Yes, ADHD has made me the success I am today. Without it I’d be … well, I’d not be me. I’d be someone else.
And who that person I might have been is, I will never know.
The question is, would I have been that much better off if I didn’t have ADHD?
My stereo has three modes, on, off, and standby. When it’s off, it is right off. When it’s on, and when I manage to have the right combination of controls in the right place, it plays music, news, sports, and weather for me.
When it’s on standby, it is supposedly ready to fire up instantly, just turn it on and it is working.
And it is. It’s just instant. But it can’t turn itself on, it has to be done by me.
I have no idea if I’m in the autumn of my life, in ways it really feels like I am, but in other ways it still feels like spring for me.
It’s truly difficult to reconcile wondering how I’m going to finance retirement in 10 years with wondering what I should be when I grow up.
And I’m still not sure what the requirements are for grading a life. Will mine be considered a success? Or will it be a failure?
There are days when I go to work and, if the planets are aligned, I’ve eaten enough protein, and quaffed enough coffee, things fall into place smoothly.
Even if there are troubles at work, if I’m not stressed or in an ADHD fog, I can meet them and roll with the punches they bring.
These are the good days, the very good days.
And both of them were very memorable …
I’ve heard it many times … “You’ve got to much time on your hands!”
Often I hear it at the end of some project that was absolutely not necessary, was totally too time consuming, and was impossible for me not to engage in.
That’s right. I could no more stop myself than I could fly to the moon. No, I lie, I could have stopped myself, but that would not have made me more productive.
I’ve learned to gauge distractions and determine if the engagement would take less of my time than the attempt to ignore the distraction.
It’s Thanksgiving here in Canada, and soon it will be Thanksgiving in the U.S.A.
Maybe we could be thankful for something unique. What about our regrets?
What regrets you ask? Well, for starters, we forget. We get distracted. We make poor decisions. We practise deluding ourselves. And as a result, our lives suffer.
But all these things are parts of many peoples lives. True, we do these things and others to extreme. But it’s the phrase “we do these things” that is at the root of our regrets. We make bad choices, bad decisions.
I’ve discovered something. Long term plans? They suck.
I’ve also discovered that they are completely necessary.
It turns out that long term plans are the things that people use to get places, or even keep from getting left behind in life or dragged into situations they want to avoid.
But, plans have to be flexible, which to me is like not having plans. It’s more like having hopes. And if they have to be flexible, why make them? It’s easier to go with the flow if you don’t have an agenda.
ADHD is a collection of symptoms. Those symptoms aren’t all present in everyone of us all the time, just too much of the time. And they fluctuate in intensity from one person to the next.
So each of us, like the visually impaired men examining the elephant in the famous fable, have a different perception of ADHD.
That’s fair. We each know a form of ADHD. We each know our own ADHD. And no one else has our ADHD, it’s very personal, ADHD is a custom disorder, each case made exclusively for each one of us. That’s probably why we can’t take it back.
When ever I start talking to someone about ADHD, I’m always amazed at how the conversation sounds the same.
I reassure someone that they are normal, as defined by our terms, and thus not alone. And they are not, in the opinion of many of us, broken.
Invariably the conversation, as is often the case with people with ADHD, is picked up randomly over the weeks and months and restarted.
Often what precipitates the next instalment of the conversation is a casual conversation about anything else, into which I will interject a comment about something being normal for us.
Have you heard that you are more likely to have an MVA (motor vehicle accident) if you have ADHD?
Apparently it’s true. I’m not arguing for or against, but I’d love to know the statistics of that assertion.
I’d like to have those statistics broken down, too. What percentage of ADHD MVAs would be the result of distraction? How many of them would be considered to be the result of inappropriate activities? Would there be a significant number of them that were caused by poor decision making?