A paradox, and one to spare ...

A paradox, and one to spare …

ADHD enjoys a certain mystery among those who choose not understand it. If those people believe at all that it exists, they can’t see what goes on inside our heads. And it seems that they’d rather not know. They therefore think it’s all distractions and random associations.

And, truly, there is a lot of that, I have to admit, but we are so much more than that. We are complex, much more than just collectors of unfinished projects, pilers of things, missers of appointments. We are the ones who see the things that others can’t in the places others aren’t drawn to look. We are the ones who feel a tree’s strength and softness at the same time, the ones who hear the river laughing at the rocks it tumbles over. We are the ones who feel a kindred love for small birds who dash around from twig to terrace and cannot sit still for more than a few seconds.

What a pair of docks!

We make the world crazy by being enigmas that people can’t figure out.

We are the ones who are truly both coming and going at the same time. We make the world crazy by being enigmas that people can’t figure out. One day we will sit and read for hours on end, the next day we will begin a hundred things and finish none.

And we have documented dichotomies as well. Below are five rather well known ones, well known to most of us, at least.

The big five: Paradoxes of ADHD:

  1. Stimulants calm our minds: The reason for this is not a stretch to understand, Stimulant medication acts on the part of our brain that isn’t functioning optimally. This causes that part of our brain to work, if not perfectly, at least much better than without such medication.
  2. Messy or neat, but never in between: A great example of this is my kitchen. If the clean dishes are in the sink and dishwasher, I don’t care. And if there not clean, I’m only marginally bothered by that … naw, I’m not really bothered by dirty dishes at all. But if they’re clean and put away, they’d better be in the right place or I get cranky. People hesitate to put stuff away in my kitchen, not because they think it would insult me, but because they fear reprisal for a misplaced item.
  3. Constantly late/perpetually punctual: My ADHD driven anxiety makes me punctual, my ADHD memory makes me forget appointments altogether. So I’m either on time or not coming. Other ADHDers are intent on organization and this spills over into there calendar. They live by it and manage their days in a compulsive way.
  4. Anger – Not: I’m quick to anger; then quick to forgive, to let it go. I understand it, I can explain it, but other people don’t always get what I’m saying. It works like this. Transitioning is a difficult thing for an ADHDer. We do not come willingly from a focused state and dislike having to be immediately immersed into something else. We know what kind of effort will be required to return our focus to the task at hand. The result is a snapping anger that is, usually, uncharacteristic of us. Once done ranting about being disturbed, we quickly settle into our scattered and easily distracted ways and lose our anger in the whirl of twenty new thoughts.
  5. Meditation, only in motion: I know of many ADHDers for whom this is true. I must be doing something that I can do mindlessly in order to be mindful, I can only meditate if my mind is partially occupied with … walking, chanting, driving, Tai Chi. I know of one ADHDer so far, who says she has been able to sit perfectly still and empty her mind. She says it was difficult, and it didn’t last long, but bless her, she’s trying. Maybe she can show us the way.

That’s a wrap; not!

So that’s it, a list of the first five contradictions of ADHD. Probably the first five of five thousand, but I don’t have space here for the complete list.

What are your paradoxes? I’d love to hear the ones that are most prominent in your lives if you’d care to share.