In all honesty, in all fairness, if you’re looking to me to help you understand ADHD, to help you learn about how it affects and impacts a life, then I should be letting you see behind the curtain a bit more.
For starters, it may look like I post with a responsible regularity, but I assure you, it doesn’t appear that way from my side of the “Publish” button. My saving grace is my anxiety which is driven by a need for acceptance. I can be overwhelmed with other obligations and set them aside in order to write a post and publish it on time, or reasonably close to on time.
There are times when I will start to write half an hour before my self imposed deadline. And some of those posts rank as some of my best work. Still other posts are written a week in advance. I tell you this in the interest of transparency, honesty. I have ADHD. And I’m writing about ADHD, about having ADHD. I owe you this much.
I can also tell you there have been weeks when I wasn’t sure I’d be able to post three posts for the week, not sure I’d be able to come up with one …
The anxiety that drives me to publish on time is the same anxiety that makes me get to appointments on time, usually. It certainly is the cause of my discomfort when I am late. But it is present in more than just time management issues. I’m afraid to speak up for myself sometimes, and that can cause trouble for me. You see, I’m not sure that I should speak up for myself in any given situation. I don’t know if my feelings are normal, so I don’t know if my needs are valid, worth speaking up about.
There are reasons that Asperger’s and ADHD are both on the Autism spectrum. We have so much trouble trying to figure out all the rules. People with ADHD often act and react inappropriately, but it isn’t always impulsiveness or lack of forethought. Some of it is simply not knowing the rules. Should we say something? Should we keep quiet? Should we do as we please? Should we conform or show our uniqueness?
Sometimes. When I speak out, I’m shouted down as if I’m wrong or being inconsiderate. Sometimes I’m neither, but I don’t know that. I assume everyone else knows the rules and I do not. It’s like the rest of the world reads music and may well be following the score, but I’m playing by ear, and can’t tell. If someone says I’m doing it wrong I’m unable to point to the score and say “No I’m not, look.” It’s like being tried in court without being allowed to speak in my own defence.
Perhaps you’ve noticed the negative tone to this post and you’re saying to yourself “Is this really something Kelly wrote?” Well, I assure you, it’s me. I’m not suffering depression, but I am feeling a bit blue. Over the last year and four months, I’ve lost contact with several friends. I’m not sure why.
In one case the phrase “No contact!” was used to describe to me how our future would be. I’ve had some very low thoughts about the reasons for this. I’ve blamed myself, I’ve blamed my friends, I’ve blamed money, I’ve considered all manner of conflict … I still don’t know what happened.
I know it’s been the worst time of my life and I’ve needed human contact. Thankfully, others have stepped in to fill the void. I didn’t know that it would haunt me this long and I don’t know if I’ll ever get beyond it, it still hurts.
The reason I’m telling you this is that it demonstrates the inability I have of figure out the rules. If there was ever going to be an aspect of ADHD that would bring my usual “joie de vivre” to its knees, it is this. In the cases of lost friendship I’ve endured, if I could figure out how I caused the loss I could make sure it never happened again. Because frankly, the cost was too much. And I continue to pay the toll in anxiety.
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Last reviewed: 2 Nov 2012