ADHD is supposedly primarily about focus, or a lack there of.
The first two word in the name are Attention Deficit. That should sum up the focus problem.
But does it? It suggests that we have no attention to spend or spare, inadequate attentive ability to span a problems breadth.
Well, I’m not buying it. I have attention. I have focus.
And I have ADHD!
The problem with names is that they are the shortest possible description of the thing they are supposedly identifying. The problem with making them definitive is that they will never succeed.
How many people believe they have “A touch of OCD” because they are obsessive about which way to hang the toilet paper roll?
That’s not even close to being OCD, that’s just being human.
Back to ADHD
People with ADHD don’t have a lack of attention, they have a lack of attention control.
If I told you how many Facebook posts got read while I write a blog post you’d get an idea of how difficult it is for me to control my attention. And yet, the post gets written.
In truth, I write as fast as I read almost. I know I read slower than most, but this is how I make up for it.
So if I can write 400 to 500 original words in ten minutes. The fact that it takes me 20 to 30 minutes to do that is all on my wandering mind.
But when it wanders, it’s wandering because it pays attention to a number of things while I write.
This is the thing. While I’m not very able to maintain a focus on one thing, I do return my focus to that thing to the best of my ability, until it is completed.
And at the same time that I’m focusing on what I’m supposed to be doing and on what my mind wants to do, I’m also searching for value in what I’m focusing on to justify that.
Additionally I’m looking for connections between what I’m supposed to be doing and what I am doing. I’m also looking for connections between the various things that I’m doing “voluntarily.”
And the point?
There is a theory out there that suggests that the ADHD mind model was the mind of the hunter gatherer. Constantly looking for something else of value, while gathering what was before it, whether that was food or shelter or indications that safety might somehow be compromised.
Constantly looking for connections between all these things. Constantly making observations that may be useful or may be useless.
Constantly filing things away.
Today’s mindset …
… is that the brain should focus on what is in front of it exclusively, get that done, and only then move on.
But there may have been a time when appearing to have no focus was actually what staying alive looked like.