I used to think I was unlucky. Thought that had to be why things went wrong. The truth is that ADHD is a wicked life master at times.
As a youth, I was pretty agile. I was also pretty athletic. Go figure, a hyper-active guy who was athletic. It was, no doubt, due to my hyper-activity that I was in such good shape.
As a teenager, for instance, it was nothing for me to just decide to go for a two mile run at 11PM. And I don’t suppose I need to mention that there wasn’t much I couldn’t climb.
Ha, now that I think about it, the first day that I moved into the house I currently live in I got it into my head that I should have a close look at the roof. I was up there in about 20 seconds, there being a tree that grew about three feet from the corner of the house with a convenient branch that I could step off of.
What about the bad luck?
Sometimes we make spontaneous decisions and they turn out all right. Experience, natural ability, practiced athleticism and learned agility giving us a fighting chance. Sometimes those same spontaneous decisions don’t work out.
I used to self medicate with cigarettes and alcohol. I remember heading to town one time when I was 19 years old. I was smoking a cigarette, and I was heading to the beer store. I was driving too fast, and having lots of fun
Somehow, on a corner, I caught the cigarette that was in my hand on the windshield wiper control arm on the right side of the wheel. It flipped out of my hand and stabbed, lit end first, into my eye.
How does that add up?
I called it bad luck back then, but from here, in the post-diagnosis stage of life I can see how things added up. Thrill seeking, self medicating, and not paying attention to details.
Let me tell you, that hurt. It felt like sand in my eye, along with the burn on my eyeball and eye lid that stung like … well, like a burn anywhere else would sting. But with the addition of loss of the ability to keep my eye open long enough for it to focus.
How could it be worse?
After it happened, I didn’t seek treatment. In fact, since I was driving around without my glasses, glasses I’d needed since I was six years old and still need to this day, I probably should have at least gone home. But I didn’t.
In fact, I continued on to the beer store, with one eye compromised and one eye unaided by the glasses I should have had on, and from the beer store I proceeded to drive around while drinking the beer I’d purchased.
Weighing the options …
My need for self medication for my mind was greater than my need for help for my eye.
It took four weeks before I could hold my eye open as long as the other one without needing to blink. It took another month before it felt like there was no grit or sand in it.
I never had it looked at. Not once. Not by anyone. I wore sunglasses most of the time so that no one noticed it. And my prescription glasses were broken at the time so no one asked me why I was wearing the tinted ones.
A once in a life time sight?
Was this an isolated instance? Well, it was the only time I got poked in the eye with a lit cigarette.
It was, however, far from the only time that I thought had experienced bad luck but was able to trace the lines of ADHD symptoms and anomalies that actually lay behind the “Bad luck.”
Hindsight is 20-20, but sometimes your eye has to heal for years before you can see the light.