ADHD

Happy Single Tasking Day from an ADHD-er

Found out that today (February 19th) is Single Tasking Day…and this was my first thought:

ADHD Single Tasking

Let’s be honest, most people with ADHD function better (or at least feel more comfortable) when their mind is racing in a million directions.  It’s just the way our minds work.

Multitasking gets a bad rap.  We’ve all read the articles that claim multitasking has been scientifically proven to hinder productivity.  And while that may very well be true for most people, let’s keep in mind that the ADHD brain functions quite differently.  The ADHD brain works better in situations that are often disregarded or frowned upon for the common brain.

There are mixed opinions about multitasking and ADHD.  Some say our jumping from task to task (multitasking) is a flaw.  However, some say our brains work better when doing two things at once.  Take, for instance, this quote from an ADDitude mag article:

“…an activity that uses a sense other than that required for the primary task — listening to music while reading a social studies textbook — can enhance performance in children with ADHD. Doing two things at once, she found, focuses the brain on the primary task.”

I imagine, like all things, it’s a matter of figuring out what works best for you.  For me, it depends on the activity and the environment, but I have definitely found that listening to music and/or fidgeting (or pedaling my DeskCycle) , while trying to concentrate on something else, usually helps me focus better.

The general consensus from my fellow ADHD / ADD people is that multitasking works for them, too.  So, you know, if it works for you, who cares what society says?  You have to be true to your ADHD brain, my friends.  It’s an awesome tool…you just have to understand what makes it run.

(I’m still trying to understand my own ADHD brain.  Just trying to encourage the rest of you guys.)

I’ll leave you with this little bit of humor:

I don't have ADHD, I am just very good at multitasking.

…or is it both?  It is for me.

Another ADHD Life Lesson: Irons are Hot – Don’t Palm Them

Another ADHD Life Lesson: Irons are Hot - Don't Palm Them
So, this post has been rather difficult to write…my left hand is excessively wrapped in gauze protecting my most recent injury.

Let’s start at the beginning…the date was November 16.  The year?  2011.  The cat got out of the bag at work about my t-shirt making hobby.  (I use iron-ons…and yeah, I’m a real dork.)  One of my coworkers asked me if I could make one for her.

Now, I take t-shirt design very seriously, folks, so making one can be a very time consuming project.  Because, yeah, here are some examples.

Thing is, this t-shirt project should have been really easy.  My coworker even sent me the graphic she wanted me to use.  It can take a lot of energy (because I’m crazy) to get the design situated perfectly on the t-shirt, but usually the hardest part is getting the design perfect.  This time, the design came ready-to-go (AND, my coworker gave me the t-shirt she wanted me to use, eliminating a whole ‘nother level of potential drama), so what the heck was my problem?

Honestly?  I’m not even sure.  A few things: 1. I knew I was running out of ink. 2. I knew some of the ink was expired. 3. I had forgotten which transfer paper worked the best. 4. My printer was SO hidden under piles of crap. 5. I hate imperfection.

Be that as it may…3.5 years to make a t-shirt is pretty ridiculous.  Unfinished projects loom over me, killing me a little each day.  Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but they really do bug the crap out of me.

Anyway, I recently bought brand new ink and printed off another design for a friend.  I decided it was time to crap or get off the pot.  I mean, I felt guilty every single time I saw this coworker, like I had somehow failed her.  So, I printed off the design (after resending it to myself because I couldn’t find it anywhere).

That was weeks (or at least days) ago.  This Saturday I decided it was time.  I had the house to myself, so I set up shop.  I followed the directions on the iron-on package explicitly.  I put a pillowcase down on the counter, taped it in place, ironed it and proceeded to position the t-shirt.

I centered the t-shirt the best I could and then taped that down as well.  I started ironing the t-shirt, focusing mainly on the area where I was going to put the design.  Then I noticed the sleeves were a little wrinkled, so I focused on them a little bit.  I couldn’t quite position myself correctly, to get all the wrinkles out without creating permanent wrinkles in places that should have just been left alone.

And here’s where the climax should be…except that I’m not entirely sure what happened next because I wasn’t paying full attention.  I went to put the iron down, to reassess the positioning of the sleeves.  It’s not that I was going to put the hot part of the iron down on the counter…because I wasn’t.  Regardless, I put the hot part of the iron down on my hand.

