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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in wiserabbit's LiveJournal:

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Saturday, January 10th, 2015
10:08 pm
ADHD/ADOS and Why I suck at people.
I've not posted here for a long time, but I need to cry, to post and to talk for a long time, and thought that this would be the best place to do it. I'm not sure if anyone even reads this anymore, but hey ho, here we go. I know a lot of people who disapprove of speaking about mental illness openly but quite frankly, FUCK THAT SHIT. If more people were open about this, then people would stop backing away nervously/accuse me of attention seeking/failing to understand and making the pain worse.

As background, I have been treated for mental health issues since I was 18 (so that's about fifteen years). I have been on and off antidepressants for that entire period. At times, I have been so ill I have been housebound; too afraid to leave without escort. I suffered from pre and post natal depression. I have self harmed in the past, though thank God, it's not something I do anymore. I have been on the "medically at risk" depression register for about six years.

In late August 2014 I suffered from a nervous breakdown. It was horrible. I had panic attacks that lasted for several hours, the longest one lasting for eight solid hours. That's eight hours of hyperventilating, being sick, palpitations, the works, I ended up in A & E twice and in urgent care on another occasion and the panic only stopped when they drugged me out of it. I smashed things, I threw things around, I curled up on a ball on the floor sobbing and yelling, begging for these feelings to stop.

Then they give me Promazine, an antipsychotic, and for a month, I spent my time in cloud cuckoo land, pleasantly sedated. "Pleasantly" is the right word; for the first time in decades I slept at night without having anxiety symptoms. Granted, I couldn't concentrate for more than a minute or two, but the pain went away, the anxiety went away, and the fear went away. It was bliss, quite frankly, utter bliss.

Earlier that year, Chris had been diagnosed with ADD (attention deficit disorder). We had been struggling, our marriage was held together only by pragmatism, but his diagnosis had given some hope that things could be better. ADD  is one one of those disorders that is relatively new; there is still a huge amount of controversy surrounding it. For adults, the provision of care is pitiful. I spent hours chasing up appointments for him, breaking down and begging practice manager to chase for us. We took private care with the wonderful Rebecca Champion who I currently credit with saving our marriage. In the end the NHS took us seriously; provision was made and Chris began to receive proper care. I could go into detail but that is for Chris to do. This post is unashamedly about me.

Ever since he had his assessment, Chris began to suggest that I may have the same problem. I was dismissive; of course I didn't! I had worked in project management, I could be organised, I was motivated! I was nothing like him! LIke so many other people, I said this because I didn't understand what ADHD actually was. I have learned that very few people do. Bear with me while I explain.

When you say "ADHD" most people think of a small boy, badly behaved, bouncing off the walls, unable to sit still. This is perhaps the most visible form of the disorder but it is by no means the only form; I would argue it only accounts for around 25% of cases.

ADD, is at it's core, what they refer to as an "executive function disorder". The section of the brain that deals with attention span, working memory, and most cruicially, they filtering and prioritisation of stimuli is underdeveloped. The best anaolgy I've heard, describes it like this: The mind is a house. When information comes in and out, from the various senses, you open the doors to let it in. Then you shut the doors. If you have ADHD those doors are wedged open all of the time. We cannot control the flow of information into and out of our minds.

Here's an example; when you are in a coffee shop talking to a friend, without even thinking about it, you "zone out" the background so that you can hear what your friend is saying. The background fades - you stop hearing the chatter of the other customers, you stop hearing the "whhhst" of the expresso machine, you stop seeing the bright colours and registering the expression of every singe person walking past. Your brain filters the background noise out, so you can make out the words of the person you are talking to. I can't do that.  I can't filter out the nonsense; I hear it at the same intensity as your voice, so I keep having to ask you to repeat things, I have to stare at your eyes and mouth intensely while we are talking to make sense of it.

Can you imagine that? Never being able to filter out a single sight, or a single sound? It's exhausting. It's overwhelming. I had regular panic attacks and just ommitted social activities in town from my life. To me; it was normal though. I thought that the panic attacks I had were caused by agrophobia or social anxiety and went through pointless therapy to help.

Social relations become hard; you forget things, you absorb all of the signals, but can't prioristise them and so make mistakes. You forget birthdays, you fail to respond as you should, not because you don't love the person but because your brain is telling you that it currently needs to be looking at *insert random thing* and that is just as important!!!!!

