Creating Lila Frost proved I wasn’t stupid after all
Lila Frost, the determined rancher featured in No Strings Attached, had issues being organized and focused.
It wasn’t until I was nearing the end of the book that I realized the character I created had the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactive disorder, though I never mention ADHD in the book.
Lila was easily distracted and impulsive and had poor organizational skills. She was called lazy, scatterbrained, and was accused of reacting without considering consequences. No matter how hard she tried, even knowing she could lose her position on the ranch, she still screwed up.
When I pulled Lila Frost from my subconscious I had no idea how doing so would change my life.I spent a crazy year writing ten Highland Ménage books before I could think of anything else. When I did, I realized I had a few of Lila’s symptoms.
I researched further, discovering many women are being diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. So I checked out an ADHD self-test form for women.
And there in front of me was a list of things I’d blamed myself for, which were common in women with the (inherited) disorder. Things I thought I should be able to do if only I tried harder…
* I spend a lot of time looking for things
* Though my home is clean it has papers and books and projects sitting out. Other people don’t have that cluttered look, so I must clean it up before inviting anyone over. So I never do…
* I have a hard time organizing to act on my ideas, no matter how good they are (I think, not do)
* I often start the day determined to get organized/ clean up, but it doesn’t happen
* I’ve watched so many others of equal (or less) intelligence and education pass me by
* I am amazed at how others seemed to be so organized. I can’t figure out where things should go so I will remember where they are (and that they exist), so I leave them outAll my life I’d been accused of being lazy, messy, and disorganized. I refuse to listen or work up to potential. I must not care enough about someone if I can’t remember what happened unless I have a photograph.
I didn’t get along with girls as I couldn’t understand their social requirements and boys didn’t mind as much when I blurted things out or changed subjects in mid-sentence.In 2012 I was forced into early retirement by a boss who insisted I could concentrate in a giant room with a hundred cubicles, and should be able to learn organizational skills, if only I really tried. Now I knew why I got panic attacks at the thought.
I read how medication, along with learning tips and tricks and changing how I do things, could change my life. One year after Lila Frost was published my doctor sent me to a psychologist to be tested.Turns out I am a classic case of AHDH-combined (both impulsive and distracted), at a moderate level. Smart enough to get by yet almost always under-employed. Feeling stupid and lazy and obviously a failure at the things women are supposed to be good at (organizational skills, clean home, a social life).
Three months after I started I’ve taken charge of my life, knowing I may not do things the same as other women, but what I do works for me. And that is okay. I’m not stupid. My ADHD allows my mind to jump all over the place, creating characters and plots and more. If I keep myself under control…
I note that writing this has taken me six hours, focused so much that I barely moved from my chair, when I really should be completing Climax, Montana 6.
And no, unlike Lila Frost I do not have a pair of tall, handsome dominant men.
I highly recommend checking out the online “ADDitudemag” which has strategies and support for ADHD. They have a special site for women, who are often diagnosed with depression or an anxiety disorder (which may be secondary conditions) instead of being treating their ADHD.
Note that ADHD is a neuropsychiatric condition that is genetically transmitted — you inherited it. It is a biological condition that you were born with, not a moral weakness, or failure of your will.
Your parents, siblings, or children may have symptoms. If you grew up in an AHDH home you may not have learned cleaning and organizing systems.
There are many sites on the Internet that can help, and you might find a local support group.