Embrace The Glorious Mess
ADHD is about having broken filters on your perception.
Neurotypical people have a sort of mental secretary that takes the 99% of irrelevant crap that crosses their mind, and simply deletes it before they become consciously aware of it. As such, their mental workspace is like a huge clean whiteboard, ready to hold and organize useful information.
I… don’t. Every single thing that comes in the front door gets written directly on the whiteboard in bold, underlined red letters, no matter what it is, and no matter what has to be erased in order for it to fit.
I also have the problem of never being sure what sensory input I’m receiving is actually real vs what’s a hallucination, I have no control over something imaginary wiping out something that’s real.
This happens every single waking moment, and I have to manually examine each thought, check for relevance, and try desperately to remember what the thing was I was doing before it came along. Usually I forget, and if I’m not completely distracted by the shiny new thing, I’m stuck in the middle of a desert trying to guess what the hell I was doing from the clues available – hopefully without getting distracted by a completely different set of stimuli
I’m pretty good at working out the context of random remarks, as I’m effectively doing that all the time anyway.
I rely heavily on routine – which I’ve talked about before – and 90% of the time get by on autopilot. I can’t get distracted from a sufficiently ingrained habit, from muscle memory, no matter what useless crap is going on inside my head… unless someone goes and actually disrupts my routine. I’ve actually been distracted out of taking my medication, on several occasions, by Sarah reminding me to take my medication.
That’s why the internet is like crack – it’s this non-stop influx of constantly-new things, so I can flick from one to the next after only seconds, and a single click of a button. It’s why I stayed away from it for so long. I didn’t trust myself not to get sucked in.
The exception to this is a thing called hyper focus. Occasionally, when something just clicks with me, I can get ridiculously deeply drawn into it, and NOTHING can distract me. I can lose hours in the blink of an eye.
Somedays, this can actually be a good thing. Mostly, it’s a negative.
Medication takes the edge off. It reduces the input, it tones down the fluster, it makes it easier to ignore trivial stuff (and, sometimes the important stuff too), and it increases the lengt of my concentration. Caffeine helps me calm down too, helps me focus but the come down is brutal. Energy drinks have been known to put me to sleep.
There was a sentence here that started with “I don’t…” but my phone beeped and the I don’t has become I don’t know what I was actually going to say next. Or how I was going to finish this post. But apparently S is cold.