I added the last part. And, I’ll get to that. But I always thought that the first part was Shakespeare. Turns out, not so. It was most notably used by Alexander Pope, English poet and essayist in the early 18th century. But it roots may go back as for as Plutarch. (Thanks Gramarist.com.) But leave it to an ADHDer to start his post with a digression.
My kids are pharmacologically… complicated. I do the Dr.’s appointments and run point on the meds, partly because being the “primary parent” is my role in the family and partly because that’s kind of my area of expertise. Well, it’s my area adjacent. So I know a lot about pharmacology.
Not counting the one of every fourth week when I fill all of my pill containers for the whole month, I fill all my kids weekly containers on Saturdays. Depending on what they are currently on, if I’m packing stuff to drop off at school, that can be up to eight different weekly pill boxes plus four bottles to go to two different schools.
Lately, we’ve been weening one of our boys off several meds that haven’t been working and may be making things worse. That’s a slow, multi-week process. And, our other boy is experimenting with some different stuff that we are trying to manage week to week as we judge the short term ramifications. I only give you this background to illustrate that over the last 6 weeks or so, I don’t think the kids have had their pill boxes fill the same two weeks in a row once.
I know what I’m doing. I know the plan. All the boxes are in some way color-coded or labeled and when it gets really, really complicated, I take notes from our doctor’s appointments, just to make sure I’m on the right page. But it is still a massive amount of detailed stuff to not make a single mistake… ever. I take it very seriously and I don’t make them often. (And, the kids are really great. They usually ask if something is different in the pill boxes. Even if a generic changes shape of color, they check in to make sure everything is correct. But there have been so many changes lately, that they’ve taken to just trusting I’m doing the right thing.)
Well, last week I made a mistake. I put the evening pills for the two kids in the wrong pill boxes. The share the major nighttime pill in common. So it wasn’t the biggest deal. But it did mean that my oldest got a few fewer days of weaning off one his SSRI, and didn’t get enough melatonin one night. And, it meant that my youngest got an unexpected very small dose of his brother’s old SSRI for the week. Not that this makes my rather large mistake any better, but it may have been a happy accident. And, we may have figured out something about my youngest. But the jury is still out.
Here’s my point, as I have continued to bury the lead. This is a thing that is really important. This is a thing that I devote time, energy, and my best attention to. And, I still made a mistake. There was a time in my life that I would have let this strike me to the bone. I would have taken it personally. I would have connected it to every moment of inattention in my life, every mistake. I would have blown it out of proportion and let it derail me completely.
I’m pretty glad that I’ve done the work on my ADHD to be where I am right now. It wasn’t an ADHD/attention mistake. It was a human being mistake. So I’m also glad that I’ve done the work to allow my sense of identity catch up to who I really am. I’m not the late, unprepared, inattentive-mistake, fuck up that I was 20 years ago. I just human-person who makes human-person mistakes once in a while, especially when overwhelmed by caring for two kids with really intense needs. Perhaps the most beautiful part is that letting it go means I’m not carrying the baggage that would get into my head and make it more likely for something like this to happen again. I wasn’t nervous filling the pill containers this week. I was extra careful. But not anxious in a way that would make another mistake more likely.
So, maybe don’t be too hard on yourself either?
Standard Disclaimer: In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please excuse and typ0s, Miss Steaks, grammatical errors, awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content out. In my humble opinion, an imperfect post posted is infinitely better than a perfect post conceptualized but unfinished.