Monday, February 22, 2010

Me time, week 6

I was pretty tired as I departed for my time at Panera this week.  I spent the bulk of Saturday scrapbooking with friends, and got home some time around midnight.  I knew that this would be one morning when coffee would be a must.

When I got to Panera, the parking lot wasn't any more crowded than I'm used to, but inside was a different story.  Sure, I'd gotten a bit of a late start, about half an hour later than my normal time, but I don't think my timing had anything to do with how crowded it was.  Just a few different groups of people this morning.  The first thing I noticed was that one of the tall tables by the front window was hosting a group of ladies out for morning fare.  I could see them as I walked from my car.  They were having a great time catching up and telling stories, I could tell.  As I entered the restaurant, I tried to judge the best spot to sit, given how crowded it was.  Not an easy choice.  I didn't want to sit in an isolated booth, and the comfy leather chairs in the corner were taken.  I could have gone all the way to the back to one of the little 2-seater tables, but, prefer to be where the action is.  Luckily, the carpeted area near the front wasn't full, and the table where the man in the yellow sweater had been before was empty.  Either I'd missed the man in the yellow sweater, or I got there first.  Either way, it didn't take me long to decide on that small table against the half wall.  Should I sit first, then order?  Nah, I'm not that bold yet.  I ordered first.  Just a coffee for now.  I ordered my standard grande, not choosing, again, to ask about the mug.  Just not important this time.  One thing I did learn is that there is, indeed, a hole in the counter for trash!  I'd been taking my empty sugar packets and stirrers over to the trash bins by the door all this time, and lo and behold, there's a trash bin right there between the sugar holder and the napkin dispenser.  I'm really getting the hang of this, I think!

Aside from the ladies at the tall table, the two gentlemen who'd sat there two weeks ago were on the bench seats against the wall.  I think they recognized me, and we exchanged brief eye contact and a quick nod.  I sat facing the door, so my back was to them.  I hoped they didn't mind. 

I brought Twilight with me this time, hoping for some mindless reading that wouldn't make me feel too frustrated when having to read passages over and over again.  I haven't read any of my Healthy Selfishness in just over a week, but, hope to get back on that wagon soon.  I got my coat off and it hung perfectly on the back of my chair, just barely touching the floor.  One thing I can't stand is getting up and tripping over my coat when it pools on the floor.  I settled in with my coffee and my book, and took a quick look around.

Not long after I seated myself, the ladies at the tall table finished up.  I could tell they didn't just roll out of bed, this was something they'd planned to do and they dressed for the occaision.  Well, most of them.  None were dressed in Old Navy snowman fleece pants (I have the same ones, that's how I know) and flip flops like one gal that I saw stroll in some time later.  Most were in jeans, nice sweaters, that kind of thing.  One lady was wearing yoga pants, they were cute.  Until she turned and faced my direction.  Please explain to me why you would put rhinestones on a pair of yoga pants.  Seriously.  An intricate flowery or paisley pattern in rhinestones rested just below her hip, high on her thigh.  Honestly, she looked casual and comfortable, but, not sloppy, but the rhinestones did nothing for the yoga pants.  If you wanna dress up your yoga pants, I'm thinkin' that's not the way to go.  But what do I know, I showed up my first week there in a an old sweatshirt, hand me down jeans, and 8 year old shoes.

I was too comfy in my chair to try to relocate myself once the ladies vacated the tall table.  Plus, with there being that many people in the restaurant, I did feel like I'd be hogging space without necessity since there's just one of me, and the tall table seats at least six.  So I stayed parked at my table along the half wall. 

Shortly after I was all situated, I noticed a woman, likely in her late 50's, roaming around the carpeted area looking for a spot to park.  I thought, at first, that she would be meeting someone because she rearranged the four chairs around one of the tables where she'd placed a book and her keys.  Then she went over by the counter, then came right back and collected her things from that table.  As she breezed by me, she said, very kindly and with a smile, "You're in my favorite spot".  I must have really thrown her for a loop!  I lightly replied, "I beat you to it, I guess", to which she responded, "Oh, no, that's OK, there's another fine seat right here", and she perched at the table behind me.  I guess the man in the yellow sweater was holding a coveted spot, and now it was I in the coveted spot.  Very nice.

