Attention Deficit Disorder in Adults

Posted: July 27, 2009 in 1
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How difficult is it to write when every single micro-millisecond of every second of every minute of every hour every single day is interrupted? Answer: nearly impossible. And the sad thing is, it’s not always other people who interrupt me – it’s myself.

Very annoying.

I’m reading a book about adult ADD, entitled, Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood through Adulthood by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D. and John J. Ratey, M.D. When I got to the part about how adults with Attention Deficit Disorder have lots of piles of things, stacks of papers, magazines, ideas, etc., I almost burst into laughter-filled tears. I’ve always said that one of the reasons I work with children is that their attention span is as short as mine. You should see me trying to prepare meals for them. I walk to the refrigerator from the stove (a matter of five steps) and by the time I get to the refrigerator I have forgotten why I’m there. I retrace my steps constantly throughout the day every day.

The same thing happens when my family comes for dinner (though they don’t know about what happens in my head while I try to prepare their meal). Talk about being easily distracted – if I have ADD, I am classic ADD. I have piles of things everywhere. Yesterday I tried to organize my bedroom, because when my daughter, son-in-law, and their two children moved in with me and I said, “I will consider my bedroom and bathroom to be my own little haven – my sanctuary – you can have the rest of the house,” I didn’t realize they thought I meant that everything from the entire rest of the house would have to go into my bedroom.

Organizing my room is an overwhelming job that requires a brain that functions entirely different from mine. I pick up one item from the multitude of boxes and bins that now sit in my room (and yes, some of them were there before my daughter and her family moved in), look around the room at everything else in my bedroom and decide to put the thing I picked up in a pile with intentions of returning to it later, because I don’t know where to put it right now. Pretty soon, the entire room is sitting in that pile.

Now for somebody who is an admitted pack rat, adding more boxes (I really love boxes – they make me feel less disorganized) to my already-jam-packed room was like trying to squeeze an additional 3 gallons of milk into an already filled-to-the-top gallon of milk. I’m thinking of raising the roof in my bedroom or having shelves built into every wall clear up to the ceiling.

So, anyway, what was I talking about? Oh yes, writing, and finding time to write. So NOW, not only do I not have much time to write, because I’m trying to find things like oh, um, my bed, I have so little time for anything else.

Does anybody else care that I’m trying to make a living here?

Oh, what? You think not getting paid to write means I’m not making a living?

You have a point. So why am I trying so hard?

You think I’m kidding, right – that I asked that question facetiously? I’m serious. I really want to know. What drives me to write?

Hmm, maybe the same thing that drives me to distraction – my short attention span.


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