Yesterday we talked about procrastination. But we didn’t talk about hyper-focus or impulsivity.
And it’s true that we have that too.
So, there are times when we put things off because, though hard for others to understand, the idea of engaging with the think we are procrastinating over makes us physically and emotionally ill.
And there are times when we pounce on something, that may not even be a task we are required to do, and focus in on it to the exclusion of everything else in the world.
Just like the post yesterday about procrastination, I can describe how it happens, but I cannot explain why.
Of course the reason it happens is ADHD, but the mechanics of it are still mysterious.
Well, some of the mechanics are mysterious, other bits are just right there in plain sight.
A big part of ADHD is a poverty of brain chemistry. Our brains are not getting adequate supplies of some of the chemicals that make brains work. So when something comes into focus ( a little joke there) that triggers the production of those chemicals, our attention is snapped to that thing.
Even if the production is weak, so long as it is steady, it can hold us locked in to the thing.
Focused / unfocused
Witness the youth who cannot pay enough consistent attention to homework and ends up shut in a room with books and papers, and takes an hour to do a ten minute assignment. And then it turns out it is done so poorly that a neurotypical could have done the same thing in two minutes.
Now observe that same youth zoned in on the most boring of TV shows, or repetitive video games, unable to put down the remote, getting grumpier with every attempt to get them to “shut that damned thing off!!!” with focus and concentration pouring out of every pore.
How does this work?
Brain chemistry addiction is the short answer. But there’s still the other answer of “we don’t know.”
Why is one boring thing such an attractant and the other thing anathema?
And why the hell is it that the thing that makes us responsible is more often on the list of things we cannot deal with.
It’s no freaking wonder we are viewed as lazy, though many of us are the busiest of people, those accusing us of being lazy would often have trouble keeping up.
I am a fortunate one
I’m not one of those people who cannot stop writing. I’m quite able to set it down and walk away. I do not have hypergraphia. But, having said that, I do love writing. Fortunate that, since it is how I make part of my living.
But do understand that while I can sit down and write on a daily basis, there are still things that numb me and freeze me in place. I will not, for instance, pounce on filling out income tax returns, so I do not do that for a living.
And now, I feel I’ve written enough for this blog, and to be quite frank, there’s an awful Netflix show I really want to finish watching …