I Can See Clearly Now…

Last week, I had a cataract removed and a lens implanted in my right eye. I’ve worn glasses since I was ten and contacts from age 16 on.

I was in twilight sedation during the procedure, meaning, I could hear the surgeon talk to his techs about Bruce Springsteen and me, quipping about James Taylor and The Beatles, but nothing much after that.

If only life could be that easy, sometimes: you know to some degree what is going on but you don’t feel the pain.

When I left the surgical center, as bad as that eye was before, it was now worse. Everything was blurry. How would I manage with one eye? I couldn’t insert a contact, and my glasses with one lens popped out didn’t work for me.

I got scared. Really scared. What would life be with one eye?

As the hours unfolded, some distance sight returned. Barely. I began feeling optimistic that I may make a full recovery. And that life would change. For the better. Better eyesight. No more contacts and glasses that never fully improved my vision. No more cloudy cataracts.

It made me think of when I was first diagnosed with ADHD, some 25 years ago. I was so frightened. What if my poor memory, distractibility, and disorganization was from a brain tumor? What if I had early onset dementia? What if I’d been misdiagnosed? Even though my whole life was a pile of this or that, I still wasn’t sure. Unfinished projects. Not remembering the milk. You know the score.

What if. What if.

Once I got the diagnosis, I was in denial and went to three other clinicians for second- no- third- no four opinions all together. 3 of 4 said- yes- you have ADHD. One- a newly minted psychologist, was unsure but didn’t rule it out.

My emotions ran all over the place. From disbelief (for a long time) to gradual acceptance, to embracing the new diagnosis and finally, to celebrating it, to some extent, by wanting to share my understanding- and later, expertise- with others.

My brain has to work extra hard and sometimes it shuts down, just like my bad eyesight has affected me all these years. I was frustrated by my ADHD, angry, and even embarrassed at times by my inability to do what others could do so easily.

With my ADHD diagnosis and treatment, I was able to fly. No, it didn’t make life perfect. I still struggle in many ways: remembering names, keeping up with laundry, making decisions, embarrassing myself with memory related issues (‘Oh, nice to meet you, Sarah! Er…tell me your name, again?”).

Like the removal of cataracts, getting treatment for your ADHD can open up your world. Maybe you waited until your 40s, 50s or longer, to get evaluated and treated. Maybe you’re thinking you might have ADHD but have, for whatever reason, not moved forward in getting evaluated. Maybe you’ve been diagnosed but haven’t figured out how to best help you with your journey towards treatment, support, and yes, acceptance.

Don’t wait. Life is short. Life is precious. You deserve to have the best life you can live.

Go get your ADHD “cataracts” removed and find the joy that is waiting for you. For me- with my eyes- and my ADHD diagnosis- it was on the other side of the operating table and the psychologist’s desk.

I can see clearly, now. You can, too.

Have you been diagnosed with ADHD? Tell me your story. Putting it off? Tell me why; maybe I can help. Please post your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Terry’s Top Picks

Keep the Memories, Lose the Stuff: Declutter, Downsize, and Move Forward with Your Life
by Matt Paxton (release date: Feb. 8)

The title alone makes me want to click and order it right now! Paxton has identified the psychological roadblocks that most organizational experts routinely miss but that prevent so many of us from lightening our material load.

Order your copy here.

Terry Recommends

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Exclusive! Looking for One-on-One Help with Me? Zoom Consultations

Feeling stuck? Need to get your life back in order? I can help! 

Let’s work together to help you get back on track (or get started on your journey!). I provide short-term sessions offering psycho-educational information, resources, support, and mini-coaching to help you get started- whether you’re looking to find someone to evaluate you or if you’ve been struggling your whole life and are ready to get unstuck, I can help.  

I get it. Because I have ADHD, too, and over 25 years of experience working with adults with ADHD.

(I have a limited number of slots available; if you don’t see a time that works for you, email me at terry@ADDconsults.com).    

The Queens of Distraction

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Then join me and your fellow Queens of Distraction online in a private, secret room where we Get Things Done. We “get” it and are here to help you.

Where to find Terry Matlen:

Website: www.ADDconsults.com
Coaching:  www.QueensOfDistraction.com

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