What Does It Feel Like To Live With ADD?

Stacey Turis at www.staceyturis.com asked the question on her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/adhdsuperhero:

What Does it Feel Like To Have ADHD? This was my answer:

“Are You Paying Attention to What I’m Saying?”

No. I’m paying attention to everything everyone in this restaurant is saying. The five tables around ours? Following their conversations. The person sitting alone? I’ve summed up why. I hear every clink of plates, process why they clinked, tell the mood of the waitress by how it clinked. I’m empathetic to the young couple and their misbehaving child. Aware of the angry looking couple that just got seated, all while thinking about the nagging fourteen issues I have at work while I process the words coming from your mouth.

“Why Can’t You Act Like Everyone Else?”

Why would I want to?

“You Gotta do it the Right Way, And by Right Way I Mean the Socially Accepted Way.”

I’d rather be dead. I’m no pencil pusher. Im not satisfied reading about Lewis and Clarks exploits in the newspaper. I gotta be in that canoe. See what no one else has seen. Go where no one else has gone. Your safe little frontier town, your little colony, they make me itchy.

I Resent being told to squeeze into your itty bitty box. I try not to, but it’s in my blood. Maybe you’re comfortable in the Known. I consider shackles, bondage.

“Why do You Always Gotta do Things the Hard Way?”

Why do you always gotta do Things the Boring Way? Is it fear? Is it socially acceptable to walk around dead except for the breathing part?

For whatever reason I’ve got a legacy to create, a story to tell. That desires shoves itself up from the depths of my soul. A place even I can’t control. So quit making me feel stupid cause you’re “satisfied.”

I’m not.

“Quit Daydreaming.”

You telling me to jump off a tall bridge?

“Why Can’t You Act ‘Normal?'”

Look, I can either spend the next thirty years beating myself up cause I’m different and see the world differently, I can destroy myself better than you could ever hope to by listening to my own self talk, or I can own the fact I was created this way for a purpose, refuse to let you and others like you limit my contribution to society, to my colleagues, to my family, wife and children, or you can get out of the way while I set the world on fire.

But really… You don’t get a say. This big bad world’s my playground and my ability makes me King of That Particular Hill. You’ll get your turn to pretend… after I’m done discovering.

Daryl Andrews

  1. martiwrites says:

    These are all real questions:

    Is “what she’s saying” part of what you’re noticing? Does it receive equal focus as all the other bits of stimuli, or is there more focus on the farther away stuff?

    (not sure how to phrase this one without it sounding weird)
    Do you think a sense of grandeur is part & parcel of ADHD, or is it more of a response to the world having what feels like restrictive expectations?

    PS: I hope this blog gets wider circulation and spawns a great, down to earth dialog.

  2. Just to clarify, those were her questions in “, they were me answering
    my own thread of question/statement.

    Everything at once on equal level. I fight to focus on the specific
    item. Like right now I’m in garage. I hear the heater, the static of a
    tv barely turned up, refrigerator hum, the water heater churning, wind
    against door, plane overhead, car driving by, and some obnoxious noise
    I can’t place. It’s about fighting through all the white noise. It’s
    relentless and no filter.

    As far as grandeur, that was a struggle. It should be okay if I do
    things small is a constant refrain I struggle with. I think it carry’s
    in level from person to person, but you hear it echoed repeatedly. “I
    could be great, if only…”

    It seems more innate. It’s not a visions of grandeur scenario, but a
    something welling up within that’s out of my control. A knowing.

    But the flip side to it is, it’s constantly in question and there’s a
    bunch of time wondering if we can get there, what it is, a constant
    inner pressure to push out, to seek, that thing out. A common sense of
    failure that we haven’t and may not ever get there, wherever there is
    because of our failures.

  3. The paragraph breaks weren’t mine. Didn’t want you to think I was answering in some weird poetic rhythm.

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