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Hit The Deck, ADHD In Active Settings

Just asking to be decked!
Just asking to be decked!

The word deck has been in my speech a lot lately. Some of you know that I’m a contractor when I have work. And some of you know that the word deck is a common one for contractors.

Last week I built an outhouse for friends who have a get-away property. The beginning of that type of project is to construct a deck over the (in this case, pre-dug) hole. This simply means a frame with a plywood top on which the structure will stand.

Hit the deck!

As I was constructing this part, the phrase “hit the deck” started going through my mind. When the walls were up and I started on the roof, the same line started playing in my mind again. Yes, the sub-roof sheathing is also referred to as a deck.

The phrase “hit the deck” comes from the navy, any navy. Simply put, it means that it is time to go out on deck and do your job. If you were in your bunk and your ship was suddenly under attack, you’d be expected to “hit the deck” with haste and man your battle station.

It has since been recycled to mean drop and search for cover when being attacked. But the naval meaning is the one that I dwell on.

As you might guess, when I’m working construction alone, my mind wanders around quite a bit. But part of what I was thinking was how easily I and other ADHDers I know respond to situations that need quick attention.

And that seems funny, since so-called “lack of attention” is listed as one of our symptoms.

And that seems funny, since so-called “lack of attention” is listed as one of our symptoms.

But we know that “attention deficit” is a pretty poor name for what we experience. What we really have is a lack of ability to force our attention, an “attention CONTROL deficit.”

The truth is that in a situation that demands immediate and intense attention, we’re tuned in and locked on. We almost have no choice. We thrive in the challenge, and good thing too, because we usually can’t pull ourselves away from something that is suddenly demanding our attention.

Done. What's next?
Done. What’s next?

So when I hear “hit the deck,” I’m always put in mind of my ability to deal with sudden situations that require my mental presence. And I’m always happy that I’m able to handle things like that.

Today I got a call to do a small job for another customer. What was it? They wanted their deck finished, of course.

Hit The Deck, ADHD In Active Settings

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 in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or more 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 write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about having 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

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APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2014). Hit The Deck, ADHD In Active Settings. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 23, 2019, from


Last updated: 10 Jun 2014
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