Archives for Learning
It is not untrue that most of the symptoms of ADHD are, for the most part, normal conditions associated with everyday life. They are the annoying things that happen, more often in the mind, that make one feel incapable, incompetent, or possibly foolish every now and then. The problem for ADHD is that these symptoms occur with such frequency and are often such spectacular examples that they have an ongoing and definitively negative effect on ones life. But there are other subtle commonalities that many of us share that are not considered symptoms because they are neither indicative, nor do they occur frequently enough.
I am a writer. Among other things, I write two blogs. I also contribute to another group blog on a regular basis. That amounts to an average of somewhere between ten and eleven posts a week. And I write other things that I've mentioned so often here I'm sure you're all sick of hearing about them. And I think I might have mentioned that I don't really get anything that resembles normal writer's block. I seem to have a knack for just sitting down and writing when I have to.
As a writer, I detest the phrase, “going forward” as a description of conditions under which certain actions will be appropriate. Why? Because it describes the one condition that will absolutely take place. “This will be our policy going forward.” Well, yes it will be. But “This will be our policy.” says exactly the same thing. But as an ADHD writer, I want to reclaim the phrase, “going forward,” and redefine it.
As a writer, I've never been plagued by writer's block. This makes me the envy of other writers I'm told. I suspect my ADHD has something to do with that. Give this mind of mine a topic or an idea and stand back. Parts may fly off, gears may slip and grind, but the engine never stalls. And that isn't to say that, given a topic, my mind will stay on track. Ask me to write about a tractor and you're liable to get a story about an entire farm. Or ask me for a general description of urban life and you might end up with a seven thousand word description of my favorite café. It's a gamble every time I open up the trunk and start pulling the words out.
I've been giving some thought to what an ADHD holiday might look like exactly. And surprisingly, I don't really know what that might be. I thought about extreme sports things. Why not go hang gliding. Zip lining looks fun too. And what about parachuting? Does the idea of getting out of a perfectly good airplane that isn't sitting on the ground appeal to you? While some of us self-medicate with the rush of such things, we don't all like that. So I can't say I'm recommending such things. I can say they're not really on my list, I've fallen out of and off of enough things already in my life, I don't need to do that sort of thing on purpose.
I got decision making skills. I'm good at it. I make snap decisions and long drawn out decisions, I can ponder over things for ever and end up making no decision until it's too late. I'm telling you, I can do it all. I can decide things before I even realize there's a decision to be made. Those are called snap decisions. I used to refer to myself as being decisive, now I'm more likely to call it reckless. These days I'm also known to recant when I make one of those decisions, one of those reckless ones. I don't always, but I have done. The thing is I feel less compulsion to stand behind a bad decision knowing that I made it in a reckless way and knowing that my ADHD is at least partly at fault for that.
There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who divide the worlds population into groups, and those who don't. Obviously, I am in the first group. There are many other criteria for dividing up the population, gender, skin pigment, political leanings, and so on. And without exception, the divisions should only be applied for the sake of statistical analysis. Never for application of service or restriction of same should populations be divided. But there are other divisions that we might study as well. There are those who
Sometimes when I write about ADHD, and I go back days or weeks later and reread what I wrote, I think, “That's not really what it's like. Well, it is, but it isn't always like that.” And I realize that ADHD is kind of like being on the ocean. One day could be calm and peaceful, the surface as flat as glass, the next could be a raging storm tossed mess. Most days would have you experiencing some kind of chop or swell or rolling waves. At ten past five on this lovely Friday morning, the pot rack in my kitchen came crashing down. That's kind of a jarring experience at the best of times, but it's much worse when you get to experience it during a deep sleep.
Can I tell you something? Just between you and I? I can? Good. Well, keep this to yourself, but Having ADHD is really weird. I mean, it isn't weird on a day to day basis. That part is more … annoying. Yeah, annoying, annoying in a “Holy crap, this having ADHD really sucks and blows big time!” annoying. 'Cause, you know, there's all the damned symptoms, and you can't watch them all, right? So while you're trying to stay focused, you end up making mistakes. When you're trying not to make mistakes, you end up procrastinating. When you're trying not to procrastinate, you end up forgetting stuff and that causes distraction and mistakes and …
Have you ever been ready for bed and found one last thing that needs to be done? Exactly, it happens every now and then. You know, you realize that you need to pay a bill online. That's important, right? Better do that. Or sometimes it's something that maybe isn't so important, but it's only going to take a second. You go to turn out the light in the living room and discover a couple of dirty mugs sitting there. You could leave them 'til morning, but you're here now. How long could it take? Easy enough to put them in