ADHD and life – a little personal experience

addmeme

I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder when I was 5 years old.  Then again, it was 1979, and I was simply labeled as “hyper” by my pediatrician (granted, the same pediatrician who once said if I didn’t stop “acting weird,” I would never have any friends)  As I grew up, there were a lot of things I didn’t know about ADHD, and it felt almost like my problems were all my fault.  It took some time to learn how to move past that without assuming a “victim mentality,” but now I’m learning so much more about this condition and it’s been greatly beneficial.

First, let me begin by saying that, despite what you might read, you never really “grow out” of ADHD.  Since it is at least partially a genetically-linked situation, ADHD is something which is with you throughout life.  Just like someone with addiction in their genetic background can demonstrate self-control but must always be on guard, so too is the person with ADHD when it comes to focus and concentration.  In my case, focus has always been a challenge.  The notion of a new challenge or opportunity makes my eyes light up like fireworks.  Motion is something I find relaxing – be it walking, driving, or biking, I have to be on the move.  Mental motion is no different – when I”m in a situation where I feel like I’m “spinning my wheels,” frustration sets in easily.  I’m fairly convinced an ADHD person who literally gets their car stuck in the mud would be more likely to get out and walk than wait for a tow truck.

I read a blog post about how Gchat posts are like laser pointers to a cat.  This is true of many things, not just chat bubbles.  Moving mental targets are maddening, but they are also enticing.  The one thing which drives me positively crazy is when someone sets a goal for me, and then moves the target.  If you’re going to move the goal posts, let me know first – don’t just do it to “mess with my head.”  I could be going along nicely, in a semi-comfort zone, and it’s just that “SQUIRREL” moment.  If you want to get an ADHD person to do a good job at work, be consistent, be honest and don’t mess with their head.

It’s easy to spot an ADHD person by their blog.  For me, I’m usually either extremely organized, meticulous and detailed in my thoughts, or I’m so all over the map everyone around me wants to shoot me with a blow dart dipped in Adderall.  So-called “random thoughts” posts are particularly appealing; it tends to allow me the chance to clean out the mental closet.  Jimmy Buffett was on target with his song Mental Floss, it really is sometimes in one ear and out the other.  Then there are other moments when I stare at a blank computer screen, and I can’t seem to think of one damned thing to write.  The best equivalent is the pack mule that won’t budge, even if you set off a wad of explosive under its rump.

And forget about relationships!  When you have ADHD, being married or even just dating requires herculean effort.  I’ve been married a long time and, as those of you who follow my blog or on social media may know, I don’t classify myself as even a mediocre hubby.  Women tend to be like laser pointers to me, and it is a justifiable source of endless irritation to my wife.  I’m grateful she’s patient, because ADHD doesn’t help there – it’s like looking at shiny objects in a toy store (sorry ladies, not meaning to objectify the gender – it’s the only equivalent I can come up with), but knowing the teddy bear you have  in your arms – the one you’ve had since the start – is the one you love and the one you’ll always be able to count on.  I don’t want another teddy bear, but there are days I love looking at that Transformer in the shiny package!

There are a few upsides to being ADHD.  For one, when you need to focus and are able to, you can get “in the zone” WAY more efficiently than others.  If you have learned how to hyperfocus, the ability to drown out the “white noise” of the surrounding environment can be a serious help.  This is especially useful for artists, athletes and writers.  Also, ADHD allows one the ability to not realize the situation around them – this comes in very handy when responding to an emergency situation and you need to forget about your own mortality for a moment or so.  The notion of “running into a burning building” is so ADHD in theory, the person who cooked up that term must have had focusing issues their whole life.  Let’s not forget about the fact that many ADHD people also tend to be highly creative – our minds are already going a zillion miles a nanosecond, so why not cook up some crazy ideas in our spare time?  As for sex and relationships, it’s a two-edge sword – while we can be doting lovers and energizer bunnies in the sack, we are in constant danger of losing interest and seeking out excitement, which often can and does lead to risky behavior.

I’m not apologizing for anyone with ADHD.  Those of us who know our condition have no reason to apologize for it.  It’s what we are, but playing the “victim card” doesn’t cut it, either.  For those of us with this condition, managing it is the way to go, and turning what others perceive as a weakness into a strength and using it to leverage abilities some would consider superhuman makes it worth exploring.  I’m going to focus on it now, right after I’m done finding that stupid squirrel!

42 Struggles Only People With ADHD Will Understand

This post is spot on!!!!!

Thought Catalog

ShutterstockShutterstock

1. Nothing on earth is interesting enough to keep your attention over the sound of loud shoes click clacking against the floor.

2. You know the easiest way to clean a room is to throw everything away.

3. As soon as you let me know you got adult ADHD, you get to hear a half-hour tale on how they also have someone with ADHD but are not diagnosed and how they do all the same things and they totally relate.

