Archives for Strength
ADHD is all about time. Or more correctly, it's about how we have no sense of time passing. We are poor at judging how much time something will take when we plan. We make bad decisions about how many things we can squeeze in to a specific amount of time.
And of course we forget things that we need to do. That means we often find that we haven't got enough time left for everything that needs our attention and everything that we wanted to do.
I've said that I believe ADHD can be described as a dichotomy model. And sometimes I just get frustrated by how obvious that is ... and how difficult it is to explain.
One example is reading. I'm not talking about how well or poorly I read. I don't have dyslexia, a learning disability that is somewhat more common among those of us with ADHD than among the general population. But I am talking about focusing on reading.
When I was four years old I was desperate to learn to read. So much so that when my grandmother decided to teach me (she was a retired school teacher), I thought I had died and gone to heaven.
Actually, I thought I was finally going to get my hands on some of the secrets that the grownups had, the magic of reading being one that had made me jealous of them for nearly my entire life ... up to that point.
There was no diagnosis for my mother. I'm not saying that she was undiagnosable, I'm saying she was not diagnosed.
But the evidence suggests that she could have been.
She tended to hoard things ... just a bit I'd thought. But in the early years of my life I remember my father purging stuff, often. Back then there was no garbage pickup where we lived, so you packed up your trash and hauled it to the dump yourself.
My father would cleanse the house and shed of things that my mother placed value on, without ever asking. He'd decree something to be trash and pack it off and dump it before anyone had a chance to speak on the objects behalf.
This often caused tense moments between my parents. And not to surprisingly, I was on my mother's side.
What is up with my ADHD brain? Yeah, yeah, I know, easily distracted, impetuous and impulsive, long on lists and procrastination. I know all these things, I write a blog about them.
But what I'm talking about is that thing where you put something off until the last minute, and then you burst into action ... and pull off a minor miracle.
Or the other thing where you are only half paying attention and you create something really good.
Some of the things I've written that have made the biggest impressions have been done either when I had left no time to do them in what I considered a proper way, or they were done in what I would call a haphazard or slipshod manner, or at least done without much care for the outcome.
That’s one hundred percent true. And I don’t mean the ADHD poster boy, though I could be that too. I mean, if you need someone with ADHD, I’m the candidate you’re looking for.
“Why would I need someone with ADHD?” you’re asking yourself.
“Because we get things done!” is my answer.
Don’t laugh, I’m serious. We get things done.
The trick is to put us in the right place at the right time with the right tools. That’s no more than you’d have to do for anyone else.
Fifty years ago there was no ADHD diagnosis. Now that has changed. It didn't come about suddenly, the history of the ADHD diagnosis is long and storied.
That history has included many names and descriptions over decades and centuries of documentation.
But we now have a diagnosis that is verifiable and, if not perfect, growing more accurate all the time.
I love to read. I love to write so the reading would follow you'd think, but the truth is that, of course, reading came first.
And as a child, I remember being surprised that I was expected to write my own thoughts. I couldn't imagine why anyone would want to read them.
I somehow grew up wanting to make what I wrote as interesting as possible. I resolved that, if people read what I wrote, only to find it wasn't worth the effort, they weren't going find out from me. I made every effort to craft what I wrote in a way that was worthy of the time and effort they put into reading it.
Life for me is almost always a “by the seat of my pants” experience. If I accomplish things it's always easy to describe the accomplishment as “just managed,” or “just made it,” or “just at the last minute.”
There's lots of “just” ... but little of “justice.” It's just the way it is. I am always just squeezing through the door, just under the wire, just there.
And I think that's okay. I do a lot of things, but am successful at only a small percentage of them in my opinion.
I have a new job. I'm involved with the “Arts” department of a local community online publication. And as such, I get to use it as an excuse to go to different things that one might consider artistic. Music and drama, art shows and film screenings all fall under my jurisdiction.
And so I make the supreme sacrifice and attend all kinds of things whenever I have the opportunity.
I have noticed that I miss things. I'm not oblivious to my obliviousness.
That sounds like a paradox, and maybe it is. Heaven knows we have plenty of those, right?
But I've also observed that it's the boring things that I manage to miss. Those things that seem so much like watching paint dry are the very things I can easily set to one side and, though I swear I'll get to them in time, they get missed.