adults with ADHD

Deficiencies in Concentration and Hyperactive Behavior

Einstein Van Gogh FDR Frida Kahlo Walt DisneyI’ve fallen short on my blogging duties the past few days.  I haven’t been feeling well, so I’ve barely even had the energy to keep up with the daily grind.  I’m also in the middle of some serious soul searching…that I’m not quite ready to discuss on here, at least not at length.

Anyway, we were watching Saving Mr. Banks last night and there were some pretty touching (inspiring) parts.  In the spirit of full disclosure, I slept through the first of it, even though I’ve been wanting to see it for a while.

There was a scene that really hit home and I could almost see it unfolding before it even happened.  A little history for those that haven’t seen the film, P.L. Travers is the author of the Mary Poppins books and Walt Disney spends most of the film trying to convince her to give him the rights, so he can make a Mary Poppins film.  Ralph is Mrs. Travers’ driver while she’s in the U.S. (and Disney is trying to convince her to give him the rights).  In one of the very sentimental moments in the film, Ralph opens up to Mrs. Travers about his daughter Jane who is bound to a wheelchair.

Toward the end of the film, Mrs. Travers gives Ralph a piece of paper with a list of names and the dialogue that followed kinda hit me like a ton of bricks:

Saving Mr. Banks Quote: "Albert Einstein, Van Gogh, Roosevelt, Frida Kahlo," and, "Walt Disney."As Ralph began to rattle off the list, “Albert Einstein, Van Gogh, Roosevelt, Frida Kahlo…” I knew exactly where it was going.  Sure, all of these people were amazingly successful, but they did all also have potentially debilitating challenges to overcome…and they did…with flying colors.

I knew, too, that they were going to put Walt Disney out there…they kinda had to.  It’s a pretty well known fact that Walt Disney exhibited symptoms of ADHD.  Also, in Ralph’s eyes (and many other people’s eyes), Disney was a god.  To see all that Disney accomplished and to know that he had his own set of challenges to overcome?  Well, that’s pretty powerful.

It was even more powerful to me because of the timing of things in my life and the way that the scene seemed to speak to me directly.

Face your own obstacles head on.  Live your dreams in spite of those obstacles…and sometimes because of them.  Never stop believing in the life you know you were meant to live.  You were given certain passions for a reason.  Those obstacles…and those passions…were all give to you because you are meant to do something with them.  Figure out what that thing is and do whatever it takes to make it happen.

If my, “Deficiencies in concentration and hyperactive behavior,” make me similar to Walt Disney (and let’s be honest, Einstein), then I feel pretty good about my chances in this life.

Capturing Nature Through Photography

There was supposed to be a meteor shower the other morning, so I Googled and Googled all about how to capture one in photograph.  I mean, I researched the heck out of it…and had my camera all setup and ready to go.  Even laid out my clothes and shoes, so I could just hop up and get to shooting.

Unfortunately, the meteor shower proved to be uneventful, at least in my neck of the woods.  However, all the researching and preparing got me itching to take some photos.  Then my dad asked me to take some random photos of our house…not very interesting ones, but it still forced me to bring my camera outside.

I took the photos for my dad and started to walk back up towards the house.  Then I started looking around and I realized there were a lot of cool, nature things happening right in my back yard.  So, I started shooting.  I was playing around with the manual settings more than I have in a long time.

Life has gotten in the way and I haven’t had much time to devote to my photography, but it’s definitely another one of those things that helps calm my ADHD / OCD mind.  Zeroing in on the perfect shot brings a kind of focus that my ADHD mind rarely gets to feel.  And my OCD nature pushes me to have the patience to get that perfect shot…or at least to keep trying.

Nature photography kind of makes sense for me.  It’s the combination of two of my favorite things and I can get lost doing it for hours.  Needless to say, I took over 200 photos during my mini-shoot.  Part of what’s so awesome about photography is that you get the chance to share your perspective on a moment or, in this case, a scene in nature.  When an experience touches your soul in a good way, photography gives you the opportunity to pass it on and touch somebody else’s soul.

Don’t worry, I only pulled five photos from the 200+, so you’re not going to be forced to see the natural world through my eyes for the rest of your night.  But, I did want to share a few…just in case you needed something to brighten your evening (meaning the nature itself, not necessarily my creative interpretation via photo).

They’re not perfect, but taking them did make me want to take more.  Here’s hopin’ (for my sake) that this was the push I needed to get back into photography.  I used to shoot weddings…I used to sell my photos in (small) galleries and in local shops…I used to just take more photos.  It’s been years since I really allowed myself to get lost behind the lens.  It definitely reminded me how important it is for me to do creative things on a regular basis, though.

That said, my knowledge of flowers is fairly limited, so the file names are pretty boring…and I must have used up all of my creativity, so there are no titles…but you get the idea.

