more friends than I thought! They were all just a bit dusty on a shelf hidden away in the back of my brain somewhere. We had conversations over the phone, WhatsApp groups, and meet ups over Zoom (which seemed to be the new Skype). Lockdown was a bit of an excuse to do these things. Distance wasn’t a problem OR an excuse for anyone anymore because you could be bloody neighbours and still not be allowed to see each other face to face in real life. It was a weird time, filled with boredom, loneliness and fear, but also, hope, gratitude and strong emotional bonds.

Fast forward to lockdown lifting; The incredibly, idiotically named “Freedom Day”, where everyone was… (is..?) still scared about COVID killing people, but it’s not enough to keep us apart anymore… all so it may seem.

Personally, I feel lonely again. I’m seeing wAy more people face to face now, at my new job etc. than I have done for a very long time, but I’ve gone out of my way to make sure I continue to text and ‘check in’ on those people who I reconnected with at the start of lockdown. However, I’m not getting much in return… the conversations run dry, I get short answers, or no answers at all! I know people have their busy lives back, but so do I..? – I’m still making the effort… Friendship is supposed to be a two way thing. Where are the people texting and ‘checking in’ on me? Where are my texts out of the blue?

I swear, I scroll through my phone book these days and there are so few I would actually call a friend I can’t tell if it’s sad or scary.. maybe both…

I had a conversation about this with Dom not long ago. He notices when I get down and always asks about what is making me sad. when the answer is that I’m lonely and I don’t have any friends, it can get a bit awkward. Dom likes to be a problem solver and resolve my sadness with advice, but for this it’s tough… you can’t just magic up friends. You have to build on relationships with chosen people over a long time… not only is there the ‘growth period’ that is a blocker to having instant friends, but there is the question of where the hell do you find them, if you’re not at school, college or Uni..? those were my chances to build relationships that would last me through my boring adult/‘more mature’ years. But no, BPD prevented me from ever having healthy relationships with anyone. Thanks BPD… Then, there were the ones (mainly from Uni) that I did want to keep as forever friends… but I didn’t maintain it he relationships properly when I moved back to Birmingham… “Out of sight, out of mind”, thanks ADHD… so I feel like those relationships are now beyond repair, and I’ll never have that tight bond we once had ever again… Fuck.

I’ve even neglected my relationship with my brother… who for most of my life has been my best friend in the whole world. We have a closeness due to our family situation that not many people would be able to comprehend. Our family are the functioning fucked up, but however negative that sounds… there is SO much love for each other. Me, my Mom, my brother and my Dad.

Now of course I have Dom, the love of my life. I know this because he balances me out whist at the same time sticks by me and supports me through thick and thin. He has the patients of a saint, not many people would or could put up with my multitude of flaws (be that due to the personality disorder or various other factors). Dom saw something in me that was worth more than anything I could see in myself, he has spent the last four years trying to show me and to convince me to believe in myself, which I must admit is sinking in. He saw a future, he saw potential, he saw the ‘me’ beneath my collection of diagnoses and layers of medication. However dreamy snd romantic sounding this is it’s not been easy – Don made very clear from the start of our relationship that he wouldn’t be my carer, that I have to be able to take care of myself and prove that I can be independent… Which, I worked at, and eventually did. I feel like I’m still proving it, every day, but not to him, to myself. Now I want to succeed, I want to be stable and happy and one day raise a family with Dom. He gave me something to fight for. He was and always will be the light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

I love you Dominic Russ.

Talking about the future like this has made me realise, there are a small handful of people who I still want to be around with me on this journey. People I feel are drifting away. My brother being the main one. I have a few relationships that I need to focus on fixing, then I can think about new friends (if I need them). I’m nearly 33, where do you get new friends at this age anyway?

Those people I love, you know who you are (yet I very much doubt you know of the existence of this blog). I’m coming for you, I’ve not given up.

Take it with a pinch of ADHD

So, my boyfriend thinks he might have ADHD… part of me thinks.. is this just because I was diagnosed and he sees that meds I have now, help me concentrate on my job, so he wants the same to help him concentrate on his PhD..?

His PhD might I add, which he seems to be doing pretty okay with for someone with potential ADHD, it’s no easy subject – it is Bioinformatics… I would seriously dream of having his memory capacity/ability, and dedication/drive to do and finish tasks. He listens to history podcasts as a hobby any time he has to shower or wash up or do something menial, therefore he knows infinite details about the Roman Empire and it’s geography etc. (including dates and names of people and places).

Tomorrow (after a very long waiting list) he will be having the same appointment I had when I was diagnosed (as an adult) about two years ago. I took to this appointment school reports and my mom (in person) as someone who has known ‘the patient’ most of or all of their life. Dom can’t do this, so they will just be going by his word alone… Now… Dom, can be a bit of a hypochondriac when it comes to medical things. He is similar to my Dad in that way. I do not doubt he will say all the right words to get a diagnosis of ADHD (especially knowing me).

I personally do not believe for a second that he actually has ADHD… if they deem that he has, I will lose all faith in the system. However harsh that may seem.

