Hard Reset Day 1

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So, my bloggy thingy stopped working for a while. When I finally found the mental space to find the problem, it was not all that difficult, but it may as well have been rocket science on most days.

It’s been a strange year. Single momming. Business. Dating. Boundaries… The best way to describe it (forgive another LOTR quote), is “Like butter scraped over too much bread.” And I also mean to disappear and not come back. In a way.

Today is a significant day for me. A few weeks ago, I impulsively looked at a house and bought it. By myself. I close on it and get the keys today. And thus begins step 1 of my reboot. My mass exodus from life as I know it. Purging my ghosts. In less that a month I will also close on the sale of my business and with any luck, also the home I shared with my ex-husband for 13 years. I’m going for a hard reset and I can’t think of another way to do it than to start from the ground up in as many ways as possible.

My brain fog is so thick that it feels physical on most days. My body hurts. I’m always just barely teetering on tears. But I shove it down and do my thing knowing that I have a short sabbatical ahead that is seriously my chance to get my shit straight. Until then, I’m doing my best to convince the world that I have not completely checked out. Every day I get worse at it. My poker face sucks and I have few fucks less to give at this point.

So, today, up at 5 am and putting on my “go me!” face. I’ve had to dig deep so many times lately to find a modicum of functionality. I’m so damn tired. But I’m so damn ready.

Namaste bitches. Let’s do this.

Make a new plan Stan.

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I ordered my Smart Planner Pro a few weeks ago and started to fill it out. I always get super excited to get new calendars. I generally fail at keeping them up, but hopeful still.

This one is small enough to fit in my purse. It comes with blank dates but after attempting a Bullet Journal last year, I realize that for now, I need the framework. It also has week-at-a-glance spreads and a segmented day by the hour, room for gratitude entries and priorities.

It has two ribbon book marks which I will use to mark the week and my current note page. I added a colored elastic divider to mark the month-at-a-glance and color tabbed the months by quarters to make them easier of find. I’m going to number the pages to that I can migrate tasks and find them easily a-la BUJO style.

I keep a small pouch in my work bag to hold pens, a highlighter, post-its, white-out tape (I’m not a crosser-outter) and a small ruler.

I loved the idea of a Bullet Journal and it was recommended as the best type of planner for ADHD, but I think I will have better luck with this hybrid. I will post results.

Cheers 2018.

Big Freaking Fast Forward

Jesus. 8 months. So much has happened in 8 months.

Future posts won’t be so long. I hate long posts.

May 5, 2017. My husband moved out of my house and into the house of a woman who has occupied far too much of my brain space over the past several years. A co-worker and old friend of his. I had previously found sexy texts from her, extensive phone logs, found him at her house, but because of my keen ability to compartmentalize and store events and facts, I let it persist with the occasional objection and denial. Another vicious cycle. But he did it. He left, making it our 3rd break-up for the year. I was numb but vindicated. A couple of weeks previously I had caught him going on a date with she-who-shall-not-be-named and I was pretty over it by then. He says it was because I told him that I wasn’t going to change which I don’t remember saying, but in the midst of an ADD diagnosis, psych meds, recent food allergy diagnosis, trying to run and possibly sell my business and be a mom, who knows what the hell I said.

5 days after my husband moved out, I received a message from an old friend of 22 years. Someone who I knew liked me and who I might have dated if our stars had ever aligned. He wanted to invite me to dinner with his friends that Friday. I accepted and I showed up to dinner in Santa Fe on a night exactly one week after my husband left me. Dinner was great. His big group of friends were great. We had dinner and then all met at a bar for a drink. I didn’t drink because I had a long ride home. When it was time to go, he grabbed my hand as we walked out of the bar and all the way to his truck. He held my hand the whole way as he drove me back to my car. It made me forget about my problems for a split second. When we got to my car we hugged for what seemed like forever and then he finally pulled away and kissed me. The kind where he holds your face and like there’s no one else in the world. I drove back home that night stunned by what had just happened, relieved at the lightness I felt after so many months of feeling the weight of my life.

The next 4 months were confusing to say the least. My old friend lived in a city an hour and a half away from me. I told myself it was a good thing so that I didn’t jump in too fast. We started exchanged trips back and forth and sending each other love-ish songs back and forth, building a virtual mixed tape. My husband had my kids for half the weekend, so it all seemed seamless and perfect. He had kids too, older. And they liked me, seemingly better than my husband’s kids ever had.

