First, we’d have to define normal. What is normal? Every child knew someone they wanted to be like. It was how we learned. We watched others and saw how they were treated. Then we chose how we wanted to be treated and acted accordingly. Or tried to.
After a while we came to appreciate that it might be easier to just fit in. we reassessed and tried to become a person who was as close to the average as we could get. We called this normal.
Many times we failed, but we just assumed we needed to work harder at it. It seemed so easy for many of our peers.
Did the local hoodlums waylay me at the corner? Have I fallen to the ravages of some dread physical disease? Did someone steal my coffee?
No, none of these things happened. I got busy with many things, I thought I was doing okay as far as all the things I could do in concert with each other.
I wrote things on my calendar with a pen and then I had to go , ’cause, pen, right?
I know, I’m always busy. I’m a busy guy. It’s what I do. It’s who I am. But being a busy person is not the same as having a busy schedule.
I can wake up in a hotel on a day off in a strange town, and from the moment my feet hit the floor, I’m busy.
I thought I’d take the time to write a post about a thing I do. It has to do with time and I hope you have the time to read it.
I am always feeling like I’m falling behind. I feel like, no matter what I accomplish, there is more left to do than when I started.
As a result, I often find myself looking for the quickest, most efficient way to accomplish things. I calculate routes around town based on how many traffic lights I’ll encounter, how many stop signs I’ll have to deal with, how much traffic there will be on my chosen roads.
On Monday I looked at three of the main reasons I’m always struggling with clutter. They were distraction, hoarding, and pontification. Those were the things that seem to make creating messes and clutter an easy task for me.
There is an additional ADHD issue that makes rectifying the clutter an additionally difficult task. That thing is procrastination. More on that in a bit.
Stopping the clutter before it starts is never going to be easy for us.
Are you familiar with checking out? I don’t mean checking out of a hotel, though lord knows I could write a blog post on that easily. “Yes, Mr. Babcock, you did leave your pillow behind. .. Of course we’ll ship that to you. Would you like your wallet and teddy bear also?” er, never mind.
What I’m actually referring to is that point in time when, for whatever reason, you suddenly (or subtly) go awol. And the only proof you have of the event is that you have no recollection of the last __ (fill in the blank) minutes of your life.
Sometimes thing work out in spite of my ADHD. Not always. Okay, not often. But sometimes …
Last spring I damaged my back. I got the summer off work, which seems like a win, but it wasn’t. No pay and lots of pain. So that wasn’t an example of things working out. Although I did get to spend the August long weekend in historic Quebec. I thought that was good.
Diagnosed or not, many of us self-medicate. And we often do it with things that can be dangerous.
Marijuana comes to mind quickly whenever I talk about self-medication. But alcohol is also a common one, and of course the heavier drugs that are available don’t get left out.
And since stimulation is the thing that most of us find to be useful in combating ADHD symptoms, anything that provides that reaction will do. So dangerous behaviors or risk taking activities are big things.
It isn’t over until it’s over. And part of having ADHD is having a very skewed concept of time. “When is it over?” one might well ask. And I’d have to answer with a very firm “I don’t know!!?!” accompanied by a very resolute shrug of my shoulders.
The question is not about the life expectancy of someone with ADHD, but rather the life expectancy of the symptoms. When will I no longer be distracted from important things? When will I be able to engage in conversations without worrying about saying the wrong thing, talking too long, talking too loud? When will my symptoms stop being a problem?
What I see, in myself and others, is the idea that if we work hard enough, we’ll get better. But when I think about that, it isn’t true.
Everything I’ve been doing seems stopgap, like if I force myself to make notes about all my appointments, I’ll eventually do that automatically, without having to push. And I can make it a habit, but once I get comfortable with the idea that it is a habit, I’ll relax … and I’ll slip up.
Focus? I can focus. I have no end of attention. I focus all the time, usually on things I should be ignoring. I focus on social networking when I should be breaking open my word processor to get things written. I get distracted by the radio or the television when I should be heading out the door to get things done.
But is it distraction or procrastination … When I know I should be doing something else, am I being distracted, or is it procrastination? Or does it matter? Are they essentially the same thing?
I like grey skies and rainy days. Make no mistake, in the spring, summer and autumn, I love sunshine. But I still like those grey days. Something about them calms me, makes me feel safer, makes me feel cloaked and comfortable.
I love those days when I’m driving. I think it might be the sensation of the closeness of the sky and horizons.
I’m also more comfortable when I’m inside a house on days like that, or sheltered under a veranda or porch roof.