You know as well as I do that sometimes we engage in things that we should be setting aside because there are more important things to do.
Remember as a child being unable to unplug from the TV or a game or even a book when we should have been getting ready for school or doing our chores or whatever?
We call that distraction, but we also refer to it as hyperfocus when the attention it demands and commands is unbreakable.
It’s also referred to as perseverance (pronounced per-sev-er-ance, not per-ser-veer-ance).
And usually …
Usually what holds our attention are things that we enjoy, or that challenge us, which is the same thing really.
For the inattentive types it is often day dreaming. What doesn’t show on the outside and what is really interesting is that the subject matter of the daydream is often challenging and filled with enjoyment.
It can even be exciting. but there’s little or no indication of that on the faces of the inattentive subtype ADHD sufferer.
For those of us with hyperactive subtype ADHD the distraction or object of our hyperfocus is often a physical challenge, like the video game, or the tree that needs climbing, or the book, or show, or the path that needs following, or the person that needs to be engaged with.
I’m one of those people with combined subtype ADHD. I’ve experienced both the daydreaming and the physical types of distraction.
These last few weeks I have been reminded of another type of distraction.
I like to call it static. And it has nothing to do with sitting still.
As if that could ever happen.
Not something you see much anymore
I’m an old man, well, old enough, I’m sixty.
And back when I was a child, TVs had a rotating knob that had stops on it. You would turn it and it would click into place, physically locking in the tuning of a channel frequency. Channel 2 through thirteen I believe is what we could set the TV to.
But we didn’t actually receive signals on all those channels. When I was a child we could only get channel eight where I lived. That’s right, one channel.
But, what about the other eleven?
If we turned the tuner to any other channel we got a picture of what we called snow and a hissing white noise from the speaker that sounded like water running from a tap.
The snow image was really just black and white speckles but they didn’t sit still, they buzzed and shimmered like a swarm of monochromatic bees as seen from a distance.
And we called it static.
This past two weeks …
I was waiting for an appointment to see how well, or how unwell, my heart was working. There was anxiety. There was difficulty concentrating. There was worry and a bit of fear.
The test that precluded this one had indicated potential cardiac arterial occlusion, in short, the possibility that my heart was not getting enough oxygenated blood to keep itself pumping oxygenated blood.
A vicious circle of illness, if proven valid.
And for two weeks
I waited for the appointment that would test the theory. And every day I forgot something I was supposed to do.
That’s not unusual, but I knew why I was forgetting these things. Anxiety and worry and … distraction, all caused by the static my brain was experiencing from the stress of my potential health issues.
I had the ongoing feeling that there was something I needed to do, but I couldn’t do it. Not yet. I didn’t yet know what it was.
Is this ADHD? No!
Now, this is the kind of thing that could affect anyone. Static distraction, I’m sure, could be the curse of any person, ADHD, or NT … or, anyone.
But I have ADHD, I have distraction enough already. Adding this to my load was too much.
And though I wasn’t pushing myself as hard as I usually do, I was still falling behind even the current lightened expectations.
Static sucks, and static distraction along with ADHD issues sucks even more.
And … ?
Oh, my heart?
I’ll live. False alarm, for the most part.
Maybe a little less bacon and butter in the future.