Tag Archives: ADD

Aside

Part of having ADHD as an adult, in my experience, are the feelings of negativity. I feel as though I let people down a lot, as though I’m always on the edge of being kicked out or ruining something (whether it be personal, professional, etc), that anything good I do or achieve is just some combo of unexplainable luck, and maybe worst of all, feeling like anything related to ADHD is, at its root, just a lame excuse for not being very good at this whole human adult thing.

So, I guess I’m saying that living as a happy adult with ADHD requires a lot of FAITH, of whatever kinds. Faith that I haven’t been wasting my time for the last X number of decades, faith that I really can finish something, someday (and I don’t just mean finish living! Ha!), and faith that It is okay not to finish absolutely everything I start, that I can begin an idea and inspire other people down really cool paths of their own!

Hopefully, that faith will get me through a really hard day today (which I brought upon myself, I know).

Inspiration for Adult ADHD

ADD and Appearance: meh, who cares?

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This post was originally intended to be a response to a question on ADDforums.com.  The poster was asking about whether we, as AD/HD women, cared about our appearance, since, as a group, we seem to be a lot less fussy about it.  My reply, of course, got a little long, so I decided to post it here:

It’s not that I don’t care about my appearance, in particular, it’s just that I, like a lot of us AD/HDers, have a REALLY hard time consistently caring (or, rather, acting out the caring) about anything!

I forget to eat (or forget to stop eating – usually that).  I think showers are boring (I like to try and make claims about how over-showered ppl are in the Western world, but really, I just think they’re boring).  When I try to shave my legs, I’ll manage to create one suuuper smooth spot about the size of a dollar bill.  The rest will still have an inch of hair hanging. I’ll admit it, it’s not a pretty picture, or paragraph of text, at least.

Still, there are some real upsides to forgetting to keep up with your appearance.  First of all, people tend to like me for being a natural, hang-loose type of person.  And, when I DO dress up, or put on even a little make-up, etc, people are so surprised they don’t forget it.  In the meantime, I’ve come up with a few tricks over the years to give my appearance-related confidence a boost.

  1. Jeggings.  Yep, just go with this trend!  The jeggings can look all dressy-uppy (especially in black), but are really stretch pants, and are all stretchy, warm, and ready to expand for the all-you-can-eat sushi buffet!  I got my jeggings at some department store (thanks to my bff for dragging me shopping!), and they’re Calvin Klein.  Granted, they cost around $35 (which is a LOT in my book), but they were more than worth it.  I mean…first business, then buffet!  They’re my only pair of nice pants, and I’m just fine with that.
  2. Pajama jeans.  Yes.  This is the second MUST-FREAKING-HAVE.  They cost $40 at CVS or Walmart, and are probably the most expensive thing I’ve ever bought from CVS.  But again, they’re totally worth it.  SO worth it!  I mean, they really do look like jeans, but they really, truly, cuddle-up-with-my-greyhound-on-the-couch-and-eat-tapioca-pudding, ARE SWEATS.  God bless the textile engineer (or whomever) who came up with that idea..
  3. Pick a signature piece of jewelry and wear it all the time.  I have this one bracelet that I’ve been wearing forever (literally, 13 years). I think it makes me look pretty and unique (even if a lot of other ppl don’t like it, lol), and when ppl ask me if it has any significance, I say, “Yeah, it’s the one piece of jewelry I’ll never lose!”
  4. I only wear one coat, but I keep two things in the pockets: lip gloss/chapstick and cheap earrings. I take them off when I get home and put them back in my jacket. 
  5. Alternatively, I also carry an (ugly) laptop messenger bag, but it’s got deoderant, meds, mascara, earrings, and a hairband. Basically I don’t own a lot of toiletries (one chapstick, one mascara), and all my jewelry is really cheap, but hey, it’s always there, and I don’t worry about losing it!
  6. Sort of reiterating points 4 & 5, make a TSA-standard-sized “first aid” kit of some little elements that will make you appear, well, socially acceptable (the TSA size is just so you can actually take it anywhere, and so you won’t pack too much, lol).  You can get away with an amazing amount of appearance-related faux paux (plural?), if you just brandish a few social signifiers, ex-calibur style.  Really.  Even little things like…
    ~having a pen and a pencil
    ~keeping a few pieces of blank paper (yep, just fold and rip them in half, and claim your “green” status for making your “own” notepad!)
    ~wearing a pretty scarf (get the cheap pashima-knock offs at the drugstore, bc they fold up tiny)
    ~offering someone a stick of gum (dude, to offer = to have remembered it, and to have remembered it = a responsible person!) 
    …can really make ppl take you a lot more seriously.  I mean pretty.  Or, seriously and pretty.  (Sorry I kinda got off track of the appearance question.)

