It’s been five years since I was diagnosed with ADHD. I am now 55 years old. So technically, I’ve had ADHD for five years.
But realistically, if one assumes that ADHD is heritable, I’ve had ADHD all my life.
From the time of my birth, when development was still ongoing, right up to the point in my life when symptoms, had they been known and understood, could have been observed, I had ADHD.
With apologies to Douglas Adams, a towel is a great thing to have, but you need more than just that.
I’ve relocated to my old haunt up north of my home where sometimes I work for a friend who is a better contractor than I. I call him “the boss.”
The boss had a job he wanted to get done, and up here in Canada, autumn is coming on. The job in question is an outdoor one. We’re replacing the roof on a park model camper trailer.
Am I too late? I hope not. I don’t like being late. I especially don’t like being too late. It’s too troubling and causes too much anxiety.
I get too late from being too easily distracted. Too often I forget to check the time.
Then I try to make up lost time by going too fast. That means too many things get forgotten, too many tasks get missed. Eventually it all becomes too much and I too get forgotten in the melee.
To those of you who noticed that I missed publishing my blog on Friday, I have a good excuse. I have ADHD. No, I’m not going to tell you that I forgot, I’ve got a better imagination than that. I’m going to tell you a wee bit of a story.
I have ADHD, and when I decide to do something, I often stick to it until it’s done. It’s called hyper-focus in some circles, perseverance in others, pig headedness in my world.
But, be that as it may, there it is. And it has stood me in good stead on many occasions. That’s the pig-headedness I’m talking about.
Firstly, I apologize for the sorry pun. But it works on so many levels … well, okay two, it works on two levels. The sorry pun is one level.
The other level is the fact that denial is the full time facilitator of procrastination.
I don’t mean that we deny that tasks exist, or that they need to be done. We’re smarter than that.
We deny that the imperative nature of a thing is … well, is as imperative as it is.
I just spent a very long weekend. Actually, I spent a long week leading up to the weekend. I mentioned I’ve been working as a volunteer, helping to get the 39th Annual Summerfolk Music and Crafts Festival ready.
Well, we succeeded. But my writing suffered. I missed my deadline last Monday, and again today. I still published, but late.
There are people who say that having ADHD makes you creative. And there are those who say that that hasn’t been proven. And there are those who say that ADHD creativity is a myth.
I say that creativity is a matter of creating. And creating requires you to be able to concentrate on the process. And concentration on a single process is what is known as focus.
Having ADHD is pretty much the opposite of being able to focus, at least on things that you choose to focus on. “But we have hyperfocus.” I hear you saying. And yes, there are times when we can zone in on something But Dr. Charles Barkley suggests that “hyperfocus” is the wrong name for that.
So, lets see. On Monday we talked about what values ADHD people might bring to the table, and I think there are lots more than the ones we covered.
Since no two of us are identical, the real point is to find the abilities that each person with ADHD has and, for want of a better term, exploit them to the advantage of all involved.
The benefits of this to the person with ADHD are great. And perhaps the least of them is gainful employment. I say this because, in my opinion, the greatest is the self worth and self esteem generated by the feeling of being an active and valued part of a functioning and successful organization.
I need to write this post quickly, before I forget what I’m writing about. Wait, is that old age that causes that?
Or is it ADHD. In actuality, I’m only 55 … but geez, even saying that makes me think “Who? Me? 55? Really?”
You see, I feel, mentally that I’m 18. Also, I feel emotionally like I’m 25. All right, all right, 22.
And while I have, in fact, a rather remarkable memory for things that have happened and for mostly useless bits of trivia, I don’t remember enough to be able to feel like I’ve lived for 55 years.
Being a rural Canadian, there are naturally some things I need. I need to see the Canadians play hockey whenever they’re playing on the world stage.
I need to be submersed in fresh water several times each summer season, and that doesn’t mean in swimming pools.
I need some snow each year, and I need some sun. It’s the way it is. I can’t help it.
Being a person with ADHD, there are other things I naturally need. I need to be challenged in order to be able to focus. I need notes in order to be able to keep track of things I’d easily forget, and sometimes still do.