Guest Blogs

“Hunting and Gathering”

To me, everything looks like candy — all the items displayed in the bookstore, the pet store, the new coffee shop with 100 flavors. I gather one item, then move on to the next impulsive purchase.

This city never sleeps. It is one big, colorful explosion of noise and color, of consumerism at its peak. To someone like me, who has ADHD, everything looks like candy — all the items displayed in the bookstore I pass every morning, the pet store, the new coffee shop with 100 flavors, the massage boutique, the manicurist. As I walk down each block, ideas grow like weeds after a rainstorm. I can’t stop them. The comedic adult with ADHD calls it pinballing, you could call it creativity, or genius, in reality it’s a pain in the ass.

The route to work becomes a row of diversions. On a recent morning, I waltzed into the bookstore and and gave in to my impulse to buy yet another notebook to organize myself. It makes me feel better, like I am a little closer to being organized. But at home, the notebooks pile up like a stack of pancakes. I start one, inevitably forget about it, and start another. That is life as an ADDer — it is a life of beginnings without a middle and end. My closet is already a graveyard of trapper keepers, calendars, rolodexes, filofaxes, full of monthly, weekly, daily, half day, minute-by-minute ways to organize. It is the easiest way to drive my ADHD self mad. In desperation, there is also the Flylady. After I buy all of Staples, I will turn to the Flylady in the same way a Catholic who sins turns to a confessional.

I walk into the pet store and buy a blueberry colored Betta fish. Then, on another day, I walk in again, tempted to buy a second. I believe there’s a spirit out there, an invisible drill sergeant who keeps me in check. On the day I almost picked up Betta fish two, it turned out the double tank I bought had a crack in it.

I pass the street hawkers selling flashy belts, faux plastic jewelry, and impulsively buy a purse, a wallet, a Christmas gift for next year or maybe even the year after. I am like a hunter, I love gathering. I make excuses and tell myself it’s okay because I’m splurging on someone else.