Sunday, January 22, 2012


Today - with no intentional appetite suppressing - I didn't feel mentally or physically starved.

I haven't felt physically or mentally hungry at unusual times for this entire day.

I'm also in a much more zen-like state of mind regarding this TDY single parenting gig.

So - maybe that's it. I'm not emotionally eating because there aren't any big triggers right now.

I don't think I'll ever really truly understand my issues with food. But for right now, I feel good.

The only drawback to eating half of what I normally do (don't worry, I'm not eating too little. I normally overeat by at least half) is that my hands are shaking from the Adderrall. Minor complaint - and totally not enough to make me want to eat when my body and mind don't want anything.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Baby Got Back Rolls

I discovered recently that I have rolls in the back.

I don't know how long they've been there - but I only found them yesterday.

I didn't yell at them or pinch them or call them awful names.

I love them.

Because - they're part of me.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Coping Mechanisms

How does a person make it through 23 years of life with undiagnosed, untreated ADHD?

Two words: Coping Mechanisms

For those who are suffering symptoms of ADHD or MommyADD (not long before the medical professionals discover that is a REAL disorder!), here are a few of my tips and tricks:

When in the shower, always always always follow the same routine. That way, you can chant the routine to yourself, and you won't forget to rinse the conditioner out of your hair.

My shower chant goes like this:
Shave your pits, woman!

After I've completed a task - I re-chant (usually in my head) so I make sure I didn't miss a step. I have showered with a mental chant since the fourth grade. When I forget to chant, I inevitably have to get back in the shower to shave my other armpit or rinse the facewash off my face.

When a kid leaves a light on in the back seat of the car, and you don't want a dead battery the next day, but you can't reach the light RIGHTTHEN because you are driving - turn on your own overhead light. Then, when you go to get out of the car, you'll think "Hmmm.... That's odd. I never leave my light on." When you reach up to turn it off, you'll ask yourself if there could be any other lights on in the car. You may or may not remember setting yourself up. But, it is a pretty safe bet both lights will get turned off.

If you're like me, you often find yourself so deep in a project that you forget to pay attention to your own bodily needs. For your eating needs, always keep a child handy. The beauty of a child's appetite is that it is demanding and regular. To remember to eat, use your child's mood as your mealtime planner.

Huffing = prepare a snack
Whining = prepare a meal
Stomping, kicking, and breaking things = order pizza, STAT!

When holidays and birthdays roll around, you are better off not buying gifts earlier than one week before the event. If you do choose to buy gifts earlier, be prepared to leave notes around the house to guide you to where you hid the gifts and a clue as to what the gifts might be. Otherwise, you could either lose the gifts or buy a duplicate gift when it is severely discounted... thus, having two wooden vanity playsets. True story.

As a plus side to this wildly humorous negative symptom - if you would like to have surprise gifts for Christmas, but your husband is a terrible shopper - you can buy all your favorite things in early November and wrap them up right away. Come Christmas morning, you may have a vague recollection of wanting the items at some point in time. Surprise!

When you need to be on time to an appointment - set your smart phone's agenda app with the time of the appointment to reflect 30 minutes before the appointment. You'll forget you tricked yourself (even though you do it every.single.time.) and arrive huffing, puffing and out of air three minutes before your actual appointment. You're on time, baby. Works like a charm.

When your child is in part-time preschool, and you are responsible for collecting her in the middle of the day, set three alarms to ensure you are not the last mom to arrive or worse - your phone rings with the school staff wondering if you were planning to inconspicuously reduce your family size by one kid.

The first alarm reminds you that your child will need to be picked up soon - like in an hour.
The second alarm reminds you that you need to dress your younger child and give her the mandatory two minute warning - more like twenty minutes.
The third alarm reminds you that you need to log out of Facebook and! because this is your last warning and you are now late. (This actually still allows four minutes to drive to the school, but you tell yourself you're late so you won't look at any.thing.else on the way to the van. Distraction time is not factored into this equation.)

When your husband asks you where you put the Vick's Vaporub - you calmly reply "Medicine cabinet, top shelf, behind the first aid kit, in a brown basket, next to the thermometers and cough drops." When your husband asks you if you happened to pick up a box of cookies - you look remorseful and say you'll be sure to get them next trip to the store. Then you wipe the cookie-eating grin off your face because one of these days he is going to catch on that you're not ALWAYS forgetful.

