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Proceed With ADHD Caution

Or, disordered caution?

ADHD caution? What could that mean? What kind of ineffective caution could ADHD caution be?

It’s not so much ineffective as maybe unreliable in its consistency.

I’ve lived with ADHD All my life, and I’ve known for eleven years. I’m aware of the problems, pitfalls and troubles I must endure. Fifty years of being unaware compared to this eleven of growing awareness have been an education.

I’m slowly catching on

I’m aware I make mistakes from being inattentive. It doesn’t help that I am actually combined type, my hyperness pushes me forward so I often miss more things.

This week I had an incident that illustrates this well.

On Tuesday, while I was supposed to be working on a radio show script, I decided to format a memory card that had been giving me some trouble.

Maybe don’t try this at home …

I popped the card into my laptop, selected it and tried to read it one last time. Error messages, so I selected properties and made my way to format. And format it I did, a quick format. Hey, it might have worked.

Might have, but it didn’t. I popped it out, stuck it into a camera and got errors again. I popped it back into my laptop and again chose format, this time disabling quick format.

And then I clicked go.

After a little while I started to wonder just how long it was going to take.

That’s when my day went wrong

I discovered I was actually formatting my data drive on my system. ADHD impulsivity made me click that button when ADHD inattention had allowed me to select the wrong device. And ADHD distraction led me away from what I was doing when it was doing something that I thought I could only watch with boredom.

I interrupted the formatting as soon as I realized it was the wrong drive, and then I realized that too was likely a mistake. Had I let it finish I might have been able to reverse the process.

Then I stopped

In the last ten or so years I’ve learned that when things have gone wrong, they don’t go right when I abandon sense and caution. I spent a little time researching what had happened and did make several efforts to recover the data, but the truth is I may have formatted the drive more than just that bit of full formatting.

This isn’t supposed to be a technical blog.

What I did next was to set my laptop aside and make a cup of coffee.

And as in uffish thought he sat

I sat and took stock of what I had done, and what I needed to do. I also took inventory of my stress level, off the chart would be the most accurate measurement.

I then got out my list of what I needed to do for the day, and checked what things were going to be made more difficult by all the missing data.

And then?

Then I made a subsequent list of how to get around that.

And I then proceeded with ADHD caution, aware that I was on the edge, and determined to stay on the edge and not fall off into the pit of incompetence and non-productivity.

It’s been two days, I’m behind on some things but not so far behind that I’m in trouble. I’m slowly coming to terms with lost weeks of edits on a book, and lost copies of lyrics that will need to be written out again, but those terms will be arrived at.

And my ADHD caution, a caution that is as much informed by my knowledge of ADHD as it is made less useful by my ADHD, is still helping me through.

Of all the things I might be able to easily forget, the fact that I have ADHD is not one of them, especially at times like this.

Proceed With ADHD Caution

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). Proceed With ADHD Caution. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2020, from


Last updated: 7 Aug 2020
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