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Daydreaming: The Quarantine Escape For My ADHD Brain

Daydreaming is a quarantine pastime that has provided some relief for my cooped up ADHD brain. Elements of my childhood bedroom evoke memories that transport me to far away places and a pandemic-free world.

Before I was diagnosed with ADHD, I zoned in and out while trying to do my homework in my bedroom. Now that I’m in college and understand myself better, I have learned to control my focus. But returning to my old bedroom to complete online college classes, I find that I’m reverting to my old ways.

I zone out—or in—counting the coins in my high school desk that have been there since 2017. One that features a ring of silver encircling a golden center captures my attention. I pick it up, and a conquistador’s profile jolts me. The sharp curvature of his hat is neater than the coils of our founding fathers’ wigs on other coins. His name is Vasco Núñez de Balboa, and this is a Panamanian coin called a Balboa.

I crave new experiences, especially since I’ve aged out of this study space. Every scratch on this desk, creak of this chair, smell of this room takes me back to high school. But this Balboa takes me somewhere else, like a portkey transports Harry Potter. I’m back in the places in Panama I visited on a high school trip.

I’m sure it’s my chair creaking, but I’m hearing bus horns or howler monkeys. The smell of my room hasn’t changed, but I detect the aromas of yuca and fresh fish. My feet are on the carpet, but I’m wading through a river, trying to get home after a long hike in the jungle.

Daydreams are saving my sanity during these days of COVID, but my calendar’s alarms snap me back to online class. Now, I’ll hyperfocus and escape to the circular glacially formed lakes that I’m learning about. Even while trapped inside my house, through memories and studies, I have places to go.

Daydreaming with ADHD: More Reading


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Updated on November 23, 2020

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