17 September 2010

ADD Awareness

Did you know that this whole week has been AD(H)D Awareness Week? I had NO IDEA! WOW! Well, as someone who has Adult ADD, I'll take this opportunity to talk about it a little. Or a lot. We'll see.

A lot of people these days are anti-medication. They prefer to seek out herbal or holistic remedies to their problems, which is fine if that's what you wanna do. If it works for you, more power to you. Reading online has shown me that some people don't consider AD(H)D a disease, that it's something children grow out of, and - somewhat illogical to my mind - that AD(H)D sufferers should meditate rather than medicate. While I agree that AD(H)D is somewhat over-diagnosed in today's schools, I also know that it is a genuine disorder, a chemical imbalance, and not something I'm going to grow out of. Meditation? Sure, I'll just try that.

I sit with my eyes shut, breathing slowly. Briefly, I wonder how stupid I look. Is there some way to communicate to others what I'm doing? Should I put a sign on my door "Meditating - Do Not Disturb"? Okay, that sounds even stupider. By this point, I've lost the rhythm of my breathing. My brain kicks in and starts analyzing something that happened at school, something I forgot to do or something that went really well or something I said that just didn't come out right. How could I have changed the situation? What might it have lead to?

I wonder about tomorrow. What homework haven't I done? What lines do I need to learn for acting class or for a show? Do I know my scene for acting as well as I think I do? What if my scene partner isn't there? In the middle of muttering lines under my breath, I wonder what projects I have to work on. Have I been putting something off til the last minute? Is there something I could get a head-start on? Which projects have I finished? How do I think I did? What could I have done better? What will I have to do on my next project to bring my grade up?

By this point, I've probably opened my eyes and dug out a book. The answers to the above questions, which all came at once, will determine whether I've grabbed a textbook or not. If it's a textbook, I'll put in some real effort...before getting bored and reaching for a different textbook. If it's not a textbook, I'll make myself put it down because I'm supposed to be doing homework. Which assignment should I work on first? Which one will take more time? Which one am I more worried about? Which one's due first? Which one might be graded easier? Time to dig out the planner. And the assignment sheets. And the syllabus for each class. And my script so I can review my lines in those moments where I just can't read another sentence from that dry, dusty textbook. Can't find one syllabus. Damn. Room's a mess, I'll never find it. Need to clean the room, especially if the mess is getting to me. No telling how Mom feels about it. I'm glad she hasn't said anything.

I look around, trying to figure out where to start. The textbooks I'll need later, but they don't need to stay on my bed. I stack them up to go on the desk, but there's a pile of papers there. I have to sort through those first. Then the trash needs taken out. Passing through the dining room, I realize I'm hungry. Need a snack. Dump the trash, head back inside, grab something simple - some candy, an apple, whatever. Fuel for the body. What was I doing? Oh, right. Need to start some laundry before I run out of clothes. Gather up the pile and shove it into the laundry bag, all the while asking myself why the clothes weren't in the bag to begin with. I know why, of course. Lack of follow-through, no habit formed yet. Fill up the laundry bag, digging dirty socks and shorts out of the bottom of the closet and out from under the bed. Put away the clean laundry sitting on the desk chair from mornings of reject outfit after outfit as suitable for the day's expected workload at school.

Since I'm a theater student, it does make a difference some days what I wear. On days I have yoga, I don't need to wear jeans. Some days, I have to wear clothes that I don't mind getting pain all over. I always have to wear/bring close-toed shoes in case I have to do any work in the scene shop. My black pants and shirts need to stay clean for shows where I work backstage and for Improv performances every Wednesday, where I'm a camera operator. Since I commute, this is more of a challenge, as my clothes are generally worn all day. After all, driving to school, going to class, and driving home for a change of clothes only to drive back to school is a waste of gas, even on days I would have the time to do it. Anyway, back to the room cleaning.

I see the food sitting by the tv or where ever I've put it and realize I haven't been eating. Take a few bites. Go to the computer to turn on some music. Dig through playlists to see that nothing overly objectionable is played.(I tend to avoid my Avenue Q playlist any time my three year old sister is visiting or I think guests might be coming by.) Adjust volume so my music isn't heard through the whole house. Adjust it again cause it's too quiet. Switch to a song I want to listen to. Switch again. Stupid shuffle feature not pulling up good songs. Figure out which song I really want to hear and find it; to hell with the shuffle feature. Back to cleaning, singing along.

Dog runs in and jumps on the bed, most likely landing on something I don't want him on. Scold him, then take it back, realizing he doesn't know any better and just wants to see what I'm up to. Pet the dog. Give kisses. Get scratched when he jumps on me. Pet the other one-three dogs who have come in, realizing I'm giving out some love. Pet the cat(s) who have joined. Yell at the dog(s) for chasing the cat(s). Check that the pets have food and water. Finish my snack. Pick up a book. Remember that I'm supposed to be studying and reach for a textbook. God this stuff is boring. Switch the music to a new song. Turn it off. Go to the music channels on the tv and find some classical, which is supposed to help you study better. Back to the boring textbook. Get confused. Go talk to Mom or Dad to try and make sure that what I'm thinking sounds right. Tell them about my day. Remember as I'm talking about another something I'm supposed to be working on. Back to the bedroom.

Find the project/assignment stuck somewhere, already done. Huh. I don't remember doing that. Oh well. One thing off my plate. Shoo cats away from the dish my snack was in; there's nothing left for them. Switch the music to a DVD I've seen millions of times, probably Friends, which I can totally ignore and use as background noise. Open the textbook again. Doodle in the margins of my notebook in the middle of taking notes. Lose my spot. Read the same passage twice. Skip to the next chapter. Remember a possible vocab quiz in another class and start looking for the sheet with the terms on it. Can't find it. Damn!

Time to send some texts. Does anyone in class have the list? Find it, get it, copy it, send eternal thanks to whomever helped me. Remember to thank them in person next time I'm on campus. Mom calls. Dinner time. Go eat. Return to studying. Finally get through the boring chapter of the textbook, understanding nothing. Write down questions to ask the prof. Make note of people to talk to about whatever I'm doing for the latest play. Remember something funny one of them said. Share anecdote with Mom or Dad. Sit and watch tv with parentals, ready to relax some before bed. Grab my laptop & head to twitter or facebook or a RP forum. Remember homework. Start doing research online. See a random update on facebook and react appropriately, whether by offering virtual hugs or commenting or liking or sharing good news with whoever else is in the room, even if they don't know who I'm talking about. Focus on the tv for a while. Remember my earlier attempt to meditate. Whoops. Too late now. Stay on the computer til it's time for bed.

Yeah, that's probably a fairly accurate depiction of the way my mind works. Meditation? Not so much. Though there are days I hate having to swallow a pill, I'll stick with it cause it works. Well, I'll try to stick with it. If I remember.
Post a Comment