It ain’t ADHD, by the Way
(Originally published on Medium)
Attention Deficit Disorder. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
There’s a fine line between the two. I used to have the latter, but it matured into the former. And much like my depression, it’s been a lifelong companion.
Consider: I have pictures of me as a child of 3. I am connected to my mother by a chest harness and a leash.
Before you start screaming “Child abuse!” you need to understand it was the only way she could keep me safe, short of keeping me in a stroller. Put me on the ground and I’d take off running.
That phase — the ADHD — lasted until I was about 7. “Your child can’t sit still in class.” “Your child is so fidgety that it distracts the rest of the class.”
Fortunately, I outgrew the hyperactivity. Or rather it matured into something else: ADD.
My mind still made lightning-quick connections between random thoughts and ideas.
It still does.
There are medications now that we didn’t have in the 1950s. And I can’t say how grateful I am for that. Not that we have them, but that we didn’t have them back then.
My Creativity is Dependent on My ADD
I enjoy having ADD. It’s part of who I am. I appreciate the way my mind zips from thought to thought, making connections which at first seem random but in the end come together and make perfect sense.
A professor at uni once told me, “ It’s amazing to see your mind at work. It’s like a lightning bolt, zipping from cloud to cloud. But eventually it hits its target. All in about 3 seconds.”
That’s Why I Write
My ideas come faster than I can write them down. Writing forces meeting to focus on one idea long enough to commit it to the screen.
Since I know that what I’ve written is probably incoherent to anyone else, I set it aside for a time. Then I go back and massage it until it makes sense, until it’s right.
Consider: since I started writing this piece, I’ve gone back and changed the title at least 3 times. I’ve edited the story so many times I can’t remember how many. And I’ll keep editing, massaging, until it’s RIGHT.
And that’s a benefit of ADD, and how I cope with it.