A class. A course on writing, of all things. That’s where I was on Tuesday night, a novel writing course.
And am I planning on writing a novel? Well … not so much. Oh, I’m not saying it won’t happen, I’m slowly writing my childhood memoirs and have every expectation of publishing them eventually, but right now? No. I have so much on the go right now, so many different tasks lined up one might be led to believe that I had ADHD.
Oh, yeah … forgot there for a minute.
On Tuesday night I entered the classroom with some trepidation. As you heard in Wednesday’s post, I had forgotten my medication on Tuesday. That was not my only cause for concern, however.
What could possibly go wrong?
The last time I set foot in a classroom I was, by my own estimation, normal, a norman, a standard issue human male – 1959 model. The course I was taking back then was, surprise, a writing course. Freelance Writing.
Twice in the past seven days I’ve managed to forget my meds. I take Concerta, which is Methylphenidate.
Methylphenidate is better known in our tribe as Ritalin. Did you know that Ritalin was named after the wife of its creator? Ciba chemist, Leandro Panizzon formulated methylphenidate.
His wife, Marguerite (her nickname was Rita), suffered from low blood pressure and took the stimulant before playing tennis. One assumes that it may well have helped her focus on the game as well as keeping up her blood pressure.
Damn, I’m wandering, I was trying to tell you that I may wander because today is one of those two days that I forgot my medication. Apparently I can’t tell you that I’m wandering – without wandering.
I’ve looked. I’ve looked through all my dictionaries (I tend to collect them) and through all the online dictionaries as well. Overwhelm is a verb. A transitive one in fact, one that has no meaning without an object. Some one thing must overwhelm some other thing.
And yet …
I have to say that on the rare occasions that I’ve seen “overwhelm” being used as a noun I was uncomfortable with it, but it does make sense. To feel overwhelm in one’s life is exactly the sensation that many of us experience just before we shut down, break down, blow up or blow off our responsibilities.
It still happens, I’m minding my own business and something or someone interrupts me. The result? I explode. What’s up with that?
I always thought of myself as laid-back before my diagnosis. I thought I was the most easy-going guy I knew. Well, that was clearly not possible, since I was the one person in my circle of acquaintances that I really, truly didn’t know.
Turns out that laid-back and easy-going were qualities that I admired, and therefore I wishfully attributed them to myself. I was even able to cite examples to prove my carefree nature. Hadn’t I managed to keep my cool when I burnt toast … every day? Wasn’t I able to take it all in stride when I ran out of gas, forgot to pay my bills, lost my datebook, my car keys, my wallet, my way …?
“I made a list of all my piles and put it on the pile of all my lists, now if I can find that pile of lists I’ll know what all these piles are …” ~ @kbriter – twitter comment
Aren’t lists great? We make them, we hold on to them, file them, cross things off on them, and love them. They itemize our lives in bullet point format. They hold us to schedules and remind us of deadlines. They rule!
Okay, I admit that I don’t always get results from lists. I often make too many of them, or make confusing ones, and I’m always misplacing them. I’ve gotten into the habit of putting my current list in my watch pocket of my jeans. (That’s that little pocket above the main pocket that you keep your right hand in when you’re trying to look cool and nonchalant.) And yes, I’ve laundered a few lists in my time.
If I live by my list, I don’t have a life, I have a list. If I use the list as a guide, I have a life.
I find that a list can be a wonderful tool, so long as I respect it as a tool and am not a slave to it. If I live by my list, I don’t have a life, I have a list. If I use the list as a guide, I have a life. And within that life I have a list of things whose completion will make my life easier or better in some way.
or Why I’ll never be rich – or poor!
My psychologist tells me I need to work on my boundaries. She tells me that I may be too willing to give of myself to others. I see something that needs doing and I step into it. I told her (I think I told her … ) that’s the way I was raised (it is the way I was raised you know … ).
And anyway, she broke up with me last week. What does she know? Okay, she didn’t break up with me, we’re on a break. No, that still doesn’t sound right, she wants me to give life a try on my own, working without a net so to speak. And I know I can do it, it’s just a little harder.
Talk is cheap
I’m not sure if you, my dear reader, are aware of the fact that I use self dialogue to examine my life. I do. Apparently it’s an ADHD thing … though not all of us do it (or maybe not all of us admit to it?). I talk to myself plenty.
It’s easier to have a conversation if you’re not alone, so in that self dialogue I usually play several roles to facilitate talking to myself. Antagonist, protagonist, devils advocate, shocked bystander … you get the picture, right?
They say that confession is good for the soul, and heaven knows my tortured ADHD soul could use some good. On Wednesday I confessed to having an appointment. I had one, but I didn’t know where or who with or what about … and I haven’t found out yet. That’s torture.
Writing about it relieved a lot of my stress. It was like I was confessing to whomever I was letting down … or at least I was putting my confession out there where they could read it if they wished.
I was not absolved, not made innocent by it, but still, I felt better.
Oh dear. I’ve done it now. I have an appointment today at 10 AM. It’s important to note that I know this, in light of what I’m about to confess.
My confession is this: I don’t know what my appointment is about. “You’ll find out when you get there …” I can hear you all saying. (Kelly sighs dramatically) Yes, I’ll find out when I get there … if I get there.
More true confessions …
Okay, confession number two. I’m not sure where this appointment is to take place. I didn’t write down the topic or the location anywhere. I’m feeling a little embarrassed about the whole thing and I’d like to drop the subject. I’d like to just quit thinking about it, but I can’t. Thoughts of it are just nagging me. And I hate being nagged by my thoughts.
I’ve struggled lately. Many of you know my situation. My wife’s passing left me alone just a few weeks before I took on the task of writing this blog. I’ve struggled with loss and loneliness. Magnified by the lens of grief, day to day life presents its trials and tribulations with all the pomp and pizazz of a world class stage show.
These problems, though not insurmountable, do appear to be just that. From where I sit today, I can tell you this sense of being blocked from making progress passes.
I know this because many things I thought I couldn’t deal with are now dealt with, and others that looked foreboding now present themselves simply as things that need to be taken care of … soon.
I’m exhausted. I’d like to say I’ve been working hard. I have been working. I just haven’t been working harder than usual.
Truth is, I didn’t sleep well last night. The mice were running in the wheel inside my head when I went to bed. And I think maybe that squeaky axle needs a little grease.
Yeah, yeah, I know, I’m a liar
I’m always saying I don’t have trouble sleeping, and I don’t – usually. Trouble sleeping is one of the more common ADHD traits, but one I rarely have to deal with. When I do have trouble, I usually know why. Stress!