ADHD Zen And The Art Of Deck Repair

(with apologies to Robert M. Pirsig)

I was at work yesterday, repairing a deck ... it turned into a complete rebuild. We took the decking off and started assessing what it would take to stabilize the framework.

We discovered that the posts it was built on had sunk to varying depths because they had been set on patio stones that had simply been dropped onto the ground.

We began to dig out and reset the stones properly with gravel. Then one of the joists snapped under my weight, and I’m not that heavy.

The easy answer to the situation was also the best answer. Tear down and start fresh.
What does this have to do with ADHD?


Everyone On My Street Knows – Even If They Don’t Know

I talk about my ADHD “on the street” - just not on the street I live on. The street I live on is on the edge of a rural subdivision, the houses are not very close together. There really is very little street activity, no real community. We don’t hang on the corner, there’s no store, church, supermarket.

No opportunity to talk, let alone talk about ADHD.

Downtown is a different story. There are places I am known in the downtown core of the city on whose outskirts I dwell. And I do talk about ADHD there.

Cafés, restaurants, the library, any place where I meet with friends or interact with people, you can find me there talking the talk.

Taking Another Shot At Stigma …

[...] I am capable of living for 50 years without knowing [...]
Okay, I've ranted about mental health stigma before. You all know, those of you who follow my blog, that I am upset with the idea that people should be judged to be wanting in some way if they suffer a mental health disorder.

But did you know that whenever I demand to be treated as an equal member of society regardless of my ADHD, I feel guilty? It's true.
Why would that be?
I feel guilty for demanding this when I am capable of living for 50 years without knowing I have a mental health disorder. If I lived for those 50 years feeling like stigma was not applicable to me, my mental health issues must not be as debilitating as those of other people.
But wait ...
And yet, I am aware that I have very poor self-awareness. I am aware that I have suffered. I just can’t reconcile the suffering with the having survived relatively unscathed.


Permission To Be Okay – Granted!

During a conversation with a friend today I was told “Being timed is not good for my mental health.” She was talking about trying to get something done in a set amount of time. And she was also talking about the stress and anxiety that being timed causes. And I agreed with her.

I can empathize. ADHD causes monumental time management issues. We have difficulty estimating how long a task will take. Then we have difficulty keeping track of time spent.

We also have difficulty keeping on track and on task. This just exacerbates the first two issues ... greatly. How can you estimate how long it takes to do something if you don’t know what else you’ll end up doing, don’t know what will distract you or for how long?

And how do you know how long you took to do something if you can’t figure out how much of the time spent was actually spent on the task in question? That’s if you remember when you started or finished in the first place.


236 Years Old – That’s A Lot Of Progress

On Sunday July 1st, my country, Canada, turned 145 years old. Today, July the 4th, the United States of America turns 236 years old. Neither of those ages are extreme, our nations are both still young by comparison to many other countries. And yet we have come a long way in these few short years.

As noted on Monday, ADHD does not recognize borders. It affects both populations to the same extent, inflicting its eclectic collection of symptoms on its sufferers with no regard for their country of origin or residence.

But whether you can get adequate help for your ADHD may depend on where you live. Canada and the U.S. both are fairly progressive, with the States appearing to be somewhat ahead when it comes to acceptance by the medical community (at least that’s what it looks like from where I sit).


Happy Birthdays, Canada and The U.S.A.

It’s Monday evening, July 2nd ... about halfway between Canada Day and July the Fourth. I’m a Canadian, writing for an American website. So I guess I get to celebrate twice in one week.

As an ADHDer, I’m always ready to celebrate, and this past weekend was no exception. I had some errands to run, but in the in-between times I did some of my favorite Canadian things (we normally write that as favourite, eh?).

Since I do have ADHD, I found it all too easy to spend a bunch of time being distracted by (or was I hyper-focusing on???) the differences in our two countries, Canada and the USA. Lets see what I came up with ...

What Does ADHD Mean To You – Readers Write

So I’ve decided to share some parts of several of my favorite comments made here at Man of DistrAction.
I’ve been talking about my ADHD for ten months now, and I’m not tired of talking yet. Lets face it, it’s not looking like I’m going to quiet down anytime soon. People have been trying to shut me up for years. And then Psych Central made the mistake of asking me what I think ...

But fair is fair, and in their infinite wisdom Psych Central also made room on each post for readers to comment.

Recent changes made to the blog software means the comment area has moved. It doesn’t show up on the post’s main page but on a separate page.

This means that if you are reading a post but don’t have time or can’t be bothered to click on the comments link, you don’t get to see the comments.


I’d rather have ADHD Than Think I’m Normal

Yeah, I know, I look forward to your comments. I’m supposed to say that ADHD is insidious, a burden, the bane of my existence. And it is. I admit it. But I look around at the rest of the world and I see the options available. And I thank heaven that, if I have to have a mental health disorder, I have this one.

Don’t get me wrong, if I could actually be normal, I think I’d like to give that a shot, but I suspect I’d be bored with that pretty quickly. And I refuse to sacrifice my creative bent for that normalcy. But it would be interesting to be the most unique individual in all of history, the one person who actually was normal.

What I suspect I would end up being is one of the masses of humanity that suffers the most horrid mental health condition of all. The condition that more people suffer from than any other, the one for which there is no cure, the one whose existence is doubted more than all other disorders combined.


When The Going Gets Tough, The ADHDer Gets Distracted

If you have ADHD you know what distraction is. And you know what it is to be overwhelmed.

You know that you can make plans and have things all figured out, but you can’t ever see them through because of the laundry list of things that you didn’t account for.

And when it all piles up in a collision of eight lane, toll road proportion, that’s when you start noticing the little things that need to be taken care of also.

The worst part is, you have usually made the extra effort to plan and arrange so that you could enjoy some leisure, some extra time with family and friends. Now, when it’s all falling down around your ears, you have to add guilt.

The cause of the disruption in a life already disorganized was that you tried to organize it for less than altruistic purposes.


ADHD Education And Community: Both Are Important

Dinner with a friend had become twenty questions. She was asking me about ADHD, about blogging, about many things. I don’t need much encouragement to talk. If anything I need discouragement.

Then she asked me if it was important to me to educate people about ADHD ...

I paused, and thought. The question wasn’t what I was expecting. I do talk lots about ADHD, and not just here. I would call myself an advocate, even a zealous one on occasion.
So, is it important to me?
The truth is, it’s important to me that I educate people about ADHD, but it’s even more important to me that I let people with ADHD know they’re not alone.