Saturday, July 10, 2010

A small favor...

...I really just want people who don't have ADHD to stop having opinions about it. Stop talking about it, stop preaching about it, stop blathering on about it. I don't really give a crap about what you have to say about it, and honestly, I'll go out on a limb and declare that most people with ADHD probably don't care either.

I'm tempted to respond to your "opinions" every time I encounter them, in whatever format, but I'm kind of just tired of it. I would start a campaign to deny the existence of people with normal brains (since so many people with normal brains seem to hellbent on talkin' the smack about the rest of us) but...I actually need my energy to cope with the interference of ADHD in my life so, yeah, I've got better things to do.

It'll be easier for everyone if you just stop talking about it, stop presuming that you know everything about something you know nothing us all a favor. Stop talking. Thanks.


18 Channels

PS: tomorrow I might have more respect for your opinions, since I'm generally into, you know, respecting other people's opinions, even when they're moronic, but right this second my ADHD has over-ridden my "giving a crap" gear, and I seem to be operating at full bore "pops into my head and comes right out on the keyboard" mode. Note to self, don't go post on Facebook right now...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

What I am really capable of...

...I'm capable of quite a bit actually, it's just that some tasks are a better fit than others. As I progress in my journey of discovering the boundaries and frontiers of ADHD in my own life, I choose, more and more often, the better fit.

That means that I have to understand my options. It means I have to be willing to analyze them in relation to my own abilities. It means I have to accept not limitations exactly...but the consequences that may come from honoring, or not honoring my own strengths. It means I need to be honest with myself about those strengths (and some weaknesses) before the decision is ever made.

Many times in my ADHD life I have made decisions based on "well I CAN do that". And it's great to have a can-do attitude...but sometimes my can-do attitude pushes me to decisions that might not put me in a position of highlighting my strengths. I've had many jobs that I took because I could...many projects I've taken on because I, I'm focusing on taking jobs, and projects that are really right for me...not ones I have to work to mold myself to.

A perfect example exists in the realm of librarianship (the degree I just finished in school is a library degree). I have a very analytical mind and am capable of being good at cataloging. If you are not a librarian and do not know what that means, all you need to know for the purposes of this post is that cataloging is an extremely detail-oriented and meticulous task. It also generally involves hours and hours and hours and hours and hours of sitting, without interacting with another human soul. I CAN do this. But let's discuss my other options shall we, before making a decision... analytical mind is also very good at problem-solving on the fly, interacting with people, teaching people how to find information, and being persistent in finding needles in haystacks. This is the art we call Reference Librarianship. Reference Librarians so not generally spend hours and hours and hours away from people. Their whole purpose is in fact TO INTERACT with people. I am an adult with ADHD for whom the hyperactive element is indeed, a hyperactive element.

It's clear which choice I should make, in terms of placing myself in the realm of library tasks. Just because I am able to catalogue well does not mean I HAVE to do it, or even SHOULD do it. In fact, I probably shouldn't do it at all, unless I really must.

This is the kind of decisions I think about a lot these days.

I'm thinking about it right now because unfortunately, my bookkeeper just took a full-time job and isn't available to me for the sporadic tasks I generally ask her to do. And I'm under a bit of a deadline...I have a certain amount of bookkeeping I absolutely have to do sometime within the next 48 hours. I CAN do it. I'm capable of doing it. But it's causing me a lot of anxiety and is difficult to focus on, and is rather playing to my weaknesses, shall we say. Yes, I said it...weaknesses. Can't we call them something else? or shall I just accept that I have them...and find someone who can save me from this task next time it arises...sigh...yeah okay, let's go with that plan...

I can't be everything to everyone and I need to stop showing off for myself just to try to prove something...I've bought myself several years of miserable with that approach...

Monday, July 5, 2010

A possibly pointless quest...'s no small undertaking, being an adult with ADHD and having the responsibility of creating and upholding consistent routines for small children.
It's not impossible, it's just a little extra challenging.
But we do it every day...we put the kids to bed at the same time every night...and they get up at the same time in the morning, and they have three square meals at the same times every day, and snacks in between, and then we do it all over again. And me and Sonny Rollins aka "Daddy" always make sure to check in with each other about what "the plan" for the day is, so we are both on the same page, and have the same rules for the same things.
I just had a revelation though. I have a little obsession with "setting the re-set button". Long-time readers may recognize my term for setting things in order before going to bed, in order to minimize chaos the next day. In the case of step-parenting, that means things like straightening up the house so it's tidy in the morning, clearing dishes and making sure the kitchen is tidy (they are a little young to be responsible for this on their own...although the oldest is starting to learn)...generally making the house feel orderly and if not perfect, at least tidy and sane before we all go to bed.
Occasionally I get a little anal-retentive though about related, but possibly unnecessary issues. Like shutting off all of the noise in the house for dinner time.
I suddenly realized today, that I hadn't listened to NPR for a while. Before I moved in with Sonny and the kids, I used to listen to the news on the radio all the time. Especially when trying to be productive work on projects at night-time, etc.
Today, while "re-setting" the kitchen, I noticed the radio on the counter and turned it on...sometimes I do need quiet, silent time, but sometimes I need that extra stimulation for my brain to keep being productive.
Um...duh...maybe a little extra "stimulation" in the environment would be a little more comfy for my fellow ADHD residents of the house? I left the NPR on during dinner. The kids were quiet, polite, and ate well.
Hmmmmm. So, I will continue to "re-set" the house, but I think that from time to time, if people are feeling a little rambunctious (and they were today), I may continue to pull that trick out of my own dealing with ADHD playbook, and give the home-space a little shot of innocuous noise to make up for the collective dopamine insufficiency :)
I have to remember that while I it IS important to set a good example, and keep things orderly, that sometimes ADHD or just plain young brains need unconventional touches to make everything seem truly soothing and homey.