And that folks, is how you DEAL with ADHD.

Still loving Adderall!

My Adderall perk today was that I was having a conversation with a friend and opened a metal door and slammed a small child in the head. She fell to the ground. THIS is not the perk. That was awful and I still feel terrible about it. But, after things calmed down, I looked right in my friend's eye and repeated the last sentence she had said. :O We picked up the conversation - with no "what were we talking about?" queries. I'm just... astounded.

When I went in for my psych evaluation four years ago, the psychiatrist began the interview with this statement: I'm going to say three words. I want you to remember these three words. Ball. Carrot. Blue.

Not five minutes into the evaluation, he asked me what three words I was supposed to remember. My reply? I think you said apple... because apples are round. And there was a rabbit in there somewhere.... I'm sorry. I don't remember the third word.


PS - Because my Adderall wore off long before I began composing this post, I had to go ask the hubby to repeat a few of these ideas I'd tossed around with him when checking to see if he could remember any of my other coping mechanisms. I FORGOT my coping mechanisms. (Can't.stop.laughing. MUST.breathe....)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Crystal Clear, Light, Grippy, Sharp

I was diagnosed with ADHD when Kellie was just a little over a year old. But my symptoms go back as far as I can remember. At the time of diagnosis - I was referred to mental health for failing the postpartum depression quiz at Kellie's wellbaby visit. Months of counseling and a psychiatric evaluation confirmed that my symptoms were not caused by postpartum depression but instead by having a new life to care for and none of the cope-with-your-ADHD skills I had acquired throughout my own life. See - I was capable of taking care of myself, but the new little one threw a real wrench in my coping mechanisms.

In my youth -

I did poorly in school - but was always labeled as "bright" and I tested very well.

I barely graduated high school - I was enrolled in an alternative program to allow me to catch up on credits.

I was often labeled a "dreamer" in class.

I was/am a terrible listener. Truth.

Because my symptoms of ADHD were crippling my ability to be a good wife and mother - I weaned Kellie from nursing at fourteen months and started medication. Stratterra. My husband's description of me for those few short months on the drug was "a very productive zombie." Looking back - I couldn't agree more. I accomplished everything I set my mind to, but I was never spontaneous, rarely smiled, and was generally quiet (compared to un-medicated me)

I gave up on the idea of medication - wanting to see the world in color, not black and white.

Four years later, my symptoms are again hampering my ability to care for myself and my family.

I forget things - often.

My girls will ask me to play a game with them - and I will answer yes only to sit down and take a turn or two before becoming distracted. I sit there and think about all the things I could be doing. And because I know myself, and I know I won't DO them unless I act upon the thought, I say something like "Mama will be right back, I just need to start the dishwasher." And hop up between turns. I run to the kitchen, also knowing that if I don't head straight back, I won't head back. Once in the kitchen, I will forget what brought me there. But I'll notice that the garbage is full. So I figure that must be why I'm there. I take out the garbage and notice that I forgot to put my shoes away. Not wanting to miss the game with the girls, but also not wanting my dog to treat herself to another of my favorite pair of shoes, I scoop them up and tell myself I'll quickly put them away and the girls won't notice the extra two minutes. While I'm putting away the shoes, I notice that the girls coats are on the floor by the closet door. So I'll grab those and run them downstairs to their hooks. Where I'll see Kellie's backpack and remember I left a soiled shirt in her wetbag. So I'll take the wetbag out REAL QUICK and run it to the laundry room. Where I see that I have a load of laundry that has been washed and re-washed more times than I can count, but I know it needs to be washed...and while I'm in the laundry room... I add detergent to the load and wash it for the fiftyleventh time. At that point, the dogs whine that they need to go outside and I think - this is the LAST thing - and let them outside. While I'm waiting for them to come back, I'll pop into Facebook and check my notifications. And I'll forget I left the dogs outside. So Zoe will jump the fence. And I'll go running down the street in my nightgown trying to get her back. When I do - I'm so angry at her, I kennel her. And I notice that the playroom has toys all over the floor. So I ask the girls to come pick up their toys before the other dog eats them. And then, the girls ask me if I'm going to finish our game. And I say - YES! I want to, but I need you to pick up your toys first, please. So they do (because they're usually pretty awesome) and while they are busy I think I'll just make myself a quick cup of tea. And while I am in the kitchen, I realize that it is almost lunch time. So I make lunch - allowing them plenty of time to dawdle while they clean. When they finish cleaning and race back to the board game - I call out that lunch is ready. They are hungry, but they want to finish the game, so I promise we will finish it RIGHTAFTER lunch. I promise. And then they finish eating before I do. And they forget about the game. And so do I.

