When you’re boating there are certain things you are required to have on board. The length of the boat and the number of passengers determines what you’re required to carry on board. One term used to identify these things is “mandatory carriage.”
As an ADHDer there are some things I absolutely need to have on my person or within easy reach. I call this “Kelly’s ADHD mandatory carriage.”
Some of the things I never use, they’re more for peace of mind, but that’s a cheap price to pay. The peace is sometimes illusory, not needing to worry about one thing doesn’t mean I won’t worry about others.
Packing all these things into my pants pocket has led to another worry: how silly do I look with my pants pockets bulging like the cheeks of a squirrel that’s found a freshly filled bird feeder?
“… it is rather embarrassing to reach into my pocket for something and end up looking like Beaver Cleaver in the principal’s office, emptying marbles, string, a slingshot, two frogs, a couple of sticky nickles and a sparkly stone …”
I’ve never cared much about fashion, or how it affects my looks, but it is rather embarrassing to reach into my pocket for something and end up looking like Beaver Cleaver in the principal’s office, emptying marbles, string, a slingshot, two frogs, a couple of sticky nickles and a sparkly stone on the counter in a café or convenience store.
More embarrassing than that is another realization I came to recently. Despite my insisting that my camel colored canvas courier bag is just a camera bag that I carry a few extra things in, I have awakened to the fact that I’m actually carrying a purse. I believe the wits of the day are referring to this as a “murse,” a “man’s purse.” The admission was made more obvious by the fact that I often carry a camera bag, a real camera bag, at the same time I’m carrying my “camera bag.” Ouch!
I know it’s not the best look for a contractor, but as I said, I’ve never cared much about what I look like to others. And when I need my camera, or my spare notepad or just my chap-stick, I know it’s handy. Chap-stick? Wow, it really is a murse.
Most of the things I carry really are mandatory carriage for ADHDers, or at least they’re mandatory carriage for me and my ADHD. Many are coping instruments that help me, if I use them, to lessen the negative effects of my symptoms. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the only criteria for mandatory carriage: whether or not an item has the potential to help me negate my symptoms. It could be a direct potential, like my meds, or an indirect potential like my notepad and pencil. But potential is all that’s required.
Stay tuned for Wednesday’s post; I’ll list some of these items I claim to need and tell you why I carry them. I hope to justify each and every one of them to you, but if I can’t, then my hope is that I can actually reduce my mandatory carriage list to something more manageable.
I’m always willing to learn, so if any of you want to tell me about some of the things you carry around with you to help you cope, feel free. But if we all end up carrying even more stuff around, heaven help us …
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Last reviewed: 6 Aug 2012