Archives for weakness
When my day is all about one thing, when I have just one job to do, when there's nothing around to distract me ... I get sluggish.
Nothing can take my mind from sharp, bright and quick to dull, dark, and struggling like being stuck doing just one thing for an over extended period of time.
But the good thing is that, for me, the cause would seem to be the cure.
My big confession today is that I love math. I didn't do well learning the multiplication tables, and to tell the truth I still have to recalculate the addition of a single digit to many numbers. But mathematics I love.
You'd think that I would have been terribly frustrated, but what happened was really quite simple. I learned to make calculations very rapidly, so although I couldn't count on the learned knowledge that 77 and 8 were 84, I could count eight up from 77 and find that in fact, it's 85. And I could do that quickly enough that I seemed to be rather slow, but not incapable.
What I loved about math was that, while I couldn't seem to file all those addition and multiplication results away for instant recall, I damned well understood when to do what and could figure out how to solve a problem faster than most. So by the time others got to the actual calculations I was already well ahead.
Yes they would pass me usually, but I'd still finish. And I knew I was okay.
You know that there are millions of horses out there, hundreds of breeds, dozens of colors and markings.
Horses are cool because people talk about them by their markings and color. Palominos, paints, buckskins, pintos, bays, every one is a mark of distinction. And who doesn't love horses? Right?
I did own a palomino once that seemed to have some weird ideas that made me question his intelligence, but I treated him as well as the other horses in the stable and possibly a smidgen better since he was my ride.
When we differentiate among ourselves by color, however, it usually isn't for positive reasons. We're never as good to ourselves as we are to horses in that respect.
So there's this website called ADHD Kids Rock. It's a place where kids can read about Jeff Rasmussen's determination to succeed in the face of ADHD, and where they can also engage, discuss and learn about ADHD and how it affects their lives and the lives of others.
And while this is a blog about adult ADHD, the truths are that none of us became adults without first being kids, that many of us have kids who are dealing with ADHD (and wouldn't it be nice to give them more of a boost than we had), and hey, who among us is that grown up?
So I support this website and admire what Jeff has started out to achieve, and I will do whatever I can to help out there. And one way I can help is to promote the place.
Art belongs in the ADHD life. It is intrinsic to the distracted, eclectic and rapid life of people with ADHD. And even though some of us are intently devoted to work and callings that are not considered artistic in nature, the truth is that we bring art to those things and find art in them as well.
At one time, my work was the work of a computer programmer. If you were looking for something that seemed to be the antithesis of art, computer programming seemed to be it.
And yet, there is a beauty to well written code. Like choice of medium, the subtleties of a programming language manipulated by a skilled coder could appear to have a beauty that could be appreciated. Constructions of procedures and functions could be observed to be blatantly sublime to the minds of other coders and systems analysts.
Let me tell you a little story. I could start this story with the words “You all know that I have ADHD, right?” But I think I'll just tell the story and you consider the impact of ADHD as you read it.
I do all kinds of freelance work. I work for a local online magazine called owensoundhub.org. I write for them, and for Psych Central, and I write freelance articles and copy for websites. And I have photographs available for people to use for various purposes.
And last Thursday I decided I needed some stock photos of some fire damage that had occurred in my city as a result of an arson spree. One of the places that the arsonists had tried to light up, but that extinguished itself, was on my list.
I'm on vacation. Yes. Right now. I'm sitting in a chair, looking out over a vast expanse of open water, my feet up, my soul filled with contentment, my mind … well, never mind what my mind is doing.
So why am I writing a blog post while I'm on vacation? Because … well ... because, shut up, that's why.
Honestly, I don't know why. I could have taken the week off and caught up next week. Or I could have scheduled a post or two in advance and been free of the burden of upcoming deadlines.
But instead, I just thought, “Lets see what happens.”
Do you remember school? Did you do okay or did you have trouble? Or did you have trouble but still manage to do okay?
I had trouble. There were times when I did okay in spite of the problems that ADHD causes, but I'm certain that most of those times were because teachers either rolled me on to the next grade to be someone else's problem, or they took the time to assure themselves that I knew the lessons even if I hadn't bothered to do the work.
And what was I doing when I wasn't doing the lessons? Well that would depend on the grade.
Memory is a complicated system. It involves several parts of the brain. These parts are engaged in memory creation, storage, and recall. Failure in any one of those systems results in a failure of memory.
People with ADHD are known to have memory issues. Are these issues related to creation, storage, or recall? Good question.
I suspect that recall is not the issue, though I can't be sure. My reason for believing recall isn't the problem is simply that my mind seems engaged in recall constantly. It recalls things all the time, things I don't even need to think about.
I know lots of people who might well qualify for an ADHD diagnosis. But, for various reasons, they don't have one.
Some aren't aware that they have ADHD, some are aware that they don't want to have ADHD, some deny its existence even in the face of them having been able to write the list of symptoms just by writing down the things they would change about themselves and their lives … if they could.
And who am I to tell them they need to admit, accept, get tested? Who am I? I'm no one.