Dear Dr. Archer,
I've been a night shift nurse for over 30 years, having found my niche in the float pool. I go to work and they tell me which floor to go; I never have a preconceived idea how my night will go. I love patient care, and I’m grateful not to be a daytime pill pusher.
I do quite well with the off shift, as it allows me to go to the gym, babysit and make appointments when most people are at work. I was able to participate in my children's lives and be home after school.
Sleep deprivation was a way of life and remains to this day. I often forget how many hours I'm awake until I start getting tired, then realize I've been up for 24 hours.
Let me back up a bit. I graduated from nursing school in 1975. I had been on the pill a while, but never got the hang of taking a pill every day.
Needless to say, I got pregnant three months after graduating, and then again when that baby was nine months old. We got married and had a third and final baby in 1980. Three children in four years to the day.
The marriage didn't last. He was a heavy drinker, and extremely bright. He threatened suicide one night while I was at work, and I realized I had had enough. He was bipolar, and was diagnosed many years later. I gave him the house and I got the kids, and I've never regretted it.
I got married a second time for two and a half years and gained a lovely stepson, so it wasn't a total loss. I realized I was better off not married. I also realized I was better off seeing several guys at once. Love was not meant for me, apparently. Sex was. At 57, that remains the same.
Your book thrilled me to no end. I now realize I'm ADHD. Don't laugh! I never thought of myself as hyper, as I can sit and read right through a book in one sitting. I used to chalk up my activity level to being a Gemini.
I was resistant to being a diagnosis, but then I read your book and it shouted it to me. That's when it dawned on me that my mother was, as well. We laughed about it.
I know this is disjointed. But I had to get it down ASAP or I'd change it over and over, and then it would never get sent, much like all the letters I used to write. I'm not 100 percent successful, and money management and the lack of a housekeeping gene remain my unresolved issues.
For the record, here are my numbers from the tests in your book:
Self Focused 3.3
High Energy 8.3
Thanks for reading Dr Archer!
From your letter, Linda, it sounds to me like you're very lucky. You enjoy what you do, you know who you are without making excuses and you are happy. Sounds like success to me! Your career as a night nurse suits your ADHD/adventuresome nature well.
Scoring highly on the ADHD/Adventuresome and Bipolar/High energy continuums together is common. The two often go hand-in-hand. This can be a very powerful combo when used and understood and you clearly have done both.
I'm glad you sent the letter jumbled; that's your ADHD coming out, which is just fine with me. You can read another letter I received, Matt Is Not Sure What Career To Choose. To learn more, follow the links.
You sound like you're happy, satisfied, secure and most of all, successful. You have truly built a life around your traits.
Congratulations, Linda. You are indeed "Better Than Normal”!