Guest Blogs

“A Rare Moment: Feeling Non-ADHD, for a Day”

On days like this, my conversations are more about listening than having the ADHD panic of making sense of the tornado of words and thoughts and tasks and grasping onto whatever I can hold onto.

There was a recent day when I could see things so clearly, it was as if I had a glimpse into the world of a normal, non-ADHD person who can focus on one thing at a time and knock things off the To-Do list like an expert marksman.

The slant of sun was a fluke. I had taken the Adderall like I’ve been doing on weekdays, but I attribute it to something much greater, like a touch of sympathy from God or a higher up who says, “Hey, we’ll cut her some slack today.” On that day, I knocked off two major worked-related assignments, and had time to take the stairs instead of the elevator, and eat a leisurely lunch. Most importantly, I was productive, and that is what matters in this BlackBerry, CrackBerry, and 24/7 world. These days feel like bliss compared to all else, and they are rare, kind of like swimming laps and feeling zen. On days like this, I don’t get stressed when I talk with the boyfriend, and my conversations are more about listening than having the panic of making sense of the tornado of words and thoughts and tasks and grasping onto whatever I can hold onto. On the rare day of focus, I remind myself that that there is a God.

Lately, the brain and thoughts have gone beserk again, and I am left feeling tired and spinning wheels and shuffling and reshuffling paper like a child who begins building a sandcastle only to have a wave knock it over again. Yes, it is that frustrating. The outsider sees a person who looks pissed and frustrated, and stays far at bay, and I feel totally misunderstood.

The job, while a blessing in a poor economy, remains a struggle. After 14 years in my working life, though, this is no longer a surprise. The He-Boss has a tendency to read e-mails and correspondence at the last minute, and to change his mind at the drop of a hat. He seems prone to swift mood changes based on the level of stress. I can relate in an odd way, only I don’t have the luxury of a stable of secretaries and an entourage of staff who are equally as frustrated. The other night, he tapped me at day’s end and said that it was time to go over a piece of writing that I’d e-mailed at least two days before. There was a long litany of complaints about the assignment, and I kept thinking, “Why didn’t you give this to me earlier? Why is it so last minute?”

I left close to 8 p.m. that night and everything was literally and figuratively dark. I did not even notice the crowds that I was walking into, nor how crowded the bus was. The lump of frustration just seemed to multiply and get bigger and bigger. I called up the boyfriend angry at the world, but really the white hot anger was pointed at myself. I hungered for the day when everything just came together, for a bit of sympathy. By the time I got home into the high-rise apartment, I flopped on the bed and let out an exhale. The bed should have been an oasis from the runaway thoughts, the missed work meeting, and the He-Boss who fired away complaints, but it wasn’t. Why hold it in anymore? I let the tears flow like a running faucet, and let it all out.

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