Chris kept suggesting I was broken in the same way as him. Almost to make him shut up about it, I went back to Rebecca and asked what she thought. As part of Chris' therapy she had spent several hours talking to me too. Expecting a firm "No" I asked if I had pinged her " ADHD radar". I was shocked when she said "yes". With this back up, I went to my GP. I was again shocked, when he read down my mental health history and immediately referred me to specialist care. Within eight weeks (speeded up I believe by my "at risk" status, I was seen and diagnosed with ADD, with some hyperactivity.

I can't explain how I felt. It was a revelation and at the same time it was a horrible realisation. I was angry; I'd been in therapy for fifteen fucking years and no-one had noticed this before! I was relieved; yes! I was broken and not just somehow stupid! So many things began to make sense. At the end of the day, there are good things about ADHDers too - we tend to be lateral thinkers, highly creative and have sensory hypersensitivities that when controlled, can be near super-powers. This was ok - it was validation and reassurance too!

Then of course the curve ball came in: "You are presenting a complicated picture Abigail; I think there is something else going on as well. I'd like you to be assessed for Autism as well." This knocked me sideways. This was not in the plan. My brother James, we have always thought he was ASD (autistic spectrum disorder) but me? I was intelligent, capable and functioning - surely not? I said this to the therapist. She replied "I think you underestimate just how intelligent you are. High IQ can mask both conditions." She began to run through her reasons, I paraphrase here: "you clearly present social difficulties and some of the responses are complex. The only thing that is making me hold back from a diagnosis now is that you make good eye contact. I want you to see a specialist before we start medicating your ADD."

Let me explain why this has upset me. I have always felt "out of place"; I never fit. People have described me as "deeply weird" in the workplace and ostracised me. I sometimes say things that hurt people with realising, I don't make close friends easily and I seem to get things wrong so very often. So many times, I have seen people I have loved drift away and just not understand what I have done wrong or why I never seem to be included. I'd told myself before, that I just had different interests, was probably brighter etc, but over the years it's got harder and harder to feel compfortable with people. I found a home with LARPERs, people as creative as me who were generally accepting of the oddballs like me, but even then, I've never felt confident. There has always been this inherant fear that somehow, as soon as I stop making pretty things or writing events, no one will want to know me.

Now, I've been told, that actually, I might be bloody weird, I might have genuinly been to blame for the bullying, for the fact that people distance me sometimes, for the fact that I don't have contact with anyone I went ot school with, for the fact that the first I hear of an old friend's pregnancy, a friend I love, is a posted picture of the newborn baby, that all of this really is my fault. That people do look at me and instinctively see a freak and back away.

Do you have any idea the sort of paradigm shift that is when you are thirty-three years old? I fear for the friends I have now; will I lose them too? My diagnosis does not help me heal the past - it makes me think I am as rubbish and as weird as I have always feared and rips open the wounds anew.

I am broken and afraid right now, and this is even before the diagnosis. ADHD is bad enough for it's social impacts; ASD will throw me even more. This is going to get worse before it gets better. I apologise now for the social recluse I am going to be, for refusing to believe you when you try and say nice things, even if they are true.

I'm no crazier than I was last week. You became my friend when I was like this. This is logic; logic is irrelevant. If I seem like I'm struggling over the next few weeks, it's because I really, really am. I'm not needy, I'm not demanding and attention-seeking; I just need your help and understanding.

Please.
Wednesday, June 30th, 2010
11:43 am
Writer's Block: No bloody way
Could you ever be good friends with someone who hunted purely for sport?

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010
11:26 pm
War against cats
Still alive, and still hating cats.
Saturday, June 7th, 2008
10:34 pm
Tempus Fugitive 13 - PHOTOS!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/9166681@N02/

What I did on my holidays!

Too tires to talk about it now but here are my photos of the amazing Tempus Fugive!
Monday, May 5th, 2008
4:14 pm
Knights!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/9166681@N02/

What I did this weekend.

Incidentally, my LJ has been fairly sparse lately because generally I am using flickr as a sort of blog. I don't think my day to day life is really interesting enough to regale you with!
Sunday, February 24th, 2008
2:39 pm
Just finished reading "Jumper" by Steven Gould.