While we were exchanging our quips about my table, the Alaska lady from a couple weeks ago arrived.  She was walking with a pronounced limp, and I don't recall her having that last time I saw her.  You may recall that she is one of the three ladies who know the pulled back guy.  She had a different bag with her today, sporting a blue Le SportSac straight out of the 80's.  Very cute, but, it's been years since I've seen a Le SportSac.  She put her things down, went and ordered, and retured to her table with a friendly nod in my direction before she sat with her back to my table.  As she sat down, she greeted the two gentlemen on the bench seats, addressing them by name.  I hadn't noticed in the past that they'd ever greeted each other. 

The three ladies were only two again this week, but there was no mention of the third lady when number two arrived.  The second lady also mentioned the Le SportSac when she noticed her friend's bag, agreeing that it was a cute little bag.  Before I knew it, the two ladies were flitting from one topic to another in conversation, and suddenly I heard the first lady shuffling a deck of cards.  I turned slightly to see a cribbage board on the table between the two ladies.  As they began to play they also discussed some online game that they both play, and they each shared their strategies for playing the game.  Then the second lady went and ordered her bagel, and upon her return commented on how Wendy, one of the girls behind the counter, toasts the bagels perfectly every time.  Then the two ladies giggled about how wonderful it is to be regulars.  Ah, they're officially regulars.  I wonder when I will qualify as a regular. :)

Well, I didn't really come alone, I did bring Bella and her twisted crew from Forks.  She recently returned from a trip to the beach with some friends, and had a terrible dream about a friend becoming a wolf.  I have to admit that I'm enjoying the book, and I think it's a good thing that it's such an easy read.  Riveting, no, but, easy to read and allows me to escape from time to time.  I am clearly not going to be decorating my home with Twilight garb, but, I can see myself reading the series by the end of 2010.  I wish I could say that I can see myself joining a team as so many other readers of Twilight have, but, that's not really how I roll.  Anyway, I admit to having been a bit envious as Bella was able to lay out and fall asleep on the lawn on one of the few sunny days where she lives.  I wish I could sit still for that long. 

Back at Panera, I filled quite a bit of time getting lost in Twilight, despite having to read and reread passages as I progressed in the story.  I wasn't quite as distracted as I was two weeks ago, but, I did have a low level of difficulty keeping focused on the book.  I guess it didn't help to be hearing the bagel cutter just over the wall from me, or the shuffling of cards at the table next to me.

I wondered about the pulled back guy when I realized it was almost my time to head out, and he still hadn't arrived.  The two ladies had talked about all kinds of things, including the second lady's husband who is apparently nearly blind and seeking treatment for his diminishing eye sight.  Apparently his failing sight is one of many health related dramas in her family along with a chest cold she's been dealing with, among other things.  Not to disappoint, the pulled back guy finally arrived.  I suddenly felt like a part of their small group as he chose a table next to the ladies, nodding in my direction and flashing a friendly smile as he approached the table he chose.  He's fast.  He had his laptop out, coat off, and was all booted up before I could even turn to see where he'd sat down.  He's got a cool little net book, and I was almost going to ask him how he likes it but I'm not ready to directly engage any of the regulars just yet.  He and the second lady quickly discovered that they have this chest cold in common, and pulled back guy tried to garner some credit for spreading it since he's been wrestling with it since the beginning of the year.  Ah, the pleasantries that are exchanged over coffee.

I was soon getting a little bored with Bella and figured that since my neighbors had so much chatting to do, and cribbage to play that it was time for me to exit the building.  Joking that I must have been leaving because of them, the second lady and pulled back guy made a couple funny quips about my departure being due to something they said, to which I smiled and gently commented that it was just my time to head home.  We all greeted each other a good day, and I headed to the table where I would refill my coffee.

At the table, there was a girl in a bright pink jacket.  You know, it's not very often that someone wears a bright color around here, so this was a welcome sight to see.  It's true, the fashions around this area are drab, mostly gray, black, brown, and muted colors when they are worn.  This girl was bold enough to splash the scene with a vibrant, almost neon, pink.  I complimented her and told her what a pretty color her jacket was, even though I really don't like pink.  It was the fact that she wore such a fun, bright color that really made the impression on me.  She thanked me, we refilled our coffees, and I left the building.

On the way home, I stopped at JoAnn Fabrics to pick up some additional prizes for the prize bag that I've compiled for Ethel.  She has done an amazing job with her responsibility chart, and I can't tell you how much better things are since we've had the chart.  We rarely argue about getting things done, and she actually enjoys reaching all the goals we set forth for her each week.  For something so simple, it's made a huge impact in our house.  I can't wait to get one for Fred.

