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.
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.
Last night I sang. I am a member of a choir of over 100 voices, and last night I sang. We did a show, in an old church that’s been turned into a community centre. We did it last night, and I sang.
I didn’t sing a solo part, I was part of the mid range group. In a more formal choir it would likely be referred to as the tenors.
We didn’t do seasonal music, it was more contemporary. It was meant to be cheerful, uplifting, celebratory, but not in celebration of anything formal.
Just what is ADHD? I know, there’s a clinical definition. But writing it out here would likely take up the whole post.
There’s examples of development shortfalls and effects that must persist, and situations that produce certain overwhelming feelings and … well, it does go on.
But maybe there’s a shorter way to say it. Or maybe it isn’t shorter, but more understandable. Maybe it would help if I gave some examples of what ADHD is.
I can maintain my focus. I don’t need much to maintain my focus. All I need is a list and an audience.
The night before last I had a job to do. I was the Master of Ceremonies for a concert. I welcomed everyone to the show, made some announcements, and introduced the opening act.
Then I made a few more announcements, and introduced the headliner. All the while I moved people on and off stage, kept track of time, announced the intermission, announced the end of intermission.