I have ADHD, I’ve mentioned that, right?
And I’ve told you all about instant gratification being a driving force for those of us with this affliction? If I haven’t, I’m telling you now, it is.
And that need for gratification to occur now is also related to our sense of time. In ADHD time there is only two times that exist, now and not now. And why would anyone want to be gratified “not now?”
Now this instant gratification stuff is the driving force behind our snap decision making. And snap decisions come in two flavors. Well, three actually, there’s inappropriately wrong, absolutely wrong, and accidentally right.
The real ADHD
But ADHD is becoming more understood with each passing day, the idiots touting its invalidity not withstanding. And so we are learning to deal with things and learning well.
And among my coping strategies, apparently I’ve developed the trick of realizing when I’m looking for instant gratification and taking a step back.
How does that help?
It is true that stopping what I’m doing and trying to look over the possibilities does nothing for me. I still see only those things I want to see.
But there is a different light under which more is revealed.
The light of …
The light of honest conversation with someone important in my life.
And the great thing is, I can postulate things I don’t even think are worth considering, play devil’s advocate as it were and surprise myself when I discover that maybe these things I’m suggesting are valid points.
And even better still …
I’ve also discovered that that other person doesn’t need to actually be present. Another aspect of ADHD is self dialogue, I’m constantly replaying conversations to understand them better and to contemplate what I might have said differently. And I’m also constantly rehearsing conversations I’m planning to have.
I still involve that someone whenever I can. And rehearsal is just that, getting ready for a real conversation. But I have amazed myself in my ability to use this coping mechanism to mimic neuro-typical thought patterns.
And the someone important in my life? They’ve noticed that I’m using this coping mechanism. They’re aware that it is not my nature, but they are also aware that I’ve gotten good at this.
So, I’m going to suggest
My advice to others with ADHD, in light of this revelation in my life, is to cultivate an interest in playing devil’s advocate. Find someone important and converse with them.
Try to notice that moment when you’re abandoning yourself to a decision and expecting that gratification. For me it’s the time at which I say to myself, “This will probably go wrong, but …”
And then, think of the extremes, the ludicrous and the ridiculous, and work your way in from there. Postulate the obvious option and let your wickedly agile mind consider the ramifications of that, good and bad.
And see what might come of it all when you’re done.
Jump right in to making a game of it, and if you still make the wrong decision, at least you won’t feel as guilty about it. I don’t.