Archives for August, 2012
There is an anomaly in the ADHD space/time continuum that cannot be defined. When faced with a sudden stretch of free time, we often lose that valuable commodity. We waste it in an effort to not do anything wasteful with it. I know, I just won the Time Lottery. I was fired. Okay, calm down, I’m not going to be asking for a loan ... yet. The truth is I wasn’t fired, I’ve been laid off ... sort of, temporarily. The work I do being what it is, and holidays being scheduled for next week, it didn’t make any sense to start a new job that wouldn’t be finished in time. We cleaned up a couple of odd jobs last week and put the “gone fishin’” sign on the door.
This lack of a sense of success, if not the cause, at least helps explain procrastination to some degree. It explains why procrastination is likely to persist and even escalate. I’ve written and read about the ADHD phenomenon that makes us crash when we finish something. A large project that requires a great deal of focus is something that should be celebrated when completed. And yet I, like many other ADHDers, can’t celebrate completions.
Let’s play a game. I call it ADHD style Rock/Paper/Scissors. It goes like this. I wake up in the morning, get my coffee and breakfast, quickly check my email for an hour or so, and then try to figure out what I should do for the day. And then, there it is, the sudden realization that I am back at that recurring point of confusion in my life. That’s the point where I am faced with the challenge of answering the question “what next?” That’s a big, depressing challenge.
On Monday, Melanie J. Knapp, B.A.Psych., described her Peer Support Booklet initiative. She told us, among other things, “The hospital might be considered as a good place to rest and work on wellness. After all, that’s what it’s there for.” I was asked to contribute to this initiative and on Wednesday you had the opportunity to read the first half of my contribution. I left you hanging in the middle of a bit of a rant about normans. There will be a post about my feelings on normans vs. ADHders coming in the near future, an apology of sorts. But for now, on with the article I’ve written for this important project. We’ll begin in the middle of the rant, if you want to refresh your memory on how it began, read Part II.
In last Monday's post, you read the words of Melanie Knapp as she outlined her concept and her hopes for a Peer Support Booklet for inpatients of the psychiatric care unit of our local hospital. Her desire is for a resource to be made available to help people move through the experience of hospitalization with greater ease and hopefully with more positive results. Her words really rang the bell of pro-activism for me and I was happy to rally ’round that bell. The following paragraph from Monday’s post is an example of those powerful words: “When people give up it makes me very sad. At times I feel pain in my heart and confusion at the archaic way that people are treated. Some of the things included in this booklet will be optimistic ideas for wellness, empathy for frustrations, and sharing of memories of hospital stays. There are a number of contributors to this booklet, all joining in for their own reasons, but generally speaking, they want people to have opportunities to regain the capacity to function well.” ~ Melanie J. Knapp, B.A.Psych. I was honored to be invited to be a contributor for this initiative. I asked if my article could be published in advance here on my blog and was given the green light. So here now is the first half of my contribution.
Recently, I was asked by my friend Melanie Knapp, to submit an article on stigma for a local initiative. The project is a peer support booklet to be handed out to patients being admitted to the psychiatric care unit of our local hospital. Its purpose, as I see it, is positive. And so I agreed, with one stipulation, that I be allowed to publish my article here. Is that all? Then I realized that the best introduction to my article would not be one I’d written. So I made a second stipulation that the creator of the booklet's concept, a worthy writer herself, write a guest post for my blog introducing the Peer Support Booklet idea. On Wednesday and Friday, I’ll post the article I’ve written in Parts II & III. And now, without further windy verbiage on my part, I give you the words of my friend, fellow writer and esteemed colleague, Melanie J. Knapp, B.A.Psych.
An ADHDer walks into another ADHDer’s office ... and helps de-clutter ... hey, it’s possible! If I’m looking at your mess, I can see exactly where you need to start and exactly what you need to get rid of. I can give you brilliant suggestions and even help you sort and file, help you slash, burn and organize. I just can’t do that in my own office. Last weekend someone was in my office. She doesn’t have ADHD. But she doesn’t laugh at the disorganization that ADHD causes in my world. She is respectful of the trials my symptoms cause. And she helped me for a while.
My day job is manual labor. Some of my work is a lot of fun and some of it ... not so much. Sometimes I find my self in less than exciting situations. Last Thursday I was digging a hole in the ground. The hole needed to be at least 20 inches square and about fourteen inches deep. No problem. No problem? The location of the hole was under a trailer. The ground was hard, the clearance under the trailer frame was about ten inches and I had to dig the hole while lying on my side. It took a while.
I had a great idea for a blog post. It’s so great, I’d never forget it. Only, I already have forgotten it. I’m so sick and tired of my memory clinging to the wrong details. It betrays me on a daily basis, and, I think it’s laughing at me. I’ll see the brilliance of the thought like the sun bursting through the clouds on a rainy day. I’ll come up with a great idea for a blog post, or a solution to some problem, or a course of action with obvious advantages. I’ll see the brilliance of the thought like the sun bursting through the clouds on a rainy day. I’ll be amazed that I haven’t thought of the concept before, that no one else has come up with it prior to now. I’ll see it so clearly that I know, with more certainty than I know my own name, that I could not forget this in a million years.
With ADHD, a job done is often a job well done. What I mean is, with ADHD, we often don’t finish our elective projects, and sometimes our required obligations suffer the same fate. So if we finish something, that’s ... well ... something, it’s really something. But isn’t that a sad statement. It’s like we glorify the mediocrity of having put our things away and washed our hands, having done the thing we started out to do. And why is that? Obviously we find that finishing something is a rarity. It’s sad, but we are known more for our innumerable “projects on the go” than for our accomplishments. But is that accurate? It’s accurate in as much as that is how we perceive ourselves. But lets take a closer look.