Home » Blogs » ADHD Man of Distraction » Dichotomy; ADHD Style

Dichotomy; ADHD Style

I can focus for hours on some things ...

I’m always on time! Well, almost always. I worry about being late, so I make every effort to be punctual. I get distracted like every other ADHDer, I lose focus and wander. But my anxiety always brings me back.

Punctuality is the hallmark of good manners

So my anxiety is the cure for my potential tardiness, that’s a dichotomy of sorts.

The fact that we can hyper-focus on some things and completely lose focus at other times is also an ADHD dichotomy. We’ve all heard “He can’t have ADHD, he sits in front of the TV/computer/game console for hours!” Well, yeah, he does, but he also forgets his school books/briefcase/car keys/phone/computer …

Hyper-focus vs. Hypo-focus

This isn’t as huge a contradiction as it might appear on the surface, things that excite us and grab our attention are the very things that keep us from thinking about the little things that may have a big impact on us.

Here’s an example, I love to drive, I particularly enjoy driving in challenging conditions. I wasn’t always smart enough to refrain from going out on the roads when they should be left alone, I’m older and wiser now. But if I’m caught out there, I’m always up to the challenge.

Looking forward to “hitting the road” will distract me from remembering my wallet, my phone, the tickets to whatever I’m supposed to be on the way to. I’ve heard others say that their families don’t consider them gone until they’ve been on the road for 15 minutes. Until then, they might blow back in the door to grab any number of things that they left behind. That’s me, but in my old age I’ve gotten into the habit of leaving ridiculously early to accommodate for that. I usually roll up to my destination alarmingly close to the time I’m supposed to arrive.

I regret that that freaks some of my ADHD friends out. No I don’t, I love it, ha ha.

And another thing I just remembered

Another seemingly oxymoronic situation in my world is my memory. I have vivid recall of things from throughout my life. I have memories that go back to when I was a 3 year old and possibly earlier. But, I will forget the appointment I’ve just made when my mind is busy congratulating itself for remembering to make that appointment.

There’s more

Among ADHDers there are people who must have their space organized or they cannot function, and then there are people whose space is a collection of piles and disorder, and they would be lost if someone “straightened up” for them.

There are also members of our tribe who need the emotional support of physical encounters regularly, and then there are those who can’t bring themselves to participate in that way.

Of all the oddities that having ADHD creates in our worlds, these dichotomies may be the least annoying aspects of our lives. Or maybe not … I’m of two minds on the subject.

Dichotomy; ADHD Style

Kelly Babcock

I was born in the city of Toronto in 1959, but moved when I was in my fourth year of life. I was raised and educated in a rural setting, growing up in a manner I like to refer to as free range. I live on the traditional lands of the Chippewas of Nawash in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or 7 generations and my First Nations friend's families go back hundreds of generations. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 50 and have been both struggling with the new reality and using my discoveries to make my life better. I am a freelance writer and I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about living with ADHD and one that is a daily positive affirmation that acts as an example of finding the good in as much of my life as I possibly can.

Find out more about me on my website: writeofway.

email me at ADHD Man

2 comments: View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2012). Dichotomy; ADHD Style. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 10, 2020, from


Last updated: 15 Feb 2012
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.