Guest Blogs

“A Respite”

If he asked about my ADHD medication, I would lie and say it was Tylenol. Having attention deficit disorder as an adult still feels like a mark of shame.

Rather than go insane, I’ve decided to take a vacation with the mystery man up in the white mountains of New Hampshire, where I am on my second day Nordic skiing. The ADHD self is like a sponge, drinking in all of these different interests.

Yesterday, it was a ride up on an old cog railway. The moment I sat on the soot-soaked machine, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be interesting if I wrote a book about the history of trains,” – as if no one else had ever thought of it before. And along the way, as the train heaved up the incline, I thought of the history of the railways and the poor men who must have labored and toiled over its construction.

For two days I’d skipped the meds, too lazy to search for them. I’d overpacked as usual, originally bringing with me five winter coats. The roommate must have thought I was moving house, but then the mystery man said, “Do you need this many coats?” I shook my head, feeling like a 6-year-old; no sir, I don’t.

Yesterday though I decided I needed the meds for the fear that too much time off of them would have some dangerous adverse effects. Funny that a year ago, I wouldn’t even open a bottle of pills. Now they seem like a security blanket. The mystery man hasn’t asked about the meds yet. If he did ask, I believe I’d lie and say, “Oh you mean Tylenol, I take it every day, good for women’s bones.” I’d be too ashamed to admit the ADHD; it still feels like a mark of shame and given how critical he’s been of the cuisine, snow, weather, and work, I’m weary of being laughed at.

This romantic fling has been interesting. The mystery man doesn’t like children, considers them a bit like a thorn on the side. He grimaced at the trio of screaming rug rats next to us at breakfast this morning, blatantly asking for an aspirin as the parents and grandmother were there. I have to admit that the crying and screaming was grating to me too, convincing me that despite my ticking biological clock, one shouldn’t have children for selfish reasons. When the rug rats finally got up, the grandmother turned to us and said, “Now you have peace and quiet.” For a split second, I thought of that moment during mass when we turn to our fellow churchgoers and say, “Peace be with you.” I almost did that to her. The very thought made me laugh, finally.