Still Climbing After All These ADHD Years
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.
I like to be above things looking down, yet at the same time, I’m not fond of heights. What makes all the difference is how much control I have. I hate watching video footage of rock climbing, there’s nothing I can do if anyone is going to fall. But I don’t have any issues with my being there in the first person.
I still don’t know why I love to climb things …
I still haven’t figured out why I like climbing over top of the fence rather than using the gate. Rebellion? Maybe. Or is it that it looks like fun and I don’t have the executive function to stop and ponder the potential dangers? Absolutely! But there’s more to it.
If given the choice between sitting quietly and climbing on something, I’ll take climbing … and I’m 53. I don’t remember a time when someone saying “act your age” wasn’t apropos. I’ve never acted my age and I’m getting older, just not emotionally. I’m old enough to be a grandfather and I own a spud gun … (neither Kelly Babcock nor Psych Central endorse the placement of weapons of any kind into the hands of ADHDers) … which I built myself.
More things that aren’t endorsed
I do donuts in snow slicked parking lots (empty parking lots), I’ve modified the three second rule to state “it’s still edible if you pick it up within three seconds of FINDING it on the floor,” I eat hotdogs WHILE reading the ingredients on their packaging. And yes, I still climb trees … fences, landscape features, large rocks, the outsides of buildings …
I’m not saying I do this all the time, not even everyday – anymore. I’m saying that it is not an unusual thing for me, if I’m not on my guard, to climb. It’s liable to occur when I’m having fun, less likely to occur in a controlled setting.
And recently it occurred more frequently, on a day when I’d chosen to skip my Concerta.
Why would lack of focus make me climb?
I think my lack of focus that day meant that my whirling mind had less opportunity to assess consequences. It was less likely, in fact, to consider the possibility that there might be consequences to actions. Lucky me, there were none.
How can this be improved?
I did consider possible consequences later that same day, while still without medication. I considered the possibility that I had risked life and limb. I had gone upriver, off the trail, alone and without any equipment, that was a risk. So, I’m improving, I just have to think about my actions in a more timely manner … say, before the action occurs?
Was it worth the risk?
I went upriver to get pictures of a waterfall from it’s lower basin where there was no trail. Was it worth it?
Babcock, K. (2012). Still Climbing After All These ADHD Years. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 4, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/adhd-man/2012/04/still-climbing-after-all-these-adhd-years/