If ADD were a gift, we'd publicize it — and not feel strait jacketed by everything conventional.
ADHD & the City | posted by Jane D.
Jane D.

It's getting worse. I feel like the betta fish that is sinking to the bottom of the flower vase. Is it depressed? In my case, is it Meds gone awry? Maybe it's like LSD, a good trip gone bad.

Lately, I have been living like a wild child. When I was little, I loved watching Peter Pan and had a penchant for the lost boys, parent-less children who live by assumptions.

Last night, I went on a lukewarm date with a middle-aged Chinese tech guy. He was suffering from a bad case of allergies. His eyes were blood-shot, his nose was running, and he looked like he was crying the whole time. He didn't talk much, another shy guy or social dummy.

When I got back from the blahhh date, I broke two commandments. I turned on the computer, got sucked into surfing, and I headed to the fridge to get a fix of whip creme and cake. It's a good thing I went swimming, but once again I haven't made a real swim workout for two weeks now because I have packed my nights with dates to forget the ex... who thankfully is leaving next week at least for the summer.

I feel like every day is a litany of good intentions and broken promises. Once again the words of a former boss echo in my mind before he pink-slipped me, "You get an A for effort, but it's just not working."

I walk around feeling like I am about to explode. I don't have the patience to stand in line, weave through the crowds in the city. I have increasingly been angry at the morning subway squeeze, tired of the tossed salad of people, baby carriages, bags, and luggage—and thankful (so thankful) that I do not live in India or some overpopulated city where my frustrations would be meaningless.

I told the shrink last week—who, by the way, is passing me to another shrink because she's leaving—that things were better when I didn't know about ADD. My self-confidence was golden, because I could pass on the blame. Lost job: their fault, bad boss. Lost relationship: they're a jerk.

Now, I am left in a gray area wondering always if it's my fault. If ADD were a gift, then we'd publicize it, right? It wouldn't be tagged with disorder. I would be able to live freely without feeling strait jacketed by everything conventional. The struggle is also not visible.

But to everyone else, it's so fixable. The father continues to drill the idea of "daily fun hour" in me, and says, "No more than three things." But there are a million things. Even with food. I'll buy a bag of chips, get bored halfway, stick it in the drawer and discover it weeks later. Stale chips are not appetizing.

At work, I have a mound of "stuff" under the desk. Magazines, clothes, information on events that I wanted to attend but forgot about. I imagine holding a matchbook, lighting the match and setting it on fire. It would get rid of the problem, this albatross around my neck.

I was thinking of coming out of the closet and telling the ex that I am sometimes the way I am because of the Meds, and god knows what else. "Make sure he has a drink or two first," the sister says. Better yet, make sure he doesn't laugh, because then I'd strangle him.

As for Marilyn the betta fish, it has survived the tsunami. The sister calls it the "superfish." "It's a stupid story," I responded. "No, it's not. It's a story of survival," she said. It is a survivor, a little like me.

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