Off my meds

One of the strange facts about ADD that confounds people who don’t have it is that it is damn hard for an ADD person to get anything done.

You see, I’ll start picking up the books scattered across the floor of my room, but find a book that has to go back to the library so I’ll head to the living room to put it with the other library books but when I’m walking through the kitchen I’ll realise that the pot sitting on the counter half-full of water has been there for two days, and I go to clean it and find that the dishwasher’s been run so I start emptying it and there in the top rack is the funnel that goes with the bathroom cleaning supplies so I head for the bathroom to put it away and pass my room and realise there’s a pile of books strewn across the floor so I start straightening them out and find a library book, but where did I put that first library book…

Now, imagine this situation taking place inside your head, going around and around like a tornado until you’re not sure where to start.

People with ADD tend to self-medicate with alcohol or drugs. My drug of choice is caffeine, because it is readily accessible (coffee shop right across the street from my house), legal, and slightly less addictive than other stimulants with similar focus-enhancing, tornado-slowing results.

Last week, I made a very critical error, for reasons I’m not entirely certain of (another problem with ADD people, we have really crappy impulse control). I quit all my routines. This isn’t like, “Oh, yeah, I didn’t clean the bathroom on Thursday like I usually do. Whoops.” This is, “I didn’t brush my teeth, which means I didn’t take my vitamins, which means I didn’t eat breakfast, which means I didn’t take a shower, which means I didn’t leave the house, which means I didn’t get coffee.”

If you’re not ADD, it sounds horrifyingly regimented, and OCD, and actually kind of silly, right? A little thing like not brushing my teeth means the rest of my day is shot to hell?

Welcome to the world of abnormal neurochemistry. Population: me.

The horrible part is, when I’m in the midst of the tornado, I can’t see my way out. It took me a whole week to figure out what the hell the problem was.

But hey, this morning? I brushed my teeth.
That’s right, baby, I’m back.

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6 Comments

Filed under me being myself

6 responses to “Off my meds

  1. Suggestion: Buy a coffee pot. And coffee filters and bags of coffee by the box/container of half a dozen. And put one of each in the far back of your pantry for when you run out and you forgot to order because checking to order was not part of your routine.

    And oh, around age 40 or so, the ADD goes sorta, well, not away, just different. Trust me on that one. You still need the routine in order to make it through the day, you just manage to focus much, much more intensely on the tasks at hand and not get distracted as easily.

    Coffee is still just as good, tho.

    – Badtux the Hyper Penguin

    Funny thing is, I ran through both my secondary caffeine (canned Thai coffee drinks) and my tertiary (instant coffee, blech) last week, which helped perpetuate the crisis. Yay me! 😀 –Mary Sue

  2. Thanks for writing that! I feel it’s helped me understand what ADD is.

  3. I recognized this immediately, having seen it in my husband for years. Sometimes it broke my heart for him. Sometimes it drove me crazy. Sometimes I delighted in where his slingshot mind took him and me. ADD is a heckuva ride. For my husband, turning 40 just made things worse, not better. Congrats on getting your teeth brushed. That deserves some praise sometimes.

  4. Yea! She brushed her teefs! I’m happy to hear that you are up and around again. And that description of ADD is quite enlightening.
    I hope that situations start improving for you.

  5. Clean and shiny teef are A Good Thing, especially when they lead to other Good Things, like vitamins and fresh air.

    *passes toothpaste*

    And thank you for that description of ADD.

  6. Welcome back. As a mom of a 19 year old ADD boy this is all so familiar. Hang in there.

    Pax, C.