Then, less than a month in, my husband changed his mind. He decided that he made a mistake. He began trying to gain an audience with me so we could talk. Brought me flowers when he dropped the kids off. Sent me texts and emails of regret and I thought my mind would explode. Obviously, I never wanted my family split up. I was fully addicted to the break-up and make-up cycle that we had gotten into. My old friend never pushed for me to get divorced fast, but not wanting to be in limbo and always seeking to gain approval, I did. I bought my husband out of our company, hired a lawyer and fast tracked it until it was over. On July 31, 2017 my 13 year marriage was over. It seemed more like a non-event to everyone else, so I kept my ugly crying for private. Pushed all my name changes through to prove to the world that I was a strong independent woman.

The next couple of months were pretty great. I seemed to forget my pain most of the time. My ADD diagnosis fell by the wayside and I stopped doing anything to make it better. My business got largely ignored because of the distraction, but my staff was genuinely happy to see me doing so well that they didn’t care much. Our weekend trips eventually had the occasional overnight thrown in. I learned that I really did enjoy affection and being touched when I was feeling thoroughly accepted. We had little adventures, tons of laughs, lots of tequila. I tried my hardest to stay present and seemed to be constantly warning my friend of my shortcomings. He didn’t seem to be concerned and I relaxed into it feeling pretty confident that I had just survived a breakup better than anyone ever had.

Then in late September, without warning, without a single fight, it all came to an end. Without getting into unnecessary detail, my friend broke it off with me over a theological difference between the two of us that he could not live with. A difference that I had put WAY out in the open before things got serious. He told me that he had pushed part of him aside for the chance to be with me and later realized he couldn’t live with it. It was about more than my little brain and heart could handle.

After having hit a pause button on my pain for five months, it was suddenly all there and it was enormous. No husband, no lover, no distractions. Just me and my brain and my responsibilities that I had to re-gain and try to figure out what the fuck had just happened. And I had zero coping mechanisms. I really still don’t.

In the couple of months since I have tried to engage my ex-husband in conversations about where it all went wrong. It always ends the same. My ADD ruined us and that his affair was just a symptom of the problems I had caused and I do what I want now and you got what you wanted go live with yourself blah blah blah. He still sees her, and every time I’m aware of it I still see red. Guilt and anger all mixed together to make shit-show soup.

So now I’m re-engaging my brain. letting my ADD back in as the uninvited roommate and I’m going to see how well we can get along. The thought of therapy scares me. Not because therapists scare me, it’s that I have seen so many over the years and none have caught this. It’s expensive. I’m highly influential and I don’t want to be steered wrong. So, I’m going to do my best in the new year to find the tools I need on my own to figure this shit out.

I still love my husband. Despite all the shit we did to each other. I’m not interested in fixing myself for him. He demanded that of me for far too long. If I am meant to be in his life again, I will. I’m not opposed to it. If I enter into another relationship, I will do so with eyes wide open. And I cannot, will not be anything other than myself. I will not give myself away again.

Dear brain, you are my new bitch.

 

You and me, and ADHD makes three.

Truth be told, I had planned to start a blog about getting my shit together long ago. Way before anyone said to me “hey, I know what’s wrong with you”. I had all the nicknames for everything. “I’m instant gratification girl”, “I have decision fatigue”, “my mind has too many tabs open”. But now, by living with this other human, who has for now 15 years, complained about my piles, my inattention, my attraction to the next shiny object, my tendency to change jobs, it gets brought up so much now that it’s like living with another person. This is my roommate. ADHD. He lives here now. And we didn’t know his name for awhile, but now that we do, we’re going to blame him for all kinds of shit.

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And that’s what happened. And is still happening.

He says he’s moving out this weekend so that he can go be the person I won’t let him be. At the same time, I don’t feel that I can be myself and it’s a vicious cycle. Gone is trust, any intimacy we had, even friendship at this point. He has other people for that now.

He reminds me about how many articles he has read and how our relationship is textbook – “destroyed by ADHD”. That guy we didn’t even know 4 months ago. And I look back on a million times that I had my own warning signs that this relationship would always be drama. And for someone who claims to be non-confrontational, I sure sucked it up.

I slept on the couch last night. Avoiding that strange place where you’re sleeping next to someone that has one foot out the door. We’ve been here twice before. And given the strange addiction that I seem to have to him still, I’d choose the couch over letting him hear me cry, or god forbid rolling and spooning him one last time.

I’m painfully aware of my shortcomings. I recognize all of them and I no longer make excuses for them. But probably now more than ever, I am aware of my strengths and the fact that I really do like myself. I don’t want to have to change for anyone. I couldn’t even if I did.

