Friday, August 13, 2010

Password Karma

Have I ever explained to you people how every time I speak up and really bitch about something, it comes back to bite me in the ass?

Remember the post, a few back, where I bitched like none other about how I hate having to remember passwords for every stinkin' website? oldest email account got hacked into the other day, so for days, "I" have apparently been sending everyone in my email address book awesome deals on Viagra.


So what did I do? I went in a changed my...ahem...password and some other, uh, top secret stuff. It's really screwy too now, with symbols and capital letters and all kinds of other password gymnastics that I'll never remember. But at least my friends can stop feeling insulted that I'm making assumptions about their private lives.

Notice however, that I'm not me superstitious, but I'm telling you (and this is a special hell for an ADHDer with a lot of opinions) every time I really get my RANT on, I get a bitch slap upside the head from the universe.

Actually...this reminds me of a story that's PERFECT for right now. One time, in grad school, I was working on a group project and one of our group mates was a girl that was clearly not pulling her weight and seemed to be WAY over her head in the course. We all talked about it a lot when she wasn't around, because we were frustratedly trying to figure out how to get the work done, with a person who seemed to be having a hard time, and couldn't seem to communicate.

This was a classmate who would often become the focus of group ire, no matter what group she was working in.

Bitch bitch bitch...bitch bitch bitch.

Let me add one more detail before I give you the BIG REVEAL to this story: one of my ADHD coping mechanisms for dealing with school, is that I am very type A+++ about starting projects early, adhering to deadlines like my life literally depends on it, and I'm the first to admit that I have to WORK to be flexible in dealing with other students...though I generally make up for my impatience with clear communication and I work really hard to be understanding of other people's lack of interest in working exactly the way I do. The result is that I'm often DYING on the inside...but working really hard to be nice on the outside.

However, this girl drove me nuts. It's just plain hard to do a group project when you are working with someone who just will not communicate, even when you are directly asking her if there's anything you can do to help. At one point I finally contacted a professor to complain/ask for help in figuring out how to deal with the issue.

REVEAL: One day during a class presentation she revealed to all of us that she has ADHD and had spent her school years in special ed classes, never thought she would go to grad school and was struggling mightily just to keep up.

1) I felt like a total asshole.
2) I was proud of her for speaking up finally.
3) I wish she had spoken up sooner.
4) The next year I was diagnosed as an adult with ADHD.
5) It was humbling to realize that she and I were dealing with some of the same issues but--
6) Fascinating to see that we were working through them differently, though with probably equal amounts of stress.
7) It made me really reflective and careful about dealing with my classmates from then on, taking into account that I might not have the whole story...and that we all have our special quirks that others have to deal with, even me.

Yet again...I finally get really cheesed and intolerant about something and BAM...and then BAM again with my own diagnosis.

And...yeah, that's all.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Parallel Universes

Some really magical things happen sometimes in the ADHD brain. Yes...I have an example.

For a week, I have been looking for my flip-flops. I only own one pair, and our home is not very large...this should not be a big mystery, and yet, swearing has occurred on a few occasions. And he mystery has plagued me.

Simultaneously, I have been fully aware that my flip-flops were in fact on the front porch with dog poo stuck to the bottom of them...which is why they were not in the house!

That means that at least a dozen times in the past week, I have walked around the house looking for them, swearing about them, yearning for them...and have then put on other shoes and walked out the door, passing the flip-flops on the porch, even looking at them as I walk by and thinking "dang, I wonder if I'll ever get that poop off of them". And: zero dots have connected in my brain. It's like having two parallel universes exist side-by-side in my brain! It's magic!

I used to call these moments "stupidest smart girl in the world" moments...followed by the big bang where suddenly it all comes together. Two days ago I walked past them on the porch and thought "oh man, I really need to figure out how to get the poop off of those buggers..." kept walking and then suddenly thought ", my flip-flops". Sonny had even discovered them and actually tried to get the poop off of them during their absence. and then put them back..however, I did not realize this without him telling me because I was just so excited to see them that I didn't even notice the poop was gone.

