Untreated ADHD symptoms can put you in a stress position when you are trying to function as a teacher, student, leader, follower, or a partner in any relationship, be it parent, child, friend, sibling, spouse, co-worker…
Imagine you’re a soldier in the Roman army, standing in formation, looking straight ahead while the commander paces among you and your assembled formation.
Disclaimer: I do not have any military background, much less any knowledge of military history. Knit your own damn sweater.
As I was saying, the commander hands a large stone to one of the soldiers, with the instruction that it must be held straight out from the shoulder until the commander gives an order to release it.
For a while, it’s easy. The stone is maybe the size of a fist. The commander walks away, talking about something else.
A few minutes go by. The weight of the stone stone grows, and the strength of the arm begins to ebb. Sweat appears on the soldier’s brow. The eyes begin to dart around, the commander’s voice is drowned out by a growing throb of pain. The stone drops to the ground.
You are newly diagnosed with ADHD, and you’ve been trying to do what those around you seem to do with no visible effort.
With no way to understand your unique neurology, your eyes light on anything you think will help you understand the situation, or at least allow you to survive for a while longer.
You have to do lots of things at once:
A. The task at hand. Remember appointments, prioritize, resist distractions, get along with people, accomplish things.
B: Pretend to be normal.
C: Figure out how to trick your brain into behaving in a manageable way.
D: Somehow avoid being killed or horribly fattened by the shortcuts and hacks you’ve found to leash your attention while driving, working, parenting, creating.
You’re expending a lot of effort now – way more than your “normal” peers to get the same results.
When the stone drops to the ground, you’ve lost a job, flunked a course, been kicked out of a band, dumped by a romantic partner, or been arrested for fighting at the DMV.
Somehow, you get a diagnosis of ADHD, meaning what? Your brain sucks.
Yeah, it does suck. If you’re looking for someone to tell you what a gift it is to have ADHD, keep scrolling.
Now you’re trying to get a handle on a really sneaky problem. How to use your faulty-ass brain to diagnose, understand, and treat your faulty-ass brain so it can do what you want it to do instead of just making you look like a loser.
The solution to this problem is a bit more elusive than others you may have faced before:
If you realize you’re allergic to cats, you can find a nice family to adopt your cat, and vacuum your place. Within a few days or weeks, your problem is simply gone.
If you find out you’re allergic to alcohol (drinking makes me break out – chairs, drywall, teeth, federal statutes) you can put the plug in the jug. Not easy, but pretty simple.
If you have broken a bone, you can go get an x-ray, a cast, stay off it. As some point you’re problem is simple.
With ADHD, you have to figure out that the floors in your home are covered with invisible marbles, and you have to learn how to walk over them carrying a pot of boiling soup without falling on your ass from now on – all while you interpret an endless cascade of shitty metaphors from people like me.
This is why I say to the recently diagnosed – you’re probably exhausted.
So get some sleep, and when you wake up, start reading the rest of this blog, where I share what has worked for me, and what has not.
If you click Like, you’ll be alerted when there’s a new posting.