We had a busy rest of the day after I returned home.  Ethel had a birthday party in the afternoon, then we had dinner at a family friend's house in the evening.  All in all it was a great day, despite the lack of sunshine and impending snow storm.  Any day spent with family and good friends is a great day in my book.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Me time, week 5

This week I decided to do my me time another day, since today is Valentine's Day.  It's not a huge deal between my husband and I, but I thought it would be nice to spend the day together.  The whole day.  Plus, Ethel is totally into Valentine's Day, so I wanted to be around for the morning at least and give the kids cards and a small token that Nani mailed to each of them. 

Fred woke early again today, a pattern he started in the middle of the week.  This morning he held off until 5AM, so that was a lucky break.  Even being Daddy's day to get out of bed with the kids, I jumped out of bed as soon as I heard Fred open his bedroom door.  Daddy's reflexes are quite dulled in slumber, so I took this one for the team.  Fred agreed to turn on a light and play in his room, and he did so for about an hour and a half.  I have to admit (now that the sun is up and I've had some coffee), he was really sweet as he played with his cars in his room, quoting Dinosaur Train, singing songs, and organizing the cars by color.  I still dozed on and off until he finally exited his room, announcing that it was time to start the day.  He and Daddy brushed their teeth together and headed downstairs.  Ethel was still sleeping in her bed, having gone to bed late after a birthday party yesterday.

I somehow found sleep again and was able to keep my eyes shut and my mind turned off until about 7:30, when I decided to check the morning news franchises.  I'm a Good Morning America girl on the weekends, when I happen to catch the AM show.  It's been a while since I checked in on Bill and Kate, but, they haven't changed much since I last saw them.  Then I figured I'd check on Lester Holt over on Today, and learned about the Olympic happenings I'd missed while I was out last night, and couldn't keep my eyes open for later (sorry Apollo). 

I soon heard some noise from Ethel's room, and found her on her bed, having sorted the goodies from her adorable goody bag from yeterday's birthday party.  A cute Princess purse, one of those little metal ones with the beaded handle, filled with bubbles, some candy, and assorted other trinkets.  She's taken the candy aside, and then asked me to put it in the candy bin I have in the cabinet.  I guess my habit of scavenging the kids' goody bags over the years have paid off, as Ethel readily offered the candy for storage, rather than pulling the covers over her head attempting to hide while eating a Butterfinger.  I dutifully agreed to put the candy away for her, and she opted to play with her goodies instead of joining the boys downstairs and getting some breakfast.

Eventually she conceded and Daddy and the kids had breakfast while I watched a little Teen Mom, 5 Ingredient Fix, and the Biography on Elton John.  I am a sucker for mindless TV, and the ADD lends well to my ability to channel surf and still keep up with each show. :)

Daddy came in about a half hour ago to wish me Happy Valentine's Day, and agreed that I would spend a little more time relaxing before joining the family.  After all, the last four Sundays I was already heading out the door at this hour.  I wiped the sleep from my eyes and headed down to get a coffee.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that Daddy had remembered to turn on the coffee maker for me.  Suddenly, the fact that the dining room light was on (something that would normally irritate me) was a non-issue.  I got my coffee and came back upstairs to find Ethel wearing the Snow White dress she'd worn to the birthday party (and last weekend to the story time), which I'd placed in the laundry basket last night.  None of this bothers me right now.  Rather than walk around the house and nit-pick, as I so commonly do, I am enjoying a relaxing morning.

I realize that the past four Sunday mornings have allowed the kids and Daddy to establish a morning routine which doesn't require whining for Mommy, nor Mommy's intervention.  My house is calm, my family is happy, and anything that needs to be done will be there when I decide to tackle it.  What a gift my alone time, my me time, has given me.  Even if the calm is disturbed, even if Fred has a "I've been up for four hours and I'm crabby" meltdown, I've had this moment to see how wonderful my family is.

