I’m worried, this posting could cause a lot of ranting and I hesitate to try to write this with any of my typical wit and banter. People can get very testy if they think you are making fun of them or their family members so I am trying to start off by saying, “Hi, my name is Rebecca and I have ADD.”
Now you say, “Hi, Rebecca.”
It’s taken me forever to come up with today’s entry. And it wasn’t that I couldn’t come up with something to write, I couldn’t decide which of the things I wanted to write about. Then I started writing one thing, which made me think of something TOTALLY unrelated and that sent me down a rabbit hole and before I knew it, I was trying to find out about the new Alice in Wonderland movie with Johnny Depp, and wondering what to make for dinner (try and figure out THAT connection). When I realized I was totally off track (and about 20 minutes passed my 15 minutes of writing I thought, “What is my problem? I must have ADD,” which of course sent me off to look for the signs of ADD and I forgot about my other blog entry for another 20 minutes before I realized that Baby would be waking any minute….
So here are the (condensed) signs and symptoms of ADD from HelpGuide.org:
- Trouble with concentration to an extreme degree.
- Trouble following conversations, “zoning out” without realizing it.
- Finishing tasks might feel impossible, and you might have several tasks started at once without the ability to continue.
- Easily get distracted or forgetful, leading to errors or incomplete work.
- Home and/or work space might be unusually cluttered and messy.
- You might underestimate the time it takes to complete tasks or have trouble with procrastination, making completing large projects very difficult.
Alright–I have to actually stop right here for a moment. SERIOUSLY? to quote a friend. Seriously? I realize the first bullet point does say “to an extreme degree” but, seriously? Can any of us claim we don’t do these things on a daily basis? This is my life and I know it’s the life of several of my girlfriends. We’re MOTHERS. Of course we have inattention.
Wait, I’m sorry, let’s continue:
- You may find yourself easily bored, irritated and experience mood swings.
- You may be restless and full of nervous energy, not able to sit and relax.
- Quiet activities might feel impossible.
- You may feel the need to talk incessantly.
Again. Hello? Quiet activities feel impossible? I cannot account for the last time my house WAS quiet. Mood swings? I have so many mood swings I could be a playground. (think about that one for a moment). Yeah, I have had better, but it’s noon and I’ve got about 50 million things on my list and I still want to make it to the pool when Baby wakes so it’s the best you’re getting right now.
“You may feel the need to talk incessantly.”
Well, that one I can’t relate to.
You can stop laughing now.
You may have trouble controlling impulses, which can range from relating to others to daily decisions.
- You might have a pattern of making sudden decisions “on a whim” or have trouble listening to others.
- You might have trouble following a conversation, interrupting others, answering before a question has been asked, or blurting out things you regret later.
Impulse control. That’s actually something I don’t suffer from, but it may be because of the “failure to complete tasks” item. I’m forever analyzing and reanalyzing any and every decision that I come across. Should I start letting the Boy stay home alone? And for how long? And what will I do when he calls 911 “just to see if it works” and DHS ends up at our house? No, I think I’m more likely to suffer from “analysis paralysis.”
As for the second bullet point. I have a 1.5 year old, 9 year old, and 11 year old. Please tell me how TO follow a conversation, not interrupt others, not answer a question before it is asked or blurting out things I will later regret. That’s breakfast at our house!
Baby: BAR GFfgOIT ERK ED! ACKKKK. Ma. Dat.
Me: Banana? You want a banana? Cheese? Blueberries? No, no more blueberries after that last diaper.
Girl: Mom, can I…
Me: Hold on, did you get me all your library books out from under your bed? We have to return them and the 19 other books that are two days overdue because I thought today was a leap day.
Boy: Great! Can I…”
Me: No more checking out Mad magazine. It will rot your brain and I don’t like how the librarians look at me when you sit there cackling as you read it.
Me (looking at my daughter as she’s putting on her backpack): You aren’t going out of the house like that. Your hair looks like wild animals nested in it last night and your breath smells like one of the animals died in your mouth.
Have a nice day, be kind and polite at school today!
And it’s only 8:25 am.
The thing is–I don’t think I’m that different from anyone else. We all do these things and it bothers me that we feel a need to classify our behaviors as something bad or broken. Lose your keys? ADD or early onset Alzheimer’s. Fight with your children or spouse? Anger management issues. Full of restless energy? Restless leg syndrome.
And the solution to all of this labeling? Drugs if we want them. Counseling if we can afford it. Special allowances if we demand it. But where does it get us? How does this help us? I think we vacillate between enabling and berating ourselves. We can use it as an excuse for not performing up to our (and society’s) high standards, or tear ourselves down for every little misstep.
Personally, until TVs and computers are turned off and recess lasts longer than 15 minutes, I find it difficult to believe that SO many children have ADD. And have you been in a kindergarten class lately? No wonder those kids have problems paying attention–it’s overwhelming with all the words and colors and pictures all over the room. As for adult ADD–we’re old. We’re going to lose things. We’re going to zone out. We’re going to blurt out things we later regret. Get over it and get on with life. Stop overcommitting yourself to things that don’t bring you pleasure. And for that matter, turn off the TV and go out and play and some of your restless energy might just go away.
BTW, the whole Alice in Wonderland/Johnny Depp/What’s for dinner? He is so delicious, I could just eat him up…and/or…he can eat cookies on my couch any day. Yum, cookies for dinner.