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Waiting In Line

a line up

People with ADHD are renowned for not appreciating waiting in line.

In fact, in some cases that’s an understatement. It’s like saying Kilimanjaro is a big hill.

Some of us will actually turn the other way and walk away rather than wait in a line up, even if that means a greater detriment to ourselves.

It is the same kind of thing that happens to us when we cannot bring ourselves to do paper work (think income tax filing), it causes us mental anguish.

And yet …

No two of us are alike. Prior to the pandemic, I was fine standing in a line up waiting for something. I would engage people in the line up, do some stand up schtick, make them laugh, help pass the time for all of us.

But now? Now I know that, for those who were unable to engage others, the line up is an intensely uncomfortable place to be.

Since it’s now difficult to interact with people, especially those six or more feet away from me, and many people do not want to engage because they’re concentrating on staying safe, I find it painful to stand in a line up.


There are way more line ups now. At least here in my town.

We have to line up to get in to many of the retail establishments. They are attempting to avoid over crowding.

Sometimes, however, the safety of those in the line up is less likely than that of those same people if they were in the store moving to find the things they want and then getting out.

Bottom line

I used to use having fun to conquer my issues with line ups, now that’s much more difficult to do. It would be wrong to say I can’t do it because it isn’t fun.

It would be far more accurate to say I can’t do it well, because it is difficult and emotionally painful to be held in one place without anything to occupy my racing mind other than to think of the things I could be doing and then constantly try to hold myself from bolting off to spontaneously do those things. GAH!

Hard line

I know to people without ADHD this looks trivial. I know you don’t understand the pain it causes us. I know all too well that many of you do not care, simply because you cannot put yourself in that position.

But trust me when I tell you that for us it is real, and really painful.

And while I didn’t have problems with it before when I occupied my mind by engaging with those around me, I still understood it.

Understood it? Hell, I’d lived it for the first two decades of my life, until I found the coping mechanism of bravado and interaction.

Waiting In Line

Kelly Babcock

I was born in the city of Toronto in 1959, but moved when I was in my fourth year of life. I was raised and educated in a rural setting, growing up in a manner I like to refer to as free range. I live on the traditional lands of the Chippewas of Nawash in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or 7 generations and my First Nations friend's families go back hundreds of generations. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 50 and have been both struggling with the new reality and using my discoveries to make my life better. I am a freelance writer and I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about living with ADHD and one that is a daily positive affirmation that acts as an example of finding the good in as much of my life as I possibly can.

Find out more about me on my website: writeofway.

email me at ADHD Man

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APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2020). Waiting In Line. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2020, from


Last updated: 2 Jun 2020
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