4. Whenever anyone tells you that, you just lack discipline.

5. You get highway hypnosis from reading long books.

6. When you have to work in any open space that is not the quietest, emptiest, most boring library ever.

7. The one time you found your purse in the fridge.

8. Every time, there is something that keeps getting you… missing the little details.

9. You keep 23 windows…

View original post 648 more words

Time for the moderate “sleeping dragon” to awaken

If you consider yourself a moderate from a political standpoint, this hasn’t been an easy run.  Moderates have been getting shouted down, bullied and abused by the extremes on both sides of the political fence.  We have been called spineless, gutless and cowardly, as well as accused of being political phoneys, fakes and opportunists who wont stay true to anyone.  For both the right and left. Moderates are regarded as the hapless dupes or selfish, what’s-in-it-for-me losers who contribute nothing to the world.

This left-leaning moderate is calling a giant load of bullshit on both parties.

Nobody has all the answers and, if they claim to, I run fast.  A great nation is great because it takes ideas, debates them, and seeks consensus.  Today, we have devolved from a “more perfect union” into something far darker.  Our nation is on the precipice of being neither socialist nor capitalist, but fuedalist.

I will never argue the merits of building your own fortune, or creating wealth to share with your family, but, at some point, common sense must prevail and children of wealthy or upwardly mobile families should have to make their own way in the world. Instead, the latest generation of so-called “trust fund babies” care little, if any, about their fellow man and many have adopted the dangerous ideologies of social darwinism.  Our nation, in order to build and flourish, must understand that constant renewal and fresh ideas are required.  Holding back innovation, either government foolishness or legislative protectionism, is the epitome of class warfare.   We claim to be a nation referring to itself as “We The People,” so that requires a fresh understanding that America is not oligarchy, nor a plutocracy, nor a theocracy.

Our constitution says “We The People,” not “We The Privileged,” “We The Connected,” or “We, The More Cunning.”  That statement, at the beginning of the Preamble to our constitution, is the keystone of our national identity.  There is nothing more important to our national future than the understanding that all the people, not those in the rooms of power brokers of both sides of the aisle, are the ultimate arbitor of national power.  Without the people, the powerful, the wealthy, the connected are nothing.  Those who believe that moderates are “gutless” or “spineless” are, themselves, weak schoolyard bullied whose greatest fear is our choice to awaken and act as the sleeping giant we are.

Moderates, lets wake up and breathe some fire together.

REAL marriage advice…from a crummy husband who’s trying to do better

When I can’t write about anything, I tend to vent.  Maybe today is not a good day to do it, as I’m feeling extremely depressed (yes, writers tend to get depressed) and I would rather be split open at the navel and pumped full of acetylene than read some of the drivel which qualifies for pop culture these days.

One of the items irking me has been this wildly popular article a man wrote about how marriage doesn’t work, or something to that effect.  The mere inability to remember the actual content should speak volumes,  but I am too annoyed with this online schlock to not respond.

I don’t fancy myself an expert on marriage…hell, I cant even claim the mantle of fidelity guru, but I can offer some genuinely honest advice on how to stay married, and this isn’t “coffee table book” platitudes, this is down-and-dirty, kiss-It-Drs. Phil and Laura sort of advice

Be ready for anything.  The fun thing about marriage is it can be an adventure.  The downside is you usually feel like you’re hanging on for dear life.  Being married requires a sense of fatalism that would make Stonewall Jackson stand up and salute.

Use free alone time wisely, not so much productively.  It sounds idiotic,  but most of us married folks have to figure out how to enjoy free time.  Hobbies are vital, as is knowing what your genuine likes are.  If you’re married and have no hobbies, the time to get one is yesterday.  A “honey-do” list doesn’t qualify.

Forget any example your married-100-years grandparents set.  It doesnt apply.  In this era of dual incomes, the hardest thing for a woman to do is get ahead in a man’s world.  Of course, the hardest thing for a man to do is cope with a wife who earns more and has experienced greater career success.

Fidelity still counts.  Coming from me, this is a highly hypocritical statement.  That being said, once you find your “one spouse” groove (lets face it, for some it takes time and some monumental gaffes), sticking with it does have some real advantages.

Stop taking everything so seriously.  Whoever wrote Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff was obviously married a while, because a long term marriage requires both sides to take life with a grain of salt.

Laugh…a LOT.  Let’s face it, marriage is a grind.  It tests you, depresses you, angers you, and drives some to non-productive coping mechanisms.  When we find the humor in everyday life, it helps.

Sex.  Its whats for (breakfast, lunch and) dinner. Not talking about animalistic jungle craziness here.  Those of us married long term realize the value of the “quickie.”  Its like a between meal snack when the blood sugar is low.  To borrow the Nike slogan, just do it.

After so many years, it gets a little exclusive.   One year is boilerplate.  Five year is average.   Ten year is on the outside.  Fifteen, well thats where it becomes secret handshake time.  From that point out,  it’s more a select club than a mainstream demographic.

If you think men don’t look,  I’ve got a bridge to sell ya. We look, okay?  Not saying it’s right (it’s not) but it’s reality.  What we men need to learn to do is be stealthy because, lets face it, women look too.  Oh, and lookie, noooo touchie!

Forgive.  Thats it.  Forget is irrelevant.  Humans dont forget hurts and cheats.  But forgiveness often leads to reconciliation.