So. Soon enough it will be me against the world again. Me with my kids. Me with a business to run and now stuck back in a house that I was so proud to have the balls to leave. Strange how that happened and sickening that I really don’t want to live here with our ghosts. I made it out. The last time you said I didn’t measure up, I made it out. I extracted every single speck of me that I could out of this house. You said I took all the house’s personality with me. And then, you brought me back. Brought me back with so much promise of making it right.

And all my new stuff didn’t fit. I crammed it all back in the house and swore I would deal with all of it. But that was ok, right? Because we were we again and we had our new friend ADHD with us. And we were going to make him better and make him right. And I did make all the piles go away. I had yard sales and sold stuff, and I donated and purged. I made it all fit back. In fact I’m pretty sure I was putting the last picture frame back in its old spot right before you told me that I wasn’t improving in the way you wanted. And that you wanted to leave.

Because I didn’t change for you.

The Switch

“I wish I could just flip a switch in you and make you into what I want you to be.”

That’s what he said last night. 4 months ago, it was “GREAT, if we know what it is, we can work with it, we can make it better.” 2 months ago – “You should move back in. Maybe we can get re-married.”

But now. A mere week after I finished moving back into our home completely and sold off or gave away everything I bought to start over again back in December, he’s talking about leaving again. Our 3rd “move-out” separation in a year.

I keep going back to “we can work with this.” Prior to moving back in, we made a few new rules. Stuff that would help me get a handle on my day. Like a laundry schedule and help doing it. Help making dinner. I would work harder to show affection. This has all gone by the wayside. It’s all gone back to business as usual. But I’M the one being accused of not making quick enough progress. It’s been 8 weeks.

I’m on an antidepressant now. I’m told that I’m being nicer. But I think that’s more a conscious effort than the drugs. All they really do is make my ears ring and give me super vivid dreams. Our couple’s therapist asked him “Doesn’t it mean anything to you that she’s willing to alter her brain chemistry for you?” The answer was “Not really, she would have probably done it on her own.” This is debatable.

He says he’s not happy. That he’s become co-dependant for having to become my parent. He says he is incapable of feeling joy, or anything at all. He drinks too much. The only difference now is that he says that he’s mad at himself. Mad for not putting a fork in this a long time ago. Mad at himself for always holding out hope that I’d eventually morph into the person he wanted me to be. He says that I’m easy. Easy because I have very few expectations in life and that it takes very little effort on his part for me to feel like everything is alright.

He’s been telling forever that it’s all my fault. And now he’s saying that it’s really all his fault for allowing our relationship to continue. I get that. I was unable to pay attention and this other person is literally screaming at me to pay attention to them. It’s textbook. It’s maddening. It’s my work. I may never understand it. I certainly can’t go back and make it better, so I don’t want to live back there. I got shit to do.

One brain to rule them all.

The place where I am brings to mind these words from Galadriel:

The Quest stands upon the edge of a knife. Stray but a little, and it will fail, to the ruin of all. Yet hope remains while the Company is true…

And much like LOTR, it’s a long drawn out journey that brought me to the hot mess that I am. I am 43 and I was diagnosed with ADHD a couple of months ago. That’s a heckofa long time to fly under the radar. Only I wasn’t. Someone was paying pretty close attention to me and shouting it out to me in every other words but “ADHD” and I was too stubborn to listen. I’m speaking about my husband who is at this moment sitting in the living room, loathing me and plotting out our 3rd separation in a year, Yes, 3rd.

Let me back up a bit. I’ll do that a lot because my thoughts don’t come to me chronologically. It was New Year’s Day of this year, I was living in my brother’s old house. Kind of just squatting there to ride out the winter. I had just left my husband in early December, and it was our second break up of the year after 13 years of marriage and 15 years together. I get a text from him after a good few weeks of tense spotty communication. He was texting me to tell me that he “found out what was wrong with me”. My immediate thought was “Fuck off”. But then it kept coming. He had seen a segment on CBS Sunday Morning about undiagnosed ADD in adults and everything they described was me. Then came links to articles, links to YouTUBE…they kept coming. And it all made sense. But, haven’t I just managed the guts to leave you based on the fact that I’m just so messed up in your eyes? Now you’re going to diagnose me?

Fast forward six weeks to Valentines Day. By now I have seen my personal therapist and had appointments to see 2 more. I got Valentine flowers for the first time in forever delivered to my work. The card read: “Reminding you to stop and smell the flowers this year. Let the light fill your heart with love and your life with joy and set your mind free. Sending all my love to connect the dots and fill the empty spaces. -Hubby.”

A turning point, yes? Yes and no.

The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.

Don’t worry. I won’t always have geeky quotes.