It happened at a job interview. I found myself feeling clueless about eye contact: how much was too much? I was trying to pay attention to what the interviewer was saying, and ended up worrying that I was staring like an expressionless sociopath so I looked away – just when she asked me a question. I’d been vacillating between trying for a neutral expression, hoping to look attentive and reflective, and occasional smiles, which I was sure were apropos of nothing, ill-timed, and making me look even more nuts. I couldn’t help it. I had no idea whose face I was using, or how it got there, but it wasn’t mine.
Surprisingly, I got the job.
Nearly a decade has passed, and there have been few comparably cringe-worthy incidents.
Until now, that is.
I’d been sitting at my desk, spinning my wheels, unable to focus all day. That’s when I remembered Julie’s yoga class.
I might as well go, I thought; I’m not getting anything done here.
At 5:45 p.m., I threw my thick blanket in the car and off I went to Harrison Park. It was a perfect summer’s evening, with a blue sky, a gentle breeze, and a few clouds to keep us cool. I was glad to get away from my computer and knew that if I didn’t force myself to go to class, I might sit well into the evening, accomplishing nothing and becoming frustrated and despondent in the process.
As I drove the winding, descending road into the park, I began to relax, before the yoga even started.
Recently, I had the opportunity to re-read Conversations with God: Book 3 by Neale Donald Walsch. In his third and concluding book of the CWG trilogy, Walsch recommends a book written by Thom Hartmann as further reading. I wondered if this was the same Thom Hartmann who’d written Attention Deficit Disorder: A Different Perception, one of the first books I’d read about ADHD shortly after my diagnosis.
Hartmann’s book is a favorite of mine, one I’ve cited often, so I was eager to learn if The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight: The Fate of the World and What We Can Do Before It’s Too Late, the sociopolitical treatise recommended by Walsch was written by the same author.
Hartmann, known for his revolutionary “Hunter/Farmer Hypothesis” of ADHD, stands out from the pack. His ADHD classic is innovative, his hypothesis reflects a fresh, bold approach, and one that resonates with me.
Before you get all judgy and shout at me, this post is not about sex. I’ll put that out there right now because believe it or not, I alluded to a Beatles song once in a post title and a reader got his nose out of joint because my post had nothing to do with the Beatles or with the song and he thought I was misrepresenting myself, trying to lure readers into my blog. Can you Imagine that? I just thought I was using a clever play-on-words.
Ok. I wasn’t just using a clever play-on-words. To be honest, the post was at the beginning of my blogging career and I might have been a tad anxious to attract readers, but jeepers. I did think it was clever. It taught me a lesson, and I’ve never done that again. But that’s why I thought I should announce immediately that this post isn’t about sex. So, if you’re looking for an ADHD romp through the haystack kind of tale, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
I was going to search for a few hyperlinks for you (I really am all about giving value to my blog readers) but then I thought the better of it and decided I didn’t want to be spammed by sex stuff in perpetuity. This is a new laptop (double entendre not intended) it’s clean, and I don’t want to dirty it up.
Besides, I’m not feeling well.
I just realized why social media can be so draining. I’ve been kidding myself that the only harm of spending too much time online is that it’s a colossal time waster and gateway to procrastination and avoidance. I just realized the deeper harm lurking beneath the surface.
The whole Facebook experience is an emotional minefield and I didn’t even know it.
Every time I login and there’s no personal message I die a little. If a cherished post isn’t liked or even noticed it’s a letdown. If others hijack a comment stream I feel steamrollered. If 92 people in a private group have responded to a comment I’m overwhelmed and completely incapable of joining the fray even if I want to. Then I feel irrelevant and disengaged. I think, Why am I even a member of this group if I’m not contributing?
One of the things I’ve heard the most over the past decade of working in the ADHD field is that it’s extremely difficult to find good information, support, and resources especially in regard to adult ADHD.
I’m sharing a post-event report with you of our recent DOC Institute screening of A Mind Like Mine – An Intimate Portrait of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in the hopes that you’ll consider hosting an event like this in your own community.
This free event in Toronto, Ontario consisted of a documentary screening followed by a panel discussion moderated by yours truly. The film covers an amazing amount of ground on adult ADHD while being a gripping drama that takes you on an emotional roller coaster – just like ADHD itself.
Last Monday I had the pleasure of speaking with author Melissa Orlov about her latest book, The Couple’s Guide to Thriving with ADHD, co-authored with Nancie Kohlenberger. If you missed the webinar, here’s a truncated version of our conversation. To hear our conversation in its entirety, check out Psych Central’s Youtube Channel.
Zoë: You talk a lot in your book about changing yourself rather than your partner. Do you find that partners without ADHD think that it’s all the ADHD… Do you get that push back or grief from non-ADHD partners?
Melissa: I do. And it’s funny, you know, when people go in for therapy inevitably they go in and say, “Please fix my partner.” [she laughs] I mean, everybody does it.
The downside is when you have the label of ADHD the non-ADHD partners sometimes – often – feel quite justified when they say, “Hey, please fix my partner” because they sort of feel that’s what needs to happen. And what they don’t realize is that it’s really always both partners. …And when they start to work in tandem they really start to make progress. It’s wonderful.
Yesterday we covered the first three of seven dirty little ADHD secrets.
Draw near. Shhhhh… remember, I’m not supposed to be sharing these.
Let’s keep this between you and me, ok?
Don’t worry, we don’t believe it either. Until we’re diagnosed, that is. You might be astonished to learn how many clinicians see ADHD teens or young adults in their office lamenting how dumb they are. Yet when an IQ test is administered they test, for example, in the 92nd percentile or higher (that is, they outperform 92% of the population).
Even if confronted with evidence of higher-than-average smarts, it’s unlikely we’ll lord it over you; we’ve had decades to feel inadequate, and no level of IQ will save us from feeling like a dufus at a party. Intelligence comes in many forms, and especially if we’re late-diagnosed, we’ll have a long way to go before we catch up on emotional, social, or many other kinds of intelligences.
I’ve read a lot of books written about ADHD by people who don’t have ADHD. Like other groups, it’s amazing what we talk about when it’s just us.
Some might see me as a traitor, giving away these dirty little secrets, but somebody’s got to do it. Besides, so far they’re just my hypotheses. I’d love to see some research to back up my observations.
The one thing that’s not a secret is that the more we understand ADHD, the better we’ll be able to help ourselves and help and support others.
See if any of these strike a chord for you.
Sure, you’ve been reading ADHD blogs, and you’ve got your subscription to ADDitude Magazine. You’re a webinar junkie and you’ve been using ADD Crusher’s instructional videos to crush your ADHD. You’ve read the ADHD classics and all the latest, including ADHD According to Zoë – The Real Deal on Relationships, Finding Your Focus & Finding Your Keys.
But do you really know as much as you think you do about ADHD?