Hi everyone! I’m back finally. 🙂

Having been sick for the past three weeks with the Norovirus (AWFUL bug, look it up), my plan was to rejoin the blogging world today by posting something a little lighter and happier. The picture above is an indication of how I intended to start this Spring-related post. 😛

However, after reading one of my favorite blogs this morning Fashionable People, Questionable Things, I decided to post what I was really thinking. Thanks to L-A for the inspiration.

Check out her post on What Not To Wear Wednesday and then check out my comment below…

“AMEN, sista! You know what else annoys me? Preteens who are in shorts and t-shirts at this time of year. WHERE ARE THEIR PARENTS?! Dress your children, so I don’t have to listen to mine complaining because he’s the only child at his school (a great school, might I add) wearing a jacket when the temperature is -10. Seriously. Parents. It’s calling for +5 LATER today. There was frost on my windows this morning. This isn’t “shorts weather” for your kids. Cover them up already. Arg. There, done. ”

Ah, it’s great to be back! 😉

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ADHD and Substance Abuse

January 25, 2011

Photo Credit

Though I like to focus on the strengths that come with ADHD, the reality is I wouldn’t be blogging if it was always smooth sailing, now would I? I promised to be real on here and the reality is that anyone living with ADHD knows that the condition comes with a fair number of challenges.

One of them is substance abuse and the statistics are staggering. It is said that between 30-50% of those living with ADHD will try drugs or alcohol in the hopes of improving their abilities, numbing their fears, decreasing their anxiety, and coping with painful issues and past traumas. Self-medicating may seem like a good idea in the short-term, but in the long-term it will result in a host of other addiction-related problems.

Wendy Richardson MA, MFCC, CAS, author of the best-selling book The Link Between ADD and Addiction explains, “The problem is that self-medicating works at first. It provides the person with ADHD relief from their restless bodies and brains. For some, drugs such as nicotine, caffeine, cocaine, diet pills and “speed” enable them to focus, think clearly, and follow through with ideas and tasks. Others chose to soothe their ADHD symptoms with alcohol and marijuana.

People who abuse substances, or have a history of substance abuse are not “bad” people. They are people who desperately attempt to self-medicate their feelings, and ADHD symptoms. Self-medicating can feel comforting. The problem is, that self-medicating brings on a host of addiction related problem which over time make people’s lives much more difficult.

What starts out as a “solution”, can cause problems including addiction, impulsive crimes, domestic violence, increased high risk behaviors, lost jobs, relationships, families, and death. Self-medicating ADD with alcohol and other drugs is like putting out fires with gasoline.”

That last part has been stuck with me since the first time I read it in her book. It makes so much sense to those of us on the outside, looking in. It is so easy to see clearly when you aren’t the one affected. It isn’t that simple for the addict though.

They can’t see what we see. Addiction is a disease that fools even the addict. It sits on their shoulder and tells them whatever they want to hear. It blocks out the ugliness they can’t deal with by covering everything with darkness, until they feel nothing. Their families and friends struggle to reach them and pull them back into the light but it’s never easy for either side. The brightness can be too harsh and the pain too much to fight with only good intentions. And so the struggle continues.

It doesn’t have to be a losing battle though. So many have overcome addictions using treatment plans that include medical interventions, therapy, 12-step programs and the support of the friends and families. There are so many inspiring stories out there and so much support to be found in groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, from people who’ve been there and survived to tell about it.

So, where do you start if you or someone you love suffers from this disease?

The first step to dealing with a substance abuse problem is recognizing that there is a problem. To do that it helps to understand the disease better.

  • What signs should be looking for?
  • What might be causing it?
  • What part do genetics have to play?
  • What changes can be made to improve your situation?
  • What treatment options are right for you or someone you love?
  • How do you take care of yourself, if you love someone suffering with an addiction?
  • Etc.

I’ll be posting some helpful links over the next few weeks to help address this challenge. If you’re reading this and have any links to share, please feel free to comment below or send me a message.

Substance abuse is something I hope to teach both my sons to avoid. Given our genetic pre-disposition for it and the fact that D has ADHD, it won’t be easy.

I can use all the help I can get.

Bullying is Unacceptable!

October 1, 2010

This is too important a message not to share. Watch the short message above.

Bullying of any type is unacceptable. Some children feel so alone in the world that they feel their only option is ending their lives. It needs to stop. Things need to change.

We need to teach our children how to respect each other’s differences. We need to model this acceptance for them on a daily basis. So I am urging each of you to take a moment and think about what you could be doing to improve the lives of our children.

Thank you.

So as I mentioned in the “About This Blog?” page, my oldest son D is about to enter adolescence. Oh. My. God. Right?

As D enters this stage of his life, he may face anything from acne and braces to bullying and peer pressure. Not to mention getting his driver’s license, having his first date, getting his first job and applying to post-secondary institutions. So I know that this transition will bring with it many new challenges, as well as exciting opportunities for my child. It also brings a great deal of responsibility with it. Where once I worried about D’s ability to cross the road by himself, now I will be worried about his ability to refuse drugs and alcohol. Where once I reminded him to share his favorite toy with the neighbors’ kids, now I will have to remind him how a gentleman acts on a date.

This transition won’t only affect D. It’ll have an impact on everyone else in our family of 4 because through good and bad, we’re all in this together.

If you’re the parent of a preteen, you’re probably hyperventilating with me as we speak. If you’re the parent of a preteen with ADD, you may have collapsed on the floor at the thought of what awaits you in the next few years. Well pick yourself up and dust yourself off because quite frankly I am going to need all the help I can get and this is no time to give up!

Our kids are going to be bombarded with less-than-reputable information, from less-than-reputable sources. They’ll need us to step up and get involved in their lives, in a way that supports them and encourages them to make good decisions. They’ll also need us to step back and let them try new things, meet new people and make mistakes.

As a parent, I want only the best for my son and I do everything I can to support and nurture his independence and strengths so that he can achieve his goals and be successful once he goes off on his own. This stage is tough for almost everyone. Though we survived, few of us could say the experience was so great that we would willingly return.

On top of the challenges an average teen faces, a young person with ADD may be overwhelmed with all the possibilities, choices, pressure and responsibility. Many common complaints with ADD, such as a lack of attention or impulse control, take on a whole new meaning as our children enter adolescence.

So much to look forward to, right? 🙂

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