I just hissed at a squirrel. No, having ADHD does not mean we hiss at squirrels. Well, maybe it sort of does.
I’m supposed to be writing. Writing this post, in fact. And as I sit at my keyboard deciding which thing to tell you about today, a squirrel happens to approach my front flower bed with a peanut in it’s mouth.
Now, squirrels annoy the dickens out of me. What are they doing? Why do they stop and ponder? Why can’t I stand sideways on a tree trunk instead of falling down every time I try?
Having ADHD means that my “million miles a minute” mind can go from the sublime and peaceful consideration of writing to the ridiculousness of putting myself into the middle of whatever distracts me.
I often write outside, so the things that distract are the hummingbirds visiting the coral bells in the front flower bed, the rabbits finding the clover in the lawn, the spider that hangs in front of me at eye level, and yes, the damned squirrel who moves to distract me and then stops to let me think and then moves again to tear me from my wandering thoughts and start them down yet another path …
Focus is a difficult thing at the best of times. And that difficulty is gathered up from a myriad of sources.
There are too many things to see, too many things to do, too many things that move in front of my eyes, and too many things that would move if I activated them and so they distract me by being motionless when I know their natural state is to be turned on and turned up. And sometimes there are squirrels on screens, so that makes them extra annoying.
And while the squirrel and the screens (on or off) and the moving things all hold me engaged, each time I break away and try to return to focus on the things that need my attention, their numbers defeat me, the dishes need me, the word processor needs me, the correspondence needs me, the unvacuumed floor and the unmade bed and the uncut lawn need me.
While all of this is familiar to us, none of it is part of the meaning of ADHD. None of it is the definition of having ADHD.
Having ADHD means you are different in a way that the majority of the population doesn’t understand and can’t sympathize with.
Having ADHD means that you need to find your people, your crew, your tribe, and let them pat you on the back and say “There, there …” in a knowing way.
Having ADHD means you have to know you have ADHD to cope with the emotional side of it, because you have to accept it before you can deal with all of the things.
Including being able to accept the distraction of that G*ddamn #$%*& squirrel and his bloody peanut!!!