I will probably take this weekend off from my me time, and that's fine with me.  I hope the girls behind the counter at Panera understand, and I hope they still have a warm hazlenut coffee for me next week.  I'll miss hearing about what the three ladies did this week, what movie pulled back guy recommends, and seeing the two guys who got the tall table last week.  Hopefully we can all start again where we left off when I return next week.  We'll enjoy our coffee together.  I'll do my reading.  My kids will have their time with their Daddy.  And I'll have my coffee.  Yum.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Opening doors

I spent the lunch hour with my new friend today.  I have to get these thoughts out before they disappear, and they're flowing too quickly for me to hand write. :)

First, she reassured me that I'm in a discovery mode since we diagnosed the ADD.  I'm connecting dots between my present and my past.  The dots have always been there, I'm just adding the connections now, so things I've always known are taking on new meaning for me.  This is, apparently, normal and is a positive step.  Whew!  I mentioned how much of what I remember from my past makes quite a bit of sense to me now.  My Sunday me time was a bit of a challenge because I'd been out later the night before, so I was pretty tired.  It's normal for people to not be at the top of their game when they're tired, and for me it's a little more challenging as I deal with the symptoms of ADD.  Never was that more painful for me than when I was a child.  I don't function well on little sleep, and now that whole thing has come together in my mind.  I wasn't a bad kid, and things I did and said weren't just part of my personality.  There's the key.  I can now recategorize things about myself!  It's not "just how I am" or "part of my personality".  It's a result of the ADD (in many cases), and my personality has been shaped as a result of the way I do things or the way I handle things.  Very intersting perspective.

I went on to talk about my Fancy Nancy day with Ethel this weekend.  Somehow this snowballed and morphed into a discussion about my parents, their parents, and it just flowed from my mind.  I talked about my father quite a bit, which is the first time I'd brought him up to my new friend.  It was interesting how my father from my childhood could have as much to do with my expectations of my husband's role in my life as it does.  I think another door has opened which I should enter and explore what's inside.

I feel less blame on myself as Mother today.  I feel actually that I'm doing a decent job, and I'm doing right by my kids.  I don't always feel that way, but, after my lunch hour with my new friend, I do feel a bit better.  I look forward to another lunch with my new friend, and exploring what's behind more doors.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Glamour Girl

This morning I took Ethel to a story hour at the local Barnes and Nobel.  It was a Fancy Nancy story hour with Valentine's Day crafts.  Ethel didn't want to go at first, but yesterday when I told her we could polish her nails, she was all over it!  I knew that some of her classmates would be at the event, and that rather sweetened the deal.

We haven't had any one on one time in a while, so I decided we should make this morning a special one.  I started out by polishing her nails.  She chose pink for her toes, purple for her fingers.  I have to say that doing someone's nails is not easy when their younger brother keeps hopping on and off the bed.  At first, Fred wanted me to do his nails, too, then when I got the brush close enough to his hand, he jerked it back and said, "No thank you".  :)  I think Daddy was happy about that one.
Can you tell she was getting pampered today?

She had already chosen to wear her Snow White dress, so the wardrobe selection was simple.  What came next was accessories.  What should we pick from the dress-up bin?  Well, why not unload the bin to find out?

She finally chose her accessories, for the most part.
The finished product, my Fancy girl.
The story hour was so much fun.  They served sugar cookies with red sprinkles and had Valentine's Day crafts for the kids. They had a bin of dress up stuff for everyone to embellish their already fancy outfits, too.  Not pictured, but I did wear my tiara and chose from the bin a soft purple boa to add to my ensemble. :) 

Everyone was dressed in their fanciest attire.  Ethel questioned whether she was dressed fancier than Fancy Nancy, to which I replied, of course.  You're the fanciest.  And she was.  She wasn't horribly interested in the craft, I think there was too much commotion because ALL the girls swarmed the tables trying to make bookmarks, cards, and color pictures.  That's OK.  Mommy took one for the team and made the crafts, and won't the kids be surprised when they see them on the table on Valentine's Day morning. :) 

After the story hour, and after the crowd thinned, several of the parents and I let our girls explore the books and dress up things while all talked about how we should certainly do a play date in the near future - with or without the kids.  One of the moms even suggested starting a book club, and asked me to spread the word.  Why yes, I think that would be wonderful! 

Being a special day, Ethel and I went out to lunch.  We don't eat out often.  I think the last time we ate out was possibly on our vacation back in September.  Ya, eating out is a huge treat in our house.  Ethel was thrilled that she could have waffles and breakfast stuff for lunch when I took her to IHOP.  Her eyes just about popped out of her head when she saw the "Funny Face" on the menu.  A chocolate pancake decorated like a face with whipped cream, cherries, and chocolate chips.  Wow.  A sugar cookie and now this!  On top of that, I let her order a chocolate milk!  Holy cow!  What could be better????
She was so sweet.  She got compliments on her fancy clothes from several patrons who passed by our table.  It was really nice sitting across the tiny table from my fancy girl.  It's so amazing to sit across a table from your child and realize that they are this grown up.  We were out to lunch, like girlfriends getting together.  She sat nicely, remembered her please and thank yous, and used her napkin.  She asked questions, talked to me about the story time, and told me all kinds of facts about dinosaurs.  Her perfect skin, her beautiful blue eyes, her soft blonde hair, her electric personality, her quick wit, her thoughtful smile, and a mind as sharp as a tack.  Is it wrong to be jealous of your daughter?  :)

