Archives for December, 2012
When it comes to resolutions, I don't have a great track record. But, I've come up with one I want to try to keep, and I think I have a chance at it. I resolve to never make another New Years Resolution as long as I live ... after this one. I know that sounds like a cop-out. Maybe it is. But I don't think so. I have given this a fair bit of thought and I've come to some conclusions. Resolutions are born of regrets. The year is ending and for some reason we feel this is the end of our opportunity to be successful for this time period.
I think we need our own Holiday season special. I humbly offer my suggestion, and anticipate, with great expectations, your offerings. Please don't disappoint me. Dr. Seuss was born Theodor Seuss Geisel on March 2, 1904. Sadly we lost him on September 24, 1991. But he inspired generations of people to take up reading as more than a pass time, to take it up as a way of life. His books were gateway literature to an addiction that has never been found to be a detriment in any life. His story of the Grinch has been part of Christmas since 1957, so it is not, I'm sure, much of a surprise that I have chosen to mimic his style of writing for this, my last humorous post of 2012. I hope you enjoy this rambling missive, though it strikes rather close to the heart in places.
My ADHD Holiday SpecialIt was Christmas again In the Land of ADD And the ADDs all grimaced From you, through to me
"Spirit! Hear me. I am not the man I was. I will not be the man I must have been but for this intercourse. Why show me this, if I am past all hope?" If there's one thing I've learned in recent years it's this: I have a lot to learn. And if I were pressed, I'd have to also admit that I love to learn. So it is no great surprise for me to discover that learning about ADHD is something I really enjoy. I enjoy it because it reveals things about my past that pass as learning also.
"I am the Ghost of Christmas Present. Look upon me. You have never seen the like of me before!” "Spirit, conduct me where you will. I went forth last night on compulsion, and I learnt a lesson which is working now. To-night, if you have aught to teach me, let me profit by it." I'm sometimes haunted by the things I've done. They come to me in sudden flashes, leaving me embarrassed or gratified, but always amazed at my past oblivion. How did I not see the significance of them before? And how am I able to see it now? There's a great question. The answer is simple. Education. I see the significance of my past actions because, here in my present, I recognize the implication, the indication, and the instigation that is ADHD in my life.
“Are you the Spirit, sir, whose coming was foretold to me?” “I am.” “Who, and what are you?” “I am the ghost of Christmas Past.” “Long past?” “No. Your past.” I'm not offering my faith here. I'm not offering to share my religion either. In fact, were I to attempt that, I'd have to write a book, nay, a veritable tome. I certainly couldn't give it to you in a couple of blog posts.
Two years ago I was diagnosed with ADHD. And about this time of year I was, like many of you, thinking about Christmas. I may have been a little bitter back than, but I still had my sense of humor. I was writing a blog back then called the Tao Of Taylor. Today, with the permition of my alter ego Taylor McKinlay, I'm reprinting a blog post from there. It was my letter to Santa, enjoy: Dear Santa: I thought I was being good this year. Then I found out I have ADHD. People who have problems often get really great stuff for Christmas, so I had been wondering what wonderful things might be under the tree for me this yuletide season. A lot of research later, and I’m wondering if I should even bother putting up a tree. It turns out that we ADHDers have no idea what being good is. Well, maybe that’s not the best way to put it. We know what being good is, but we don’t have enough awareness of self to know when we’re not being good. So, I’m sorry about how I’ve behaved, but it wasn’t completely my fault, my brain deserves some of the blame, and it and I aren’t always communicating with each other.
I decided to leave the laundry, gift shopping and dishes 'til the 22nd. I put off paying my bills and thought seriously about blowing the bill money on fun stuff. Wouldn't it be a sin to have the world end on the 21st and still have that cash sitting there? But you know, it would be worse still to have the world end without my saying a few things to a few people. I'm not talking about deathbed confessions of undying love or anything like that, I'll use emails for those. And I won't speak directly to any one person here, though there are a few who I would like to speak with directly in private, if it wasn't for those darned restraining orders.
Wow, that sounds like a Pinterest pin-able title if ever there was one. If you're a craft-y person you'll probably be looking for the Pinterest widget already, but maybe you'd better leave the tacky glue, craft sticks and gold glitter away until you've read this. What do you give the person who has ADHD? What would someone with ADHD want that others wouldn't appreciate as much? I don't know. I've reviewed the list and the things on it are things that anyone would want. But they are things that people with ADHD see less often in their lives.
It was with a gaping mouth that I began reading tweets that indicated that Adam Lanza had been diagnosed as having Asperger's Syndrome. I was astounded, but not surprised. I was astounded that this was being released to the media, but not surprised that the media and the public were taking up the cry. And I was even less surprised by the shallow draught of the public opinion that fuelled this new spat of updates on social networks. In fairness, I was surprised that someone with Asperger's could have done what this young man is alleged to have done. It doesn't track. Asperger's is a disorder that leaves those who have it scrambling to understand the rules of the world. But few, if any, would get up in the morning and wonder if a mass killing would be okay.
I know I said I'd try to cheer up, I didn't lie. I've been much more cheerful. And those regrets I listed in my post titled Get Me Through December: A Symbolic New Beginning, I've let them go, to some extent. But it's the holidays. And no adult makes it through the holidays without thoughts of loved ones who have passed away, or of childhood lost. I don't think it can be done. My regret of not having children weighs heavily on me at this time of year. Perhaps it's a reasonable thing to think that I might have revisited my childhood as an observer if I'd had children, I don't know. I know that I miss my own childhood at Christmas. And I miss my mother. She made my Christmases what they were, not overly sensational, and yet very special. One of the things I miss about Christmases in her presence was her own joy at the season. Her happiness was enough to make me happy as a child. She taught me that lesson of sharing joy.