I have low-level, high-function (when I want to be) form of ADD. It’s been there most of my life, and when I look back on my years in school where I was taxing my physiological resources just to maintain a 3.0, I think I could have done more, or better, had I known – or accepted – that I had something different happening. The more I learn about how our brains work, the more I realize that ADD is not taboo or a sentence to a muddled, unfinished life.
Here’s kind of what it’s like to have ADD when I’m not feeling great:
- I recently lost an argument with my wife, which took place ENTIRELY IN MY HEAD. I didn’t want to go to a certain place for a home project, but I knew she’d want to, and every time I thought up a reason why we should NOT go, her voice kicked back why it was better to go there. I just agreed and, outloud, said “Fine, fine, we’ll do it your way.” I WAS ALONE IN THE KITCHEN AT 6:45AM, WAITING FOR COFFEE TO BREW.
- I started to empty the dishwasher, which I hate doing but wanted to “get something done.” The top rack was a mish-mash of cups and smaller plates, and… plastic dishes with no tops. There were no tops in the dishwasher. And my brain put the brakes on, and started figuring out ways to wiggle out of this. “I can’t do THIS. There are no tops. I’ll have to dig through the cabinet for tops. Who the hell is using these as dishes? We have perfectly good dishes. We have small bowls. What if there are no tops for these, like we got them from somebody else? Who did we get these from? Was I there? Are these from a kid’s friend’s house? What play-date did they go on?”
That’s how an ADD brain works. Sometimes the smallest thing causes my Professional Crastination skills to fire up. I’m a ProCrastinator. When a task seems “too big,” I pump the brakes. I pretend, sometimes, that I’m “planning” or getting notes together to do it right. But we all know that you can’t eat an elephant in one bite. You have to own a national sandwich shop and have the money from that pay for your big-game excursion to hunt and kill it!
I heard about Dr. Robert Cooper, Ph. D. on a podcast a while ago, Bulletproof Radio with Dave Asprey. Dr. Cooper’s a neuroscientist who has studied not only How our minds work, but Why they do what they do. His insight into the natural programming of our brain’s commands (Find something that works, stick with it, avoid change so we don’t falter or die, etc.) and how to change (i.e. UpWire or “hack”) the command center via Conscious Awareness has changed a lot for my own life. I highly recommend his podcasts for insights for everybody’s better understanding of how our minds work, and how to be conscious of little things that could hinder our Best Selves.
Eventually I’ll have something pretty funny to enter here. I hope. Right now my comedy brain is inundated with some new material about our upcoming elections, voting, and using drugs. Pretty sure one thing leads to another there.
Please leave any comments or tips you have for getting focused for Life stuff. I know sleeping enough, getting some exercise, and eating well are three main components. What else? High-grade fish oils? The will to see your enemies drown in the wake of your success? Whatever’s good…
And as always, my deepest thanks for reading.