ADHD – A Blessing and a Curse

Being distracted is a real pain. Takes longer to get things done. People get annoyed with you…friends, family, co-workers and the list goes on. “Wait, we were talking about _____. What are YOU talking about?” or “Hold that thought, we’ll talk about great ideas in 10 minutes.” “What thought?” I say. It’s gone. But wait! I have a new one! I’ll write this one down. “Now what are you talking about? I just wrote my thought down and the subject has changed. Geez.

The point is I have GREAT ideas for wonderful projects…lots of them. I have an incredible imagination when I’m interested. It’s very upsetting when something or someone distracts me from finishing an awesome project, but it doesn’t take much. Maybe a plane is flying overhead. Or someone walks by my desk. Now it’s no fun. Another unfinished project.

Another failure. How many failures can a girl have before she just gets mad and walks away. Some people shrink into the wall so no one notices them.

Well, guess what? We’re not failures! We are creative, imaginative people who get distracted. It’s not our fault, we were born with screwy brain wiring. We have been looking in all directions at all kinds of things to stimulate our creativity. The hard part is how to turn it into something positive and fun! There are ways!

The other end of the spectrum. There are many other parts/symptoms/ gifts/strengths in between that we’ll get to another time. Hyperfocus. What a blessing. To be able to stick with something we’re passionate about for hours, days.

A few little glitches that will need to be refined. There are times we need to stop for a while…for dinner, a previously planned boring meeting, the house might be burning down. I have a friend who was hyperfocusing on something on his computer and when I called for dinner he said “OK. I’ll be right there.” Ditto. Ditto. Ditto. Now I was getting mad. So I went into his office and because his office chair is on wheels, I was able to drag him out into the light for 15 minutes. Myself, having ADHD, I wanted to kill him. I was so happy I finished my four course dinner project with just the right wine and he thought it was boring. Geez again.

This can cause problems in relationships, both at home and at work. Maybe it’s time to go out and meet a friend, but we don’t even know time has passed. Just this one more thing and I’ll be finished. A few years ago, I happened to be on time in meeting a co-worker and she wasn’t there. When she showed up about 15 minutes later, she was surprised to see me. She said I’m always late. I keep at something or other thinking…it only takes 10 minutes to get there, I have time to get this email out. It only takes 10 minutes if you don’t count the time it takes to gather your things, lock the front door, walk to the car and get in it, get out again because you forgot something, finally get going and oh, yeah, sometimes lights turn red and sometimes there isn’t a parking spot at the door where you’re supposed to meet.

Having ADHD can be a real pain, but there are ways to merge into the rest of the world. There are tools. We can take our challenges and use them to our (and those around us) benefit. We have to figure out the steps and the obstacles in the way. It’s definitely doable and feels so wonderful to get a project…. work, relationships, getting somewhere on time and many other things that ADHD affects, moving along in the right direction and ultimately reaching our goals. It’s doable.

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