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 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.
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.
It’s Thanksgiving here in Canada, and soon it will be Thanksgiving in the U.S.A.
Maybe we could be thankful for something unique. What about our regrets?
What regrets you ask? Well, for starters, we forget. We get distracted. We make poor decisions. We practise deluding ourselves. And as a result, our lives suffer.
But all these things are parts of many peoples lives. True, we do these things and others to extreme. But it’s the phrase “we do these things” that is at the root of our regrets. We make bad choices, bad decisions.
I’ve discovered something. Long term plans? They suck.
I’ve also discovered that they are completely necessary.
It turns out that long term plans are the things that people use to get places, or even keep from getting left behind in life or dragged into situations they want to avoid.
But, plans have to be flexible, which to me is like not having plans. It’s more like having hopes. And if they have to be flexible, why make them? It’s easier to go with the flow if you don’t have an agenda.
Have you heard that you are more likely to have an MVA (motor vehicle accident) if you have ADHD?
Apparently it’s true. I’m not arguing for or against, but I’d love to know the statistics of that assertion.
I’d like to have those statistics broken down, too. What percentage of ADHD MVAs would be the result of distraction? How many of them would be considered to be the result of inappropriate activities? Would there be a significant number of them that were caused by poor decision making?
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.