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.
I whistle, in the dark.
I consciously look for the light places. I search for the good. I concentrate on the things I love.
And for the most part, I’m a positive person.
I make known my happy and cheerful thoughts and those thoughts come back to me from every corner of my world, magnified and multiplied by those who appreciate hearing good news in their own worlds.
There was a time when I thought I was normal.
Okay, you can stop laughing now. What I meant was I thought I was well within the normal spectrum and that, while unique and quirky, I was still just your everyday, average guy.
You’re laughing again, I’ll wait ’til you finish …. done? Good.
Then everything changed and I realized I’d never be within that so called “normal spectrum.”
There are benefits to getting a diagnosis. For one thing, a diagnosis opens up your options for treatment.
Without a diagnosis, you might read books about ADHD and avail yourself of certain behavioural tricks and hacks.
Without that diagnosis, you also might read this blog and blogs written by others and then make use of suggestions found therein. Those would include ways you might keep your focus or means by which you might remember important things or even advice on apps, computer programs and hardware that will make your life less … you know, scattered and scrambled.
I’ve seen my ADHD symptoms fluctuate. And I’ve seen other’s symptoms fluctuate as well.
The first thing that happened to me when I was diagnosed was my thinking “Ah, that explains … everything.”
My follow up thoughts seemed to orbit around the idea that I should be able to compensate for my symptoms, now that I knew what they were, how they manifested and to what extent they influenced day to day life.
Many of us with ADHD have a little problem with addiction. Mine manifests in different ways.
The worst addiction in my life is a 40 year struggle with alcohol. I’m happy to report that the last nearly 31 years of this struggle have been without the physical influence of the stuff. That’s right, I’ll have been sober for 31 years in early December.
But I’ve had other bouts with being unable to surface from immersion in substances and behaviours. Caffeine is a big one for me. I have gone to great lengths to educate myself about the stuff, because frankly, I believe that an addiction will always need to be a part of my life.
Every time I do something, it’s an accomplishment.
Every day is filled with accomplishments from one end to the other. But there are things I set out to do that I don’t accomplish in a day.
Seems like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? It seems like one of those dichotomies of which I sometimes speak. And I guess, to some extent, it is.
So I thought I’d take a moment to explain what that means.
We are the ones who can’t find our keys because we left them in the door, or in the car, or in the suit that was taken to the cleaners.
We are the ones who go to the store for milk, just milk, and come back with two to three bags of groceries including a really great new coffee blend that you just have to try, but … sorry, we have no milk.
We are the ones who might well have too many cats because we can’t say no, even if we think about the consequences, which we won’t.