Notice I never started the dishwasher?

I know that might not seem like a big deal to some folks. But this is a daily occurrence - sometimes multiple times a day. And it is not only the girls who suffer from my Squirrel! mentality. (That's a movie reference, Up ;) ) My husband, my friends, and my family have either learned to tolerate it or have found a way to overlook it - laughing off my Laura moments.

Today - I took Adderall.

And it was... marvelous.

I came up with this description to describe my new-found freedom -
My entire life, I have felt like pulling a thought out of my brain or completing a task that was uninteresting or mundane was akin to spinning wheels in mud. Eventually, something would come along that would pull or push me out of the mud rut. But left to my own devices, I would spin and spin all day - barely gaining ground, if ever. Since I would often get stuck, I would repeat a lot of the same things to people. I've probably bored a few to death with regurgitated stories, sorry about that. And other times, spinning allowed me to rehearse conversations before they happened...only, I'd convince myself they actually happened because of the rehearsal. So my parents would go weeks without important information and I would say "Didn't I tell you that?" Because I honestly thought I had.

30 minutes after I took Adderall - it was like the roads were no longer muddy. Driving became effortless.

I could listen to my daughter's conversations between them - marveling at how sweet they were being to one another - and THINK about it while I heard it. I didn't miss a thing.

What was once darkness is now light. And when Brian and I relayed our days to each other this afternoon - I remembered it ALL. All of it. Even the cute little things the kids did that I made a mental note to share with Brian.

This medication is a slow release - and I'm sad to say the effects are gone now. Blogging now feels fuzzy compared to today. And I felt the clarity slipping away - ten hours after I took the pill.

I'm all about analogies - because, how do you explain living in a mind with ADHD to someone who...doesn't? You know when the eye doctor asks which is clearer - 1 or 2? And 2 is obviously clearer? You see the same letter - but one is in focus and one is not. As the clearness of Adderall slipped away from my mind - I went from a 2 to a 1. And I was sad.

I was sad that I couldn't offer my husband the same clarity of mind over our dinner conversation that I'd been able to give my girls all day. To retain the information he shared and be able to respond intelligently. I'm sad now, as I know this post is so much more scattered than it should be.

Life with Adderall is crystal clear. I'm still me - I'm just a sharper version of me.

I don't see how I can ever go back. To being fuzzy me.

I wish I could go back in time, go through school again with medication, get the grades I know I am capable of, take my education further. I wish I could go back and live up to the expectations of all those teachers and counselors.

I can't. I know I can't. But... I wonder how different I would be if I had clear memories of the last 27 years. Or even the last 10.

I wish I hadn't waited so long to try a different medication. Stratterra didn't work for me, but that shouldn't have stopped me. I gave up too quickly. And I'm sorry that I did.

Adderall is also the reason I am able to blog today - not only the subject of my post. I have had a heavy weight on my mind and have been unable to look around it to blog. But it is not really blog material. So I couldn't blog about it to get it out of my head. I hope tomorrow is as clear as today was - because I really enjoy blogging and hope to do more of it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Unitards Rock

I'm about to begin a very dangerous activity.

I always say the only kind of exercise I like to do is Tae Bo.

I've always claimed I couldn't because:
... the VCR is plugged in upstairs. Who wants to bounce around on a second-level hardwood floor??
... I don't liiiiike the new Tae Bo. I miss Billy Blanks' unitard - and all the "friends!"
... I just ate a taco.

I bought a $6 VCR from Goodwill today and had the husband install it downstairs. So I can use my old school Tae Bo - with manboobs popping out of the unitard and all the friends Emily and I became acquainted with in high school. We named them all. They have backstories.

I also made sure not to eat a taco today.

