Like most adults with attention deficit disorder, I do not welcome change.
by Frank South
My personality has completely changed as I've aged -- I'm not sure exactly when it happened. I used to be bright, open and adventurous. I liked to go to parties. Not anymore.
I’ve thought that maybe my personality changed when I was 49 and had a breakdown that led me to be diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, hypomania, etc. Then sometimes I think my personality changed eight years ago when I got sober. Other times I think it changed in the last year.
Sometimes I think my personality hasn’t changed at all - that I’ve always been the same and have only recently begun to see that I’ve spent most of my life inside a slippery clown suit in order to make it through each terrifying day. If that’s the truth, the clown suit is permanently off now and is stuffed in the garbage can at the curb. So who am I really?
My core ADHD hypomanic self hasn’t really changed. It’s just more exposed. I’m still easily led by a distracting thought triggered by a random sight, sound, or smell that turns into a shadow of an idea that weezles down into a tiny notion inside a detail about whatever caught me that’s tucked away in an even tinier wrinkle in my brain. If I can just get in there with a toothpick or something to dig it out.
I’m not a big-picture guy. I can’t stand brain-storming meetings. I cannot bat ideas around with other people -- you can keep your bat. I’ll keep my idea and go somewhere else.
You cannot put me in the same room with people who are getting a feel for the larger landscape, finding common ground, and developing big sweeping changes. I refuse to participate in this evil treatment of human thought.
Okay, “evil” is a little much. But I’m not a fan of change - especially big changes made by other people. Stay the same and leave me alone. That’s all I ask these days. So when my therapist of eight years – the only therapist that I could really talk to – decided to close his practice, I was not happy.
Good therapy, I’d recently discovered, is a communication dance – rhythm and steps building trust until you trip over unexpected discoveries together.
Now my dance partner was closing shop, going into teaching, and passing me off to some young guy.
I’m too old for this kind of change; but I need my meds, so I have to go meet my new dance partner tomorrow at 1pm. I’ve never met him and I hate him. This will never work.
Next time: ADHD Dad and The New Shrink.