My ADD update…focus…focus

So, if you’re wondering how that whole ADD verdict went.  Here ya go.

On April 22, I posted that I’m pretty sure it’s a major player in my inability to gain traction in my life.  I have had a decent measure of success through the years, and to be floundering at this stage of my life is very difficult to admit.  But I do admit it – in the hopes that if my story sounds familiar to someone, maybe that someone will check into it for himself (or herself – though this seems to be about 3:1 guys more than gals.)

After visiting my new friend and seeing the amazing similarities in how we process information – and how we don’t – I got the book he recommended and devoured its 360 pages in four days.  My motivation SO outweighed my lack of focus, that I went into “hyperfocus.”  On a test of 20 questions, according to Sandy – I scored on 18 of 20 in favor of ADD.  Pretty much confirmed… yup.

We contacted our primary doctor – who recommended a psych clinic – who got me in on that same Saturday.  I spent an hour filling out a questionnaire, and spent a good bit of time with a doctor.  My first concern was, “How often do you guys treat adult ADD?”

“All the time,” came the response.  It seems there’s a ton of (mostly guys) my age who were never diagnosed as kids (the diagnosis didn’t exist.) So now these intelligent, often creative guys are walking into psych clinics wondering why their heads feel like human popcorn-poppers.


I liked and trusted the good doctor.  He was pretty convinced, and wrote me a prescription for Adderall.  He told me to start with half the dosage prescribed, and see how that does.  I filled it, and have now been on the drug for a couple weeks.

For those of you who expressed great concern about medication, including a counselor friend from another state who spent over an hour on the phone with me making sure I understood what I’m working with, I say “Thank you.”  I don’t take  the use of drugs lightly.  When everyone else was indulging in the 70’s, I was the kid who was afraid of drugs.  And Sandy’s brother died at 37, much of his problems stemming from prescription drugs.  So believe me when I say I don’t take this lightly.

Yet – a part of me was thrilled – thrilled – at the possibility there might finally be an answer.

I took the first pill before breakfast.  Since moving three years ago, Sandy and I have spent our breakfast time reading faith-based material.  Some call it devotional time.  I always read aloud, for two reasons.  One, as a voice actor, it’s good practice to read aloud each day.  And two, my mind doesn’t wander as much if I’m doing the reading (uh, that should have been a clue, eh?)  As a voice actor, reading well is essential – yet it’s the weakest part of my game.  My eyes skip around, my brain gets ahead of my mouth, and I trip over the words…often.

But not that morning.  After we finished discussing the content, Sandy said, “Do you realize – that in reading this morning – you didn’t make one mistake?”

“Yeah… I sure do.”  And immediately…

To say that I wept, is putting it far too mildly.  I broke down and sobbed for probably a full minute.  I don’t ever recall doing that.  My constipated brain was releasing years of pent up toxins.  My head was throbbing when I finally caught my breath.  And then I was calm…and focused.  For the next two hours I wrote comedy – without wandering – without stopping.  In fact I’ve probably written more in the past two weeks than in the last several months.  And I’ve found a morsel of the one thing I’ve lacked more than anything….


My confidence has been shaken to its foundations over what’s taken place these three years.  The ADD book says that lack of confidence is a classic symptom – for with the utter frustration of constantly falling short of your own expectations, it feeds on itself – The vicious beast who says, “You didn’t – you won’t – you can’t.”

I want to kill that beast more than I can express.  And for the first time in a long while, I’m saying “I can” again.  It’s hard to write humor when you ain’t feelin’ it.  I’m starting to feel it again.  I know it’s early in the game, and there’s still much to be made up for – but for the moment…




13 thoughts on “My ADD update…focus…focus

  1. So glad for the update. Just keep tabs on what the miracle drug’s side effects can be. I pray there are none for you! Keep on a writing!

    1. Thanks Renee’ –
      I thought I might hear from you – and again – thank you for your concern. I’m very cautious; and I’m required to check in with the clinic monthly, so they’re keeping tabs, too. Thanks for your prayers. In the past two weeks, I’ve written several minutes of stand-up comedy, 8 audio comedy bits, 2 blogs, 1100 words on a novel I’ve been working on, a few song lyrics… and a partridge in a pear tree. 😉

  2. Praise be to our Father in Heaven! Now your wonderful talent can continue to shine through!!!!_

  3. Denny I am really happy for you and I hope you continue to see progress without side effects. My son was diagnosed as a child and was put on Adderall. He startedon a couple different others but they (ritalin being one) didn’t seem to work for him. I will say he hated taking the meds and always complained how they made him feel funny. He would often pretend to take them and then hide them till I caught on and watched him take them. When he was in high school he just stopped taking them and it was down to the wire before we knew if he would graduate. The thing is my son is smart and a memory that goes back as far as being two. He is thirty now has a job where he does huge job construction purchasing. I guess it is enough to keep him from getting bored and not overwhelming. He still doesn’t take meds but I have always been able to tell if he is out of focus. We were told as a kid that it is like being in a room telling you what to do and you try to focus on what to do 1st. My son has a huge loving and giving heart and that is how I remember you. Keep your chin up and you will figure out what works for you. Don’t let anyone judge you for taking a med that helps you…no one tells a diabetic not to take their meds because they need them. Take care Denny, I have wondered how you were doing…keep us posted
    Cindy (Wirth) Beyerlein

    1. EDIT

      We were told as a kid that it is like being in a room telling you what to do and you try to focus on what to do 1st. LOL not sure what happened here it was supposed to say…
      We were told as a kid…it is like being in a room with people all yelling at you what they wanted you do and you trying to focus on each one and trying to decide what to do first

  4. Glad to hear you finally got an answer..but have you never met my husband??? He has been dealing with those things for years…we just never knew what it was attributed to..until 2009 when a man at a camp meeting Don was speaking at asked me if Don had ADD; because that man does have ADD and saw things in Don’s presentation that screamed out to him. He said the presentation is great, but the line of thinking was an ADD way of thinking. I laughed and said that no he didn’t, but that would explain alot about him…so we decided that yes he probably has had it since childhood, just never was diagnosed with it. Didn’t do that back in the late 50’s early 60’s. I think Don just adjusted his thinking and compensated over the years and now I try to keep him focused when possible…oooh shiney thing. But he also takes natural supplements that seem to be a help too.

    Now just listen to the Doc and keep doing what you love to do. Hey to Sandy.

    1. Hey Cathy – I’m guessing it also helps Don to have someone like you in his life – organized, structured. Somehow I’m not too surprised that Don has these tendencies – he never stops! As I mentioned earlier – I never knew, and functioned pretty well – until I lost the structure in my life and had to fend for myself. Another friend described it as being in a room full of people all yelling at you, while you try to figure out who to listen to first. Yup. Pretty much. Thanks for weighing in. All the best for you both!

  5. Denny,
    I am so happy for you. I know my older brother has ADD – his teachers always spoke of how distracted he would get – and IQ tested high, so no one understood. Don’t know if he’d even do what you did. But hey, congratulations! I’m so glad that you are writing and having opportunities to perform. I miss you guys still 🙂 Maybe one day I’ll get the paperwork for the LYFE conference at BBC and see that the “act” on Thursday night is “Denny and Sandy Brownlee”!

    1. Ha – I’ll have to work on my British accent (oh – wait – that’s a different BBC…) Thanks for the kind words Trudi – miss you too. The meds have helped my attitude as well as focus. Hope your Bro considers looking into it.

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