Monday, January 9, 2012

01/09/12- From Point A to Point B? Ridiculous!

I'm a new years resolution kind of girl. I know, I know, they're silly and a good way to set yourself up for failure, but dammit, I like the idea of fresh starts, 366 (this is a leap year, you know) days of possibility open in front of you. And one of my resolutions was to write this blog post.

It's January 9th. Oops.

I've always been a procrastinator of sorts, the person who gets sidetracked while being sidetracked, the daydreamer in math class, the girl with an IQ in the 150s who couldn't make it through a single semester of college intact.... any of her 5 attempts. My friends have called me Squirrel, you know, after the dog in "Up" who keeps getting distracted by squirrels? I can do a conversational 90 degree turn in any given topic range. My husband has a game called "Now where did THAT come from?" in which I outline how I got from one point of conversation to another. Case in point:

Eric: "So, you want to go to China Palace for dinner tomorrow night?"
Me: "Sounds good! Did you know Mr. Rogers was color blind?
And here's how it breaks down:
-- We're going out for dinner at China Palace.
-- I'm dressed kind of grubby, so I should change.
-- I want to dress casually, but neatly.
-- Maybe I'll wear my yellow sweater.
--I like yellow.
--Mr. Rogers also liked yellow.
--That's because he was color blind, and yellow was the one color he could see clearly
And that's a SHORTENED version of my thought process.

I have always considered my silliness, my conversational hopscotch, my impulsiveness to just be "me." My friends crack up at the way I jump around, and let's face it, it's fun to be with the chick who will suddenly scream "LET'S GET SNOWCONES!" and swerve across four lanes of traffic to get the right exit. Yeah, other aspects can be frustrating- I wish I'd stuck out college somehow, gotten my act together; I could be qualified for a whole lot more than the retail hell I deal with. I struggle with billpaying and keeping a tidy house and getting things like permission slips done. And I won't lie,for my husband (who is generally a good sport), the bloom is off the rose when it comes to my Impulsive me. Sometimes a guy just wants a little dependability, you know?

That is, in some small part, what landed us in therapy. This past fall we finally hit the marital wall, after fourteen years of slogging through. We started with a few sessions together, then split for our separate times. When it was my turn I expected to gleefully lay out my frustrations and wait for her to tell me how we could get Eric to just do what I wanted, dammit. Apparently it doesn't work that way. Instead, our slightly granola-crunchy therapist with a co-dependent dog, leaned forward and softly asked me a single question:

"Have you ever been tested for ADHD?"

Look, it's been a joke most of my adult life, but really? ADHD is for the kid down the street that eats glue and runs screaming in circles around his driveway. ADHD is the daughter of an old friend who I once watched actually climb up the living room curtains. ADHD is not for 34 year old mothers who don't seem to have an overly hyper bone in their bodies.

Except maybe it is. Not ADHD, per se, but ADD. I left my therapist's office with a list of websites to peruse and a strong recommendation to make an appointment to be evaluated. It was mid-December, though, and we were no place close to meeting our deductible. So I made the choice to wait to make an appointment in January. And until then, naturally, I would play Internet Shrink. Really, I was looking for a reason to NOT call the doctor. See, I've got this thing about being seen as a hypochondriac- I don't want to be. And to me, waltzing into Dr. S's waiting room (after the terror of BEING WEIGHED) and saying "ZOMGWTFBBQ I think I've got the ADD-Miggly!" smacks of "give me some druuuuugggggggs!" Hey, i watched that episode of Degrassi: the Next Generation where Drake steals that Spinner kid's Adderall and gets all high as a kite. I know these things. So I was looking for any excuse NOT to make that appointment, anythign I could take back to Captain Crunchy that said she was WRONG.

What I learned, though, is that 4% of adults have some form of ADHD. It doesn't just appear in adulthood- it's a lifelong thing. It isn't just kids climbing up curtains or running in circles, though; it's the daydreamer that can't seem to get her head in the game, the procrastinator who is always turning in homework late, the kid that is so incredibly bright, but why can't she just live up to her potential? The more I read, the more I realized... it's me. I was that kid. Intense about subjects I enjoyed, barely able to pass subjects I didn't (see my summer school stint in Algebra 2). Disorganized, always late, never turning anything in on time, a day late and a dollar short. That was me then, it's me now. No matter where I looked for dissenting information, around every corner I found another mirror I was staring into. Eventually it's hard to look away from yourself.
I have ADHD.

Or ADD. Or not, I guess. I did make that phone call to my doc at the beginning of the year, scheduled my general check up that is covered by insurance. It's possible that they'll say I don't have ADHD. It's possible.... but is it probable? Not freaking likely. Even the husband reads the websites over my shoulder, points and goes "Oh my God, that is so totally you! Look at that! Lookit!" Thanks, babe.

This could be very interesting. How do you balance it out, the manic energy that feeds the fun and the creativity with the need to, you know, do things like get dinner ready at a reasonable time and actually have clean underwear in the morning. What would life be like starting at point A and actually getting to point B, without going to point 3, sidebar Egypt, and notation Phylark before remebering there was a B to get to? What could I accomplish?

Crap. Right now I need to accomplish dinner. It's a little late. Oops.


  1. Welcome to my world, sister mine. I've been here since I can remember. It is very, very hard some days. Other days, I function ok. You and are DSM IV twins, but with differing varieties. In Psychspeak? We both have the same "disorder" that is called Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder. (They were combined in DSM IV.) I have "hyperactive type" and you have "inattentive type". The other two types are "Combined" (Can you even fathom the two of us combined?!) and NOS, or, Not Otherwise Specified.

    This sucks a monkey, but this is hwy you have a sister. We walk together, just like we always have.

  2. Um, Squirrel,

    What were those websites you found?
    Because I might need them.


    1. Kel- hell, in good circumstances we are downright dangerous, twin o' mine.

      Dug- some of the good ones are and