Attention, Please!

Updated: Sep 6, 2019

A cluster of turquoise party balloons arranged to shape a number 2 on a white background.

In the course of starting and maintaining this website, I've read and researched a lot. And one of the things that I kept seeing over and over again were posts on social media about what it's like to actually live with ADD/ADHD. What it was like to grow up having it, diagnosed or not. What it's like having it as an adult. The ways in which it affects someone's day-to-day life, work, relationships.

And I found myself more and more, seeing myself in those posts. I saw my childhood and education in them, my teen years, my jobs and relationships, my day-to-day life now.

I've spent the last 7 years pinning all of my brain troubles onto post-chemo issues. My terrible memory, my inability to focus, my issues keeping track of the day, the date, the time. But reading about the lives of people with ADD, I realized that my issues go back before I had chemo, before I had cancer. My brain has always been unreliable. My memory has always been a challenge, and my head has always felt too full, too busy, too crowded. Chemo just made all of that... worse.

When we first started PSS, it was... easy. Building this site became my hyperfocus, my special interest. I would spend 8-12 hours at a time at my computer, creating, building, designing, researching. But the longer we're here, the harder it's gotten for me to keep going. Not for lack of desire, because I LOVE this site and I LOVE what we're doing and it's crucial. No the problem comes each month when I sit down to do this homepage- and you've all seen it. Late releases, fewer and fewer new shops added at a time, even june, without a new homepage at all (though to be fair, part of that was a weather/power issue). But in the last few weeks especially I realized that it's not JUST that my brain is struggling, but that the struggle is causing me more and more actual distress.

And since there is no way I'm going to stop this project, my only other alternative was to seek some help with my broken brain. i made notes, texted them to myself and went to see my doctor. A conversation, a checklist, and about 20 minutes later- that's how I got my ADD diagnosis- and a plan to help me make my broken brain work better.

It's been about 2 weeks now, and I'm learning my way through my adderall. But the short story is- when my meds are active in my system- my brain is SO QUIET. Instead of a constant backdrop of to-do-lists and frustrations, and distractions, and worries, I can pick a task and actually sit down to accomplish it. If I take my doses as prescribed (1 in the am, and 1 at noon) I am guaranteed basically 3 or 4 hours of really good, focused, FUNCTIONAL brain time. I've done more in the last 2 weeks in small 4 hour chunks than I've accomplished in the last 5 months put together. And I do not miss the distress of knowing what needs to be done but not being able to DO it.

And I recognize that my process for getting diagnosed and helped is NOT the norm, especially for adults. I'm blessed with an absolutely incredible Primary Care Physician, and decent medicare advantage plan, and said doctor really understands how to work that plan to give me the best care at prices I can manage. But even with that privilege, I suppose I'm sharing all of this in the hope that I can reach even one other adult out there, who is ripping out their hair in frustration, who is distressed sitting at a desk 8 hours a day without actually accomplishing what they NEED to do, who forgets every loved ones birthday because ... what are calendars?? Who can't find an important document because they can NEVER find anything, who is chronically late to everything because time is too weird to keep track of... and convince you that it is worth the fight to seek out a diagnosis.

You are not too old. You are not beyond help. You deserve to have a brain that is, even for just a few hours a day- not loud and cluttered and broken. You deserve to have the kind of peace of mind that comes from functionally managed ADD. Don't lose hope. You are worth it.

In related news, (thanks to adderall) there are 3 NEW DESIGNS up in our own shop this week! And, since we have a major web hosting bill due on September 9th, now is a GREAT time to buy some snarky merch from us at the PrettySick Supply Shop

We've got a new set of designs in our "STILL" series, and brand new designs- all specifically for our invisibly disabled/invisible ill folks. (Another version of the When I Look it design is coming that will read STILL SICK instead of still disabled)

A black female presenting person in a gray sweater holding out a white square pillow with a black flourish design that reads, "when I look it, STILL DISABLED, when I don't."

A silver laptop on a desk surrounded by decorative plant leaves, a book, and pencils.  The laptop is open and on the back cover is a black and white sticker with a checklist that reads, "I'm still sick even when I: Smile, Laugh, Dance, Play"  Each item has a box with a checkmark next to it on the right side.

A bright blue tote bag with black handle.  On it is a checklist titled, "I'm still disabled even when I:" the checklist includes, "Smile, laugh, stand, walk, dance, play" and each box to the right of these items is checked.

So please check out our shop and get yourself or someone you know something snarky and fun, or you can donate directly to help us with hosting fees etc. by donating to our paypal by clicking HERE

We need $204 by September 9th in order to keep this website up and running and free to our community. Right now we're at $30 and we'll update throughout the next few weeks as totals change.

UPDATE: Thanks to one large donation overnight, we are now fully funded for our webhosting for the next year! Thank you so much to everyone who shared and donated! We can't wait to keep maintaining and expanding this resource for another year!