The last time I attempted to Tae Bo - I punched my kid in the head.


Wish me luck. And stay out of my range.


I still love Tae Bo! And the best part? I didn't do it to make up for a binge meal. I didn't do it to plan for a binge meal. I just did it because I like it. A first for me.

I didn't punch my kid in the head - but I did kick my dog.
Skirts and Tae Bo do not mix. Pantsless Tae Bo is jiggly. But I was afraid if I took the time to go find workout clothes I would get distracted or find a taco. So pantsless won.
My hands are shaking from an adrenaline rush and my woken-from-hibernation muscles are thrilled with all this oxygen!

Emily S. - I thought of you the whole time! Miss you!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I Think I Can?

I've never given thought to the concept a fellow HCGer presented to me after hearing of my emotional struggles with food.

- What if? What if I just STOPPED? -

Stopped dieting. Stopped restricting. Stopped obsessing. Stopped worrying. Stopped the internal monologue. Stopped judging myself. Stopped criticizing myself.

If you have self-esteem (something I've apparently been lacking) - this concept may seem common-sense to you. But to me? The perpetually chubby? The thought never crossed my mind.

I've been thinking about it over the last twenty four hours and... I don't know if I LOVE myself enough to do it.

I want to. I really do.

I want to be able to shrug and truly not be bothered that I have to do a fancy little shimmy to get my fitted skirts over my hips.
I want to be able to cut all the size tags out of my skirts.
I want to be able to eat when I'm hungry and *gasp* not eat when I'm full.
I want to know what it is like to love myself unconditionally.
I want to be able to treat myself as a friend, not the enemy.
I want to know what it feels like to wake up each day without the mentally exhausting internal beating of a disappointed fat chick.

Can I?

Can you?

Sunday, December 18, 2011


HCG works - it really does. I've seen and experienced the results.

Even with my half-assed HCG dieting.

And were I not so emotionally intertwined with my fooooooods - I don't think I'd be starting this post. But I am. And I am.

I can't hack it guys. I want to - but it is as do-able for me as wearing pants again. (Ryan and I tried it on a giggly night in a dressing room - it was bad. I'm not sure about her, but I'll never forget the image of Laura in a pair of jeans after wearing skirts for 18 months straight.)

The clincher for me was when I realized that I wasn't happy with how quickly I was losing weight and I was choosing to eat poorly knowing full-well the consequences. Nay - welcoming the consequences. I thought to myself (a lot) - "If I can't eat what ______ is eating - then I'll just be the fat girl. Being fat tastes better anyway."

Does that sound like a statement a NON-mentally-obese-even-if-physically-maybe-not-so-much-but-definitely-not-well-balanced-when-it-comes-to-Poptarts person would make?

I didn't think so.

I've gone back to weekly therapy sessions to deal with my dependency on food. I'll let you know how that goes. I think I may need a lifetime membership to my dear Doctor's club of crazies. Seems the more I dig, the more globs of slimy goo I find within myself.

I hope that whatever brought you to my blog has been enough to either inspire or entertain. It might get ugly if you hang around. Well. Uglier. So I understand if you decide to unbookmark me. (Is that like unfriending on Facebook? Because - I just giggle when I think of the words the year 2011 has taught me.)

If you're into some mentally twisted stuff (No whips. Just whipped cream.) then you're welcome to stick around. See what unfolds. Or what falls off. You never know.

I'm toying with the idea of taking HCG while I follow Weight Watchers. There are quite a few "rogue" HCG dieters. Who take HCG drops or pellets or shots and then just let it do its thing - all the while eating whatever plan they have set for themselves. No danish Tuesday. Extra pork chops Thursday. Spin in a circle while you eat your cheesecake. Say ten hail Mary's while you alternate shots of tabasco and cod liver oil (This one I actually think might have some merit to it.).

I'd never given the rogue idea much consideration - thinking that if I was going to commit myself to a daily needle I had to do it the right way. But along this journey of self-discovery - I have determined that I've never been one to do things the right way.

And that, my HCG-lovin'/HCG-hatin' Laura-lovin'/Laura-hatin' random-Googlin'/Blog-readin' friends, is my confession for the day.

I like to think of this blog as my totally inappropriate journal - that I'd never share with anyone.

Only - I've published it on the interwebs.