The twists and turns of attention deficit make for a wild ride. I can't get enough of the ups and downs of a life lived so intensely.
by Stacey Turis
I will never have perfect mental health with this ADHD and co-morbid brain. I’ll always go through bouts of depression, I’ll always get anxious before social events, and I’ll never remember where I set my glass of water down. The list of mental hiccups goes on, but I’m too lazy to try to recall them all.
This is my brain. I’m stuck. If there were an awesome outpatient surgery that switched out my brain for one that’s a little less ornery, I’d probably stick with what I have. I’m not willing to give up the magic in my mind for some old, boring executive function skills and mental stability.
It’s not easy living this way, and, as a household, with both parents and both kids living with “magical” minds, it can get wacky. Many things are forgotten, postponed, or never even noticed. Here’s a perfect example from a recent conversation between my husband and me:
Me: We need to sit down and look at our life plan.
Husband: Yeah. We need to set aside a day to do that.
Me: But we never do that.
Husband: OK. How about a day next weekend? We'll put it on the calendar and get a sitter for the kids.
Me: OK, cool!
Husband: Hey! Since we won't have the kids here, we should go to Six Flags and ride roller coasters!
Me: Wait! What about our life plan?
Husband: We'll talk about it while we're riding roller coasters!
That’s why stuff doesn’t get done at my house. Instead of planning our life, we usually decide to live it. We believe that living is worth more than holding on to the grip-bar waiting for it to be over. Living with ADHD is, as many have said, like being strapped into a roller coaster — except that the ADHD life has lots more twists, turns, dips, flips and flops. It isn’t for the faint of heart.
My husband and I were born to ride. We are wired to experience life at more intense levels, and, as much pain as that brings us when we hit the lows, the highs are indescribable. As ADHDers, we need to live knowing that everything we experience is part of the ride. When we get off safe and sound, there are very few of us who don’t choose to get back in line to experience it again.