Archives for April, 2011
I don't know about you, but for me, there's been one thing missing in all the work I've seen in the ADHD field: Success stories. Or perhaps I should phrase it, "the story leading to an ADHDer's success." I see a lot of work out there by the Hallowells, the Matés, the Hartmanns, the winners of the ADHD world - but how did they get there? What were their challenges?
Structure Versus Routine: which is better for someone with ADHD? For many years, I've worked with the following adage taped in a prominent area on my desk: “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” In spite of this reminder, somehow, I always felt like I was treading water, getting nowhere and exhausting myself. Then I started to sink.
In my last post I mentioned having interviewed Michele Novotni, Psychologist, Author, and AD/HD Coach. Novotni described how people with ADHD can have trouble doing things that others do on autopilot. I've been mulling over that "autopilot" state and what it means. I realized the truth in what she said, in that I've always felt that the things that others take for granted seem completely foreign to me, like getting to work on time while managing a spouse, kid, and housework - and still feeding yourself AND remembering to wear pants (I literally almost walked out the door without pants on one day).
This week I experienced a new development in the “whether or not to come out with ADHD at work” scenario. My boss was under a lot of stress. At one point he got so angry with me his face went red. While I didn't take it personally, for the first time since my disclosure of living with ADHD, I began to wonder if I'd done the right thing. Up ‘til that moment, things had been going well. I felt that my relationship with my boss had improved. Suddenly, I found myself thinking, have I set myself up for disaster?
I’ve been thinking a lot about the fickle nature of focus. Dr. Russell Barkley, Ph.D., author of Taking Charge of Adult ADHD, describes ADHD not as a deficit of attention, but as a problem with regulating attention. I get that. Hello? I'm over here... For example, I went to visit my mom the other weekend. We rarely get to visit, as she lives so far away. Not 30 seconds into our visit, she hopped back up again. I watched, riveted, as she reached out for a pot of white tulips on the coffee table in front of us. She proceeded to move the pot about an eighth of an inch to the left. For absolutely no reason.
WARNING: This blog post contains unbridled ranting… Filters down! I just ranted about our Prime Minister on Facebook. ("Prime Minister" is Canadian for “President,” although I must say when Stephen Harper was elected I called him our Vice President, because he was pretty cozy with then-American President George Bush. Harper's still our Prime Minister, poor lonely guy… I have no idea WHO he takes his cues from nowadays…)
It’s been an exhausting, but intriguing, week. I spent today doing inventory at the store where I work part-time. My joke that they should hide Easter eggs next year didn’t go over well with my boss, but other than that, it was a pretty good day. (I thought it was pretty funny, and so did my supervisor. Then again, she wouldn’t be the one buying the chocolate…).
April Fool's day got me thinking about the popular image of The Fool card in the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck (first published in 1909). Take a look at the image. Is that me, or what? Walking in the sunshine, tra-la, tra-la, bouncy dog beside him (or her - I mean, really, that looks more like me in a mini dress than a guy, but whatever), so distracted by the heron lazily thwump-thwumping across the sky that he's about to step over the edge of a cliff. He's picked a flower, showing an appreciation of aesthetics and nature, and a blithe disregard for the "Don't Pick the Flowers" sign. He's not a vandal; he just didn't see it.