Yes, Ladies, we ARE that stupid.  Men are hardwired to be morons.  Women get to have bad hair days, so we should get Dumb Married Man Day. Testicles will do that to you.

Guess thats all I have for now.  Ill be posting my weekly podcast tomorrow…you have been warned.

Why I write about my college newspaper days

Three years ago, I saved this paper from the abyss for the second time in 20 years (with some help, of course).  But the first version of my editorship is what inspired my current novel series.
Three years ago, I saved this paper from the abyss for the second time in 20 years (with some help, of course). But the first version of my editorship is what inspired my current novel series.

Now that “Change Rising” is out (click here to purchase), there has been something I’ve been asked by quite a few people over the last few years, being “why do you write about your college newspaper days?  Don’t you have something better to write about?”

Here is the answer:  yes, I do have plenty better to write about.  I could write about politics, or humor, or how greenhouse gasses are destroying our planet, or how global warming is a forbidden word for employees of the State of Florida.  I could muse about President Obama’s many failings, or how the religious right has been so out-of-control that many want our nation to become a theocracy.  I could go on, and on, and on about the evils of smoke and drinks, or the virtues of weight loss and being au natural.  Then again, I could go into a diatribe about how dangerous botox shots are, or why American Idol won’t last another season.  Of course, I could get into the inane dialogues about college football, the recent Final Four, baseball season, the Stanley Cup Playoffs, or the latest scandal in football.  There is, naturally, always the easiest of the easy – the latest “gate” scandal, or a discussion on the degradation of race relations in our country.

Frankly, I’m kind of tired of all that crap right now.  I need a vacation, and mental junk food.  Reminiscing on my college newspaper days is one of the ways I escape.  It’s how I self-medicate, and how I manage to remind myself that, at one time, I was a person who was respected in most circles, feared in others, and just a general pain-in-the-neck to everyone for good reasons, rather than an annoyance for some failure I happen to commit on a near-daily basis anymore.

Back when I was an Editor (don’t worry, no “uphill, in the snow, both ways” speeches here), my college was going through much of the same racial tensions we are enduring nationally today.  It was, simultaneously, an exciting, fearful and irritating time to be a student at my college.  Yes, newsvans and satellite trucks were on our campus, covering the silliness that was happening.  People were jawing with each other over stupid stuff, important stuff, and stuff which nobody really gave a flip about after the school year was over.  We were in the heat of the moment, and we enjoyed it for all it was worth.  For me, it was a wild ride, an adrenaline rush, and a mental rash, all in one messy package.

Funny thing about that – the fact it was a messy package is why I look back on it so fondly.  There was absolutely nothing that could be pigeonholed into “black and white” terms, either literally or figuratively.  There are those who rail against talk about how the world is “nuanced,” but that is because it’s an uncomfortable truth.  I learned that years ago – nothing is really as it seems, the truth is always more complex than we make it out to be, or simpler than what we contend it to be.  The word “absolute” truly is word which is matter of being in the eye of the beholder.  It took a critical eye to see through the muck, cut through the fog of political and social passions, and keep an ear to the ground and an eye on the books.  My adrenals were working overtime and I was fairly certain I had enough of a surplus of testosterone that, had a means of distilling it from my blood on the cheap was available, I could have pitched “natural male enhancement” years before it became fashionable.

Today, I am into my forties, and don’t look back on that time as wistfully as I would have thought.  Granted, I have less hair (it’ll grow back, tends to get pulled when I’m stressed) and I’m a few pounds overweight, but that’s all transitive.  What makes life great is that, despite every challenge and problem and crisis thrown our way, as long as we choose to keep on moving forward, a new day generally awaits us.  So rather than it be “throwback Thursday” and I scrounge for a photograph of newspaper clipping from a million years ago, I’ve chosen to make Thursday about moving forward, about tossing it ahead, and laughing at my own silliness from back then.  There will much more adrenalin for me to produce, and I’m my current circumstantial lull will ebb, only to find me in the flow of excitement, adventure and, heaven willing, fortune.  Either way, I wanted to tell you all why I write about my college newspaper days, so the real answer is this.

I write about what I know, and that’s what I know, and love.  It’s the truth, and I’d rather be honest with you and myself.

Get in my head – my latest podcast

I’ve been podcasting a few weeks…okay, really CRAPcasting – recorded on a cellphone, in my car, and converted to MP3.  This is low-budget at it’s finest…er….lousiest.  This podcast is only 15 minutes but touches on a variety of things, yet winds up with something lighthearted – recommendations for comedies to watch, and trashing Mark Wahlberg because…well…I can.

Click here to enjoy my not-so-fine podcast.

Chapter 1 | The Prosperity Gospel Exposed

http://prosperitygospelexposed.com/chapter-1/

This blog really reopened my eyes.  The core tenet of Pope Francis has been the clergy must live with a servants heart and live a poor mans calling.  Too many people have lost this message. …Christianity, religion in general,  has abandoned its principles of helping the poor and instead focused on a lifestyle; worldly over ethereal.  This hits the mark perfectly.