Yet another post in an effort to clean up my blog. I’ve taken the content of a page I don’t update regularly, and added it as a single post. So, if you’re interested in weightloss, 4HB, Tim (forget his last name), or the like, read on!
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.
I travel a lot for both work and pleasure, and–one of the brighter sides of ADHD’s consistent inconsistency–I find I’m a pretty great innovator! So, I’ve decided to start slipping travel tips into some blog posts. Hopefully this will allow me to (gasp!) consistently leave a record of my innovations so that others can use then, and, let’s face it, so that I can use them when I forget!
Travel tip of the day: buy a bag of Vitamin C lozenges for the adventure. I used to take packets of Emergen-C. Emergen-C is an excellent supplement choice, but it requires water (potable water, to boot!). Clean water isn’t always available when you’re on the road, and on a lot of my travels, I’ve found locals don’t drink a lot of plain water, anyway. Lozenges are a great fix. They will keep up your vitamin c intake, and they work as candy or a little boost when your blood sugar is low. Plus, a gift of wrapped candy to a travel companion or a local friend usually goes over really well, I’ve found. It provides a little warmth and camaraderie, and doesn’t make anyone super beholden to another.
Plus, lozenges are pretty cheap – I’d suggest going with the store brand at Target.
Here, just for us ADHDers (or photophiles) is the entire article summed up in a picture:
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!
“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.
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.
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).