I often tell people, when age is being discussed, that I’m 70 physically, 53 chronologically, 29 intellectually and 12 emotionally. I’ve wondered if there was a formula to calculate my virtual age, my ADHD age, and today I decided to create that.
What? Why would I call that your ADHD age?
Well, let me explain … First, I’m 53. That’s just the fact. I’ve lived that many years, and while I do agree with people who say you are as young (or as old) as you feel, I have lived through those 53 years and experienced the events that have occurred in that time.
They have, to some extent, shaped my life, my character. That’s my actual age, so it is a number that has to be factored in when calculating my ADHD age.
I’ve also become aware that, emotionally, my ADHD makes me different from others. So that 12 does have to be accounted for somewhere in my math. It’s the extent to which my 53 years of actual life have been wasted in my growing up.
… why I fall in love in an instant, why I’m hurt by the slightest of slights.
To put it another way, in spite of my years of experience and learning, 12 is the number that defines how childish I am. An age that explains why I fall in love in an instant, why I’m hurt by the slightest of slights. I try hard not to let on that I’m in love, or that I’ve been hurt, but I’m sure it shows about as obviously as if I wore a sandwich board sign that said “Fallen again” or “Hurt and Bleeding!” So we have to work the 12 in for my calculations, you’ll have to come up with your own number.
The next age I define by the way my mind races. You’d think it would have slowed down by now, but no. It goes jetting through thoughts like an air plane through cumulonimbus clouds. At 53 my mind is acting like it’s 29, it leaves my body behind as it disappears around the next corner in a blur of scattered thoughts and ethereal distractions.
Thus, in my opinion, I feel that the age I perceive my mind to be should also be considered when calculating my ADHD age … er, that’s what I think, sort of. So 29 is it, for me. What’s your number?
Battle worn and battered
A life of bad decisions both in taking care of my body and in doing things that are detrimental to the poor old battered thing has left its scars. If my ADHD age is to be something that accounts for all the aspects of this disorder, I cannot discount the ravages my adventurous ways have visited on me. When I was a child, my mother would often say that my feet hit the top of the stairs at a dead run before my eyes were fully open. Now there are mornings when I wish it were bedtime before my feet hit the floor, yes, even before my eyes are open.
Some days I feel like I’ve seen the best part of a century and spent another decade or two besides, but I’ll be conservative in my estimate of what my physical age is and put it at 70.
So what’s the formula?
I’m thinking that I need to add these numbers together and divide by 4, the number of ages we’re using to calculate. That will result in an average of the numbers, an average ADHD age. So, the math …
(12 + 29 + 53 + 70)/4 = 164/4 = 41 …
well, I guess that’s not so bad. But I do have to admit that there could be a substantial margin of error here, I’m thinking that, due to our terribly poor self awareness, poor meta-cognition, I could be out in my estimation by as much as 15 or even 20 percent, that would mean that my ADHD age could be anywhere from 33 to 49.
Oh well, I have a hard enough time keeping track of my age, maybe I should just stick with … how old did I say I was?