At the end of our special lunch, Ethel requested a balloon, because she'd seen some other kids with them as they left the restaurant.  She wanted blue and orange, so I told her to pick one, she could only have one balloon.  "No, Mommy, I have to get one for Fred, too".  She's got a big heart, too.  So we got our two balloons, thanked the kind staff who told Ethel how pretty she looked in her fancy dress, and headed home.

Fred and Daddy had their own time together today, having lunch at a greasy spoon in town.  Fred was more than thrilled when he saw that Ethel had brought him a balloon. 
My princess and my prince.
It was really a great day.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

It's official

Today I got the official diagnosis, I definitely have ADD. What a relief.

I really enjoy talking with my new friend for many reasons. She's easy going, but, straight forward. She's factual without going over my head. She's genuinely concerned, and understands. She's not judgemental. She is there to help me. Conversely, I'm ready for the help.

My head has filled with memories of the past over the last couple of days since we first talked about ADD. So many things started to make sense, so many judgements I've made of myself have been proven false, and many others proven true. I actually realized yesterday that I have some awesome strengths. That was probably the first time that I've had such a thought. All these things about myself which are related to the ADD, I usually thought were negatives. Now I realize that they are not bad things, and they can be used to my advantage!

We did an assessment today, to confirm and officially diagnose the ADD. After rating a series of questions from zero to three (zero = the absence of; three = extreme presence of), there was no doubt that my new friend had hit the nail on the head. It was very interesting listening to the questions, and realizing that all these things about me were for a real reason. I'm not just stubborn, impatient, and judgemental of others. I'm actually moving so quickly that I get frustrated easily when others aren't moving at the same speed. And, that speed is quicker than most others around me. Sometimes, even I can't keep up.

What keeps coming to mind for me is my kids. I need to be able to slow down enough that I will be able to recognize the symptoms in my kids. I want to be able to parent them the way they deserve to be parented, rather than be the nagging, expecting-too-much kind of mom for whom nothing is good enough. I want to be able to slow down long enough to enjoy activities with my kids, and enjoy their enjoyment. I want to be able to listen to them without them feeling like I'm not really there. I want them to grow up able to cope with school, friends, and life in general. I don't want them to have to feel that they don't measure up, and try to over compensate in other ways.

I want my daughter to feel pretty. I want my son to feel handsome. I want both my kids to feel valued, wanted, and able. I don't want to get in their way just because I can't wrap my head around getting through the day.

I feel empowered as a mom because I now have the awareness, the tools, and the knowledge to watch my kids, and offer them guidance. I can take steps to help them if they need it, but also to let them flourish in their own ways without making them feel that their own way is the wrong way, or isn't good enough. By healing myself, I can be a better mom.

My new friend and I talked today about my relationship with money. We identified and agreed that the relationship isn't truly about money. There's something else there. There's something behind the self-deprivation, the self-denial, the negative feelings that come to the surface with money. All the money in the world won't change the feelings that exist, and that's the core I need to reach for and explore. What makes me so resistant to doing for me? It's more than the usual "mom puts herself last", which is common among mothers. I don't want to show my children that I don't value myself, and that I am not worth being valued by them. I want my kids to see their mommy as someone to look up to, to respect, and who is worthy. I don't want to be the Mommy who did without and became bitter and couldn't be a happy person. I certainly don't want my children to become any of those things. So, it's time to break that pattern in myself, and find the real me.

I have now left the computer at least four times. Twice to go to the kitchen and come back empty handed, twice to go into my daughter's room to intervene as she made mess after mess, rather than cleaning up one thing before moving on to another (per the rule in the house). Now I understand why some of the questions on the ADD assessment were about whether I tend to interrupt people when they're talking, or enter conversations I'm not initially included in. Blush, blush..... :)

So, I have to figure out why I deny myself. Why do I neglect me? What is it from my past that caused me to develop this way of thinking? Then, how do I correct it? I am anxious to get to the root of that so that I can finally treat me, and in turn, be more giving in the right ways to my family.

The journey has only just begun, so I'd better get my seat belt on and buckle up for the ride.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Three little letters....

