Meeting other ADHDers

Today, I had a really great experience. I went to the pharmacy to pick up some medications, and in front of me was a woman asking for advice on sleeping aids. She was full of energy, and talked quite quickly. She said she’d had sleeping problems since she was a child. From the way she was talking and the description she gave about how she only ever seemed to get 1 hour’s sleep a night got me wondering if she might have ADHD… (you know when you get that gut feeling?) But I decided to keep quiet, after all, when you learn about a psychological condition you start seeing it everywhere. Next thing that comes out of her mouth is that she’s being investigated for ADHD! Well I couldn’t keep quiet any longer! Next thing we’re gabbering away spilling our life stories to each other, swapping numbers (“For God’s sake woman make sure you put that sticky somewhere you won’t loose it!” “Oh crikey yeah!!”) and hugging as she rushes off after realising she has 4 minutes to get to her child’s school to pick him/her up!

What it must have looked like to the other people waiting for their prescriptions! The whole event must have only been just over 5 minutes tops, and I never learnt her name.

The great thing about meeting with other people with the same condition, such as in support groups, is that you can just totally be yourself without having to explain yourself all the time. It’s such a relief and a release to be able to talk over one another, be abrupt (what other people think of as rude), hug perfect strangers and for the other(s) to not only just be not offended by or accept the quirks, but to actually love you for it. The laughs you share at the tiniest stupidest and craziest things aren’t because they’re shocked or surprised, but because they recognise it in themselves.


I have been questioned before “What do you get out of having the label?”, to that I have a few answers but after today’s experience I would have to tell them “It opens the door to others like yourself”.


How to Baffle a Bully

How to Baffle a Bully. I came acros this post as I got a notification that the author had liked a post of mine or had started following me (I can’t remember which, but either way she found me and I’m allowing myself some procrastination time before doing some serious uni reading).


I left a comment, but thought that I’d actually like to have this on my own blog too, so that other people who stumble across me might also have this story to hand. I’ve copied it word for word, because I don’t think I could improve on what I’d said.


(However any UK English language geeks out there – can you let me know if I can improve on sentence structure? I’m not so great with this :S )


“Even though I knew a lot of this already from my experiences of being bullied, I wish I’d come across something like this post when I started a new job over 2 years ago. There was a woman who’d been there for a long time and felt threatened by me. I believe it was because I was more intelligent than her and the only other woman in the team, although she had a history of always targeting the new people. I learnt the system very quickly and soon knew it better than she did. I was therefore much better at the complicated work and always came up with process improvements.


She always targeted me for the little things I kept forgetting to do (When you have inattentive ADHD, you forget a lot of things!), which was great in a way because it ended up with me getting professional help with it with assistance from work; The anxiety, stress and anger I felt towards her behaviour helped and hindered because it brought out the worst in me and gave me (therefore getting the help I now have) and a chance to show how neutral and honest I am as a person when dealing with difficult circumstances, but also meant that I was always anxious, stressed and angry about her behaviour.


My managers did try to help with the situation by managing when and how we interacted with each other to a certain extent. It did become clear that her attitude towards me was always OTT, and over time it got worse because ironically she was getting very upset at how victimised she was feeling and how I always seemed to “get away with it”. Whatever “it” happened to be at the time. I came very close to making official complaints a few times during my time there, and if I had I would have been backed up by a large amount of evidence and by all of the colleagues on the team, but funnily enough when it got to that point, she’d die down for a while and I’d continue bumbling along hoping that one day we would get to some level of understanding of one another.


I wish that I had made those official complaints at the time, as when I relocated I gave 2 months notice, and the closer it got to my moving date, the more disruptive and nasty she became. Just over a week before I was due to leave, she sent an e-mail to my team leader and his manager about how I’d missed this one little part of some housekeeping. It had been a light workload for the week or so before this e-mail had been sent and I’d been doing all sorts of extra cleaning and tasks that she had seen me doing but didn’t get involved with (preferring instead to chat to her friends). I sent a reply, leaving her out, and copied in the HR dept (who was also aware of our difficult relationship and my ADHD) declaring only the facts with evidence where appropriate and stated that if it wasn’t for my imminent departure, I would have definitely made an official complaint. After I sent this e-mail, I ended up with the impression that she had given herself so much rope and wood, that it wasn’t going to be long until the scaffold was up and she’d be hanging from her own noose.


Anyone reading this – please don’t keep quiet. Please have the courage not only to speak up, but also to make things official. Also, don’t EVER brush potential pieces of evidence under the carpet/into the recycle bin. You never know when you may need it.”


So how did it all start?

So, I thought I’d kick off with how I have found myself on this medical journey with these diagnosis/labels/whatever you want to call them.

I have always had trouble keeping to task/getting distracted, starting but (hardly ever) finishing projects without a lot of aggro from parents, forgetting stuff, loosing stuff, and being rubbish with money because “I sees it, I buys it!”/”Ooo shiney!”.

I went to university and studied a pure science at a well respected university in England, where I have always lived. These problems followed me there and I discovered that dyslexia can have these sorts of effects on one’s ability to work. So I went along to the disabilities service, got tested, found to be positive and got help with it. Well I found lectures easier to digest, but it did nothing with regards to my distractability, procrastination and things that normally get branded as “Laziness”. Having always been that way I didn’t know any different and didn’t make much noise about how difficult I found it to “engage brain” or “get my arse into gear”, because they’re the same thing as laziness, surely? I was intelligent enough to understand all of these new science-y concepts and found them really interesting and got on with many of my lecturers, but usually it wasn’t very long before their opinion of me would change and an air of impatience would hang in the air.

