I’ve been working from home with ADHD for the last five years.
I mean, I didn’t know I had ADHD until recently. I went to a neuropathologist at age thirty-two after years of procrastination, convinced I was a depressed, lazy, narcissistic underachiever with early onset dementia. Turns out I just had a norepinephrine deficiency in my locus coeruleus, lmao.
Living with a lifelong undiagnosed mental illness sucks shit. But you know what’s a pretty okay consolation prize? The naive tenacity you develop when nobody tells you it’s okay to expect less of yourself!
To be clear: I can’t recommend spending three decades white-knuckling your way through adult life… but you will have the thick, powerful knuckles of a silverback gorilla when all’s said and done!
Working from home pre-diagnosis required a lot of experimentation. Learning to keep myself focused and motivated (with crystal clear work/life boundaries) was tough. I’m going to summarize my very best tips for y’all today, sponsored by our Patreon donors.
Since 42% of Americans abruptly joined Team Work From Home in the last six months, hopefully these tips will help everyone who’s struggling—whether you’re riding the Royal Struggle Bus of Clinical Executive Function Disorders, or just riding dirrrty in your own messy minivan.
Hey Bitches, Patreon supporter here! Friday I had my very first physical, which was covered by my insurance. I told my new doctor about starting back up on antidepressants to save me a visit/copay. He gave me a script based on the ones I tried before, plus Zoloft has been around long enough it’s super cheap instead of the couple hundred/month my last one was to start. The doc also agreed gardening would help with the depression. Any produce growing tips or motivation to make sure I actually stick to my meds this time instead of ditching after a few weeks?
Before I get too deep into this, I want to remind y’all that I am not a medical professional of any kind. I’m not even a financial professional. No—I am a self-important PowerPoint jockey who came this close to opening this site under a .net address! If you’re torn between listening to yourself, listening to your doctor, and listening to a random bossy Internet nobody, choose the bossy Internet nobody last, okay?
I’ve never personally been on antidepressants. So my direct experience here is somewhat limited. (Any depressive periods I’ve had in the past have been solved by irresponsibly ignoring the problem while feverishly spending all of my spoons trying to convince the people around me that everything is juuuuuust fine until suddenly, one day, it is. Don’t be like me. I’m trying to change.)
HOWEVER! I certainly know the joys of going on and coming off of meds.
O! The joie of hormonal fluctuations!
For various reasons not related to the desire to become pregnant, I’ve been on and off of birth control pills over the past few years. And lord, what a trip that has been.
Birth control is pretty damn weird. It’s a well-established drug. Millions of people take it. It’s not thought of as particularly volatile or significantly mood-altering. Some people feel no side effects at all. And yet… let’s go to the tape.
Kitty’s thoughts restarting birth control:
“Thank goodness for the overwhelming feeling that my body is hideous and disgusting—this sudden wave of self hatred is the helpful alarm clock announcing my period is starting soon!”
“Gosh, I can’t believe that guy cut me off in traffic! I’m gonna find out where his ancestors are buried, dig them up, and pose them humping each other on his front lawn.”
“Whither my dear friend Jawline Acne? O’er the purple moors? Beyond the mountain made of glass?”
“Now seems like a fine time to lay on the couch and stare at the ceiling until I muster the strength to attempt the impossible: move the laundry from the washer to the dryer.”
“Google, is this amount of period blood a ‘go to the ER’ sitch or…?”
Kitty’s thoughts coming down off of birth control:
“If somebody doesn’t bring me the puffy kind of Cheetos within the next nine minutes, the precious life my confused body is convinced I’m nurturing will NEVER GET INTO HARVARD.”
“I am actually kind of sure that if I concentrated hard enough, I could just Code Geass people.”
“I can’t believe how attractive I am. Oops, lil’ blood on the pillow from that painfully massive zit rupturing in the night. Anyway, regarding my undeniable sexiness, which rages around all of us like a wildfire—”
“I should probably sign up for skydiving now. Like, RIGHT now.”
“Google, can I get so horny I die?”
… So, letter writer, I feel you. I know exactly why someone would really want to start, but also really want to stop taking medication.
I’m going to assume that anyone who wants to start or stop a medication has thoroughly weighed their options, considered their best interests, and gotten their doctor’s blessing. I know that the awesome members of Bitch Nation will join me in this assumption! And none of you will leave judgmental, concern-troll-y comments about people’s medical shit.
So here are some strategies for sticking with any kinda meds!