Guest Blogs

How My Cars Became the Victims of Unmedicated ADHD

Adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who haven’t taken medication should think twice about the risks before driving. Untreated symptoms can have serious consequences — even for an ADHD coach like me.

Some attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) “experts” are quite good at giving advice and offering solutions to ADHD-ish issues. Many of them, however, are far less willing to reveal their own challenges with symptoms. Not me. I’m upfront with my mishaps, no matter how embarrassing.

Namely, ripping the door off my ADDiva-mobile, a 2009 Prius. By running into my other, older car.

Oh, no.

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You know that sickening sound of metal crushing metal? That’s what I experienced as I backed out of the garage on the way (late of course) to an all-day women’s meditation event with one of my favorite gurus. It was a lovely sunny day, a crisp wind out of the north. And I needed this renewal time. I was overdue.

I had been thinking just that when I put the Prius in reverse and backed up slowly. I heard a little thump and realized — uh oh — I had nudged my black Lexus SUV. Panicked, and hoping that there was no damage, I opened the driver’s-side door to take a peek, then started to pull forward.

Unfortunately, the car was still in reverse. The Prius hit the Lexus even harder. Panicked even more, I desperately hit the brake, harder and harder.

Even worse, it was the accelerator pedal under my foot, not the brake. I was actually speeding up backwards, which, as the name of the car part suggests, accelerated the damage to both cars.

“No, no no! NO!” I was screamed at myself, at the world, at the cars.

“The IQ Idiot”

When I finally took my foot off the pedal/accelerator/supposed-to-be-brake, the door to the Prius was bent completely backwards and rested on the front fender. I was in shock.

Obviously, I couldn’t get out of the driver’s-side door — there was a black car blocking the opening. So I climbed over the passenger seat and ran in to tell my husband Victor. A few tears gathered, but I couldn’t make them fall.

“I’m not going to the women’s day after all,” I said, slamming the kitchen door. “I just wrecked the Prius and the Lexus.”

Victor couldn’t have been gentler. He didn’t get mad. He didn’t tell me how dumb it was to hit my own car with my own car. He just said, “You didn’t do it on purpose, sweetie.”

The long and short of the rest of the story is that I called a friend who managed to get the door on the Prius partly closed and we drove it to a body shop.

The Lexus is drivable, thank goodness. But it has an ugly smear of scratches and dents on the passenger side. I hate driving it around — proof of my distracted brain.

I am so mad at myself. Fixing these cars will cost me precious money that I need to devote to GardenSpirit (my women’s retreat house in North Carolina). It will also probably increase my insurance premiums. And I missed my desperately-needed day of renewal and respite.

There is always a bright spot to every tragedy (if this can be considered a tragedy). Over the years, Victor has opened the door of his little RX8 into the side of my black Lexus, leaving a line of little chips in the paint. Now the whole side needs to be repaired, which will also take care of those little dings! Yay!

But it sure would have been cheaper to touch up the dings. And if I’d renewed my Adderall prescription on time, I might have been a little more focused on driving, instead of being distracted by running late. Or maybe I wouldn’t have been running late at all! Ah, hindsight!

Two-week update:
Remember the movie Gone in 60 Seconds? Well, my little episode will be known forever as “$12,000 in 3 seconds!” The Prius is back; but the Lexus is still at the fender doctor. And I’m taking my Adderall on schedule. In fact, I made sure to set an “appointment” to send in the prescription renewal next month. Eventually I do learn the lessons of ADHD…

ADHD Made Me Who I Am