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Seeking Counsel

There comes a time when the frustrations and distractions get to be too much and I need to find options for dealing with them. Back in October of 2012, I started seeing a licensed clinical social worker, who’s focus is in adult ADD. My point in going to see this counselor was to get a handle on the things that cause me to lose focus and distract me on on constant basis.


As I’ve blogged about before, I get distracted easily. It’s been very common for me throughout most of my life, even though I also have a history of getting projects done and being a punctual and responsible employee over the last 30 years of my working life.

As a child growing up, I went to numerous counselors from the age of 7 until I left high school. I was put on Ritalin for the three of these years [age 9-12], where I was diagnosed as being hyperactive. The Ritalin made me do a 180, meaning I went from being loud and fidgety to quiet and comatose.

As I experimented with many illegal drugs from age 14-15, I switched from visiting psychologists to attending drug rehab sessions, which for me, didn’t really help since the drug scene was over a few months before I turned 16. By the time I graduated high school, I was deemed “a distracted child who would always have issues completing tasks in life.” That particular counselor wasn’t too far off the mark, although as I mentioned above, I have proven I can hold down jobs and complete personal goals and projects.


Over the last 31 years since that last counseling visit, I have been back a few times, mostly in the months following my last job I was let go from. Those sessions helped me get back on my feet and until 2 years ago, I was able to manage my distractions without rarely a setback.

But in the last 24 months, I let many other things get in my way of doing the things I want to, mostly the lack fulfillment I get on my day job as a network admin. I let it get worse because I’m paid ok and I let the comfortable state of unhappiness take over. Also, I get several weeks of vacation a year, which I make sure to take each and every day.

Since September 2012, I have applied for 6 different jobs, 2 of which got me phone and in person interviews. All 6 applications ended with “thanks but we chose another candidate” emails. I know my skills are not up to date [“What’s Windows Server 2012?] and I think that lack of confidence shows up in my drive to find another company to work for.

Oh yeah.. this is about my distractions. In my efforts to do what I want instead of doing what has paid the bills, I have spent less time focusing on what I want to do. I know I don’t want to be in IT anymore. This is my 28th year of wearing the network admin hat and I will be lucky to make it to year 30 without getting completely burnt out. I know I need to focus more, which is why I chose to visit someone to help me identify the steps I need to take to move forward.


This way I deal with daily life has increased my frustration levels many fold. One of the things I learned in these last three visits is that I’m a people pleaser. I don’t like conflict and I take whatever steps I need to do to avoid it. I’m happy to address challenges and issues, but conflict to me is drama, and I FUCKING HATE DRAMA! So this has placed me into a comfortable state, which means I just do what’s needed to make things work and rarely something else. Which has the result as taking my focus away on making progress on what I want to do, slow with interruptions.

For a creative person like myself, this frustrates me multiple times a day as I see some of the things I want to do not get done, or if they get done, there are many hours and days that pass before they get completed.


While I decided only to visit this particular counselor for three sessions, I will continue with another here in the near future that can help me retain a knowledge of the things that I learned and to embrace the changes I need to make that will keep me moving forward.

My efforts in 2013 so far are positive, but I still manage to be distracted daily and it’s a challenge for me to keep focused. As I anticipate new projects I want to complete this year, I anticipate it will be sooner than later before I find another counselor to meet with to help me stay on track.

Copyright © 2013 - All Rights Reserved


  1. Kim says:

    Keep working at it my friend, proud of you and hoping for nothing but awesome for you this year and in the future! Cheers!! XOXO

  2. Hey Marty,

    My story is a little different than yours but they of course have several tell tell similarities. I was in Art school and was having a hell of a time. I had always been a straight A student in college when I was studying computer science, but then once I switched to Art I just couldnt get my homework done. I had always been a good employee, but it seemed like in my career I was just spinning my wheels.

    I started taking Ritalin and had a major improvement. While you said that when you were on Ritalin you were comatose, I found it a good improvement for me. Though my doctor an ADHD specialist did modify my medication and we found that Vyvanse was right for me. We did some playing with my meds to find the right mix and it did make things better for me.

    I know meds are a personal choice and many people are against them. There are so many new drugs that are out there that are not as bad as too high of a dose or Ritalin. If you ever want to talk about my experience give me a call. I am pretty sure you have my phone number.

    Either way I want to wish you luck. I know it is hard to find the right solution.

  3. Megan says:

    Let us know how you are doing with this. My husband has ADD and is allergic to any of the drugs that actually worked for him. I don’t know that he’d go to counselor, but it may be worth bringing up. Like you, he does great at work, but it’s in other areas that he has difficulty. With his impending retirement, I would love to see him make progress with the ADD as we are starting over again.

  4. Megan says:

    Oh, and good luck. We’re rooting for you!

  5. I wish you the best of luck mate. And I really hope the job hunt proves fruitful soon. I know from your blog & twitter posts that some weeks your job is rather frustrating.

  6. Jo Turpin says:

    Marty, you know how I feel about that soul sucking job you have so no need to say more on that. But, please take a look at the Northwest – they are always opening new high tech centers of some sort that may be what you are looking for. In Oregon Facebook is putting in a third data center in Prineville and Intel built in Bend just recently and so on. Amazon expands in Washington on a regular basis …. Bring an umbrella tho, it can be a little damp up here!

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