Quick: Name a critical thing ADHDers cannot do that other people can.
ADHDers cannot count to Three.
We can start something, get to One, sure. And we can get to about halfway done, where Two lives. Absolutely.
But taking anything to the point where it’s really complete, needs nothing else – that’s where Three is. And we cannot get there.
I don’t mean we can’t smoke that 3rd cigarette, ask for that 3rd favor, or finish that 3rd slice of cake.
The best description I’ve heard comes from about 1,700 years ago:
First, fix your attention on one object.
Second, bring your awareness to the object.
You already know what’s happened to the ADHDers. They’ve drifted off by now, spilled coffee on the book, picked a fight, or remembered an important email they need to send right now.
Third, your consciousness expands, appearing boundless.
This pattern shows up in big and small ways: You set off to do one simple household repair task, get home with just the right driver and realize that you forgot the screws. You finish coursework for your degree, then realize you spent less than 15 minutes deciding what to major in.
If you find yourself constantly having to explain things you’ve forgotten to do, it may be that your neurochemistry is acting like a wind that blows a boat back into shore.
You may have found a few tricks to quiet this wind temporarily. People use all kinds of external tactics. Unfortunately, while merely trying to kick your synapses into a more lively state, you may accidentally cause all kinds of mayhem.
Folks with undiagnosed ADHD symptoms frequently find themselves using nicotine, alcohol, food, sugar, exercise, exhaustion, manufactured stress, and a host of other potentially damaging habits – just to try to keep the balloons of attention floating in the air.
The thing you can forget is that Three is where you draw the freaking owl.
Three is the place where your mind can actually relax and take in the situation, solve problems, learn, create, and be in relationship.
Many ADHDers spend most of our lives without getting there.
If you’re nodding your head, thinking I can never get to Three, go get diagnosed and treated by a professional.
Of all the mental conditions you can be diagnsed with, ADHD is the one that has the best prognosis for recovery – IF treated.