So, you get the gist — streamline your wardrobe so you can look presentable while comfortable, keep a “first aid kit” of things AD/HDers are likely to forget, and pick a signature piece of jewelry.

Beyond this, though, own your AD/HD.  

Honestly, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I *will* be the person who puts on deoderant on the bus/train (though never while driving!).  I *will* be the woman who puts on earrings in the middle of a lecture.  I will *also* be the woman who laughs it off and makes an offhand, light-hearted quip about double standards for female appearances.  Five seconds later, I smell awesome and my ears are sparkly!  And people *will* eat it up.  In this day and age, people still have to be polite (at least in my line of work, academia), and at least act as though they’re all welcoming and nonjudgmental (even if they’r just acting – I mean, this is academia).  So really.  Who cares?!  Just roll with it.  Stand in the mirror and master your “So What?” face.  FYI, it’s a mostly blank expression, with a slightly confused smile, and a completely self-righteous, subtly upward chin.  (you know you’re trying it right now, hehe!)

My sister once said,
“It just matters what the front of your hair looks like. No guy looks at the back of your head.”

It may take an AD/HD brain to understand exactly how, but I do think that logic can be generalized to lots of situations.

 

Funny Blondes

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It just dawned on me that, as messed up as it may be, I don’t usually find stereotypically-gorgeous blonde chicks funny.  Not usually, anyway.  Do you ever get that?  Like whatever comedic expression her skinny, smooth peach-skinned face trying to make just looks like…a skinny, smooth peach-skinned face trying to make a comedic expression.  Nothing against them – they can look sweet, and happy, and lots of other positive adjectives.  Just not…funny.  Not usually, anyway.

I promised myself tonight that I WOULD finish my paper (to be fair, it’s not yet technically “tomorrow,” so I still have time, though barely any).  It’s two weeks late (yes, WEEKS – and yes, I WILL blame it on my AD/HD).  Argh.  But, I digress.

So, paper time…trying to find some suitable YouTube music vids to inspire me in cranking out the academic genius…thinking maybe Dinah Washington or Marian Anderson or just some twangy guitar in the background.  But I didn’t.  However, I DID find a super funny blonde chick! (Again, I blame that on the AD/HD – the finding the cool thing on accident, not the not finding, though they’re probably intricately related, lol).

Which made me think of…

My List of Funny Blondes:

(let’s just start with the obvious ones):

  • Chelsea Handler
  • Heather Graham
  • Lucille Ball(she was a redhead!)
  • This Chick (Jenna Marbles)

….And so, with much ado, here she is:

If that doesn’t work, there’s always the actual URL:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWVfG2mA8Rc&feature=fvhl

Now I’m really, really, really going to finish my paper.  So I can read a stupid FUN book and not have my Tuesday Teaser of Cohen’s The Criminal Process in the People’s Republic of China, 1949-1963: An Introduction pale in comparison to everything Ms. Sonia Lal over at Story Treasury reads! (and yes, she definitely deserves the accolades as a Seriously Cute Blogger, though precious few things could ever be cuter than a dog!)  Hey, maybe I’m going to make up my OWN award, a la Jenna Marble’s formula (all mathey and sciencey and stuff!)  Since it should have to do w/ blogging maybe I’ll call it the . . .

Huggable Enchilada Sloth?     Useful Posole Sloth?      Meticulous Custard Mouse?

