Tuesday, October 6, 2009

This is not the Staycation I was promised (by myself)...

I am of course, taking the week off. Then how did life get so busy, even though it's only Tuesday?

Well I did take the week off from work. And I am in the middle of working out a new school schedule, so this week, I'm not really doing school either. So far, so terrific.

However...however...I did indicate that I am in a state of total overwhelm right now. And that I need a break. On a regular basis, even on a day when I feel great, I am overwhelmed by the little details. Like...uh...wait, what do normal people do everyday and not think about but I have a really hard time with...when it even occurs to me that people do them...OH YES...personal grooming. That takes time...it takes planning. Stop laughing, I'm not joking. By the time I wake up in the morning, my brain is already on speed (and not the "speed" I take to slow it down, I'm talking about my natural, god-given freight-train-brain). I am thinking of 800 things...so then I go into the bathroom and have to think about a shower...which might involve washing my hair...which will also involved drying it, and styling it, and...by the time I get this far, I am a mess because every additional thing that I think about in terms of grooming seems to be competing with all of these other things that I am thinking about, that I will NOT COMPLETE TODAY if I take 5 minutes to take a shower and another 5 to dry my hair and OMGOMGOMGOMG!

At some point I get to total brain fry and go uhhhh....just get in the shower and see what happens...but I'm still thinking about all of these things. So to get through this, I have a routine. Yes, that's right. For probably the last 15 years I have showered in the same sequence...because if I do things differently I forget things. You know like...rinsing the shampoo off my head. I'm sure someone at some point will read this post and think I'm frigging joking and I AM NOT, OKAY!? I am totally serious! I know how ridiculous it seems, but it's all true. Any ADHDer reading this will know exactly what I am talking about.

Then I get out of the shower. And dry off, again, in a nice, reassuring pattern (just to be totally clear, if you haven't read my previous post about routine, and how hard it is for me to create one, this is NOT something I concocted overnight, it takes ages...doesn't just happen like "that"). Then, I do that stuff I hate like dry my hair and style it and whatever else...uh...OH look some moisturizer that sits right on the counter so I don't forget, and uh...do I have makeup? How about mascara...sounds good. Okay, I'm ready. Wait? Am I? Yes, okay, I'm ready.

This entire process probably took...10 minutes. Sounds good right? But it's because I am so worried about being late, even on a morning when I may not be actually running too late, that I can't really let myself get too involved in a grooming routine. Usually I am running a little late though.

Then I fly through the kitchen, noticing that I might need to eat something...shitshitshit, if I stop to eat something...uhhhh, wait, what is there to eat? Uh...open cupboards...overwhelmed by food...uhhh...prepare food, do people do that? Uhhhhh...freight train is still running through my head about what I need to do today, AND I've devised a plan for world domination of some kind in the shower and I really need to write this down....run to livingroom to grab my notebook, write it down, oh damn, there's my meds, right where I left them (THANK YOU FOR SMALL ROUTINES THAT WORK) so I better take those but I better eat first...GRRR...back to the kitchen...wait, what time is it? Wait, did I brush my teeth? At some point during the day (this happened several times last week until I mentioned to the gentleman that my deodorant needs to live on the counter) I realized I hadn't put on deodorant...because I couldn't see it, because it was in the cupboard because it makes perfect sense to my boyfriend to put it there...but not to me.

Yes, this is how my days roll. Even if you remove the "big stuff" there are still the ordinary details of daily living, and truly, sometimes making space in my life makes these dilemmas WORSE, because of my overactive mind...make more space and my wildly overactive brain can will the space like THAT. With more ideas, more plans, more worries about details...and I DO NOT have control over this. Oh there are things I can do that help...for sure...but overall, this is not something I can just flip a switch on.

On top of the daily living detail avalanche...I actually do have a few things I need to do. Go register my car...go to a couple docs appts...pick up my paycheck. Finish coordinating a speaker for an event that I actually can't bail on because it's this Friday so it was too late to hand it off. And I'm already overwhelmed just thinking about it all, even though it's only half of what I usually do. Gee...at least I don't have to go to work or school this week!


  1. I enjoy reading your posts and some are just downright scary as they hit so close to home. About 3 months ago I was diagnosed with ADHD Inattentive...and I've read so much information that I need real-life examples to drive what I've learned (and am learning about this ADHD thing)home. Are there any discussion boards you'd recommend to follow? I don't have an appt set up with a psychologist until next month and I'm just dying to ask all kinds of questions.



  2. Hi Walt,

    Happy to be of service...though one woman's idea of ADHD info heaven, might be another man's nightmare, haha.

    I like to read the Forums at ADDer World. There's a lot of different people there with a lot of different kinds of ADHD issues, so I find it helpful because it helps me to fill in the picture of what ADHD can be to different people. I also like to bounce around the Forums to see what people are talking about or post my own topics to see what other people's opinions are.

    I have a Yahoo Group list that I am subscribed to, though sometimes it is busy and sometimes not...here's the link to the Yahoo Groups page though, where you can search for groups that discuss ADHD: http://groups.yahoo.com/

    Also...check out the list of blogs that I have here in my blog on the right hand side (wait...right...left...yep, right).

    Some of them are more updated than others. One of my faves is "Jeff's ADD Mind".

    Perhaps you've already read it but Driven To Distraction is a good classic book for the Adult ADHDer...I actually read that YEARS ago, before I was ever diagnosed. I was not insulted, but WAS baffled that a co-worker handed it to me and told me it reminded her of me...haha. Once I read it, I understood why she said it!

    I am currently reading "Women With Attention Deficit Disorder" by Sari Solden, though that may be less relevant for you. Bryan Hutchinson, who created the ADDER World Forums put his ADHDer life into book form, which, since you are looking for real life stories, may be interesting to you (http://www.buybooksontheweb.com/product.aspx?ISBN=0-7414-4440-2)

    Hopefully that'll get you started :) It sure is interesting when you start reading about ADHD and learning about people who are just like you, AND people who are totally different...all the stories fascinate me and help me fill in the picture...