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Lost Souls Wandering

Lost ADHD Souls Wandering
Photo by ©Zoë Kessler, 2009

“Wish I could stop those hands of time – Just till I stop Wandering”

~ Paul Antonio

A friend of mine wrote a song called Lost Soul Wandering (song recorded by the Paul Antonio Band). We were talking about the possibility of his having ADHD, when it suddenly struck him that this, and every other song he’s written, could have been written about ADHD.

I couldn’t disagree.

Lost Soul Wandering
©Paul Antonio  2002

Too many days thinking too hard
where I should be going to
Which direction should I point myself in
I’m just a lost soul wandering

Don’t want to let myself down
don’t want to spend my life hanging around
What comes now ?  Where to turn
I’m just a lost soul wandering

I worked real hard was educated
but now I feel so separated
What worries me now is – time’s slipping by
I’m just a lost soul wandering

Sometimes I feel so frustrated
Was my life premeditated ?
Wish I could stop those hands of time
Just till I stop Wandering

And I can’t find my way – no I can’t Find my way back home!
And I can’t find my way – no I can’t Find my way back home!

It got me thinking about how we ADHDers often have that existential feeling of being lost.

I mean, sure, most of us literally get lost on a regular basis; but there are so many other ways in which we feel lost.

We can feel lost because of our “differentness,” because we feel we don’t belong anywhere. Where is our tribe?

We feel lost when we’re wandering through life aimlessly, losing sight of our purpose and goals, time and time again.

Even if we know our goals, we can forget them from one moment to the next – again – leaving us feeling lost, without a roadmap.

Having multiple interests, and a wealth of passion for life, some of us run from one thing to another, distracted by this or that new interest.

We get lost in conversations that meander, for hours, without direction (especially when we talk to each other!).

No wonder we feel lost so much of the time.

I get the sense that this is a common, troubling, and recurring experience from which it is difficult for us ADHDers to escape.

Twenty years ago, I wrote a poem called Cultural Chameleon. Like Paul, I thought I was writing the poem about one thing, but it turns out, it could just as easily apply to my lostness as an ADHDer.

The poem was originally about being adopted. Now, I can see that it could also be about that feeling of being scattered and unfocussed; unable to settle on something and stick with it, being pulled this way and that.

Cultural Chameleon
©Zoë Kessler, 1992

Just a lost ADHD soul wandering
Just a lost ADHD soul wandering

Floating, rootless in space
Touching down in this culture
or that

No food is verböten

Palate pleased
with Chapatis or Borscht

You can wear sari or sarong
when there’s no place you belong

I’ve worshipped the Goddess
Chanted with Buddhists
Studied Taoism, then Zen
Kissed the feet of Jesus, cast a Wiccan spell

My spirit flits and flies,
finding no place like home

I’ve lived different customs
Tried different costumes

But when I slide the fabric
up over my arms
let it drop to the floor

Nothing’s left but cloth

Feeling like there’s nothing there but cloth, that I disappear when I take off my costume, is like that feeling of not being rooted. If you’re “scattered” all over the place, how can you not be lost? It’s like you’re literally not there.

I still get the feeling of being lost, of not being grounded, more often than I’d like. When I do, I try to pull myself together, get focused.

Sometimes, I talk to a good (non-ADHD) friend who acts as an ad hoc coach. Sometimes meditation helps. I used to have my goals clearly written and posted where I could see them, in my office. That helped. Deadlines help. Daytimers help.

But sometimes, when I’m truly lost in a thick brain fog, it means that I’ve forgotten about balance in my life, that I’ve been driving too hard towards my goals. At those times, I cut myself some slack, read a good book, go for a walk, get a good night’s sleep, and start fresh the next day.

Like Dorothy in the Land of Oz, somehow, I always wake up back in Kansas.

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Lost Souls Wandering

Zoë Kessler, BA, B.Ed.

Zoë Kessler is an award-winning author, journalist, and speaker specializing in women and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD / ADD).

A frequent contributor to ADDitude Magazine, Kessler has also created video, standup comedy, and guest blogs on ADHD and Marriage covering ADHD-related topics.

Zoë, an internationally recognized ADHD expert, has been interviewed on radio and featured in magazine articles, documentaries, and books on the topic of women and ADHD across North America.

Her newly-released memoir ADHD According to Zoë - The Real Deal on relationships, Finding Your Focus & Finding Your Keys (New Harbinger Publications, 2013) about life with ADHD is now available.

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APA Reference
Kessler, Z. (2011). Lost Souls Wandering. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 22, 2020, from


Last updated: 29 Jan 2011
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