I’ve met a lot of people who may have ADHD. Some say “I have that. Well, I’m pretty sure I do.”
Others don’t say anything, possibly not recognizing themselves as being on the spectrum.
But without a diagnosis, you really don’t have a starting point for treatment. In fact, without a diagnosis, you’re just guessing.
When I first realized I had ADHD, I was stunned. I spent long moments trying to rationalize my life up ’til this point, and other long moments trying hard to deny and disprove the theory I had managed to create. It’s a very long distance from realization to diagnosis.
There are things I don’t do well. And there are reasons for that.
No, I’m not talking about paying attention … well, not just that.
I don’t do well at running a nuclear reactor. Or, at least, I imagine I wouldn’t. I’ve never really tried, because I’ve never had any training. I suspect that it involves more than just flipping a switch.
I don’t do all that well shifting gears in big trucks and tractors that require double clutching. It’s not that I don’t know how, it’s that I don’t practice much.
I know some of you are determined to view ADHD as a gift. And I’m not going to argue with you.
I’ve also heard from some folks who say thinking of ADHD as a gift is being delusional. I can’t really argue with that either.
But the truth, as far as I’m concerned, is very different. I look at it like this. This quirky, far ranging, rapid firing, often absent, wickedly misbehaving, thrill seeking, bicycle on a bobsled track without brakes brain of mine is what I get to work with.
I don’t write a help column. If you’re looking for tips & tricks, hints to a happy life, what the kids are calling “hacks” these days, you may find a few that work for you here, but that’s not my job.
What is my job? Well, among other things, I talk about what my life is like and the things I notice that are likely part of, or at least influenced by, my ADHD.
If you read my blog and you catch yourself saying “Me too!” or “So that’s why that happens.” or even just “I understand that totally … I don’t do that, but I see how that could be.” then you get the big part of why I’m here.
I live half way between the equator and the north pole. Well, not quite, I’m a 40 minute drive from the 45th parallel.
Close enough though. I can say that “half way” thing without feeling like I’m lying. I’m not standing on the line, but I’m a stones throw from it in a global sense.
What that means is that I’m living in an area that experiences real winters. Frozen ponds, several feet of snow in a normal winter season, and daily high temperatures that are well below freezing are the things my winter days are made of.
I don’t know about you, but over the years I’ve had to learn not to open my mouth every time there’s silence. The result is that I’ve had less things to apologize for.
Note that I said less things and not no things. That’s because, even if I do pause before speaking, I don’t always make the right choice about whether or not to say something. But there are times when it helps.
In 55 years of life I’ve managed to maybe reduce the inappropriate things I say by perhaps half.
So, I realize that the title of my last post was a little misleading. What was I thinking? “In 2015, I Resolve To …”
Did I tell you what my resolutions were in that post? No. Which makes me wonder … why are you reading this one? I lied. You should have higher standards.
No, wait, don’t go away. It was a mistake … the title meant that I resolve not to make resolutions that are bound to fail.
So here it is. My last post of 2014. And this is the last day of 2014, New Year’s Eve day.
And today is traditionally the day that New Year’s Resolutions are made.
And boy aren’t we good at making those resolutions. We don’t typically wait until New Year’s to make them, either. If I had a nickel for every time I said “I’ll never do that again!” I’d be somewhat better off than I am today.
Better yet, if I had a nickel for every resolution I’ve made that I wasn’t able to keep, we’d be talking about my new car right now instead of resolutions.
So, you want to throw a party. But you have ADHD. How do you make it succeed?
Good question. I may have the answer, but let’s look at the logistics of the problem first, shall we?
When you plan a party, you want it to be memorable. This isn’t an ego thing, though for some people it could be.
The truth is, if you are going to put that much effort into something, you want your friends to enjoy it, right?
I know, if you’re like me, you have some problems. You have trials and you have stresses.
You have long bouts of cloudy brain weather followed by sunny, clear, cerebral skies when you suddenly see clearly all the things that you need to deal with, the things that have gone unseen for too long, or almost too long.
I know that you can list off times when you’ve screwed up. I know you often are working from the contingency plan that was put in place when the contingency plan for another contingency plan failed.