Posted by: rationalpsychic | Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I was going to tell you about my Attention Deficit Disorder, but all the pretty pictures distracted me.

I have a lot of problems settling myself down. I’ve really taken notice of that over the last…twenty years or so. As an adult with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), I constantly need to rein myself in and explain to myself why I’m keeping my day job rather than running off and becoming a cowboy or a neurosurgeon.

When the day-to-day becomes monotonous, I find it easy to forget I have a paycheck coming in and look for schemes to allow me greater freedom and to work from home. Seeking to become a blog-writing internet mogul definitely fits this description.

And while these qualities can make one seem peculiar and keep you off the management track, they don’t appear to be overly destructive to the casual observer. That is, until you realize that for most of your life you’ve told yourself that you’re a loser because you’ve never quite been able to cut it.

You watch others, younger than you, succeed in positions you should have occupied and been promoted from years ago. Why is this? A lot of it is due to a short-term memory that is unreliable. You find you can’t put a project—any project—together step by step because the distractions interrupt every transition. Getting from the beginning to the end of anything seems insurmountable when a dozen other things come to you each day and then fight legitimate projects for priority in your racing brain.

Ah, but all is not lost. One day your child’s first-grade teacher sends home a note recommending your child be assessed for ADD because your child is displaying these same behaviors. The pieces start to fall together: your future, except for this intervention could have been your child’s future. And so you decide to get assessed as well and—surprise! You find you have ADD, too.

Prescriptions of Wellbutrin and Zoloft have been the recommendations by my psychiatrist. As a result of taking these little pills, I experience a workday that is less fractured. I find myself able to put together more minutes in the day that are truly focused on the project at hand. At the same time, as I notice myself getting better I can see how far away from “normal” I still stand.

The trouble is that, as I get better and my ability to pay attention increases, I see what I’ve been missing over the years. I then feel like cursing someone (don’t worry, I don’t leave myself out) for not having seen the problem and done more for me earlier.

Being forty-four again stands large in this account of my very average-sized life. It takes a long time to recover from hurts like this. Or, better than “recovery,” to adjust and accept that although I’ve got a lot of work to do, what I’ve got to work with ain’t bad and it’s getting better. I leave you by telling you I know I’m no more important than any of my readers and by reminding myself I’m no less important, either.

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Responses

  1. I was (am) in the same exact boat. I knew I had it though and simply pretended I didn’t. But working as a counselor, I knew. Not to mention I had both a Psychiatrist and a Psychologist, about five years apart, suggest that I get tested. Hell, I took one of those silly I.Q. tests on the Net a few days ago, and after it gave me my score it also said, “You may have adult ADD.” I cracked up. Even a computer can tell.

    I take Adderall and it helps, but I know what you mean when you say,”as I notice myself getting better I can see how far away from “normal” I still stand.”

    I look at our blog (3 of us have adult ADD) and think, “We are all over the bloody place. I wonder if people think we’re insane?”

  2. I read some of the posts and I think it is a great site. Sometimes I can’t help but give free reign to my tight dioxide Wanna joke?) How can you recognize a burned-put hippie? He used to take acid, now he takes antacid.


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