Guest Blogs

ADHD and Me: An Alien Apocalypse at Disneyland

Lights! Sounds! …An alien attack? One thing’s for sure, says this adult with ADHD: life with attention deficit is never, ever boring.

Want to see the world through an ADHDer’s eyes? My symptoms make everyday life interesting. To me, the world is like an amusement park, the plot of an alien apocalypse video game, and the movie Parenthood all rolled into one. Let me explain.

I love going to amusement parks. There’s so much to do and see. With ADHD, simply venturing out to run errands is like an amusement park vacation. Wherever I go, the world is all action, noise, color, and fun! Billboards, traffic, and lights vie for my attention and I’m happily distracted by it all. It’s just like an amusement park midway. Games are binging and ping, ponging while neon and strobes turn the sidewalk into a dance club.

Gamers know how an alien apocalypse “works.” Humanity is oblivious to the approaching alien menace until one fateful day when the attack comes. A massive electro-magnetic pulse destroys communication satellites and power stations, darkening the Earth. The clocks stop, time ceases to matter,and a military battle begins. This describes the ADHDer’s relationship with time perfectly. Clocks might as well not exist! An hour sometimes feels like minutes; sometimes it feels like days. Time sensitivity is a big deal for me.

The movie Parenthood stars Steve Martin as a slightly neurotic father who’s struggling to balance work, family, finances, and marriage issues. The bottom line is that he feels like he has a fragile grip on life most days. He appears to walk closer to the edge as the movie plays out. In some ways, this is me. My ADHD symptoms leave me feeling like life is always on the verge of spinning out of control — whether or not it’s the case.

I was diagnosed with ADHD in 2006. Several years later, our daughter was diagnosed. The two of us have enough energy to turn our house into an amusement park! My wife may see it differently — probably more like an alien apocalypse. We somehow manage to maintain our sanity through it all. Aliens are defeated. Humanity is saved. And luckily, the clocks keep ticking.

[Self-Test: Do I Have ADHD? ADD Symptoms in Adults]