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.
You know what? I’ve written 550 posts on this blog. I’ve said a lot of things. Some of them I’ve said tongue in cheek, and some I’ve quoted from other sources.
I’ve stated my opinions, but always as opinions. I’ve offered my observations, and encouraged you to share yours. I’m not always able to reply to your comments, but I try to, and we here at Psych Central approve those comments for all to see, so long as they aren’t abusive.
More than just observations, opinions and references, I’ve shared things from my life that, although having nothing to do with ADHD, have occurred in my ADHD life. I’ve shared those things to give context to my behaviour and thoughts. I felt that to be fair.
I love life. That may not come as much of a shock to anyone who reads this blog, but in case you missed it, well there it is. I love life.
I love my life, this life. I have some troubles, admittedly. I’ve seen some rough times. But I love this life.
You see, I’ve gotten to the point where I’m well aware that life is, most likely, more than half over.
I do tell people that I intend to live to be 110. And that would mean that, at 56, I’m past middle age. It should be noted that I also tell people that when I reach 110 I want to die by being hit by a bus and that I hope it knocks me completely off my motorcycle and into a courtyard near a pool of pretty young women so that I can die surrounded by beauty … but that’s another blog post for another day.
But parties are places where people with ADHD can be found.
Why do we like parties? I don’t know. Who doesn’t like parties.
Of course there’s the down side to parties. Sometimes they aren’t the kind of party that we appreciate. Personally, I’m not keen on parties where there are lots of drugs. And I don’t like parties where people are all trying to show their value, especially when it’s clear that they are selling it and don’t really believe what they’re saying.
Here’s a little something I noticed about ADHD the other day. Success can lead so quickly to failure. In fact, success can cause failure.
How is that possible is the question I asked myself when I first realized that what I’d thought was actually perfectly true.
Well, I went back over the thought line that led to this conclusion and the logic has no flaw. And it is perfectly easy to explain this to you.
And my hope is that, once I’ve explained it to you, I’ll have little trouble remembering this lesson. And once remembered, I hope to be able to recognize the situation and take steps to rectify it in my life.
I have a problem. Well, I have lots of problems, but I have one I’d like to share.
It’s my age, or rather, my ages. I have ADHD, so I have a chronological age, a physical age, an emotional age, and an age based on how much time it feels like I’ve lived.
Those ages, in that order, are 56, 86, 13, and 21.
Now the 56 can be ignored, that’s just the amount of time since my birth. I don’t look that old, and I feel much older (has anyone seen my liniment?).
If you asked me what helps me accomplish more things than anything else, I’d have to say deadlines.
If you asked me why I’m just shy of having an ulcer, I’d say deadlines.
Deadlines are what the world seems to be made of. And in a way, that’s great. Because deadlines provide the impetus to perform.
But it seems that often the deadline has to be looming, hanging over my head before it becomes powerful enough to keep me focused on the task at hand.
So the thing is, I can work better with the radio on. But I don’t work better if the radio is talking to me. It has to be music.
And it has to be music I like. If it’s music I hate, I’ll hear it, and hate it … actively. Well, in truth, I don’t really hate any music, but some of it is a bit annoying when you’re trying to concentrate. So I actively am annoyed at it.
Also, oddly enough, if it’s music I love, that will distract me too. I’ll start bopping to the rhythm and then I’ll be humming the song and then I’ll be thinking about the lyrics and one thing will lead to another and … well, I won’t be on the page I was writing or reading.
But this all points up another oddity about ADHD. If there are too many distractions I can’t concentrate, but if there aren’t any distractions, then where I am is too dull and boring and that’s painful. Too damned painful to work.
You’ve heard that brain chemistry is a big part of ADHD. And you’ve heard that brain development also plays a role.
The role that development plays is most likely related to the chemistry. The parts of the brain that do not develop adequately are most likely those parts involved with the dopamine and norepinephrine functions. Those functions would be production and use of these chemicals.
The ADHD brain is developed well enough to have some production and some use of these two chemicals. And it does not take long for the affected brain to discover how to compensate for the missing functions.
Have you heard of the butterfly effect? It’s named that because it’s the idea that a butterfly flapping it’s wings can effectively change the course of a weather system weeks later. So basically, it’s the idea that seemingly inconsequential things from earlier in a time line can cause huge divergences from forecasted outcomes.
Let me tell you a story. It might be true, or it might be false. The truth is that it’s as true as it can be given the hazy layers of the varnish of memory applied by the distant brush strokes of time.
There are folks who were born in the late fifties, and I’m one of them. I was born in Toronto. And if I’d stayed there, I might eventually have been diagnosed as a child with Minimal Brain Dysfunction.