Archives for September, 2011
“So, what were you doing when the call came?” I’m fantasizing being asked this question while I wait VERY impatiently for a call from my prospective publisher. Don’t they know I have ADHD? This is torture. “I was plucking my eyebrows,” would be my answer. This is what I was doing when I was imagining the phone ringing with that fateful call.
Yesterday, we met the Blue Box Scavenger. My encounter with him got me thinking about those who are marginalized in society, including any of us with mental or physical challenges. That number is growing. I’m concerned about how we’re going to serve this population. How are we going to, as a society, take care of each other and ensure that the basics of life (a roof over one’s head, healthy food, etc.) are afforded to everyone? Ok, I know the goal that everyone lives with dignity in a safe home is pie-in-the-sky; but why is that? We’re smart people, can’t we figure it out? Or is it our hearts that are faulty?
It was six o'clock in the morning on recycling day. I was taking Sam out for her morning constitutional. Halfway down the block, a grey-bearded man stood holding several large bags, looking into a blue box. He began to fiddle with his pants and I thought, "Oh God, he's not going to urinate right here, is he?" (Or worse.) My dog was off-leash. I didn't want her running up to him; I admit, I was a little scared of what he’d do next and I didn’t want to get any closer. I turned, calling Samantha to come with me. I took about three steps then thought, “What am I doing? I can't do this. I can't be scared of this man. I can’t let myself be scared of him. Why should I be?”
I never used to think of myself as a gambler. I'm rethinking that. Yesterday, I appeared on a live, phone-in talk show and hung up feeling like I'd just left a three-ring circus having been stepped on by an elephant: breathless and bruised. It wasn’t the host’s fault. I’d been interviewed by her before, and I admire and respect her. I was angry with myself for not voicing my concerns, but I was winded and disoriented.
Today's Pet Peeve is about the unpredictability of life. With ADHD, not only do we have to deal with garden-variety unpredictability, we have to deal with the unpredictability wrought by our ADHD. No wonder we're stressed out and anxious. Here are a couple of examples that happened to me recently.
...now that I have your attention... Ok, I'm not cured exactly, but at least ONE of my ADHD symptoms has suddenly evaporated. Turns out, it never was a symptom in the first place. ...Let me explain. When is an ADHD trait not an ADHD trait? For the past year or so, I've been thinking I’m the slowest writer in the world. And of course, I've been blaming my ADHD.
First, a bit of housekeeping: I want to clarify that the job I was fired from recently was not the job where I disclosed my ADHD. As I continue to explore my relationship with work through the lens of ADHD, the question, “Will I ever catch up financially?” has haunted me. It's scary being 52 years old with no portfolio. Ha! Portfolio? I don't even have a piggy bank. What's a "real" job? As I've been reflecting on all of this, a friend of mine posted a link to a Forbes magazine article on Facebook. I found the article, The Ten Happiest Jobs, by Steve Denning, fascinating and validating.
I've posted about work before. Let's face it, as an adult, it's a big part of one's life. As an ADHDer, it's also a big part of one's pain (for a lot of us, anyway.) The most common advice ADHD gurus give is: follow your passion. (No, I'm not talking about stalking that cute guy that just moved into your apartment building.) This week, I got fired. Again. I'd already had 3 strikeouts, the last in my late 20's (I was an executive secretary. 'Nuff said.) I truly believed that my ADHD diagnosis and treatment would save me from another dismissal. I was wrong. And ya, it's kind of embarrassing. As always, in the hope of saving someone else from a similar misery, I'm going to share what happened. Believe it or not, there's a happy (or at least, enlightened) ending.
I was thinking about how many awards events there are out there: Oscars, Grammys, Emmys, heck, there are even child beauty pageants (ew) and an Olympics just for farmers! While a lot of us with ADHD started off with high aspirations and great expectations, by the time we're diagnosed as adults we can feel downright demoralized. Sometimes we feel like we’ll never excel at anything. This is depressing. So - how about an ADHD Olympics? At least if we had our own Olympics, we'd have a chance at a gold medal.
Ok, I admit, maybe they’re not referring to my ADHD per se. Ya, they are. You might have heard some (or all) of these, too. Didn’t you wish you had some quick response at the ready? Feel free to use any (or all) of these, any time. You’re welcome.