My ADHD Life
If you have ADHD, then like me, you might be considering a career change to quantum physics. No, not because I understand math or even really know what quantum physics is, but because I have become an apprentice at defying time. Does a life of rushing, rushing, rushing, and oh yeah, more rushing sound familiar? Do you attempt to leave for work in the morning at least twice, if not three times, returning for the items you forgot? Then, finally ready for the day with your arms full of your belongings (yes, I have a bag but I left it in the car last night so I couldn’t pack it this morning) you get in the car and – wait, where did I put my keys? So yes, I consider myself a prized clock fighter, time shifter, and “defyer” of the physical laws of time.
I would, however, still consider myself an apprentice at defying time because I have not yet learned how to use it to my advantage. Somehow I can lose an entire hour brushing my teeth before bed. I am not sure how my bathroom turns into a time warp every evening, but it certainly has a habit of fast forwarding the minutes in triple time. For those of you concerned about my dental hygiene, I am pretty sure I don’t actually brush my teeth for the entire hour. Here’s how the time warp works. I unsuspectingly walk through the gateway. As I reach for the toothpaste my mind wanders to all the exciting (and boring) things I did that day…
Me: it will be great to get to bed on time. I am so tired.
ADHD: not until I recount every detail of your day and think about all the things you need to do tomorrow.
Me: *Remembers that I couldn’t find my wallet earlier* (something that would send an ordinary person into a panic, but I practice losing important things at least three times a day so these situations no longer worry me.) *I start shoveling through all the stuff on my floor and desk looking for my wallet*
ADHD: It’s not here and this is boring, just look for it later. Hey, I have an idea. Let’s watch cute baby elephant videos on YouTube.
Me: I really should get to bed and I need to find my wallet, I need it to drive to work tomorrow.
ADHD: come on, just one video.
Me: *already cuing up the video*
ADHD: hey look, you have a new email. You must check it right this second because it can’t wait!
Me: okay, yes, that does seem important. *reads email, then goes through 78 messages in my junk folder to see if there is anything interesting*
ADHD: *notices an email from Groupon for a cheap vacation package* Wouldn’t it be amazing to go to Mexico and sit in the hot sun?
Me: yes it would, but right now I should find my wallet and then get to bed.
ADHD: You can find it later. *day dreams about Mexico vacations* Let’s look up resorts in Mexico.
Me: but I can’t even afford a trip to Mexico, and I don’t know where my wallet is, and I really should get to bed…
ADHD: yeah, yeah, later! This is far more important. *googles resorts in Mexico, the best time of year to travel, weather patterns, rainy seasons, then looks at pictures of the Mayan Ruins and now must immediately look up interesting facts about the Mayan people*
Me: I really should brush my teeth to get ready for bed. *gets toothbrush and immediately comes back to the computer*
ADHD: Wow, these ruins are so interesting. Let’s look up the ruins in Peru. *looks up Peru and daydreams about travelling and hiking South America, thinks about what kind of backpack I would need, and laughs to myself when I think about using a money belt.* Let’s look up vacations in Peru!!!
Me: I have to spit and get this toothbrush out of my mouth. *goes to the bathroom and notices the time* (yes I have a clock in the bathroom. I have clocks everywhere. In fact, there are three clocks plus my watch in my office, but that doesn’t seem to keep time from elusively shifting around me.)
WAIT?!?! WHAT?!?! How did an entire hour pass by so quickly, I only just came into the bathroom to brush my teeth? Where could an entire hour possibly have gone? *genuinely confused* I only looked up one thing on the internet, surely that could not have taken an hour…
As you can clearly see, I am lucky enough to have a time shifting super power. I can make entire hours disappear in a second. Unfortunately, at my inexperienced apprentice stage of learning I have not yet mastered the art of creating more time when I need it and fast forwarding the boring moments.
Jokes aside, I know this is a serious issue for many people with ADHD. Constantly rushing, feeling scattered, and endlessly searching for your belongings only to lose them again, can be absolutely exhausting. If you have ADHD you likely also feel like the unnatural one, the broken one. The world doesn’t seem to operate like we do. Fitting our brains and lives around a clock can be a major stress. And perhaps this super power is more like a super “disempower.” While we take longer to do things and have to work harder to stay focused, we also have amazing creative abilities. So let’s take a moment to celebrate the gifts of an ADHD mind. We are people who can easily think outside of the box (we were never in the box because we lost the invite with the time to meet) we are highly creative, and have the capacity for incredible ingenuity. We are the idea people – the inventors, designers, creative puzzle solvers. So, the next time you fall into a time warp, remember that you are floating in the idea space. Perhaps even set aside some time (ha) to let yourself free float in this zone and appreciate your creative and curious side.