Archives for September, 2012
I'm off to work. Nope, not off to work after my holidays are done, I'm off to work this morning because the job still isn't done. But I've struck a compromise with my holiday companion and with my boss. And I've struck one with myself also. I'm only working a half day today, and I only worked a half day yesterday, too. I think that's going to help on all fronts. The boss agreed to it readily and took the afternoon off himself yesterday. He had some things he wanted to take care of anyway. The job is insulating a crawl space under a rather large cottage. It involves working on all fours with our heads bent up to see the walls we're working on. We also need to see where we're going. And I personally need to see the damned joists and stringers that seem to have been positioned just where my head wants to go whenever I'm not looking.
Didn't I say I was going on vacation? Then why am I still working? That's right, I'm still working, and trying to do everything else I'd normally do. We'd hoped to be done with this season's work by now, but we had one last insulating contract to take care of. It'd been in the works for a while, but we didn't get the go-ahead until late last week. I thought, “Sure, I can handle this. It'll only be a couple of days out of my week.” Typical ADHD time management failure. It's already taken two days out of my vacation, and today, Wednesday, may not finish it up either. But I'm hopeful. I'll let you know on Friday whether or not we were successful - whether I spent all day Thursday cutting bats of insulation, or cutting bait instead (a little "wishing I was fishing" humor).
Okay, I didn't need my passport for this "vacation" - good thing, because I haven't finished applying for it yet. Do I have to be caught up on my income taxes to get my passport? Oh well, that's a question for another day... Anyway, so I've rented a cabin. It's near where I worked this summer as a contractor's assistant in cottage country; since that's about 70 miles from home, and there was a place I could stay for free while I was working, I stayed. The place I stayed in was my boss' trailer, at a trailer park on the shore of a beautiful lake on the Bruce Peninsula. Many of the park residents and some of the nearby cottagers provided us with work throughout the season. In addition to permanent trailer sites, the park also rents camp sites and cabins for travelers. I took advantage of the off season rates to rent a cabin for myself and a friend for the last week of September.
It's been a couple of years now since I was diagnosed with ADHD. I guess I'm used to the idea of my diagnosis, but I haven't forgotten what it was like before my diagnosis either. In some ways, life was better in the first half century of my life. Lack of self awareness meant that I could go from faux pas to faux pas with little realization that I was consistently a text book example of a mental health disorder.
Last year, on September 15th, I was welcomed to the Psych Central family by Dr. John Grohol's inaugural post on ADHD Man Of Distraction. On the 19th of that same month, my first post appeared - and I was pumped! I was writing about something I was new to, yet something I had known about all my life with an intimacy that should be reserved for love and faith. I was full of discoveries and memories, and discoveries of how my memories were colored by my ignorance of my ADHD.
Currently accepted psychiatric opinion says that ADHD is the most known, treatable mental health disorder. Treatable, not curable. Supposedly, it's a disorder that is easily managed with a regimen of drugs, structure, and behavioral modifications. Oh, there are definitely several offers of cures, some of which sound viable while others sound like mere hocus-pocus. I’m prepared to stick to the methods outlined by the Canadian Mental Health Association, CMHA, and the National Institute of Mental Health, NIMH; they’ve gotten me to this point and I’m still in my own home, not in jail yet, and I’m still solvent... so far.
Okay, which one of us is more ADHD? My friend and I are both planning to apply for a passport. I have my application, have filled much of it out and I've taken my passport photo. In fact, I've had my picture ready for four months. It's in the envelope with my application … wherever that is. The other day I received an email from my friend Janie. She is one of the wonderful women at the ADDiva Network. She was writing to tell me that the ADDiva Retreat, an annual getaway for women with ADHD, was booked solid. I often tease Janie about putting on a wig and shawl and showing up at the retreat. She was paying me back by letting me know about the "full house" and telling me she was sorry I didn't register in time, especially if I'd already acquired my wardrobe. "I don't even have my passport ..." I thought outloud, remembering that this would've been an international trip for me. My friend Karen, the barista at my local café, overheard my comment and said she was going to get hers renewed "soon ... ish??!?"
On Monday, at USC Trojan's request, we went looking for books on ADHD and we mentioned three of them. Today we'll talk about a couple more as well as some other resources. ♫♪♫ You can't always get what you want ♪♫ While looking through my library, I realized that there's lots of literature available. And the thing that it all has in common is an attempt to write directly to us, the people with ADHD. It's a tightrope act, a little to far to the left and you're writing something that will lose our attention in less than a page. Too far to the right and you start to sound condescending. And somewhere in between, on that thin, tight wire, is the style that hopefully appeals to enough of us that a book using that style will be a success. Many books could be written with a wealth of information and never be received well enough by the target audience because of our, shall we say, discerning tastes. If we can't slog through it, it ain't gonna sell.
Last week, a comment was posted by a reader asking for a few book titles on ADHD. I want to thank USC Trojan for this post idea. I'm not lacking in inspiration, but I am working inside a box, not my natural environment. I write about things I've learned or “discovered” but having a question to answer means that I'm writing about something that my readers may be more interested in. More interested in books than what goes on in my mind? Say it ain't so! Yeah, I know that my wandering thoughts can get a little gray and dull, no matter how exciting they would seem to be to me. So I do perceive it as a kindness when someone asks my opinion on a particular subject. Thus, I repeat, thanks.
There is a wonderful book out there called You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?! A Self-Help Book for Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder. And I know that the book speaks truth, but I sometimes wonder how I could have gone for fifty years without seeing my ADHD, without knowing that I even had it. So I’ve done a little soul searching, a little reminiscent inspection of the evidence, and here’s what I’ve found ...