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Pay Attention Now …

lemon shortbread square
Squaring off against decision making.

ADHD is an acronym for Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, and is the latest moniker for what was not too long ago called ADD, or Attention Deficit Disorder.

And I’ve said repeatedly that we do not have a deficit of attention, but rather a deficit of attention control.

Even people who seem to be in outer space are paying attention to something. Sorry that it isn’t you or even a part of your reality, but it is real to them.

How real is your imagination?

In the worlds inside  of our minds we have built grand castles and the wonders that reside there are beyond the imagination of those who would snap their fingers in our faces and drag us back to this boring three dimensional world that everyone else lives in.

And part of the wonder that is in the clouds where our heads are floating is that we have discovered that our internal worlds are exactly the way they should be. And if they are found to be lacking, we change them.

Problem(s) solved

In our minds, we often contrive unusual situations for shear entertainment purposes, but then we let those simulations run. We stop them and make changes, and run them some more. We even rewind them and run them again with different parameters.

And when we’ve done that and learned from that, sometimes the boring old three dimensional world catches up a bit and mimics what we’ve already seen.

And then it happens …

That’s when we, who have seen this situation before, react as if we had seen the future. And people point and say, “Wow, that person with ADHD really thinks outside the box!”

And we say, “Wait! There was a box … ??!?”

Decisions hurt

Recently I’ve become aware of how difficult it is to make a decision responsibly. I will never admit this to anyone but you, but more often than not, I make a decision in under five seconds and then try to decide how long I should wait to reveal my decision so that it looks like I gave it some serious thought.

But there are situations where I am aware that one needs to think things through. And lately I’ve been working on a new coping mechanism to help me with that.

Knee jerk reaction

The thing I’ve been trying to do is play devil’s advocate for my own good.

When I’m faced with a decision, my first reaction is to make the decision based on what I think is the most unusual choice. Why? I have no idea. Some misplaced sense of what it is to be cool is what I suspect to be the driving force behind those decisions.

New knee jerk

But lately I’ve been trying to follow that with “Okay, that’s a possibility, but what if I chose the other option, what would that mean?”

I know, freaky, right? It’s like I’m thinking responsibly.

I am well aware …

… that my mind and my heart are still looking for the shortcut to immediate gratification, but once I’ve made myself consider options and ponder penalties and discuss with myself the ramifications of different choices, I’m on the road to responsibility.

It’s kind of like making other drivers notice motorcycles. At night, they see the headlight, and they wonder if it’s a car with one light blown out, or a bike, and I, on the bike, don’t care because I know they have started thinking about me and so they’ll do the right thing.

Lesson learned …

And coping accomplished. I don’t do this all the time, deciding which treat I want at the bakery would be a long drawn out affair if I applied this mechanism to every decision I have to make. So I’m still having to decide which decision is important.

But that’s another topic, for another day, and I can’t decide which day that will be.

Right now … I just want a square.

Pay Attention Now …

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. (2017). Pay Attention Now …. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 6, 2020, from


Last updated: 30 Aug 2017
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