How my husband inspires me to work with my brain, not against it
He's embraced life with hemophilia, so I've embraced job-hopping due to ADHD
I’ve been struggling with my mental health lately. For the past two years, I’ve been juggling two or three freelance jobs at a time while also fulfilling my roles as a mom, wife, and carer to my husband, Jared, who has severe hemophilia B and a seizure disorder. But now, I’m starting to feel exhausted, and the desire to shift my life course once again has gotten much stronger.
Prior to freelancing, Jared and I were full-time entrepreneurs. We channeled all of our energy into the jewelry business we co-owned. Entrepreneurship had its ups and downs, but I loved it. It gave me an opportunity to talk to various people and do something new each day. Novelty is something my brain needs, since I am diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.
Unfortunately, when the pandemic struck, Jared and I fell victim to a terrible scam, which caused us to lose a huge amount of money. In turn, we felt that the best course of action was to put our business on hold and find another income source. Thus began our journey into online freelancing.
Freelancing was good for some time, as it put food on the table and paid the bills. But these days, my motivation for it has waned, and I find myself yearning for a change.
The desire for change is not new to me
Because of my ADHD, I’m constantly trying new things, moving from one pursuit to another. For this reason, I’ve been called flighty, unfocused, and easily bored. It’s also attracted criticism from some people, including employers and a few loved ones who expressed concerns about my constant job-hopping.
I’ve often felt pressured to conform to a structure that doesn’t fit with how my brain operates. Because of this, I’m reminded of Jared’s own struggle with forcing himself to be “normal,” even if his body doesn’t permit a conventional type of normalcy. Having only recently been diagnosed with ADHD, maybe I’m still learning to resist the pressure to act “normally.” My brain just can’t handle that lifestyle.
People who job-hop have long been viewed as lazy, untrustworthy, or unreliable. Only in recent years has it become more acceptable to change career paths, but some stigma remains. I still feel pressure to stick to just one thing and try not to get distracted, which is next to impossible for me, given my brain’s unique wiring.
Growing with my brain and body
Nevertheless, I want to free myself from this pressure so I can grow as myself. Jared often reminds me that he lives with hemophilia, so maybe I can also learn to live with ADHD instead of against it. I shouldn’t force myself to be something I’m not, regardless of what a neurotypical world wants me to be.
Over the years, Jared has become an expert in gauging his body’s ups and downs. He allows himself to rest whenever he’s injured. On days when he isn’t, he pushes himself as hard as he can, especially when it comes to fitness. If he can do this for his body, perhaps I can do the same for my brain.
Embracing a unique way of coping
I find that many others in my ADHD support group share my sentiments. Some even theorize that the common advice to “suck it up and stick it out” at a job only applies to neurotypical individuals, since many people with ADHD simply don’t have the brain physiology to do so.
So instead of forever lamenting my inability to hold a single job or specialize in just one skill, I could simply embrace job-hopping and pursuing multiple career paths as my way of coping. Job-hopping has always worked well for me, as it’s helped me discover which lines of work are suitable for me, and which ones aren’t. Whenever I do find something I love, I pursue it with relentless fervor.
Living life strictly on a routine and doing rote work exhaust me. Not having enough stimulation for a dopamine boost tires me out, so I need to move on to something new. This isn’t necessarily bad for me!
So far, I believe I’ve found the dopamine rush I desire in two things: my life with my husband and child, and entrepreneurship. After being scammed out of our money, we’ve been slowly building ourselves back up, in hopes that we can soon hop back into that line of business that’s always kept me stimulated and energized.
Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.