Tag Archives: ADHD

Tired of my AD/HD

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On days like today, I am just tired of having ADHD. I’m tired of not being able to be an adult, in so many of the ways that matter. I’m tired of having chronic symptoms that DO have a name (see, labels aren’t all bad all the time!), but have a name which I can’t repeat along the marble halls of the ivy towers (really, they’re just cement halls-and there is a sorrowful lack of ivy here). I am tired of hearing people around me claim to sympathize, saying “I was late on a paper once,” or “Yeah, I get bored easily too!” I am tired of being a cautionary tale. I am tired of being scared to check my email. I am tired of preparing for months and then having to write a paper from memory because I don’t know what I did with all that preparation or where the time went. I am tired of professors being confused (or worse, wary) that I didn’t seem to understand the requirements for the course.

I am tired if not realizing that a situation is bad until it is Way. Too. Bad.

I am tired of knowing that if I do eventually get my PhD, I will be an exception and not the norm. I am tired of knowing that it is possible, but not probable, for me to achieve my goal.

Luckily, though, even if I fail at this goal, I’ll probably have a new goal in a year or two. I’ll probably have a lurking sense of sadness and confusion, but I probably won’t remember the specifics. Oh well, no big deal. I just can’t help myself. I mean, I have ADHD.

Don’t forget who your friends are!

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I think (and this is just my humble, non-medical opinion!) that part of having ADHD involves loneliness. I’m sure there are many reasons for this, but at least one reason is that we truly forget who our friends are. As in, we actually don’t remember them.

It might sound really contradictory, what with most of us ADHDers getting notes in our report cards reading something like “interrupts others,” or “socializes with others while trying to work.” Really though, at least for me, it can really be outta sight, outta mind with everything-even friends.

Consequently, as an adult, I’ve sat alone on far too many Friday nights, a little confused, lonely, and bored. It feels like people often enjoy my company, but where are they all? In actuality, I think the problem is two-fold. First, I actually forget the names of my friends, that they even exist, etc! Second, I tend to make acquaintances-lots of them!-who could probably become friends, but then I forget about them, and literally miss the chance to really become friends, thus leaving me with fewer friends.

The solution for me isn’t a failsafe, by any means, but it does help a little. I literally keep a list of “people I could potentially hang out with” taped to my wall. Yes. I realize that could come off as a little odd, but you’d be surprised how much it helps! That helps the first part of the problem, anyway.

For the second part of my problem, the acquaintance enigma, I use my online address book. I save someone’s email, name, and in the notes section, I make SURE to write a sentence about where I know them from and my impression of them. Ex: “Met at conference. She is in a similar field, and seems pretty fun. Has a fiancé from Bulgaria who is a Latino Studies PhD.” For this, I’d recommend Google contacts, since it syncs with any smart phone (and having ADHD, your phone can really be a great tool for keeping yourself on the sane map in this crazy world!).

Anyhow. Just a tip on how to cope. Chances are, you either have more friends than you think you do, or you have more acquaintances waiting to become friends than you even remember! People will usually feel neutral or happy about hearing that their company is wanted. So go for it!

Photo Quiet

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“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”

-Ansel Adams, American West landscape photographer, who was born on this day in 1902.

I don’t think he’s a famous ADHDer or anything, but it is a nice reminder that there are low-key ways we can express ourselves, and that we can shut up and just let it ride sometimes.

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Procrastinating on Fun Stuff?

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Sometimes (well who am I kidding? A lot of the time!) having ADHD feels like the perfect storm of creativity, procrastination, and perfectionism. I procrastinate even at stuff I like to do, or have been looking forward to doing! Wtf?!
One thing I’ve found that helps at least a little bit, a little bit of the time, is to just allow myself to take the easy way in finishing (or just progressing on) a project. Yesterday, for instance, I went ahead and ordered 250 Save the Date postcards to come to my house. That wasn’t the plan-it would have been more efficient to have sent them from the website directly to the guest. But I knew that if I had them sitting online, waiting for addresses, I’d never really get around to them. So, I ordered them to come directly to the house. That way, I can keep a bunch in my bag, and hans them out or address them at other (probably still inappropriate) times (ahem, during class!).
I was a little dismayed that I had to take that route, but hey, we’ll see if it works.

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)