Wait, what?

Distraction is my worst enemy. If you have ADHD, it’s likely yours as well.

In fact, calling this thing “Attention Deficit” is kind of a joke. I pay attention, I pay lots of attention … I just usually pay it to the distractions.

So instead of calling it Attention Deficit, it should be Distraction Abundance. It should be DAHD.

The wrong focus

So the wrong name leads to a focus problem. And the problem isn’t with our focus, it’s with the focus of others.

People who might otherwise be understanding and compassionate are mislead into thinking we can’t pay attention. And because we get distracted, that’s exactly what it looks like to the rest of the world.

If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck …

If that’s how it looks, does it really matter what they think? My answer is yes.

We have an increased rate of MVAs (Motor Vehicle Accidents) apparently. I’ve had one or two in my life. But they never occur when conditions are bad. In fog or in rain or snow I seem to be a more attentive driver.

And … ?

And the point is that there are conditions and circumstances that negate my so called “Attention Deficit.” If you remove distractions, or increase the uniqueness of the situation I need to pay attention to, bingo, I pay attention.

And if that’s possible, where does that attention come from? I clearly do not have a deficit.

So … ?

So if I am to be judged based on a label, I’d damned well like that label to be valid and descriptive of the actual situation.

Here’s an example. People with ADHD should most likely not be bus drivers. The first week or two would likely go pretty good.

And then?

Eventually we’d become bored with the routine of the thing and we’d start missing stops. In a state of daydreaming about more exciting things it is conceivable that we might end up off our route, on the way to a coffee shop or grocery store that we were thinking about. Or we’d drive by stops where we were supposed to let people out.

So one might surmise that public transit isn’t the job for us. And yet, there is a vast difference between driving a bus and driving a taxi. No fixed route, new pick ups and destinations every day, possibly changing hours and regions on a regular basis. Being a taxi driver involves more structure and less routine.

On the water …

Last night I was out in a dragon boat. No wait, I’m not being distracted, this fits. I was the helmsman, my first real shot at doing that job. It went well.

Like driving a taxi, there was no fixed route. I mean, there really wasn’t any route at all. But there were things that needed my attention.

And they constantly changed

Yes, they did. And yet, like driving a taxi, they also stayed pretty much the same. There is structure to the situation, but not so much routine.

So if you want to know how to make us work well in certain situations, I’ll tell you.

Take away distractions … or make what we’re doing more distracting, more challenging. Either way works.