A D H D – Ain’t Easy

Did you know that people with ADHD are twice as likely to be divorced as people who don’t have ADHD? After 26 passionate, up & down, all over the map, full of wild idea years….I can understand why. It’s tough. It’s challenging. It’s a test of deep faith. ADHD can wear the strongest of people down, it can widdle a rock into dust and blast every emotion into smithereens. All in a single day.

ADHD ain’t no fairytale.

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BE WARNED: This post is brutal. It’s brutal to read and even more so to write.

The person I love most (sorry kids, it’s Dad), the one for me…my favorite human on this earth lives with ADHD. Day in and day out for his whole life he has lived with the challenges that are ADHD. For some, ADHD doesn’t harbor a complete debilitating hold on their lives. For others, ADHD rules every single detail and never lets up its power to destroy everything in its path. Not every person struggles with every symptom known to stem from ADHD. Some manage life and its obstacles with little recourse while others spend all their energy, emotion and finances constantly trying to stay above water. My guy? Has done both.

Growing up as a kid born in the 60’s ADHD was not a popular topic. It wasn’t well-known or understood (heck, is it now…really?). Teachers, parents and whoever else had encounters with “that” wiry unruly impulsive kid usually left it up to being a brat or terrible parenting. Many today still think that, don’t they (is that what you think?)? ADHD has nothing to do with being a spoiled brat or permissive parenting. ADHD is a real and common mental disorder of children and adults. It’s more prevalent in boys than it is in girls and it’s usually discovered in early childhood.

It’s important to note that not all children with ADD/ADHD are diagnosed or treated (like you didn’t know that). Many are just left to cope and deal with all the effects and struggles that come with being ADD/ADHD. Home issues, school troubles and for many eventually an adulthood of lost jobs, criminal behavior and overall hopelessness plague their life. Here being a giant sign that if you or someone you know MIGHT HAVE ADHD – don’t ignore it. Get busy diagnosing it and take the steps to manage it. It could mean everything!

My hubby didn’t take medication while growing up. I’ve heard stories of his behavior; shooting out all the Christmas lights, squirting orange juice in classmates eyes, throwing rocks at windshields….general bouncing off the walls, staying up all night reading and many more. The stories sound funny but as a mom, not really. The challenges of parenting a kid who cannot control himself does not appeal to a helicopter mom like me. I like order, I need obedience. That’s why I wasn’t my husband’s mother, I’m sure of it. He might not have survived my straight-laced nerves and propensity to make crap happen!

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Diet and a few other methods were how he lived to someday be my hubby. God bless you, Nana.

Living with a person who has ADHD isn’t a death sentence (well, you might feel like killing your ADHD spouse/child/friend sometimes) but, it can wreck a lot of happy moments and steal a great portion of your sanity. I can’t speak for anyone but me here….choosing to stay with someone who struggles with this disorder isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes determination and love and forgiveness and understanding and so much more than many of us are even equipped with. Why am I still married to my husband? Mainly, because God. God has helped me attain all those attributes that don’t come naturally to a flawed perfectionistic person like me — I have had my moments where I thought I couldn’t take one more thing. I’ve lost my cool and flipped my wig. I’ve said SHAPE UP OR SHIP OUT! I’ve cried tears of defeat. I’ve questioned my own sanity. I’ve prayed for a loving heart. I’ve given my failure to understand to God. I’ve walked away. I’ve closed off my emotions. I’ve felt lonely. I’ve been angry and resentful. I’ve felt unsure and unstable. I’ve convinced myself of his never changing (how can you just stop being ADHD?). I’ve wished he were someone else who behaved somehow different. I’ve wanted to leave, forever. I’ve given up on dreams. I’ve turned my head the other way. I’ve listened to excuses. I’ve heard lies knowing they were untruths. I’ve accepted his flaws. I’ve given him mercy. I’ve shown love when he deserved much less. I’ve given him my best years. I’ve been a good wife. I’ve honored all my vows. I’ve let him have his way. I’ve let him mess up his life and ours. I’ve let him have glory. I’ve let him have space. I’ve given him 3 kids who love him because I’ve honored him in front of them. I’ve blessed him when he didn’t want it or expect it. I’ve stuck beside him when someone else would’ve walked (RAN) away. I’ve trusted GOD to do a mighty work through him and I’ve believed that he was worthy of my love even if he wasn’t behaving or treating me accordingly.

I said, I DO (September 16th 1989) and I meant it. I DO, and I WILL til the day one of us dies.

That doesn’t mean it won’t be easy. That doesn’t mean that when he flies a brand new out-of-the-box $700 DRONE into a pond on a windy day I won’t feel the deep ache in the pit of my stomach (for him and for me). It doesn’t mean I won’t feel the stress of him locking his keys in his running jeep parked behind my car in the garage. I’ll still feel all the feels that go with the challenges of living with an ADHD man. I’ll still want to run screaming from the scene of an impulsive moment gone wrong. I’ll still want to hide out in my room when the only method of communication between us comes in the form of an argument.

I’ll still love him. He can’t help it.

ADHD doesn’t possess me the way satan wants it to. Satan wants to destroy my marriage. He wants to smash my finances to bits through the impulsive ways of my husband. He wants to see me miserable and unhappy. For so many families, satan is successful in ruining everything. When we have weeks like this past one, I’m reminded NOT TO TAKE MY EYES off the prize that God has for me through my marriage. I’m challenged to love him in spite of his weaknesses and I hope….if you or someone you love struggle with ADD/ADHD that you too are determined to live victoriously with it.

ADHD ain’t no joke!

For some great resources in dealing with ADD/ADHD.

What is ADD/ADHD? HERE

Common symptoms couples struggle with? HERE

Married to someone who isn’t convinced they have ADHD? HERE

Lord, you don’t make mistakes. Not in the makeup of your children or anywhere else. Your human creations are perfectly made in your image. Help me be the kind of wife who looks to you when the challenges of ADHD threaten to steal my peace, my joy, my love.
Amen

*I love you, babe!

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