Saturday, November 27, 2010

...get your filthy mind off my ADHD!

Me (to Sonny): You smell great.

Sonny: I do?

Me: You do, you always smell great. Your body must make some chemical that I just love the smell of.

Sonny: Well we know it's not dopamine.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Some things are too delicate... be written about. To be spoken of. To be shared.

Some things just are.

The Dark Side of the Moon

Once upon a time I was a very shy little girl who was smart, but couldn't focus on schoolwork.

Then I was a teenager and I was still smart, but I became more outgoing, and I still couldn't focus on schoolwork.

As an adult, I continued my path away from my quieter self. I grew a whole other facade to relate to the rest of the world. In my early 20's I drank to maintain it. And in my late 20's, the more sober I became, the limitations of that facade made themselves known to me. I would dream about my other half. The one whose voice I knew was there but often ignored. But she was usually right...

I can tell you what she looks me, but with a brown bob and a black cashmere coat like the one I wore in high school...and black tights...and black pointy shoes. A wee slip of a goth fairy. And she perches where she will, and watches everything, and takes in everything, and stays quiet much of the time. Some people see her immediately when they meet me, and it's weird to have her pointed out. Recently a friend remarked "I remember when I first met you. You seemed separate from the rest of us. Not unfriendly. But you warmed up.". It's startling to have this pointed out...I don't think most people notice. I mean the whole point, darn it, is for people to not notice. Most people describe me as outgoing, bubbly, a people-person.

More and more I listen to the voice of the goth-fairy me. I feel like she pulls equal weight in my consciousness more and more often. And I understand why the wild-gesticulating girl took over...goth-fairy needed to be able to communicate with the outside world in a way that felt safe, even though she doesn't always agree with the wild-gesticulator.

Goth-fairy got tired of feeling different...of feeling depressed and anxious...of feeling afraid...of being seen at all. And tired of people commenting that her observations seemed strange. And tired of people asking why she could not focus on certain kinds of things. And tired of finding herself so far ahead, that she felt out of step. And tired of talking at all. The gesticulator (fueled by anxiety and ADHD!) took over and did what was necessary at the time. She layered a quirky charm-school varnish over the goth fairy, shellacking her to the tabletop, gone but not forgotten. At least until the cracks began to show.

The cracks began to show several years ago, in a series of dreams that I had about a now ex-boyfriend. In the dreams, I did all the rowing as we sat in a small boat together, and he demanded that I take him somewhere that he wanted to go. Or I would become angry with him, in dreams, because he would not say things that needed to be said. These issues were relevant in our relationship, but my therapist at the time said "have you considered that you might really be angry with yourself?". I was angry about doing all the work in my relationship with my boyfriend...but I was also angry with myself...for making one part of me do all of the work while the other half fearfully hid.

More recently, as I remove layers of anxiety, and speak to my worries, and feel less like I have to hide who I really, in all ADHD reality, am...I feel the line between my selves dissolve.

As I ask people to repeat themselves, because I didn't catch what they were saying, I reveal a little piece of the goth fairy to the sunlight. She admits not knowing. I never used to do that. As I listen to her voice in my ear and tell her she's probably right, she steps out of the shadow and becomes part of a more functional team. We are no longer in opposition.

Yesterday I realized, because I am SO comfortable around Sonny, that by contrast I'm uncomfortable around most other people. My entire self is in agreement on the issue of Sonny. All selves in agreement.

I read recently that it's possible that anxiety keeps ADHD from being diagnosed earlier and that's a compelling possibility to me. Anxiety creates worries that, because you are so engaged in them, you are actually able to focus on them, and use them to restrict your behavior. When you look at it that way, it's possible that I'm not a hyperactive ADHDer at's possible that I'm an inattentive ADHDer who is driven by fear of failure.

Definitely something to think about.