Running a Mental Marathon

I try to manage time, but mostly fail. It's playing the slot machines: Pull the lever 10,000 times and win five dollars.
ADHD & the City | posted by Jane D.
Jane D.

I feel like ADD is a kaleidoscope of great promises that go crash and kaboom. A new year’s resolution that starts with great promise and then fizzles.

Earlier this week, I told the sister about the weekly ADD group that I've been going to and told her about a depressing statistic I learned. There was a research study that concluded that adults with ADD with the same education make $8,000 to $15,000 less annually than their non-ADD counterparts. The statistic ignites the anger in me.

In response, I get a sympathetic "Oh well, we all have a bit of ADD" from the sister. This is the screw-you moment, when I want to tell off the non-ADD world. “You’re all boring and cookie-cutter conformist. You live life as if it were a game of connect the dots.”

Instead I tell the sister, “Well, it’s the degree to which one suffers. For me, it’s ruined my life.” OK, I was being a bit dramatic, but I was pining for empathy, which I rarely get because on the surface I seem so normal. Yesterday, despite the meds, I had the ultimate ADD day. I came to work early, so early that the cubicle land was empty, but once again I wasn’t sure how to start the ignition. I turned on the computer, listened to voice mail, tried to kill the frizz in my hair (rain day equals bad hair day). I applied lipstick, and then I went to check the mail, get water, milk for cereal (that I’d later forget to eat), grab the newspaper that I would never read, and then tried to get to churning out the two articles that would need to get done.

The meds kick in and keep me catatonic, super glued to the seat, so focused that I know I need to pee but I don’t move (it’s like falling into a deep sleep, awakening but not being able to open one’s eyes). I am sure that I have a pout on my face. As hard as I try to lasso in time, I fail; it’s like playing slot machines in Vegas: Pull the lever 10,000 times and win $5. So on this day I write and write and write, I research, I substitute snacks for lunch.

I hand in the work but get it thrown back to me like a short-order cook who has screwed up the omelet because it wasn’t supposed to be an omelet but rather scrambled eggs—or maybe it was the best omelet in the world but there was an egg shell in it. At the eleventh hour, the omelet I had spent the entire day on was thrown back to me from the chef. And then I look at the watch and say damn.

It's funny because a fellow ADDer is like me in that she doesn’t get why society does things a certain way. Why make to-do lists when we can just do things? Why write down that we are going to call someone, or buy a head of lettuce? When I think of something, I do it.

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