Whilst I'm not saying it's a masterwork of contempory fiction it was certainly a rollicking good story, compelling, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a quick no brainer read.
Monday, February 11th, 2008
9:34 pm
Expensive Car!
 Well Noah cost me some serious cash today to finally fix his leak but now he is watertight. As such I have finally been able to give him a wash and he is THIS shiny:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/9166681@N02/2258514918/

In other news that may make you all giggle like fools, I have just started training for my advanced driving test. Hee hee - soon I will be able to win every "back-seat-driver" argument EVER!

"No darling, I think you'll find that I am right. After all, I am Advanced."
Saturday, February 9th, 2008
6:47 pm
Zoo!

We have just had a very lovely day at Chester Zoo, behaving like a proper romantic soppy couple. It was a lovely day not too busy, lots of baby animals to go "coo" over. All in all, very relaxing and soothing.

Also, between us, some very lovely photo's were taken. Of all of them though this is my favourite:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/9166681@N02/2253114702/


Squee.

Sunday, February 3rd, 2008
7:13 pm
Wedding list!
Following a very lovely weekend with Trevor and Lesley Chris and I sat down and worked out our invite list for our wedding.

Due to our limited funds and venue restrictions it involved some tough decisions but it was done without a single argument. Woo hoo!

We have also drafted a nice letter and mdae the invitation on my PC. The apparent cheapness here is due to professional or even wel made posh homey jobs costing up to £350. We thought that you, our friends, would prefer more wine on the table. : )

By the by, the caterers have asked us to specify what drinks we want behind the bar as they will sell more that way.

So - what do you want to drink people? 
Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008
8:54 pm
*Blinks in the New Light*

Once again we are online and back in communication with the world. Our new phone number is the same as the old one.

We have moved! The first thing to say is a huge thank you to everyone who helped us lug boxes back and forth. Chris and I were both so humbled by all the help we received. Thank you thank you thank you. 

We are both now getting used to the idea of being homeowners; I am enjoying that last few days of peace before Open University starts again and pottering about making the new house look presentable. Chris is burying himself in DIY with impressive success and enthusiasm (though his electronic stud and wire dectector has mainly been used to find out whether or not I am wearing an underwired bra). Tis all good. Soon I shall take some piccies and put them up on Flickr.

Loads has happened but I am suddenly too tired to write it all down so am going to go and potter about for a while longer.



Current Mood: satisfied
Friday, January 4th, 2008
8:27 pm
Resolutions
 1. I am becoming a proper vegetarian and cutting fish from my diet while I am young enough to get by without it. This is not permenant - if I either a) fall pregnant b) my periods stop like they did last time or c) I get old I will return it to my diet but until then our aquatic friends are safe from my plate.

2. I am ceasing smut. It has been pointed out that I can get very smutty in conversation sometimes and it just isn't ladylike. From todayonwards there will be shiny fiver in my purse. I will give it to the first person who catches me intitiating smut. Please note, the offer does not apply to my fiance or to red_hillian for whom talking about painting is rude. In addition I am allowed to laugh at other peoples smut, just not lower the tone myself. : )  Please note, this also does not preclue comments such as "phwoarrr he's/she's well fit". That is lust, not smut. Smut is defined as anything that is implied lewdity, or could have lines such as "f'nar" said in response.

Current Mood: determined
Tuesday, January 1st, 2008
7:23 pm
Moving on and more rodents.
House is curently eating up all of the time and all of the money. The place has been a rental before now and as uch every wall and skirting board in the whole place was white. The horrible bobbly wall paper upstair was at least unoffenively white too. The carpets are all an unoffensive hard wearing biscuit.  Curtains are all calico (which I actually like). We don't have time or resources to re-do the whole things so at the moment are trying to make it look like ours and to make what is there fit with limited resources. 

I have suitable plans and am finding that the three years I spent working in bespoke furnishings is currently very useful both in terms of quick fix and colour theory. For example we can't afford new carpets but I have found a shade of bedroom blue that looks nice with it and am using a fresh green in my study to do likewise. I am then going to employ a silk I have had for years as a picture (trust me) in the bedroom to pull this together. The white white lounge and downstairs is lovely and light but looks a bit cold. In comes a woven lampshade and a warm fudgey colour on the skirting boards and banisters and hey presto the whole room looks warmer.

