Archives for June, 2012
So I’ve decided to share some parts of several of my favorite comments made here at Man of DistrAction. I’ve been talking about my ADHD for ten months now, and I’m not tired of talking yet. Lets face it, it’s not looking like I’m going to quiet down anytime soon. People have been trying to shut me up for years. And then Psych Central made the mistake of asking me what I think ... But fair is fair, and in their infinite wisdom Psych Central also made room on each post for readers to comment. Recent changes made to the blog software means the comment area has moved. It doesn’t show up on the post’s main page but on a separate page. This means that if you are reading a post but don’t have time or can’t be bothered to click on the comments link, you don’t get to see the comments.
Yeah, I know, I look forward to your comments. I’m supposed to say that ADHD is insidious, a burden, the bane of my existence. And it is. I admit it. But I look around at the rest of the world and I see the options available. And I thank heaven that, if I have to have a mental health disorder, I have this one. Don’t get me wrong, if I could actually be normal, I think I’d like to give that a shot, but I suspect I’d be bored with that pretty quickly. And I refuse to sacrifice my creative bent for that normalcy. But it would be interesting to be the most unique individual in all of history, the one person who actually was normal. What I suspect I would end up being is one of the masses of humanity that suffers the most horrid mental health condition of all. The condition that more people suffer from than any other, the one for which there is no cure, the one whose existence is doubted more than all other disorders combined.
If you have ADHD you know what distraction is. And you know what it is to be overwhelmed. You know that you can make plans and have things all figured out, but you can’t ever see them through because of the laundry list of things that you didn’t account for. And when it all piles up in a collision of eight lane, toll road proportion, that’s when you start noticing the little things that need to be taken care of also. The worst part is, you have usually made the extra effort to plan and arrange so that you could enjoy some leisure, some extra time with family and friends. Now, when it’s all falling down around your ears, you have to add guilt. The cause of the disruption in a life already disorganized was that you tried to organize it for less than altruistic purposes.
Dinner with a friend had become twenty questions. She was asking me about ADHD, about blogging, about many things. I don’t need much encouragement to talk. If anything I need discouragement. Then she asked me if it was important to me to educate people about ADHD ... I paused, and thought. The question wasn’t what I was expecting. I do talk lots about ADHD, and not just here. I would call myself an advocate, even a zealous one on occasion. So, is it important to me? The truth is, it’s important to me that I educate people about ADHD, but it’s even more important to me that I let people with ADHD know they’re not alone.
Today I want to compare our virtual world of emails, messages, chatting and texting to actual conversation. Last Wednesday I talked a little about talking too much ... or rather, about saying the wrong thing, often. Today I want to compare our virtual world of emails, messages, chatting and texting to actual conversation. There are some definite benefits to be noted, and at least one drawback to be acknowledged. Take a letter ... The greatest benefit to typed communication is the ability to check it before I send it off. This doesn’t mean that checking it is something I’ll always remember to do, but it does mean that the opportunity is there. And with my anxiety, I sweat over what I’m typing, and often reword and rework every phrase and stanza.
Humans are social animals. With rare exceptions, we seek out society and insinuate ourselves. ADHDers are no different. Some of us could be considered overly social; we are larger than life, bold and boisterous, gregarious, outgoing and lively. And, as I mentioned on Wednesday, we may occasionally open our mouths and say the wrong thing. This may result in chilly social situations, or it could cost us even more. One of my worst conversational traits is my willingness to sacrifice sense for a good laugh. I’ll say the nastiest thing if I think it’s funny enough to entertain. On more than one occasion, this has cost me a friend.
In my life, I may have said a few inappropriate things, maybe ... Bwah ha ha ha ha. Okay, try this: In my life I may have had a couple of days where I didn’t say anything inappropriate ... but I doubt it. Why do I do this? It’s like I have a broken keyboard in my head. There is no working delete key or backspace key, and no arrow keys either. You can’t take back the keystrokes you’ve typed and you can’t just freeze up. If you can’t stop your hands from fidgeting and your feet from bouncing, how are you supposed to keep your mouth from talking?
Do you do this? I have a simple task to do, and while doing it, or more often instead of doing it, I think of a thousand other things to do, and do them. Damn! Okay, you’re right, I don’t do all of the thousand other things. I’m smart enough to realize that some of them are bad ideas, and who are we kidding, my mind goes so fast that I probably don’t remember half of them anyway. This blog post was supposed to be about something completely different (that’s a lie, I just couldn’t resist, now back to our regularly scheduled blog post). Distraction or procrastination? So what happens here? Is this a case of procrastination? Or is it simply being distracted? Or does it matter which it is? I think maybe it does matter, I think it would make a difference in how I deal with this situation. If it’s procrastination then I need to hold a one man intervention, if it’s being distracted then I need to relocate mentally, and maybe physically, to a place that is more conducive to focusing.
There are a few simple truths in life: Marriage is the number one cause of divorce You can’t take it with you Time is not on your side All these things are true, but that last one is specially true for ADHDers. First off, we have a poor understanding of time. We can’t gauge how long something will take, we can’t estimate how much time we will waste in distractions, and we often can’t tell how much time has gone by. Little wonder that time isn’t on our side, it’s probably angry with us. I often reluctantly start doing something I’ve put off for hours or even days, only to find that it was quickly accomplished if I was focused. Other things take hours instead of the minutes I’d budgeted for them.
I've been aware of my disorder for over two years now, searching diligently for understanding and looking for ways to share what I find and also to share those things that I figure out. I'm comfortable with my progress, but not content enough to slow down my search. And yet I wonder often if my label has become my badge, my “job” – or worse yet, I wonder if I've become my ADHD. I seem to be constantly either learning, assimilating or disseminating ADHD information. It has become my vocation.