Attention Deficit Disorder and Me
What it Means for Me
I get distracted easily. Basically, that means my brain likes to have lots of inputs. My brain can handle many things going on at once. I don't mind this. I actually kind of like it. That's one reason I don't have a problem dealing with things like running 100-person vampire LARPs. But it also means that I have a very hard time focusing on one non-interesting thing. Especially if that non-interesting thing has any negativity associated with it.
How it Helps
- Creative writing: basically, when I write creatively, I begin to use greater portions of my brain. I use lots of different parts of my brain. The jibber-jabber monkey that is constantly pounding on the keyboard of my mind is VERY useful for taking disparate parts and linking them together. Other people say that this is called "Creativity." ADD people are often the best "Think outside the box" people. They'll think outside, inside, around, through, over, and behind the box. They'll turn the box over, paint on it, use it as a book-prop, sleep in it, sleep on it, sell it, buy it back, lose it, find it, make the box get up and dance, and finally CRUNCH the box into a thousand itty bitty pieces.
- Complex social situations: it may not be true for everyone, but my ADD helps me understand people a lot better. I pick up lots of different small details about people, aborbging them in with a sponge-brain. Then, later, I can make little leaps of intuitive reasoning to help "connect the dots" between people. This flexibility allows me to also be a fairly good Role-player, although I've definitely met those who are better than I.
- Non-linear thinking: similar to depression, linear thinking can lead to sadness. Basically, it is very difficult for a linear mind, one that hungers for order and shape, to comprehend choices out of a seeming lack of possibilities.
- Friendliness: Because I have ADD, I am frequently impulsively friendly to people. I can really talk to just about anyone. I may tend to a share just a bit too much sometimes, but that has gotten better lately. It's amazing to me, but I can really spend hours talking to people I don't know and enjoy myself greatly.
- Forgiveness: I have a terrible memory, so I really don't hang on to grudges very long. Even with people whom I despise, and probably always will, I am not hanging out carping about them continuously. I can put people whom I dislike behind me and go on. Also, I've messed up so often in social situations that I automatically forgive quite a few social faux pas before I get upset.
- Fairness: One of the best ways to be fair is to look at a situation from all possible angles. An ADD person can do this immediately, looking at all angles at once. Therefore, if they practice this multi-perspective talent, an ADD person can make quite an effective judge.
- Trivia: Go ahead. Ask me when my next doctor's appointment is, and I won't be able to tell you to save my life. Ask me what Zodiac Sign my first girlfriend was, and I can tell you. Amazing huh? I have a head for trivia. Weird trivia. The Axe of the Dwarvish Lords turns you into a dwarf. The best mining laser in Jumpgate is the Banker. Billy Joel's first album? Cold Spring Harbor. The definition of a sacrament? "An outward sign of an inward grace."
- Pattern Recognition: This is one of those that really makes the anthropologists sit up and take notice! Basically, people with ADD can recognize patterns in other patterns. So, for example, if I'm sitting and watching say, a thicket of grass and I see another pattern emerging - say, a tiger - then I'll be able to respond and deal with that threat before it becomes a threat. I can replicate someone else's accent, the exact way a song was sung on the radio, and so forth. But I can't play the piano to save my life, nor can I read music. I'll just have to learn one day soon.
How it Hinders
- Forgetfulness: I forget stuff. Like, really quickly. Like, I can put a pot on the stove and then turn it on and walk away and forget it. Luckily, I have people around who notice this and turn it off. Good thing.
- Boredom: I get bored pretty darn easy. Basically, any time I'm not doing three or four things at once, or I'm not hyper-focusing on something, I'm bored. My brain is like a school room full of sugared-up three year olds. I need, I crave stimulation to my thought centers. If I don't have that - I get bored.
- Social Cluelessness: Because I get bored, sometimes I fail to pay attention to the little things that other people pick up on right quick like. Non-verbal cues, voice inflection, and the like - they can go ignored by me if I'm not careful. Therefore, I will frequently be out of the loop in a social situation.
- Weak Communications Boundaries: What do I share, and what do I hold back? Hard to say. Sometimes I can look or act like a real jerk because I have no idea what to say or do. I'm also the guy likely to accidentally pay a compliment that will backfire, or say something that I shouldn't. I have to watch myself like a hawk.
- Uncomfortable in New Situations: Basically, this means that I don't seek new situations very easily or well. I'm uncomfortable. God forbid I be found uncomfortable in front of the Queen - then it's "off with 'is 'ead!"
- Defensive when Stressed: Sometimes I go on the offensive or the defensive when I'm stressed and this can worsen my stress.
- Thoughtlessness: sometimes I say something I should not say, or I don't say that which needs to be said. I forget to say "Thank you" - "Happy Anniversary" - "Happy Birthday!" and other such holidays. (BUT - mention that you are born on April 12 because that's the month and day a famous movie star died on, and I might remember it just because it's turned into trivia at that point.)
- Dangerous Liaisons: Sometimes I will expose myself to stressful situations to get the natural adrenaline that comes from those stressful situations. Lately, I've been doing my best to avoid these situations.