What path should I take?

Lately, I’ve been wrestling with my thoughts on where I want to be in life.

I just finished up my first year of graduate school at Western Michigan University’s MSW program. It was tedious, to say the least. I fell ill during the spring semester, which caused me to lose hours at my internship, struggle at work and in class. In the winter, I wrote a post about struggling with severe depression again and how it affected my outlook on life, my thoughts, actions, school, work and everything else in between.

It has been a daunting challenge while struggling with depression, anxiety and ADHD. I was diagnosed with ADHD in April, which explains a lot of my thought patterns and behaviors.

What I find interesting is that ADHD goes undiagnosed quite a bit in girls/women. To show you that I’m not making this up, here is a news article discussing the issue:

Expert: ADHD underdiagnosed in girls

I’m 24 years old and didn’t learn I had ADHD until this spring. When I discovered I had the disorder, I understood myself a bit better.

I understand why I go through periods of self loathing and beat myself up internally over small mistakes.

I understand why I’m easily distracted.

I understand why I procrastinate so much.

I understand why I become so unmotivated at times.

I understand why I make impulsive and “snap” decisions.

I understand why I lose focus so easily.

Even when I was a child, my grandmother told my mom I should be on Ritalin. My mom disagreed, insisting I was just being a child. I have to agree with my mom, I was likely just being a normal child. I believe ADHD is more of an adult disease. It can manifest in childhood, but I feel it affects adults with a higher intensity since adults have obligations and responsibilities that children do not have.

Do I believe that children who are diagnosed with ADHD aren’t deserving of the same treatment as an adult with ADHD? No, I don’t. However, a child’s brain is still developing and medication may not be the best option for all children. It might be for some, but not for others. Everyone is different, and medication affects everyone differently.

What I do know is how disruptive ADHD can be in one’s every day life. It disrupts my life when I lose my car keys or absent mindedly lock them in my car; it disrupts it when I lose something important in my apartment because it’s a cluttered disaster and items are scattered about

It doesn’t make every day life easy. In addition to already dealing with depression and anxiety, it just adds onto the pile of issues myself and many others face on a regular basis.

Lately, I’ve been going through a lot of highs and lows. Medication adjustments, changes, becoming acclimated with a new job that I am struggling in, but it (sort of) gets a little easier day by day. It’s a position that I’ve never been in before, and I’m learning a whole new set of tasks, responsibilities and becoming used to a brand new routine. I noticed just how difficult it can be with ADHD and anxiety. I won’t go into the logistics of it, otherwise this post will turn into a novel, but it’s been a little bit of a struggle.

With all of this in mind, I often wonder if I’m on the right path. Some days, I feel out of place with where I’m supposed to be. Not to mention there are times when I feel “stuck” or “lost”. It could be one of those “quarter-life” crises, perhaps? I’m not sure. I’m still searching for the right path, searching for the right way.

I often wonder, “Am I going to become a social worker who helps children, teens or adults?”, or am I going to work as writer/editor or for a public relations firm? Am I going to help people or am I going to keep my feet planted in the world of writing and communications?

Some say, “Where you are is right where you’re supposed to be.” I’m not sure if I believe that statement. I wrestle with that concept, as I’m sure all of us do.

Only time and my progress at this job will tell if I’m where I’m supposed to be. Learning to manage and live with ADHD in addition to depression/anxiety has added a few more challenges along the way, but I can overcome those challenges. I’m resilient. That’s the considerable element about being human: resilience. We can bounce back from adversity, just as I’ve had to do more than once.

I’ll figure it out. I always do.

2 thoughts on “What path should I take?

  1. tmezpoetry says:

    I was diagnosed with adhd and anxiety about 3 years ago (in my 40’s) and it made total sense. With adhd I have found that doing what you love is key. Developing good humor, plenty of self acceptance, and easy going friends makes a huge difference! Often, we are way too hard on ourselves and that is a shame. Good luck with whatever you choose to do!

    • jessicamaes7 says:

      Thank you for sharing! That’s what I’m beginning to understand – having a passion and a love for something makes life so much easier. I’m still working on my self-acceptance and making sure I surround myself with positive, easy-going people. Yes, we are. We need to give ourselves a break! It’s very sad how we talk to ourselves when we mess up or make a mistake. At least we are aware and can work on loving ourselves and taking life a little less seriously. 🙂 Thank you!

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