...which aren't very little.  They've actually put my life into perspective.  They've changed the way I think about myself.  They've made me feel pretty normal, and more accepting of the way I am.

Attention Deficit Disorder

OK, so what's the big deal about those three letters?  They have explained much of who I am today.  The struggles I've faced with so many things in my life are explained by ADD.  My new friend and I were talking more today, and she told me that she feels that I have ADD.  I cried tears of joy after hearing her say that.

Nobody has ever been able to tangibly explain why I find myself unable to do things like send a letter, make plans in the near future, or comprehend something I've read.  In my youth, I was diagnosed with learning disabilities, primarily in math.  All the social workers, learning disability assistance, and tutoring didn't help me understand what I was being taught in school, or why it was so hard for me and not other kids.  

There are just so many pieces that have come together to complete the puzzle in my life, I just don't know how to put it into words.

As I sit here, I have so many thoughts spinning in my head, I can't stop them long enough to catch one and put it into words on this screen.  They aren't able to get from my brain to my fingertips.  I'll just try to brain dump.

I am clausterphobic, but I love crowds.
I love sports and can follow a game, but, can't remember what happened in the last period/half/quarter/inning.
If given $10, I can't spend it because I can't settle on what to spend it on.
I am super productive when my plate is full (even overflowing), but find it hard to complete one task when I have the time to do something uninterrupted.
I get bored easily.

I get frustrated when people move slowly, or not at my pace when we do something together.
I have over 350 friends on FB, and I have no idea how that number got so large.
I get overwhelmed quickly.
I start many things, finish few of them.
I thrive on structure, but, am sometimes lax within that structure.
I channel surf (quickly) on the radio in my car, and can tell you what each song is as I pass it up.
Oh, there are so many more.

I have been frustrated with myself for years, always thinking that I was just neurotic, crazy, or otherwise somehow deficient in some necessary skill that I should have.  Should I have it?  Why should I?  Because there's no reason I shouldn't have that skill.  Well, now there is a reason.

I probably have the skill, but putting it into practice is another thing altogether.  I can multitask 'til the cows come home, and people ask me how I do it.  I ask, in my mind, how they are unable to do it.  

As I sat in my new friend's office today, I could physically feel the difference in my chest as it relaxed, as it released, and as I accepted the words my new friend was speaking.  Seriously.

I would never allow myself to put a label on something about myself.  There are people in the world with real problems, real illnesses, but not me.  My new friend wholeheartedly disagreed.  She said there is something in me that exists, and is effecting my life, and can be treated.  Wow, there is an answer.  Someone else sees something about me and gave it a name.  I am not ashamed, I am not upset, there is nothing to be ashamed or upset about.  

I now have a name for what is behind my coping skills, habits, and other means of managing my life.  There is a way to help me with the difficulties I face each day because of those things.  And now that I have a name for it, I realize that this is a daily struggle.  Planning, scheduling, making lists, and having to follow the plans, schedules and lists.  I'm highly annoyed when something strays from those.  It's a miserable feeling when I can't keep up.  Of course, the pace is nearly impossible to keep up with, so it's a stage set for failure.  As a result, I compensate by adding another plan, schedule or list.  And so it goes.

I really feel redeemed.  I don't have to live this way any more.  I can work on ways to get past the disappointment, frustration, and depression I've been living with.

What makes me happiest is that I can work on my own behaviour, and emulate the right behaviours for my children, and try to lay some good groundwork for them so they don't learn the wrong ones from me.  My biggest fear has been that one or both of my children would "turn out like me". That is to say that they would self-deny, feel badly about themselves, or otherwise have the same frustrations and difficulties that I have because of something like ADD going undiagnosed.  Of course I can't prevent that altogether, I know this.  I can't make them perfect or free of difficulty in their lives.  What I can do is be a healthy mother, so they have a better chance of growing up healthy. 

There is a genetic component here.  I am not alone.  I come from a nice long line of folks with the same personality streak.  This didn't just happen to me overnight, in the last few years, or since I got married and had kids.  It is, however, something that I can live with, treat, and manage.  And, I can be happy.

After having my Barbara Walters "I said I wasn't going to cry" moment in my new friend's office, I really felt as if so many questions had been answered, and they were questions I had never even asked.  People talk about "breakthroughs" or having "that moment", and I honestly never understood what they meant.  Now I do, because I just had one today.  I had my breakthrough, I had that moment.  And it was so cool.

I have ADD.  There, now I said it.