Archives for weakness
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.
It's over five years now since I was diagnosed with Adult ADHD. And just like getting over some virus that seems to hang on for ever, it's been a long slow recovery from that initial shock.
And also like that long slow recovery, I realized that the changes brought about by awareness and knowledge have made a difference only recently and only in retrospect.
Like taking a deep breath one day and realizing this is the first time you've been able to do that in a long time, I realized that I'm finally able to get through a day without thinking about having ADHD at every turn.
If you have ADHD you know that we have issues with time perception and time management. And If you read my blog with any sort of regularity you know that I often talk about that.
And the truth is, that I'm not running out of discussion about ADHD and time ... but I am getting low on clever blog post titles.
Today's post is about being busy. And that's what's happening in my world. I'm having a busy June, A busy Spring and a busy 2015.
You commit to a task. It's in the future. You think “I've got lots of time.” and you file that thought away.
And that thought, “I've got lots of time,” is the thought you think every time you think about the task you've committed to. You don't think about the date the task needs to be done by, and you don't think about today's date, and you certainly don't think about calculating the difference between these two undetermined dates.
Then one day, you realize that the thought “I've got lots of time.” isn't actually the date of the deadline. So you look up that date and ... if you're lucky, it isn't yesterday or last week, it's just the day after tomorrow. THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW?!??
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.
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.