What would those avatars even look like?!  😉  <–(That’s my lil smiley skittle fox)

 

 

 

 

Thanking the Rich Kids

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And no, I’m not being sarcastic.

I began this post at the ADHD forums.  I like to imagine that I’m just going to jump on and type a short answer to some random question or post, but…I don’t, obviously.  So I decided I’d keep the post here, and update it as I get the time and as I remember what the hell I’m doing. 😛

The original question was asking whether anyone had been successful academically while being AD/HD.  Here’s my answer (in progress):  

ADD & ACADEMIC SUCCESS – Is it just God’s joke? If so, then I like God’s sense of humor!

I’ll chip in here too. 🙂 I come from a family of AD/HD (as well as other lovely lettered conditions, which are not so lovely to live with – haha), and am the only one of my siblings (as well as one of the few in my huge, extended family) to go to college…and now grad school.  I’m currently in my second year of my PhD. I wasn’t actually diagnosed until just before beginning graduate school! Like a lot of AD/HDers, my educational path was pretty roundabout. I dropped out of high school (and later convinced them to give me a diploma despite it all, a skill which I attribute, at least in part, of having an ADD “put me on the spot please!” brain), I (barely) graduated community college having studied a total of two hours, and wound up doing quite a few other things until I stumbled into a town which had a university that took me (another story in itself, but a cute one). In university, I didn’t do things the healthy way, generally. I pulled all-nighters at least once or twice a week in order to read all of those f#*%ing missing paragraphs, pages, etc, and in order to write.

Writing:

Honestly, I love to write, and while the majority of the time, I have to revise and revise and revise, I actually just let myself get in there and tell a story. I pretend like I’m explaining whatever it is to my sister (she’s my head muse because she gets bored easily and doesn’t like a lot of B.S. clouding up the point). Also, something that has helped me is to make outlines (yeah, plural – I don’t finish most of them, haha, but making them over and over again really helps me, since I end up writing the same few things over and over again, and it gets a little clearer each time, usually).

On Reading:

Regarding reading, I love it. I let my imagination go wild when I read.  I DO have major problems reading, though.  I tend to read the same few paragraphs over and over again, my eyes wander, my brain wanders, etc.  Sometimes, I’ll even remember (usually in the middle of a test) what the page looks like, what not what was on the page.  Taking notes in the margins sorta helps, though I find myself summarizing the whole dang book when I do.  But still I read (nonfiction, now).  It’s something I’ve forced myself to love, and letting myself get imaginative about nonfiction has actually been a very rewarding experience.

Now, the Thank You, Rich Kids part:

In general, and this might sound weird, but something that has worked for me is to find people who are NOT AD/HD.  In my case, an ivy-league school, these were rich kids with the solid, cradle-to-academy education that I lack.  I study them.  I look at what they do and try to see how we do things differently. I really listen to them in class.  However, I work on the assumption that they’re not superhuman, and that they do NOT read everything, but that they actually read the RIGHT things (unlike me, who read EVERYthing, which is why I stayed up all night every night in college).  More on this later, because I do think that it’s something that is counter-intuitive but very helpful.

Also, Thank You, Wikipedia!

Another thing I finally found out in college is that (and your professors will hate me for saying this, but I’m going to BE a professor, so they can shove it!) Wikipedia is actually an EXCELLENT resource for getting the bare-bones of MANY topics. Yes, watch out for the mistakes, don’t take it as the fiinal word, etc, but do use it as a good starting point! Professors can’t test ALL of the information they assign you to learn, and so, generally, they’ll just test the main points. When reading Wikipedia articles, I look for keywords, key themes, and names of important players. It really helps me read more effectively (though it still takes a lot of willpower to actually skip over the parts of the assigned reading I’m pretty sure are B.S. – for some reason I’m always worried I’ll miss some little important nugget). I’m not sure why it took me until my junior year of college to realize that the Korean War did not only exist in the assigned reading, but that it actually happened, and has been documented in many more (ahem, wikipedia) reader-friendly formats. In fact, I still read Wikipedia articles about topics I’m supposedly an expert on!