Guest Blogs

ADHD and Going Overboard

Sometimes, overdoing things is a guilty pleasure, like I am indulging my ADHD. That extra brain stimulation can be quite satisfying; it hits the ADHD spot in so many ways.

I went overboard again last night. That’s what my dad used to call it when I was a kid: doing too much, talking too much, wanting too much, creating too much of something that had captured my full attention and made me hyperfocus.

Last night, it was a long overdue indulgence: reading a novel from cover to cover. All at once. No bookmarks. No “I’ll come back to this later.” One book. One night. The End.

Mmmmm, it felt so good. I slept happy and woke up with a smile. Of course, I didn’t sleep much. I started the 300-page book at 8:30 p.m. and didn’t finish until 3 a.m. But it was glorious. Something I haven’t allowed myself to do for months, perhaps years.

Which brings me back to going overboard. It actually feels good to go overboard. Sometimes, it’s a guilty pleasure, like I am indulging my ADHD. That extra brain stimulation can be quite satisfying; it hits the ADHD spot in so many ways.

[Free Download: Unraveling the Mysteries of Your ADHD Brain]

To wit: I have a lifelong aversion to live birds. I don’t like those little claw feet (probably because I was attacked by a chicken when I was a child). When we had a mural painted in the foyer of our new house about 20 years ago, I insisted that there be not a single bird on the wall, even in acrylic!

Then, my husband’s mom and dad died within three weeks of each other. They loved to watch the wild birds that gathered at the feeders in their back yard. They weren’t so crazy about squirrels that tried to steal the birdseed, however. My father-in-law would lean out the bathroom window with his .22 rifle and scare the daylights out of the thieving squirrels. After his funeral, we found that rifle in the bathroom right where he’d left it.

I was so touched I that went home and erected an elegant bird feeder in their honor: the Anna and Louis Roggli Memorial Feeder. It looked lonely, so I bought another feeder. And another. And another.

Within a couple of years, we had 40 or 50 bird feeding stations all over the yard, garden, windows, and trees. Yes, it was a classic case of going overboard. And I so enjoy the dainty little birds that visit them that my previous aversion to birds has vanished. Replaced by ADHD extremes.

[iObsessed: When Impulsivity Takes Over]

In this case, was it a bad thing to go overboard on bird feeders? The birds appreciate it. Hummingbirds and chickadees and bluebirds flock to our yard. Of course, it gets a little expensive to keep those feeders full of seed and sugar water and suet. And my husband has been pressed into action as assistant bird feeder filler. But when I see those birds, I am reminded of Anna and Louis, and my heart melts.

So maybe going overboard isn’t a great idea for some things: alcohol, Halloween candy, driving too fast. But in this case, it feels really good to indulge my ADHD. And it felt good to read all night long. The End. Wow. One book finished. 436 to go. Oh, did I mention that I tend to go overboard at the bookstore, too?

[Inattention and the Error of My Shoes]