Nature Photography White Flowers

Nature Photography White Flowers

Nature Photography Clematis Flower

Nature Photography White Pink Rose

Nature Photography White Flower Bunches

Thanks for taking a peek, guys!  Hope you liked ’em!

 

 

The World Through Smudged and Cracked Rose-Colored (ADHD) Glasses

ADHD Lake Sunrise

It may seem odd that I’m posting a sunrise photo at night.  Although, if I hadn’t called myself out, you probably would have figured it for a sunset photo instead.  The fact that it’s a sunrise in the photo is kind of the point (even if it weren’t, I’m ridiculously honest, so I probably still would have told you).

See, guys, we all have bad days.  Some are worse than others and sometimes we can’t even pinpoint why.

I’m a little lost at the moment and I’m trying to hold myself accountable by proclaiming my optimism through this photo.  While ADHDers are known for missing some of the in-your-face details, we often get to see things that others simply gloss over…especially in nature.

Nature is synonymous with salvation (or at least serenity) for a lot of people with ADHD.  It’s that way for me at least. Nature can bring you joy, even on your worst day.  It can also open your eyes to a wisdom you had forgotten…or had never been privy to before.  I think that’s part of why recreational therapy is so successful for ADHDers.

Every day is a new day, my friends.  That’s a lesson nature has taught me countless times.  It is my hope that this simple sunrise photo will help you see both the wisdom and beauty in that truth.

No bad day can last forever, even if it sometimes seems that way.  We are given a fresh start with each rising sun and thus, a chance to embrace a new perspective.

The answers don’t always come when we want them to.  Maybe that’s nature’s way of letting us know we’re not really in control.  Regardless, answers come when they’re supposed to and only if they’re supposed to.  There are certain questions we’ll never know the answers to, but hopefully we can learn to let go and let life lead the way.

You’re never as lost as you feel.  And every morning you’re given the chance to find your way.

We must all be open to trying again.  We must all be open to seeing beauty where others may not even look.  We must all be open to hope….

Tattered Paper Worn Thin From a Lifetime of Holding On

In the wake of an adhd and ocd storm (life) - messy roomToday is National Honesty Day, apparently.  I feel like my writing was extremely honest and raw just after receiving my ADHD diagnosis, so I think I’ll share another one of my newly discovered Xanga posts.  A lot of people seemed to like (or at least shared) my Colored File Folders and the Organization of Life post, so I thought I’d post something similar…but first I’m gonna preface it a little bit.

Processing An ADHD Diagnosis

After being diagnosed, I was flooded with all kinds of emotions.  In some sense, I was relieved – to know there was a reason for so many of my unresolved challenges.  I was hopeful – that being able to understand my diagnosis would allow me to resolve some of those stubborn challenges.  I was angry – that I slipped through the cracks and survived school, even college, successfully because, if I had been diagnosed earlier, I might have actually learned something or, at the very least, I would have suffered less in the process.  I was sad for my younger self and all the things she’d had to overcome and all the potential good times lost in the battle.  As you learn to reassess your life, post diagnosis can be an emotionally chaotic time.

Having an answer of sorts (the ADHD diagnosis) drove me to research the hell out of everything, trying to find more answers.  From new ways of learning to new ways of organizing, ideas and new possibilities were running rampant in my ADHD / OCD brain.

Not for the first time in my life…and certainly not for the last…I was trying as hard as I could to get above water again.  Maybe I could even swim again.

Understanding That You’re Not Alone In Your ADHD Struggle

Since starting this blog, several people close to me have said that they had no idea that I had struggled (and continue to struggle) so much or that anybody had to live with these challenges.  That sounds like a pity-me statement and I don’t mean it that way at all.  I just know there are others out there who struggle with the same (or similar) issues and I want them to know they are not alone…and frankly, that it’s not typical to have to struggle in these ways.

The road to healing is a long one and it’s rarely as straight as we would like it to be.  Still, if you suffer with ADHD symptoms that are negatively impacting your life, I definitely recommend getting help of some kind.

Diagnosis Isn’t A Cure-all

In The Wake Of An ADHD And OCD Storm (Life)

All that said…and in the spirit of full disclosure (Happy National Honesty Day!), that picture at the top is my room (my nemesis) as it is today.  I’ve come a long way since the days of early diagnosis, but I still have a long way to go.

The funny thing is, I’ve had more than one person say that they’d hire me to be their professional organizer.  Of course, that wasn’t based on the organization of my room.  That was based on my organization at work and with projects in general.

Tattered Paper Worn Thin From a Lifetime of Holding On:

A Flashback To A Not-so-former Life

 Here’s the original post I intended to share.  Didn’t mean to carry on about it for so long.

