Time & Productivity

iObsessed: When Impulsivity Takes Over

Distracted by, well, everything? One woman weighs in on why her ADHD causes her to obsess over random ideas, and how she puts it all into perspective.

ADHD Obsessions: Controlling Sudden Impulses with ADD
ADHD Obsessions: Controlling Sudden Impulses with ADD

I had a great day running an outdoor event for my job. It felt good. Then, right in the middle of a conversation with a coworker, I decided that I had to make hand-dipped wax candles. Now. As the person talked, my ADHD obsession kicked in and I searched for “candlemaking” and “candlemaking supplies” on my iPhone.

Dear iPhone: You’re such an ADHD enabler. How am I supposed to exercise restraint when I know that I can get a master’s degree in candlemaking online in an hour? In 10 minutes, I was able to figure out that I preferred to work with soy wax, how to make a cool holder thingy to loop the wicks through while dipping them, and which colors and scents to use.

Then I realized that I shouldn’t do it because I’m barely managing my current to-do list. I don’t need more projects. Still, the compulsion to do it became fierce. The obsession bitch was taking over. It took me three hours to smother the impulse to buy candlemaking supplies and make candles all evening — some time between eating some dinner and going to see Sonny (my musician husband) play a show with a new band.

One of the nice things about having a husband with ADHD is that, when I explained to him that my thought processes had been taken over by a candlemaking alien, he laughed. He knows what that’s like. He and I agreed that I had to turn things around, and use candlemaking as a reward, after I get through the three big things I need to finish at the moment.

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