Cinema at the IMAX

Yesterday afternoon, in my luxury state of being unemployed, my mom (who works part time – reducing her hours to retirement) and my brother (who… well, also doesn’t have a job -but hasn’t done for a LOT longer than me) went to the cinema together. Cinema is pretty much my brother’s life, he has a masters degree in it. He was telling us just how much the film industry has felt the hit from Covid. People apparently now prefer watching films in the comfort of their own homes, but we all agreed -you just can’t beat the big screen! I love going to the cinema. It was a treat when we were kids. I think it helped me follow plot lines as it’s almost impossible to get distracted from a massive lit up screen right in front of you as you sit in the dark with loud surround sound. We saw Godzilla Vs King Kong! It was great! Action packed!

I got myself a diet drink and some salty popcorn, sat back and watched the Titans fight for the 1 hour 20 duration of the film. I let myself be completely immersed in the action, it was well worth seeing in the IMAX screen!

I won’t be able to do things like this when I have a job… well, I WILL, but not at 4pm on a weekday when things are quiet. I’ll have to cram all my leisure activities, socialising and exercising into the weekend… I’ve forgotten, how do people do that again?! I’ve been unemployed for six long months. Don’t get me wrong, I really want this job that I’m interviewing for next Thursday. But it will be weird.

Beat the alarm!

I’m still feeling pretty positive, I put myself to bed at 11:30 last night, set my alarms for 7am and awoke naturally at 6:30! I’m trying not to eat after 8pm at the latest, trying to be in bed before 12, and wake up at 7. Really need routine in my life. I’m also not going to drink caffeine after 3pm.

It might sound like a lot of ‘rules’ to live by, but I really think they are healthy.

Plans for today: call an employment service that my CMHT have put me in contact with (as they know how desperate I am to get back to work). The service is specifically designed to support people who have mental health issues to find and maintain suitable employment. So that’s positive! Then I have got to travel across town to the clinic to get my monthly depot injection. I’ll visit my Mom while I’m in her area and we’ll have lunch. Then the ADHD clinic will call about my new medication decision.

I was hoping to fit in a visit to the gym somewhere, but we’ll see…

ADHD and me too

As well as being diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, I’ve fairly recently been diagnosed with Adult ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder).

It wasn’t that big of a thing when I was a kid, so it got missed. It is viewed as a child’s disorder, but some people don’t just grow out of it. And it’s more than just being hyperactive, it involves cognitive problems, such as bad memory, terrible concentration/focus, and impulsivity. Goes hand in hand with BPD as you can imagine.

You may remember I contacted the ADHD team a couple of weeks ago with a fear that I’d been forgotten about. Well, they emailed straight back apologising for their lack of support as they hadn’t been informed by my CMHT that I’d had my second ECG (of which the results were more normal following a decrease in my monthly depot injection of Flupentixol and stopping of Elvanse), so they made me an appointment for general obs and a discussion about treatment.

The positive effect that Lisdexamphetamine (brand name Elvanse) had on me seemed to ware off after a few months, so they’ve given me a few other medication options to consider. Methylphenidate (brand name Ritalin, amongst others) is the other 1st choice treatment according to the NICE guidelines, alongside Elvanse. Both are classed as stimulant medications. There is a third option of Atomoxetine, which is not a stimulant and works in a different way. After doing a bit of research I think I’m going to opt for Ritalin – see how I get on with that.

I have a phone appointment tomorrow with someone from the team to let them know what I’ve decided, they can then send a new prescription to the pharmacy. I

I’ve been consciously making healthier choices lately and I feel like it’s paying off, my mood seems to have been quite stable in positive for nearly a week now! Having more focus and ability to concentrate would be the cherry on the cake. Fingers crossed it works for me!

Self care FTW!

Today I managed a complete turn around! I woke up in the afternoon really grumpy. I spent a few hours with my parents at a coffee shop and came home, that seemed to cheer me up a bit. Then the adult ADHD centre called, we had a very useful conversation (that needs a post of its own), then I cooked dinner – we had chicken fajitas.

The fajitas turned out really well. It’s the third night in a row that I’ve cooked dinner. Usually Dom cooks, but I’ve been trying to step up, he’s finishing off a paper that’s soon to be published, so I’m trying to help in any way I can to make life easier.

After dinner I decided to take a bath. It was just what I needed. This bath was life changing. I swear I could have solved the world’s problems in that bath. It was perfect. I was in there until the water went cold! I lit a scented candle and everything! I found my happy place. I felt completely at peace with myself for once. I practiced a bit of meditative mindful breathing I’d read about, and my mind cleared. Hours went by and I got out a new woman.

I think I’m going to have a bath every night!

ADHD, where are we?

I emailed the Adult 25+ ADHD psych team that I’m under earlier today, because I think they’ve forgotten about me…

Depending on how long you’ve been following, you might know that ages ago I was on 50mg Elvanse daily to treat my ADHD, that was until I had an ECG to check my heart and it gave abnormal results which was caused by the meds. So I had to stop taking them with immediate effect (cold turkey), and I have not heard from the ADHD team since. I had a repeat ECG and my heart had returned to normal, but still heard nothing from them…

Now I’m unemployed and my tolerance to do things has decreased down to almost nothing and my motivation to start tasks is zero. Life is a struggle and my ability to function like a person is withering away. I feel like I am more like a pet than a girlfriend to my boyfriend whom I live with.

I want to know if there are alternatives treatments/support out there for me. Sometimes you need to speak up to get what you want in this life. Use your voice to be noticed or heard.