Having Attention Deficit Disorder as an adult presents some unique challenges, especially when you have to be a productive employee and an attentive mother and wife. A squirrel is no longer an animal in my world. It’s a verb. Sorry, I meant to pay attention to you, but I was squirreled. I would have finished that super important project, but I was squirreled. Damn squirrels! Hey did you see that fat squirrel out the window? Who’s that walking by with the cute dog? I like cats. Hey, here’s a link to a funny cat video. Did you see that fat squirrel?
Here’s a snapshot of my life with ADD.
Jenny at work
Department head: “Jenny, do you have anything you want to say about this super complicated, convoluted policy we just came up with?”
Jenny: Shit. The only thing I heard were the introductions at the beginning of the meeting. Okay, just smile. “Nope. Sounds good to me.”
The absurd, logic-defying policy rolls out.
Jenny: “Who the hell agreed to this?”
Also, Jenny at work
Manager: “Jenny, I need you to write this last minute, super important legislative report by noon today.”
Jenny: “No problem. I’m on it!”
I write a sentence. Oh, an email just popped up on my screen. I better read it. Crap, I need to write this report. Oh, another email. I fall into a rabbit hole of emails that can clearly wait, but I answer anyway. Focus! I write two brilliant sentences. Oh, I need a cup of coffee. Whoops, I just spent fifteen minutes wandering through cubicles on my way back from getting my coffee that’s now lukewarm. A few more sentences. Hey, what’s this piece of paper you just put on my desk? Nothing important? Great, let me read it in detail and make edits. Oh, another email! I better go to the bathroom. Now, what was I working on? Shit! The report! Manager walks by. “How’s the report coming along?” “Almost done,” I say. 11:45 – I write like a bat out of hell with super-focused precision for fifteen straight minutes and finish the report. “Nice work, Jenny.”
Jenny at home
I better clean the kitchen. Oh, this random thing doesn’t belong here. I’ll put it in the office. Wow, what a mess. I need to rearrange things in here. Oh, this is something the kids made when they were little. I better put it in my special treasure trove. I spend the next hour going through every single treasure. Better let the dog out. I wander outside with him. Ugh, these weeds. I start pulling weeds and then notice the patio furniture is in disarray. Wow, the patio needs a good sweeping. I go into the garage to get the push broom. Hey, I left a glass out here in the garage. Weird. I better go put it in the kitchen sink. I start to empty the dishwasher. Ugh, these cupboards of full of things we don’t need. Better open every cupboard and pile everything on the kitchen counter. This junk drawer is a mess, too. The contents of the drawer are dumped onto the counter to sort through. It looks like a bomb went off in the kitchen. I now have an overflowing Goodwill box and a full trash can. That made me thirsty! I open the fridge to get a Diet Coke. Wow, what a mess. I start cleaning out the fridge and now the sink is full of dirty Tupperware. I start washing the dishes again. Geez, I wonder why I feel so tired. Babe, I’ll finish the dishes after my nap. I wake up. Not a dish in the sink. My sweet husband washed them.
Jenny during conversations with her family:
Mike: “Babe, listen to this hilarious story. I’m going to say the person’s name I’m talking about fifteen times.” The story concludes.
Jenny: “Wait, who are you talking about?”
Kylie: “Mom, I want to talk to you about this problem at work.”
Jenny: “I’m all ears.”
Kylie: “So, what do you think I should do?”
Jenny: “About what? Hey, do you want to go to Starbucks?”
I can’t use the word distracted again. Let me use the thesaurus on my phone. Hey, I got a Facebook notification. I spend the next hour stalking people on social media, reading random articles posted by a friend, and watching a few funny cat videos. Right, I need to get back to writing. I look up distracted in the thesaurus. Oh, frenzied is a fun word. That leads me to the word corybantic. Wow, what does that mean? I look up the definition. Oh, it means frenzied. Back to the thesaurus. Oh, berserk is a neat word. I then start singing the berserker song from the movie Clerks. Hey, I wonder if that actor is in anything else. I then fall down the IMDB rabbit hole and don’t find my way out until forty-five minutes later. Oh yeah, I’m supposed to be writing. What’s another word for distracted? Let me check the thesaurus.
Never a dull moment, my friends.