ADHD Has Stolen My Books
Ha. That is a blatant falsehood.
But I will not apologize for it, because, while it is untrue in every literal sense (see what I did there?) it is basically the truth of my situation.
When I was a child, I was taught to read at an early age by a brilliant woman who I am proud to say is part of the gene pool from which I emerged.
As a former school teacher, my grandma had lots of experience teaching all kinds of students in a one room school house with no other resources to turn to outside of those four, very close walls.
And there were students like me there …
So she learned how to best teach us on the firing line, not from a manual on ADHD, Learning disabilities, and education.
And long before I had a diagnosis, long before there was a diagnosis, and even long before I was in school myself, she taught me to read. And I discovered the greatest distraction ever.
I discovered …
… the written word. And yet, I still maintain that ADHD has stolen all my books.
And before we go any farther, I do not mean that I have put them in a pile somewhere for safe keeping and have forgotten where that is.
The pile would be bigger than anything else I own. I’d surely notice it eventually. 😉
Meanwhile, back in the past, in my family, we had the most wonderful, unwritten, never stated, but totally understood policy that anyone who was reading was to be considered to be busy and therefore it would be rude to disturb them. That meant that if I was reading I would not be asked to run an errand or do a chore unless it was absolutely necessary.
And I love reading
I’m not fast at it, I tend to reread things in short bits because my mind can actually think of other things while I am reading and I miss stuff and have to go back over it. But still I love it.
And it brings me great pleasure. The fact that I can disappear into an alternate reality and just experience it from the safety of the pages of a book is like an addiction.
Then along came ADHD
Since my diagnosis, I recognize so many aspects of my life for what they are. And I cannot see reading as anything less than hyper-focus and distraction.
And the truth is that it is nothing less than that, but the real truth is that it is so much more.
So why not read?
I do. But I also feel guilty about it. I know there are things that need to be done. And I know that the book will always be there waiting for me. And I’ve learned that pleasure gained from distraction makes me feel guilty now that I recognize my symptoms.
And still I read. But some of the joy has gone out of it for me, thanks to my ADHD and my recognition of it.
I know that reading is self improvement. I know that as surely as writing is valid work, reading is also a valid use of my time. It isn’t my perception of the task, it’s my enjoyment of it that makes me feel guilty.
So I am now faced with the task of combining my understanding of ADHD and my love of reading and coming to a compromise that will allow me to accept that the distraction of reading and the hyper-focus that can ensue is in reality, a very good thing, even though I’ve been working so hard to avoid both of those things.
So hey, ADHD, give me back my books. Right now!
Babcock, K. (2017). ADHD Has Stolen My Books. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 18, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/adhd-man/2017/05/adhd-has-stolen-my-books/