ADHD is going to kill me


This time is different. I didn’t quit; I got laid off. I was bored with the job, and not having to go back is a relief, but I’m deeply troubled. This is a crippling disability. I tried to stay the course, I struggled to complete tasks despite being completely bored by them. I tried to bargain with my superiors for a different role or different tasks that might be more engaging for me. Ultimately I feel like my transparency was used against me; I was told that my lack of engagement was part of the decision to release me. I suppose that is the nature of capitalism; my value as a producer will always supersede my own humanity.

I am not depressed this time. I used to have terrible, suicidal depression. I haven’t had an episode like that in a year. Right now, I am very motivated, but also very lost. I am thinking maybe psilocybin is in order, but who knows.

I don’t know where to go where people will value my brain. Or where to go where I am valued as a person instead of a number on a spreadsheet. I feel that I have a lot of value to offer. I believe that I am very creative, I believe that I am very intelligent; but I am a scatterbrained, unfocused person who simply can’t work on what he’s not interested in. People don’t understand that. There’s nothing physically impeding me from doing the work I’m assigned, so why can’t I just do it? Why can’t I?

I have tried. I have tried Strattera, Wellbutrin, Ritalin, Adderall, Adderall XR, and Vyvanse. The stimulants are great for focusing on what I want to focus on. They cannot make that which is not interesting become interesting.

I feel like ADHD could have me homeless on the street one day. When I quit previous jobs, that was my decision to not have a job, that was my decision to give up. This time, my employer gave up on me. I can’t think of a clearer indication that what I am doing or how I am doing it is not working. It never was working; I just deluded myself into thinking it was.

To be quite honest some kind of disability income seems in order but I don’t think I can afford $1000/mo rent on that. My entire life would have to be scaled down; I would probably have to move. I want nothing more than to have my shit together, but I am cursed, and I am out of ideas. Maybe I’m not really all that creative after all.


Just wanted to say that you’re not alone with these thoughts. I just put in my notice at work, but could as well have been laid off (had the boss and others not been as nice as they are), as my performance has been very low.

I was down to working 3 days a week but even then I can no longer get energized enough to find joy and/or motivation to complete tasks that others assign to me.

I think I saw in an older post of yours that you found some freelance, short, work by contacting someone about making a website? Could you try doing something similar again?

I think it could work for me to have shorter assignments with some downtime inbetween to keep the motivation up. I will no longer try to fit a square peg in a round hole by applying to “regular” jobs, at least not as long as I can get by in some other way.

Take care.


Hang in there brother. I’ve been there to some degree.

If you were laid off, it’s better than quitting right? You get severance maybe but at least no issues with collecting unemployment.

Maybe scaling down is the right way to go. As Peter says, if you could get contract work on the side, or get disability, you might be able to give yourself a little flexibility.

Maybe getting involved in some open source projects could help you out? You can find ones that interest you. Sometimes, those can lead to paid contract or even long term gigs. Then you have a better chance in finding something to work on long term that interests you.

If you’ve ever found self-help to be useful, I’ve found this book really helpful:

Hang in there,


That never actually panned out. I continued to not have any kind of income until this most recent job that I got in late 2015. I was selling my cryptocurrency holdings to survive up until then. I will likely resort to that again as time goes on.

All that I have right now is some kind of entrepreneurial pursuit. I have ideas. I’ve seen some ideas I had but never followed end up becoming successful products made by someone else. I guess that’s a good sign.

Not exactly, because I was never a full-time employee but rather just a long-term contractor. I guess “laid off” might not be semantically accurate; technically I was simply released from my contract. It feels a littler different since I knew a lot of the people on my team; we had worked together at different companies in the past, so I was more than just a hired gun. I was in a weird limbo where I was basically 40hrs/wk but paid by the hour. (I have a problem with commitment.)


Same here, I was also a long-term contractor with colleagues that went way back.

I’ve never felt comfortable being expected to be productive 40+ hours of my time for someone else. Started out 3 days a week, then went up to 5d/week when things felt a little better, and the last year down to 3 again.

At the end it did feel more like an employment as things had changed a lot in the department - more people, new boss, method in place etc etc.

Plan now is to live on savings for some time and see how it goes. I think I’ll have a go at tutoring, preferably online as I’ve heard it can be possible to make a living on that.

I’m dreading having to go back to a job again, I’m hoping that fear will keep me going as I’m a big procrastinator and can only work on things I enjoy or that I feel have some importance.

Do you have any plans for any product right now?


This is where I am. Although I feel like my level of engagement would be a lot higher if I were working somewhere where I had equity. Let’s face it, our job is essentially automation; automating to reduce man-hours or automating to reduce overhead in other ways. (I’m not convinced that this doesn’t always necessarily lead to fewer man-hours.) I find that it’s simply not fair to not get a cut of the company’s long-term success. I see companies that offer equity from time to time, but the ones I’ve worked for have not.

Not wanting to have a job sounds like laziness, but there’s more to it than that. I know myself well enough to understand that a lack of motivation brings the quality of my work down which in turn brings the team down. There’s more at stake than just me; the person who hires me at least to some degree stakes his own reputation on the hiring decision. To a large degree I feel like a liability; I go into jobs knowing that I will self-destruct in time, but denial of that fact is necessary.

I just know at this point I can’t keep walking into the same trap and repeating the same loop. I’m at a point where superstitiously I have to take this current situation as an opportunity and hope that providence guides me to where I need to be before I end up in a really bad financial situation,.

I am working on a product right now. I would describe it as more of a “toy app” à la Snapchat or Swarm, but there’s a little more to it than that which would make it fascinating to me if it ever took off.


I’ve found that equity works to improve motivation initially, but in the long run it can actually make things worse, at least in my case. It ties you even harder to the company (quit and you lose). Being a shareholder and possibly part of the board of directors makes you more responsible for the decisions of the company - might work well if you’re on the same page as the other owners - if not maybe not so much.

I’d probably have to be very open about my issues if I’ll ever decide to get a job again. With the right surroundings I can be very productive, but it requires a lot of effort on product/project managers to feed me with interesting and important tasks - an almost impossible demand.

Sounds good about your product. How do you work on it - do you work some hours every day or in spurts when the motivation is there?


Usually this. Last week, I worked from a coffee shop and got more done there than I had in weeks. I think I’m going to work in public spaces more often because it forces me to keep code on the screen instead of the distracting trash that I might look at otherwise. I’ve found success working at libraries in the past as well. Basically having an indeterminate number of people looking over my shoulder helps me stay on task.

Which is weird because I want to work on the thing. It’s just that without a deadline I could put it off indefinitely – of course unless/until someone builds the exact same thing ahead of me. I still can’t get over how disconnected my intentions and my actual actions can be.


i simply couldn’t say it any better. would really appreciate a lot if i could talk with you as i feel that i can get a lot of good stuff by discussing with you, if possible


Yeah, I work exactly the same way. I need the accountability. Working in the library is a good idea. Although, that said, I really need to be able to browse freely now and then. At work now, they’ve replaced secluded spots with open plan, and I find it hard to sit there an entire day.


They replaced our cubes with ‘trader desks’ as well. Who makes these decisions? Not the people who sit in them, I can tell you that much. I hate it. With someone with attention issues, it sucks.