Friday, September 10, 2010

Let's talk shopping...

...I was just talking to a friend and fellow ADHDer (who will soon be writing a guest post for this here bloggity-blog!) and we were talking about shopping. Here's a typical experience for the two of us:

I walk into the store, full of hope, full of enthusiasm. I don't have a lot of money, but I don't really care, I may just browse to enjoy the experience and clear my head. Somehow, I end up with a bunch of stuff draped over my arm that I'm really excited about...somehow I go to the dressing room and try it all on...and usually, I give all the clothes back to the changing room attendant.

Two reasons: women's clothes are so fucked in the sizing that I have a hard time finding things that fit properly. But there's another bigger problem...making decisions about what to buy and not buy make my head hurt. It's totally overwhelming and in my free time (what little I have) I don't like spending time being overwhelmed. I could have been in that store for two hours, looking at stuff, trying stuff on...and will walk out with nothing. USUALLY I walk out with nothing.

My friend was just telling me that she does exactly the same thing because it makes her really cranky, having to make all of those decisions about the clothes. It's the worst, too, when you are on a limited budget because then you have to think about all the combinations of things you can and can't afford...ugh...

I'll generally agonize over it while perusing the shelves again, realizing I already saw everything on my first pass, remembering what worked and didn't in the dressing room, berating myself because buying pants shouldn't require that much thinking, wondering why I'm agonizing over it at all, then wondering why I'm agonizing over my agonizing, until I finally just walk out. No clothes. Today was different, I bought a sweater, but only because my boss gave me a $50 bill for my birthday the other day and I had one $50 item that I had been wanting for two years...that decision was easy. All the rest...fuck 'em. I gave a big pile back to the attendant today...

My sister gets exasperated with me when shopping (I think I touched on this in an earlier post where I discussed getting stuck on the fiber content of socks while my sister aged 7 years waiting for me because I couldn't figure out which socks to get because I was overwhelmed by the choices...). She's even less patient than I am. So she'll just grab a ton of clothes, buy ALL of them, and return the ones she doesn't want later. She doesn't like to have to go to the dressing room and try things on. Technically she's not diagnosed with ADHD but...really? Haha...hmmm..... point is that ADHD makes shopping annoying...haha :) I wish I could make clothing magically appear and disappear instead of having to go through that process at all.

I have manners. Oh yes I do.

Yep. I do crazy things like say hello to people. And good bye. And please. And thank you.

And sure is funny that I'm the one living with the ADHD stereotypes living over my head because YOU are pretty rude. Pretty ungrateful. Pretty self-centered. And I have to deal with you all the time. Sometimes several times a week.

Everytime I see you, I say hello, even if you choose to ignore me. Everytime I leave, I say goodbye, and you try to look busy so you can pretend that you didn't hear me, or that I was talking to someone else. You avoid eye-contact, hoping that if you don't see me, I don't exist. But...everyone but you knows it's not working, and that it's rude. But I still choose to be polite.

And guess what? People generally think that I'm a polite, pleasant person to be around...and you? Well...what do people generally think of people who are rude, manipulative and arrogant? I won't waste my time stating the obvious.

All I that I am proud of my decisions to remain gracious and polite to you, despite your rotten attitude. I'm not the one whose ass will be bitten in the end by your poor behavior.

It's a situation as an ADHDer that yes...drives me nuts and my head, often snarkier remarks arise and beg to be set free onto your ears. But I have the choice...and I choose the more gracious path. Anything less would be a waste of MY time, since of course...if I chose to be snarky it would not change YOU in any way. Only you can make that decision...and your decision is already clear.


Link Sharing...

...hey readers...I know that lot of you have blogs of your own. If you send me the link, I will link to your blog. When I began writing my own blog, I had a hard time finding other adults writing on the same topic so it would be nice to list more of you. (David, if you see this, can you re-send me YOUR link? Sorry it took so long to get around to this...).


Mrs. Rollins

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Practice does not make perfect...

...anyone else have the experience of certain things getting easier with practice.