I would also like to add at this point that when I was reading a lot into dyslexia I only found one or two mentions of ADHD but no explanation as to what it really was. When I asked the disabilities service if it was a possibility in me, I was abruptly told “You’re not hyperactive, so therefore you don’t have ADHD”. I have since learnt this isn’t true. But more on that another time.

Well I just managed to scrape a mark that constituted a pass for my degree, with a lot of help from one person who took all of my distractions away and made me do intensive revision weekends. After this I moved in with them in a different part of the country and later became their legal life partner. (Awwww!) Because of the degree I had and where I got it from I managed to get a lab job quite quickly using really interesting instruments and working with really lovely people. For the first few months everything was fantastic and I really enjoyed myself. Then over time my forgetfulness become more worrisome. Not a day would pass when I wouldn’t forget something. It tended to be a different something every day. I also took longer than was expected to complete tasks. Life became stressful and my performance got worse with the increasing level of stress. Life at home was getting really difficult as my messiness was uncontrollable and my finances were a constant dark cloud.

Funnily enough my partner happened to have a friend who was as big a cluster-f*** as I was (swearing is totally appropriate here). Many mutual friends would regularly joke that I was the better looking version of him (he agrees with this by the way!). He was really struggling at university trying to complete a PhD but failing because of the overwhelm and paralysing anxiety. Every other area of his life just wasn’t paid attention to as his point of focus was purely to get his work finished – which he couldn’t do! It was a very dark time for him. Luckily he had managed to find his way to his university’s disability service, who had a rather bright spark who knew about inattentive ADHD. She proposed this as a theory to her colleagues and lightbulbs went up everywhere! He ended up with a diagnosis and appropriate treatment and managed to get his degree finished. His life is now much better and more successful to how it was before.

In the meantime I had changed jobs and was working for a different company. My problems followed me again and due to a few incidences my future at the company was being called into question. I was shouting and snapping at people, overreacting to stressful situations, forgetting things, not finishing tasks and getting distracted by problems I could see how to fix. When this friend had started treatment and I could see how well he was doing (and could therefore see the point of going through the “fun and games”), I started to look more seriously into it myself. My own lightbulb shone enough to light several light houses. I was lucky enough to have a good relationship with my team leader and manager and shared this information with them. They very much agreed that it was worth investigating and were VERY cautiously optimistic about finally getting an answer as to why I was so awesome at things I was interested in (and could not just hit specified concentrated targets but totally annihilate them), but be so disruptively annoying when I got involved with anything else.

Over 6 months later I had a diagnosis, with the help and support of my partner, NHS GP, employer and private specialist consultant psychiatrist. I then had a basic understanding of what was going wrong, and could find ideas of what I could do to help it.

Recently, with the relocation, I went to see my new GP about my medication (it’s not always available on the NHS depending on what the local CCG’s rules are) and a few other things including gut problems that I always happen to have had. She mentioned IBS. At the time I believed there was always diarrhoea involved, but having done some research since then it turns out I might well have that too – not surprising as I think it’s mostly brought about by stress and it appears I’ve been more anxious/stressed throughout my life than I understood at the time.

So how is it going to end? Well it never will, but now I know there are things I can do to make my life easier and more comfortable. I’m still messing up and learning from my experiences, as well as from the opinions and experiences of others and from the bits of science I come across relating to ADHD and mental health. This blog is a space I can express myself freely (with minimal swearing) and share information with others who want to find out more, or who just might enjoy what I write (pffft! yea right! (but you never know :S )).

Why hello there!

Hi! How are you? I’ve just discovered I’m likely to have IBS. This time last year I was learning more and more about ADHD, and got diagnosed with the inattentive type before Christmas of 2012. A few years ago now I was diagnosed with dyslexia in the middle of my first degree.

The name MadadiousMoggy comes from the fact I have a short attention span, always seem to get under my other-half’s feet, and there always seems to be something going on with me medical wise. I’m not looking for attention, I just want to talk about it all somewhere neutral and put any useful links and information all in one place. Who knows, it might help someone else!

I’m a woman in my mid-20’s and live in the UK. I have just moved from an area in the South(ish) to an area in the North(ish). I’ve just gone back to university to study to be a nurse after having worked in the scientific industry for a few years. I’ve been a volunteer first aider for a number of years since I did my first degree. My other half is a medical professional, as are other members of my family. So therefore I only have time for medical and scientific information that has gone under peer-review and proper scrutiny. You will not find advocacy for homoeopathy, chiropractic practice, reiki etc here – unless it has been shown that they are actually and properly scientifically valid for particular treatments. (So you will find a positive attitude towards acupuncture for the treatment of musculo-skeletal problems.) Google Tim Minchin “Storm” if you want a short explanation as to why, as I cannot put it better myself.

I want to remain anonymous so that I can live my life as normally as possible, and so that people and organisations around me who I care about are also not likely to be affected by anything I post. I may occasionally put up information or useful documents that someone may recognise and be able to identify me from if you already know me in reality. If this is ever the case, might I ask you to contact me and let me know? Oh – and also to keep it to yourself 🙂


If  you ever have any questions or just want to say hi, please do leave a comment or drop me a line. I may take a while to reply to you, but please be patient. I like talking to people in general, however I will not enter into pointless arguments (unless I’m in a mood) or reply to messages of distasteful intent.


Erm, also, I need to tell you now that I haven’t been “big” on internet communication in the past, so a lot of terms and acronyms escape me. Text-speak I can do, to a small extent, but please write in full sentences and try to use punctuation. If you have difficulty with this, that’s fair enough. But if you’re just being lazy, well then you don’t really have an excuse ;o) I am not stupid, I am not (really) an overly posh-whotsit on a soapbox. I just like to be totally understand and be understood.