It's times like these when I feel compelled to point out that I'm a person with a Masters' Degree and who generally has jobs that require a high degree of responsibility. I am able to function in academia, in daily life, and in relation to my employment...JUST FINE with a bit of extra effort. and I put that effort in, big time This is one of the points I try to drive home through writing this blog. "Having ADHD" doesn't have to mean you don't have a productive life, it just means you need to be attentive to the quirks and the curves of your non-linear thinking, and address those quirks in realistic ways...and be prepared to work your ass off. If I have to leave a garbage can in the doorway to remind me to take garbage out...fine. If I have to organize everything on my desk in folders that are labeled in a particular way, in effect organizing my very brain on my desktop...then that's what I do! If I have to set up my morning the night before, in a series of visual cues so that I can more effectively get through my day...then allllright.

But dang, I can't believe I couldn't find my flip-flops right in front of my face like that! Really, it's a perfect example of why I need to organize myself the way I do at work, and when working on projects that actually affect other people :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sonny Speaks...

...and why, you ask, isn't he speaking for himself? Well it's like occurred to Sonny this evening that he hadn't read my blog for a while. He sat down to catch up and read my post from earlier today...where I make my claim that I am usually "The Unloader" of the dishwasher. While he appreciated the goal and spirit of my post overall, he wasn't exactly in agreement with my claim and wrote a very witty rebuttal...that got erased when we were trying to figure out how he should log in. Oopsies!

I promised him I would express his "rebuttage" for him...accurately and with compassion for differing world views, so here it is :) :

Sonny refutes my claim with a statistic (source unclear) that he is "The Unloader" 60% of the time. Perhaps he deduced his statistic from my response to his question "when was the last time the dishwasher was unloaded" to which I responded with "uhhhhh...I don't know...when?".
And so, there seems to be disagreement in the Rollins household...but there is no lack of good humor. And...I suggested a tally sheet but as Sonny wisely stated "oh that should go well in a house with two adult ADHDers!".

It's okay...he's good lookin'...I can overlook this disagreement for a guy that good-lookin'!

Who unloads the dishwasher...

This is not a joke, this is a serious dilemma in the lives of a couple where both partners have ADHD! A lot of times, Sonny and I find that we have different "dislikes" in terms of household tasks, which is great because household chorse tend to flow nicely. However, because we both actually really like cleaning and organizing the house, those "dislikes" are generally determined by how much we CAN'T STAND something because it clashes with our ADHD thinking processes...and this is a problem when we both CAN'T STAND the same task.

Which brings me to the dishwasher. We both LOVE loading it, because it's satisfying to clean off the countertops and you feel "done" when it's full.


...when it's full.
...when it's full.
...when it's full.

(smack-smack) Sorry, that's where our brains start skipping and the white noise begins. It's easier to write about emptying the dishwasher than to actually empty it.

Emptying it requires ferrying a bunch of little things to different cupboards and drawers and holes in the wall and...well that's just not ADHD-friendly. Whether you are hyperactive or inattentive, that task (we find) is just flabbergastingly frustrating.

In this case, it means that I generally end up doing it. This is not a slam on Sonny, it's just that I've consciously taken some extra steps in my relationship with the dishwasher to try to give it less power. I have a little mind-game that I have to play with myself where I tell myself HOW GREAT IT'S GONNA BE TO FILL IT UP AGAIN! Thus, I find that it's easier for me to motivate myself to do it, obviously, when there's dirty dishes in the sink again, waiting to be washed. To make it an extra challenge though, and more of a game, I try to get ahead on it so that the washer is just standing there OPEN and READY before the dishes even pile up. This type of game brings me right up to the line where ADHD starts to look like OCD...

That seems to be the key...make it some kind of game in order to make it interesting. It works, but I'll tell you what, it's a lot of work for the result of an empty washer. Thankfully, Sonny, when asked, will help me do doesn't take two people to do this, obviously, but it's more fun that way :) (Although I'm pretty sure it takes longer because I start talking...gah...)