Took about 20 seconds before I realized I was in excruciating pain.  My entire index finger (the one side of it, anyway) was busy getting branded.  I immediately ran it under cold water and then put Neosporin on it.  It was throbbing in pain, so I put an ice pack on it.  It wasn’t until I started taking pictures for this post that I realized my middle finger was wounded as well…

But you know, Another ADHD Life Lesson learned: Irons are hot – don’t palm them.

…well, duh.

ADHD, OCD and T-Shirt Designs

ADHD and OCD – All About The AwesomenessADHD and OCD Awesomeness

ADHD and OCD are complete opposites in a lot of ways.  OCDers are all about the details and ADHDers are all about the derails.  It may seem like these two thought patterns would work diligently (and with much force) against each other.

And, sometimes that is the case.  For example, when my OCD pushes me to get all dressed up for a presentation…and then my ADHD pushes my coffee cup in my lap.  Or when my impulsive ADHD organizational purchase doesn’t fit exactly right or won’t hold the things it’s supposed to, so my OCD perfectionism declares the purchase worthless…but my OCD hoarding tendencies won’t let me throw it out…so the mess just gets bigger.
(more…)

Go Ahead and Laugh at Yourself (and Your Friends with ADHD)

10 Things Only People With Attention Problems Understand: ADHD video shout out thanks to BuzzFeed

This video made me laugh, so I thought I’d share it here. I like how it addresses ADHD problems in a humorous way.  And they cover a lot (10) of the problems in just two minutes.  (Smart on their part to keep it short.)

They cover impulsiveness, forgetfulness, restlessness, difficulty studying, medication (adderall) issues and more.

My favorite, though, is number 10: When your friends say, “Sometimes I think, like, I have ADHD…because I don’t want to do homework.”

While everybody can relate to some of the symptoms of ADHD, to some degree, it’s really not the same as not wanting to do your homework…or losing your phone one time…or struggling to sit at your desk for 8 hours.”  Someone who legitimately has ADHD suffers these symptoms way more frequently and way more intensely than the normal person.  The symptoms are so intense for someone with ADHD that they seriously impede the ability to function on a daily basis.

It’s not something that can really be explained.  Either you get it…or you don’t.  This video made me laugh at my own ADHD self and made me feel like I was part of an inside joke that only a select group of super awesome people can truly understand.

Insomnia and My Groundhog Day Scenario

Megan's Easy Go To Sleep List 1990

Megan’s Easy Go To Sleep List 1990: 1. 20 names beginning with a letter in the ABC. 2. Count backwards starting at 100. 3. Listen to tape. 4. Think about the next day. 5. Try.

It’s almost 1:00AM on Sunday night/Monday morning and I work at 8:00AM…and, like most nights, sleep isn’t coming easily.  I stumbled across this gem just a few days ago and, with the whole Groundhog Day post, I thought I’d take this opportunity to make an example out of my struggle with insomnia.  A lot of people with ADHD face sleep issues at some point, so I thought maybe you guys could relate.  Either way, you can at least laugh with me.

Backstory?  I’m pretty sure I was born with insomnia.  When I was a baby, there was a saying about me, “You wake her, you take her,” because I never slept.  My mom would put me down for a 20 minute nap and come back to crooked pictures on the wall, a ripped up diaper and me wide awake, staring back at her.  I was apparently born with ADHD, too.

The issue has persisted, despite my million attempts to fix it.  I have tried just about everything and I will continue to try.  That’s not to say that there aren’t days…er…nights when I just say screw it…because there are.

But the point of this post is to show you how much my 11 year old self suffered with the same sleepless nights that I do now.  While I can definitely laugh at it, I feel a little sad about it, too.  I think the biggest thing that gets me is the final item on the list, “Try,” and how enthusiastically I underlined it.  Even then, I felt responsible for my insomnia, like I should’ve been able to will myself to sleep or something.  I know I was beating myself up over it…and that makes me a little sad.

Guess I’ll put my computer away now, so I can give this sleep thing a solid effort…again…ha ha