“I’m cleaning today, which I know is a huge surprise to all of
you.  When am I NOT cleaning?  Perhaps “cleaning” isn’t the
best word choice.  I’m not dusting, vacuuming, or windexing…or
anything else of the sort.  The house (and my mind) is far from a
state that would allow such “cleaning.”  The piles are
everywhere…  Some are categorized appropriately…some are still
mere collections of my life, bits and pieces from here and there and
everywhere in between.  I don’t reget holding onto all of this
stuff, for I always knew I clung to it for reasons that were not
materialistic in nature.  I cannot allow myself to delve too much
into thought right now…at least not shared thought.  My thoughts
are constant, as they always are, and I try to sort through
them…  I try, desperately, to understand myself.  I’m
finding clues for the first time.  Each of these random objects
tells a little bit more about the places I’ve been, the person I’ve
been, and, most importantly, the person I am today.  Pages and
pages of class notes..illegible fragments of attempted knowledge,
incomplete information that I couldn’t focus enough to hear properly,
so it didn’t get translated properly or even coherently, random
thoughts in the margin, doodles that clutter the page…handwriting
that screams desperation as it tries to record every word it possibly
can with the intentions of rereading and digesting it all
later…unfinished letters that never got where they were meant to go
and some that served as rough drafts for the defining moments in my
life…important documents stained and crumpled from a life that
yearned for perfection, but resulted in chaos…  There’s much to
take in…  “I’m just sorting through some stuff…” I’m tired of
saying it…tired of hearing, “You’re always going through stuff…how
long could it possibly take?”  It could take a lifetime…

As a side note, I look around and wonder if I am too much for this
world.  The words do not come as I try to explain this
notion.  Perhaps later…  I will not force it.  More to
be sorted out…in due time…”

Posted February 11, 2006 at 3:51PM

If You’re ADHD And You Know It…Attach Your iPhone With A Leash?

iPhone Leash - Kenu Highline

So…it’s not a Friday Find…because it’s not Friday…and also because I haven’t tried this product yet.  Not that I tried The Isolator…but that’s not exactly a feasible purchase.  Although…eBay? Sadly, at first search, it’s a no (and I did actually look and I probably would have bought one).

I digress…yesterday’s post was all about how we ADHDers are perpetually clumsy and tend to break stuff.  Then, today…this handy dandy Kenu Highline pops up in one of my feeds.  I’m looking up at my six open windows, but can’t figure out where the first click came from, but I did end up landing on this Wired.com article that has some pretty good info about it.  I also like how they take the blame (of injured (sometimes fatally) phones) off of us:

“Our most indispensable possession is small, frail, and slippery.”

Okay, so what is it exactly?  The Kenu Highline product page wraps it up rather nicely:

“…a clever security leash and protective case system that provides peace of mind while capturing photos and video in the most precarious situations. Whether you are on a chairlift, whale watching, zip–lining, rock climbing, or entertaining your child, Highline will be there to provide the ultimate protection for your iPhone.”

How many phones have you broken?  I told you guys that I’ve managed to break an OtterBox before, right?  I mean, it’s what we do.  I can’t even remember all the ways that I’ve broken phones.  And I’m just not good about using a case.  I should be, mind you, but I’m just not.  By now I’ve realized that I need to outfit all of my electronics with the most durable cases out there. Yet, here my phone sits case-less.  Because, honestly, if the case makes it too hard to fit the phone in my pocket, that case is coming off.  And if the case compromises my phone’s functionality (at all), it’s coming off, too.

Maybe strapping that sucker down, so it can no longer leap to (or be thrown to) its death, is the way to go (the Highline even comes with a protective case).

My only concern with that bungee cord situation?  I know me and I will likely play with it.  I will likely pull the crap out of it until it loses it’s spiral ways and is no longer bungee in nature.  I will likely swing it around on my stupid, little finger (where it might have the tendency to slam into walls and such)…and honestly, I’m thinking that will just put the phone in a different kind of precarious situation.

Still, for $35, maybe I could learn to sit still.  Okay, okay…who are we kidding?  But, hey, there are definitely times when it might come in handy.  I’ve been known to use a case in certain situations, for temporary protection in highly dangerous (aka accident prone) circumstances.  Maybe a bungee leash would provide the added security I need when rushing around an airport or at a trade show.  Although, no, not at a trade show…too many heavy boxes and awkward encounters with the closet and desk walls…unless the case is super sturdy, too (which it might be).  I’m just afraid the bungeed iPhone might find a way to lodge itself between two boxes only to be released at great speeds into a wall…or, maybe worse, my face.

Anyway, I’m rambling and clearly still on the fence about it.  I definitely like the idea behind the Highline and can appreciate the need for it.  Just not sure if it’s good enough to handle my level of clumsy.

Can I just say, though…I have actually had my iPhone for quite some time now.  It’s been a pretty durable survivor.  Feels like I might jinx myself and I don’t want to end up running it over in the driveway later, but still.

Well, see for yourself below.  Looks like a pretty convenient, durable, little gadget in action.

(Still deciding if I should buy one.)