I feel that as I reinforce certain new behaviors through repetition, that I AM able to replicate them more frequently. I know this shouldn't seem revolution, but duh, I have ADHD. I know there are certain kinds of things I will always have to revisit (I still hate pumping a full tank of gas at once because I hate standing there and waiting for it...haha) but I feel that more and more, even though I have the same thought processes in my head, I can often have the thought...and then choose a different action.

I know that the thought process will probably never go hand will still go to just dump my debit card in my bag when I'm done with it instead of putting it in my wallet...but now my brain goes "Oh wait. Wait. Just put it in the wallet." and my hand still moves to the bag, but I pull it back...and then it goes again...and I pull it back again. Sometimes it will happen 3-4 times...and I laugh and get the wallet as I mechanically remind myself that putting the card away in the wallet is a better idea. This seems like it's not very efficient but I assure you that it's far more efficient than having a fit about not being able to find the card later...or not having it handy when I need it because I didn't put it away.

That I can have this conversation in my head at all, about actions that used to be absolutely not natural for me, is an improvement and a victory. But it's still funny...and it's still mechanical. I do like seeing that kind of progress though. Sometimes I still blow off the little stuff...sometimes I have a day where I'm just rollin' in the ADHD flow...but more often, I am at least aware that I'm blowing something off.

And I can see this improvement even when I don't take medication, but I DO really like that my brain is calmer and I don't have to work as hard at these little things when I do take it. This must be different for everyone, as we all have different levels of impairment...but for me it's certainly true. The medication has made it easier for me to see what "normal" is like actually, so that it IS easier for me to see what needs to be done when I'm not taking it. It's all one big "OHHHH" experience.

This sounds like I'm saying that medication is curing me's not, it's just given me insight that is helpful is making improvements to how I "do" my life all the time. it's almost 1AM and this ADHD train needs to pull into the station for a nap...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Nocturnal Animal...

...some people are morning people and some people are night people. I have always been a night person. My husband, by virtue of having had three small children for the past 8 years, is a morning person.

When I'm waking up, he's leaving for work. When I'm home and ready to relax, he's ready to go to bed. Somewhere in between, we are putting kids to bed, and getting things ready for the morning (and I'm still learning those routines...but I'm doing a good job with catch-up). I know, I know, welcome to married life with kids...!

This crisis reaches its most humorous when you note that my night owl tendencies have actually waned a bit since I began treatment for ADHD. These days I can actually generally get to bed around midnight...far earlier than my former 2-3am. So I have actually succeeded in re-training my brain and my body to accept a slightly more healthy schedule, but it's still not quite enough to get me on the same general schedule as my husband. He can't really adjust because someone simply has to be up and ready when the kids are crawling out of their hives in the morning. He's even able to pull it off, albeit not delightedly, when he has late night gigs. I'm able to be there for him and the kids at other times of the day but I simply can't get to sleep before midnight and my thinking part of my brain simply does not function before 9am. (I'm awesome with the late night "I can't sleep!" interceptions though when kids have bad dreams!)

The crisis reaches its least humorous when I really just haven't seen Sonny all day and would like to have half an hour to just sit with him...and he really and truly needs to go to bed.

I'm not feeling like this is a true "crisis" but it does make me a wee bit hehhhhhh. Sigh. And really and truly, as much as I know it doesn't make sense to wish for such things, but I really just wish that getting myself to bed earlier was a realistic option.

This is where brain chemistry and real life meet. My brain's chemical transmitters simply don't cooperate with my having an earlier schedule. I don't know about Sonny's, but I do know that as a Dad with ADHD, he works hard to maintain his routines and schedules in order to get done what needs to get done and that's something I love about him. Melding our lives together to find ways in which we can BOTH help each other and do the teamwork necessary is yet a third consideration.

OH...and let's not forget the migraine/vertigo twist...remember what happened when I tried to make myself into a morning person after moving in with Sonny and the kids? A two month-long disability that rendered me useless? We're just going to have to look at the best parts of both of our internal clocks and plan from there I guess...perhaps when the kids are teenagers I get to be the crazed bad-cop parent that enforces curfews because I'm up at that time anyway? Heh...