Saturday, July 4, 2009

Yellow sky...

Last night I dreamt of tornadoes. They appeared on the horizon, two of them, speeding toward me. I assisted a friend in a wheelchair to the curb but knew I could not lift her over it...asked if she could run long enough to get into the house because I could not carry her. She rose and ran with me into the garage of my childhood home. I was afraid she would slow me down, and we would both die. We ran into the house, cats scattered just out of our reach, we abandoned them to the storm as we ran. Family dog was larger and easier to catch so we dragged him into the basement and crouched in the basement, in the bathroom, holding the dog by a leg as he tried to run upstairs.

The tornado raged over us, ripped the house up and took it mostly away, but we survived. The dog was pulled out of my grip in the wind...

Details of note: the house was almost empty when we entered it. Only two cats; we had four when I was small. The dog was a rottie named Charlie; ours was a black lab, Jake. The friend in the wheelchair: Mayim Bialik, who reminds me of myself.


My mother always told me that if the sky turned yellow, a tornado was approaching. But we lived in the Northwest, where there are virtually no tornadoes, so I never saw a yellow sky until one summer, when I was in the Northeast...with my grandfather and sister. A hurricane was approaching...mum and grammy went to the store for supplies. We waited at home with grampy. The sky suddenly turned yellow and I said to sister "do you remember what mom said about yellow skies?". Suddenly rain and objects blew horizontally past the windows, and grampy, blind, yelled for us to get away from windows. He picked up a hammer, scrambled his fingertips toward them like spiders and tried to beat the frames shut. They would not close, the air had swollen them open and the rain flew into him, drenching his shirt. The door blew open and before I could stop her, sister, tiny, ran toward it. Lightning hit the porch right in front of her and she stared for a second, still, the blue light impressed on our mind's eyes. I yelled for her to leave the door and she ran back in...we ran to a back room...we should have run to the basement. The whole time, grampy yelled for us to stay away from those windows as he tried to close them.

It ended as fast as it began, like a candle blown out, steaming. Silent.

An hour later grammy and mum appeared, a little hysterical. All around us properties were destroyed and as they'd driven closer to the house, collapsed structures and mangled power lines terrified them. But we were fine. That house had withstood 300 years of elements. It stood strong in the face of whatever had just hit us, and everything else that had come before.

And so did we.

Friday, July 3, 2009

My viewpoint is totally screwed

I have no concept of my performance in life in relation to other people.

Does it even matter? Probably not to anyone else, but I'm really a great self-flagellator and sometimes when I look around I realize there's no reason. Yes, I have ADHD, I'm pretty damned certain of that. But even so, I'm a bit of a powerhouse when I am productive. I might spend hours doing nothing some days, but boy...when I kick into high gear, which seems to happen often enough, I get the work done of 10 people. Okay maybe not ten...and I don't mean to sound like I'm putting people down, because I'm not. I just realize every so often that I really don't need to worry quite so much about how I'm doing. I made it to 33 without an ADHD diagnosis, and the only reason I even sought that was that I was driving myself nuts. Okay I was driving a few other people, mostly those close to me a little nuts too...but for all public intents and purposes I was merely pleasantly eccentric, a little artsy, a little unusual, and frequently mildly tardy. I have friends, I manage projects, I get stuff done. I get a crap ton of stuff done...I just happen to eat myself alove with overcommitment in the process because I cannot say no. Is this a crime? Hell no. Is this something to work on--hell yes.

So fuck that. No more tears. Off to make something useful of myself.

Flush it out.

In the midst of all of this I am striving to be extraordinary.

There's a lot of ways to read that...but what I mean is that I strive to realize all of those wild ideas that are in my head...even while I'm learning to weed out the stinkers. I strive to meet the challenges set by extraordinary women that came before me, without burning myself out. I strive to turn around look at what I have accomplished and go "wow, cool, a nap has been earned!". Lol.

I feel like I'm on my way there...and really, part of the reason for figuring out what to do with my wiiilllld brain was exactly that...I realized I was living life in a very busy but very superficial way, and that I was beginning to drown under the details that nobody knew I was ignoring...and I didn't know how to fix it. Often even I didn't even stop long enough to let myself realize how many details were left undone. And I knew that I had already tried other tactics...addressing my hypoglycemia, trying to make more thoughtful choices, trying to not get frustrated with the slow pace of progress...trying to make myself sit down to take care of business, with limited success.

But I had created obstacles for myself. I am expert at immediate damage control, but did not know how to plan long term and I was surrounded by piles both literal and figurative. And there was nobody to blame but myself.

And here I am sitting here, chemically, mercifully slowed, and trying to figure out what to do next. Alone with the things I really think about myself. Despite my native drive and energy, my projects, my ideas, my intelligence and my nearly constant working...I genuinely believe that I am lazy. That I am odd. That there is something wrong with me. That leisure time is, at best, a guilty pleasure. That there is no other way I will achieve what I want. And I don't even know why I think these things. But the chemical wash helps me be more still with these feelings. It helps me work through the piles instead of adding to them. And each pile I search through and sort pushes some button that forces me to acknowledge my delusions.

Some days, an earned anxiety compels me to avoid the work for a little while, drives me too far inward. Ultimately my usual impatience serves me--there are always upsides to downsides--and I will dive into a pile, reminding myself that I don't have to fix the WHOLE PILE now.

It hurts my heart in the good way, exposing these illogical beliefs I hold about myself.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Deep House Music

Yeaaah. Deep house music. The repetitive beats keep me moving through mundane tasks, and the warm chords wash through any anxiety.

Don't know if it's the special character of the ADHD brain, of my particular ADHD brain, or just of my personality...but this music is often what pulls me through my most anxious or distractible moments at work. It soothes me back into action when impulse tries to derail me.

And it feels so good :)

Sweet sounds of Amsterdam here...

Now I know!

Hey's amazing what splitting the dosage on your medication and eating it with a load of food can do. No more nausea! No more anxiety because of the nausea! Now I just get to enjoy the benefits of the drug without the side effects! YEAAAAH!

I'm on such a nice, even, but still fun keel now. I'm less reactive, much calmer, still thinking creative thoughts, just at a slightly slower pace, and I can methodically get through piles of annoying crap now from time to time :) I used to be able to come up with "the plan" for how to get things done, but then had trouble getting them done. Now, I concoct the plan, and then...just DO the plan. Just DO the plan! Ha! I make it sound so easy, but before the medication this was no easy task, because I couldn't shut off anything else that would pop into my head...other things that would derail me...other things that all seemed EQUALLY IMPORTANT (<-----nothing better than ALL CAPS to express the urgency in my ADHD brain). Now, these things pop up and I'm thinking "oh...yeah I should do that at some point...after I'm done doing this thing I'm already doing". I feel a little less productive in the short term, but an starting to see the long term benefits. For example: my piles are just getting smaller overall. And I'm committing to less NEW stuff, so they'll be more likely to stay that way. Because I don't have the urgency to overcommit. I'm still ambitious, but in a more realistic way.

And the new projects that I AM planning? I'm thinking of ways to bring others in to help me get the job done, instead of just doing it all myself. Before it was hard to think of how to delegate the overall task so I saw everything as a one person job, even though I appreciated help when it magically arrived. Now I look at these things and go "holy shit, this isn't a job for one person, it's a job for three, hey YOU, can you help me with this thingy here".