(via xkcd: ADD)
I’ve never related to the jokey stereotype of ADD (“I don’t have ADD… oh look there’s a squirrel!”). I’m not distracted by shiny things, I’m not a child. But this is a pretty accurate depiction. It’s the tip of the iceberg, but this is what every minute of every day is like for me. On a really good day.
I was just diagnosed with ADD and this is amazing. Trying to embrace it and learn more about it. My therapist gave me the book Driven By Distraction. The authors have an incredible story to tell themselves. Check it out!
Hey Dan! That book came out shortly after I was diagnosed, I read it sophomore year of high school. I have a few other recommendations if you want them - I’ll have to dig out the books at home but I’ll send along the info soon. Reading about ADD every now and again really helps me a lot, it reminds me that I’m not just a lazy fuckup scatterbrain. I need to be reminded because the ADD tricks you into thinking that if you just worked harder, everything would be fine, and if everything is not fine, then obviously it’s your own fault and you should hate yourself. It doesn’t help that there are a lot of doctors out there who think it’s made up, or it only affects children, and any adult who has it and needs help or wants to talk about it is either making it up for the meds, or to get special treatment or attention. It’s such a relief to be diagnosed and read about how other people are just like you and about all the signs from childhood and college and your professional career were all pointing towards ADD and you just didn’t know. And then it’s frustrating, because you realize if you’d been diagnosed earlier you wouldn’t have suffered so much. It’s really hard when you assume people find you to be flaky, forgetful, scatterbrained, irresponsible, late all the time, can’t keep track of paper/mail/money, inconsiderate, a bad listener, a slow worker, etc. And the answer is always “try harder, pull it together, make a list, give yourself more time, try harder, do better…” People don’t realize that those of us with ADD try 1000% harder ALL THE TIME and the results just don’t show it. And we’re often exhausted, anxious, and depressed because we’re exerting so much more effort with so much less to show for it. I often feel like I’m spinning my wheels and not moving forward. And that’s with therapy and medication and nearly 20 years since my diagnosis. It is a struggle, but it also makes my accomplishments that much more important.