Walk In My Shoe
“Yo Mama is so broke, she can’t even pay attention”
I’m kidding, I’m kidding, don’t go anywhere yet! Weird way to start an article, right? specially if you don’t want your readers to leave early. . . way early. Well, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to disrespect “Yo Mama” like that. Only said that to grab your attention . . . you gonna need that!
I love “Yo Mama” jokes. This one is my favorite one and it’s kinda funny until you start wondering the reason why “Yo Mama” couldn’t pay attention might not just be because she is broke but also suffering from “ATTENTION DEFICIENCY HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER” Aka “ADHD” Aka “ADD”. . . phewww!
👀Huh? Ikr . . .Do you know about that? Or is it your first time hearing about ADHD?
I’m pretty sure by now you have run into someone with ADHD or you might have it yourself or think you have it. Though No two individuals with ADHD present the same way, there are some very common traits. For instance, most adults with the condition do not exhibit hyperactivity on the outside, but on the inside. Either way, this piece is gonna change your life . . . Oops, I did it again! Only said it to grab your attention!
This piece has been in my draft since Mental Health Week in May 2020. It’s been in there for so long until it got my attention again recently. Since 2020, I have published a couple of articles, the most recent one being “My Toilet Seat Thoughts”, put 10 more topics in my drafts, and also did a bunch of other stuff. You might have guessed it by now, yes I have ADHD, although I’d like to think mine ain’t that severe. Despite being forgetful, impulsive, sometimes being hyperactive, and of course inattentive, I’m completely fine! Don’t worry about me!
Remember in my other articles when I told you I wasn’t good in my studies, well turns out my low grades were not from lack of effort, nor stupidity or inadequacy. . . or at least I’d like to think that, cuz I remember trying. I really tried! Can’t blame me! I can’t blame anyone either. There wasn’t enough awareness about ADHD back then. My parents only got worried that I’m falling behind in class and did what every loving parent would do to help their children cope with their studies. They hired me tutors, one after the other, for almost every major subject until one day I finally told my dad I didn’t need anymore help. Long story short, it didn’t go as planned. Clearly, I needed some help but definitely not from a tutor!
I wish the story could have ended right there. Apparently, you can’t outgrow ADHD, it followed me through my adulthood. We init for good!
Ngl, having ADHD while being an adult really really sucks, but I quickly get distracted from it. That’s what I do best! Deep down it’s not as bad as you think it is. Once in the A.Ds, the traits associated with ADHD helped more with enhancing hunter-gatherer skills than those of a settler. I would have made a good hunter, bringing some amazing Warthog or Mammoth to feed my family and my Sabre Tooth Tiger pet. Life would have been so much easier for us back then. Just imagine yourself as a caveman with ADHD traits doing a 40+ Hrs work week or some 21st century stuff to put food on the table. How would you feel? Actually, 40 Hrs work week is boring for everyone but you get the point.
ADHD has its special way of making you the most interesting person in the room. I mean, who wouldn’t be interested in a Caveman if you run into one? A hypothesis about the nature of ADHD first suggested by Thom Hartmann proposes that ADHD represents a lack of adaptation of members of hunter-gatherer societies to their transformation into farming societies. Simply put, we’re having a hard time in this “modern” society.
So, what is it like for a “Caveman at work” in this society? Well for starters, it’s tough out here! I can’t emphasis more on that. Have you ever opened 50+ tabs on your browser and forgot you had enough tabs already and kept opening tabs? Yap that’s me but it’s not just tabs I keep opening, I do pages upon pages of overlapping projects. It’s quite common for individuals with ADHD to have trouble envisioning an entire task from start to finish. I pick up one thread, follow it for sometime, grab several more along the way, and before I know it, I’m an art director for a yet to be launched NFT project. Deadlines would always surprise me, and at the 11th hour I would find the motivation to churn out a final product in record time. I hate surprises and yet my life is full of ‘em.
The world is full of endless possibilities, and my brain has no idea where to put them all. Ideas just tumble around in there like monkeys that just got freed from a cage. Most often, though, it’s half-baked big ideas that turn my mind into something else. It could be an idea for a new startup or Ideas for a new feature in my app. Ideas for a new article. Ideas for a vacation trip which I don’t have the budget for . . . yet!
While having ADHD can be a little challenging, it has traits that I would like to consider beneficial. I’ve learned a technique where I could use a common but counterintuitive feature of ADHD called hyperfocus. I had times where I sat down to work at 10 p.m., and suddenly it’s 5 a.m.. like, wtf? That doesn’t happen very often though. To be in that “hyperfocus” zone is not as easy as being in the “hyperactive” zone. Getting slightly in that zone can get me a lot of work done around here. It usually happens when I’m working on things I enjoy the most, like programming, designing, and nowadays writing. Of course, it also means that my room is a mess!
Through time I have learnt that my ADHD brain is really good at recognizing things it wants to do and things it doesn’t. I’m not a neurologist or anything like that but I know for sure motivation is a chemical reaction in the brain. The moment I lose interest in something, it kinda makes it difficult for me to muster the willpower to do it — even if it’s an important task. It has something to do with my brain thinking that task doesn’t carry as much reward as it is supposed to. A lot of dopamine has to come from the task for my brain to decide to do the task or keep doing it. Some might call it a lack of willpower. They’d be right, in a way, but it comes down to brain chemistry — not laziness. It is what it is!
I’m pretty sure all the ADHD people are gone by now.
You are probably wondering how I get things done? Well, I just started figuring things out recently. I don’t have a well formulated coping mechanism yet but I came up with a way that keeps me a little productive. For starters, because I’m easily distracted, I turned off all my notifications on my devices. Since phone calls constantly take me away, I started putting my phone on Airplane mode while in my zone. So, leave me a text in case you couldn’t reach me! These helped me minimize distractions from happening. What I found very useful though, is to focus on what I do best and enjoy, rather than struggling to do what I hate. Peridot! Well, It’s easier said than done tho!
Despite the chaos, people with ADHD excel at the things we enjoy. My spontaneity, curiosity, hyper-focus, creativity, and a few other traits have contributed a lot to what I have been able to accomplish so far & will continue to do so. We have a remarkable ability to channel our energy into what we enjoy doing. We are constantly tempted to escape the mundane and chase what makes us happy. It’s not enough though, especially if you’re looking to strive in this modern society. These traits combined with some “normal people” traits, healthy habits, support, and good communication, can lead us to incredibly fulfilling lives.
Imagine having to follow through a project until the end, imagine listening to the entire story when your girlfriend has some “tea to spill”, imagine not zoning out while the teacher is teaching, imagine not waiting until the deadline to do something, imagine sitting still during meetings, imagine having to finish writing an article . . . my, oh, my, that would have been LEGEN . . . wait for it . . . DARY! LEGENDARY!