In the long term my overall design plan is a "earth to sky" sort of thing - earthy tones downstairs with blue for the most upstairs and the Rabbit Anchorage room is green to reflect the garden outside. The external garden wall is currently manky red. This is going to become white like the downstairs interior to make the whole space seem as one. The garden is wierd - I will show you why later - but I have plans for raised beds.

In other news, we may as well admit now that we have acquired more rodents. It was the darndest thing - they just turned up on the doorstep wih their cage looking up at us sadly ill we let them in. The clever bit was how they managed to pay for themselves on my debit card.  So Nutmeg and Cinnamon the Roborovskis have joined us. They are to little girls, about the size of brussell sprouts. They will never get bigger than five centimetres long. They look like this:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/9166681@N02/2149893366/



Current Mood: sleepy
Friday, December 21st, 2007
6:45 am
Hobo Madness

Listening to the Littlest Hobo soundtrack on loop solidly for half an hour can't be good for anyone's sanity.

6:29 am
Littlest Hobo Nostalgia
Now I have "Littlest Hobo" nostaglia too and am feeling all weepy again. I always cried at the end of the show when the Hobo (played by a doggie called "London" who entertainingly got top billing) had to go.

So then I challenge you to listen and not be singing this all day:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=banXT6azA-4

Monday, December 17th, 2007
8:48 pm
House Stuff
We get our keys on the 21st December. Yay!. We have also had an inspirational idea for a house warming party. It's going to be a camp out party!

That's right! Before we move in we invite you to come camp out in a totally empty house! Bring sleeping ag and camp bed along with camping food (we will find a way to roast marshmallows), booze and a good sense of fun. W wwill have no telly so will be playing silly camping games like names in the hat etc. Note we have a fridge and cooker for food and drinkies.

On a more serious note we have a high quality singe bed going spare complete with a newish matress. We are very poor so if we could get some money for it that would be great. It is very nice quality though - we just don;t need it anymore s we will be getting sofa beds and chairs for the new house. : )

Let us know if you want or know anyone else who does.
7:57 pm
Yay! Christmas deccies!

Thank you to Sabrina for the christmas deccies! They are now hung up on our tree. I shall try and take a nice arty photo soon!



Current Mood: Glee!
Sunday, December 16th, 2007
12:11 pm
I love rodents!
  They are just so cool! Some people are birdy fans, others lie fishies - I think rodents are bestestest!

As evidence I give you:

Rabbits
Jeroba
Viscacha
Gerbils
Roborovski's
Sugar Gliders (technically a marsupial I suppose . . .)

and of course . . .

CHINCHILLAS!

I have every intention of becoming a crazy old rodent lady. I just like having them around! Life can't be so bad when something is wiggling it's whiskers at you. 
12:10 pm
Gerbils, faster than chinchilas.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/9166681@N02/

Hmmm.  Another step in my journey to become a master of rodentia!

I particularly like the one of Warwick and Darth Vader.
Saturday, December 15th, 2007
12:09 pm
Swift catch up from The Burrow

The Bullet points are for easeof skim read - other people have more important/good/horrible news.

  • We are still on track to complete and get our keys before Christmas with the house. Following that we will use the month we have on lease here to paint, accquier something to sit on and move over in slow stages. Following the move there may just be a few furry additions to the rodent collection in the form of Roborovski's. Four of them rolled together are the size of a lemon.You see rodents are an important part of a study room and now we will have two study rooms. All makes sense. 
  • Help with painting and moving would be both appreciated and rewarded with cake, booze and permission to wield a paintbrush (I love painting walls - very satisfying). 
  • Work is very very hard work. Driving an average of 400 miles a week and working later on this afternoon. Too damn tired to get anything done when I get home which is both frustrating and worrying. Right now, my out-of-work load is light but that is going to radically change come February.
  • Very poor - expect cheap Christmas presents this year. Anyone who is still wondering what to get for me, vouchers would be good! (John Lewis,OU, Next, Pets at Home, Garden Centre, B&Q).
  • Riftworld was OK - spent a good chunk of the weekend on the verge of a panic attack and knackered and would be lying if I said I had really enjoyed myself but that was nothing to do with the game or anyone there. Always nice to see that crowd of people and I like playing with my camera.
  • A deafening silence has progressed from worrying, to annoying, to "feh".
  • My house is a complete tip. Must clean.
  • Must stop procrastinating and do something.
Sunday, December 9th, 2007
10:04 pm
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