I’ve mentioned this more than once, but something I just read has made me aware of it again.
ADD should actually stand for Attention Dichotomy Disorder … we’ll just drop the “H” for now, ‘kay?
What am I talking about? Well, nearly every aspect of ADHD, almost every symptom we have, has mitigating circumstances.
For instance …
Well, for starters, lets take the old messy desk syndrome, all the piles of papers and things as an example. And of course the mess on our desks actually grows to take in the whole office or house if left unchecked. And we seem to like it like that. We can function. We almost always know where things are.
The paradox is that if we put something away, either we have to put it away in exactly the right place, or we lose it, probably forever, or at least until we’ve replaced whatever it was or ’til we no longer need it.
If you’re going to put it away …
I have this thing where my kitchen, or any other room in my house, can be a disastrous mess, and I’m okay with that. And if you want to help me clean up, I’m okay with that. And I’ll even help.
But don’t, under any circumstances, put things in the wrong places just for the sake of cleaning up. I can’t deal with that.
My head will explode!
If it isn’t out where I can see it, and it isn’t where it’s supposed to be, I’ll get overwhelmed.
Just calm down …
And no, I can’t just calm down. I’m not actually overwhelmed by the thing being missing, I’m overwhelmed by the fact that I am trying not to lose my focus on what I’m doing, and I can’t do that thing I’m doing until I find the thing you put in the wrong place.
I know that if I have to look for it I’ll be distracted soon enough by something else and I’ll be off track and gone to do whatever else I’ve discovered needs doing. I’m actually overwhelmed by the knowledge that I am about to lose focus, get distracted, and lose my place, and there is nothing I can do about it because I have to stop what I’m supposed to be doing and parade an endless stream of distractions in front of my eyes while looking for …
What was I looking for?
Exactly. What was I looking for?
The paradox I’m talking about in this post, if not yet self evident, is that I am trying hard to focus, and I can see the distractions coming, yet I cannot stop them from rerouting my day.
So add that one to my list. And if you’re helping me clean up and you don’t know where something goes, just ask me. Or better yet, put it back where you found it and let’s just go ride bikes. I’m okay with the mess. Really I am.