The Hidden Cost of Having ADHD

Something I have been meaning to do, but too afraid to do, was calculate how much money I have spent on NSF fees. I finally worked up the courage to face one of the many demons having ADHD comes with: struggling to manage finances.

There are many factors that come in to play with regards to poor management of finances when you have ADD/ADHD. I have every single bill or expense noted in my calendar, yet on at least a monthly basis, I forget to shift my money and the funds don’t clear. Having ADHD is frustrating, especially when it literally costs you *thousands* of dollars over the years. People living with this condition would much rather do ANYTHING with that money than have it go to their bank’s pockets. I would rather have gone on a tropical vacation- something I literally have never gotten to experience in my entire life- than fork over my hard earned money to RBC, #sorrynotsorry.

So, how much has it costed me to mismanage my money?

$1,575.00

^^ in 2018 alone, I spent $1,575.00! Multiply that by 10 years and it could potentially be over $15,000 I have handed over to my bank for not being organized enough to have my money in the proper account.

“Why don’t you just get overdraft” you ask? Why do you think? I am “high risk” with creditors. The solution to my problem cannot be obtained unless I fix the problem. The importance of managing money is constantly nagging me, and now that I have quantifiable data, it makes me that much more encouraged to take action, because when you know better, you do better.

Me & my 9 year old daughter, who also has ADHD. I have learned a lot through her, my own diagnoses came after addressing my worries about her well-being.

It is both relieving and that much more frustrating to write this piece, because nobody likes to look at their faults or flaws. It is important to do this though to grow. As much as I don’t even want to publish this, I feel I need to because if I am struggling with this chances are there are fellow ADDults struggling to get their financial shit together as well. So, if all I do today is make you feel like you are not alone, or make myself feel as though I am not alone, I did my job.

I am going to create an ever-growing list on what I can do to improve my money management situation, and if there is something that you do that helps you manage your money better, PLEASE TELL ME! #sendhelp

TARA’S TIPS ON TACKLING TERRIBLE T…FINANCES

  • When possible, pay in a lump sum instead of monthly withdrawals. Once a year is a whole lot better than 12x opportunities for NSF fees
  • Ask a friend or family member to remind you to pay certain important bills (I nearly had my auto insurance cancelled for missed payment, which would have resulted in TRIPLE the cost to insure as a high risk policy holder FML)
  • Set multiple reminders in your phone (throughout the day) instead of one reminder, which usually happens at midnight.
  • Move payment withdrawal dates to when you generally have money in your account. PAY ATTENTION TO WEEKENDS
  • Create a budget (easier said than done though!)
  • Review your spending regularly even just to reflect on spending, look for patterns of when missed payments happen the most
  • Work with a therapist who can help you with financial management
  • Create an incentive to do well – Scotland is incentive enough
  • Apply for overdraft… find a bank that will work with you

Anxiety is Voldemort

I could probably spend my time writing down everything that needs to be done or open my day-planner and organize my days to make the most of my time. There are a lot of things I could or should be doing, that I am not. Not because I don’t want to, and not because I don’t need to, but because anxiety is a bitch ass motherfucker who is trying to take over my brain. Anxiety is Voldemort. I just realized that now. I also just realized that I could be watching Harry Potter on Netflix instead of doing anything remotely productive, but I will try to stay focused. For now.

Lately, I keep thinking back to the Summer of 2017. Oh, the good old days. The sun was shining, the beach was calling my name. Where was I though? I was avoiding the sun. I was avoiding people. I was avoiding phone calls. My will to live literally did not exist. Anxiety and depression consumed me in 2017, so much so that suicide was a daily thought, if not the only thought throughout those beautiful sunny days. Thankfully, between my therapist and family doctor, and an overwhelming sense of responsibility for others, I clawed my way out of my own self-made abyss and was able to notice the sun shining once again by the time we greeted 2018.

My mental deterioration was not sudden, it was a slow decline over a long period of time. Potentially years, if we’re being honest. Suicide is a choice that we make because the weight of the world, and the trauma and inner turmoil we feel is so agonizing that literally dying seems like a better “life” than living and enduring this pain all day, every day. Living with severe depression and anxiety is like playing a game of Would You Rather, except that creepy ass clown from Saw is giving you the fucking options you get to choose from. “Would you rather be set on fire but never die or live in a house infested with lethally poisonous spiders?”, “would you rather win a cruise on the Titanic, or a trip to Los Angeles aboard American Airlines Flight 11?”.

Fast forward to today. I see you, anxiety. I hear you loud and clear. You whisper, “you have no friends to turn to”, “you can’t do anything right”, “your business is failing”, and “your children deserve better”. We are not friends, anxiety. We are not even frenemies. I didn’t know this in 2017, but I know what you are now. You are a bully, and I created you. I will love you, and I will reply to you with kindness, until eventually you either become tired of taunting me and disappear, or you become the newest cheerleader in my own little mental cheer squad watching me fucking slay. I just pictured Voldemort in cheer uniform, he’d make a great addition to the team ❤

{Fun Fact: in 2018 I was diagnosed with ADHD, just a few months after my then 7-year-old daughter was diagnosed. When untreated, ADHD and other neurological conditions (such as bi-polar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, autism, etc), can cause depression and anxiety. I have a strong suspicion that a lot of my anxiety and my nearly year long bout of severe depression was actually my undiagnosed ADHD not being properly treated.}

If you can relate, let me know! Mental wellness is important, and it starts with being aware of how you are doing. Today has been a day of self-awareness, and I felt compelled to write a piece of my story today.