Archives for April, 2012
“Isn’t that a beautiful sky?” I said to myself last night as I backed into my west-facing driveway. I turned off the engine and as I undid my seat belt and opened the door I realized I’d spoken out loud. Well, it was a beautiful sky. I’m doing that more and more these days, talking out loud when I’m alone. I had done it less when I started taking Concerta, but I’ve been doing it more since my wife died.
I abhor prejudice. To decide that someone is unacceptable on some level because of a perceived difference is intolerable to me. I cannot believe that a person is better, or worse for that matter, because of a difference in skin color, faith or religion, political affiliation ... the list goes on. Stereotyping, while a milder form of prejudice, is still a form of prejudice. And it isn't always milder. Witness racial profiling. In the same way that some people think that a person with a physical disability has all physical disabilities, a person who has the appearance of the so called “average terrorist” ... must be a terrorist.
I live to write. I live because I eat and breath with regularity. But if I couldn't write, I'd take much less joy in eating, in breathing. So why is my blog post late? Blog post writing is writing after all. Part of writing is reading As with any vocation we must keep learning. When I was a computer programmer I found it easy to be a hermit, I had a cave-like office and I would sequester myself in there to avoid distraction. But I continued to learn about new hardware, new software and new programming techniques. As a writer I need to keep on top of what other writers are doing, trying, using. I don't have to do what they do, but I do need to know what is out there for readers, I need to know the environment into which I'm releasing my work. There is no point in writing an article for a magazine in a style that is unacceptable to the current reader demographic.
Some say ADHD is a gift. Some say it’s a curse. We’ve had this discussion before. Many say it’s a gift with serious issues, and others say it’s a curse with some bright spots. I say ... Enough! I’ve weighed in on this issue before and my final judgment was that ADHD is a set of symptoms, problems really, that cause complications in my life. These complications have had definite negative effects. But they also cause me to think differently, and that allows me to see things from a different angle, in a different light. Up side, down side ... Sometimes this skewed vision allows me to solve puzzles that others struggle with. Sometimes it leaves me looking like an ass. Sometimes I’m too self involved to be able to tell you which situation I’m in at the moment.
If you’re planning to move your family always look for a rock facing north. These offer the nicest neighborhoods. If you can’t afford a rock in this price range, look for a north facing crack edge on an east or west facing rock. The internet offers a great, potential benefit to those of us who seek information on ADHD. There are, of course, problems with misinformation on the “infobahn,” however it also offers us the wherewithal, usually, to determine the truth. How very much like the real world. But how do we tell what's true? When I was a child, it was pretty clear cut. If you heard it in the school room, from your grandparents or parents, or read it in a text book it was true. If you heard it out back of the school, from a friend while out camping or hiking, or read it on the back of a comic book, it was probably suspect (I’m still waiting for my real two-man submarine and my x-ray glasses, I’ve sent changes of address every time I’ve moved). So the internet is like the real world, an extension of the same, if you will. There are things that are true or factual, and things that are patently false. Note that I distinguished between true and factual
Is it possible that putting more than one ADHDer in the same place might be counterproductive? About a month ago I attended an ADDiva Webinar. I got into a private chat with another attendee who knows me. The fact that I am a divo and not a diva is not obvious at these webinars, but some of the participants know that I'm a guy and I don't hide the fact. These webinars are available for replay. Thank heaven for that. The private chat was not on topic, in fact it was like an excerpt from a burlesque comedy routine. Much of it was centered around my gender, a naughty conversation about me being found out.
“I remember that movie,” my boss said, “how did it start? I missed the beginning of it ... ” I looked at her, she looked at me, and we laughed. How did I get here? It’s been an unusual progression. My marriage afforded me with an executive function, my wife’s. This meant that I always had things to do. After her passing, I was left at loose ends, as they say. I ended up helping out at a local café in exchange for a place to write and hang out in the day.
It's easy for us to be down. Part of the diagnosis for ADHD stipulates that there must be evidence that one's symptoms cause persistent negative interference with regards to school, work, and social interaction throughout one's life. We all know about persistent negative interference, right? A comment by “Anonymous” last week reminded me how easy it is for us to be depressed. I've been there. Things that would bother a norman briefly can weigh on us like an anchor. And things that are specific to ADHD are constant burdens. Like compound interest, our ADHD problems make non-ADHD problems worse.
When I call someone, I'm not expecting an answering machine. And I often get an answering machine (Yes, I'm aware that most answering machines are actually answering services, I'm old, until last year I still had a rotary dial phone). Kelly – speechless?? So what happens when my call is answered by a machine or answering service? I usually hang up. Why? Well, I've given this some thought. I dial the phone after rehearsing the script of talking to the person I'm calling. I have not rehearsed a one-sided message for an answering machine. I can’t keep two potential conversations in my mind even if one of them is one sided. It's a type of transition, and It flusters me I've actually tried to leave a message and ended up leaving what I perceive to be a garbled mess of uninformative gibberish. On one memorable occasion of trying to leave a message, I called back 20 seconds later to clarify what I had been trying to say – I left more gibberish I think. I ended up leaving the person I was calling with the perception that I was crowding them.
I climb on things – all the time. I have no idea why, no idea what the attraction is. I’ve tried to figure it out. I know I like adventure, but that’s why I cook, that’s why I read and go to the movies, that’s why I buy lottery tickets ... when I remember to. Climbing on things, around things, over and under things, that’s adventure too, but it’s not just adventure. Okay, there might be a hint more adventure involved. I do like hard to reach places, I love the unique view I get from the middle of the river. If I can get there without getting wet, that’s better. Still, there’s more to it than just adventure. When I was young I loved to climb the spruce trees out in front of my home. I loved to sit quietly, looking down at my house. I remember being up so high I could see both sides of the steeply pitched roof of my home below me. These giant trees were at least 70 feet tall, and I was well up there, maybe 50 feet, maybe higher.