I guess I have ADHD. I hate labels. I don’t like stigmas that follow with labels. But the truth is I have it. Yesterday, I was supposed to help my friend Trish with a transcript. I tried to transcribe for hours. Of course it didn’t help that my kids were running around being kids during this process. But, that’s not really an excuse. You see, one of the advantages of having ADHD is that I can hyper-focus. That means, ironically, I can zoom in on one particular task and the house could possibly be burning down, but I wouldn’t notice because I’m writing a novel.
Anyway…I tried to transcribe this audio file for Trish, but I couldn’t focus for more than one minute at time. I would go on Facebook, I would write a blog post, I would do anything I possibly could to run away from the work I was supposed to be doing, because it hurt my brain to stay focused on the task. It was painful to me.
What ended up happening was I was late giving her the transcript, and it was incomplete. I felt awful. I told as her much. She was upset with me and justifiably so. She wrote me saying as much. I replied to her email and told her that I had no excuse. I should have focused better. I explained to her that this is a constant issue that I struggle with. I often have trouble managing deadlines and keeping organized.
She called me up and she said:
“Sarah, I’ve always been straight with you right?”
“Yeah, you have.”
“I think this sounds like ADHD. It’s going to be difficult for you to hold a job with these symptoms. I’m worried about you.”
I felt my throat tighten and I wanted to cry because I knew what she was saying was true. She was being a supportive friend and trying to help. I know, and I have known for some time, that I have ADHD. I have tremendous difficulty focusing. I have trouble with interrupting people and blurting out the first thing that comes into my head. It’s embarrassing sometimes. And I feel ashamed. But the people who love me, understand that I’m not doing it on purpose to be rude. It’s the way my brain is wired.
There are pros and cons to having ADHD:
- Hyper-focusing – Pro: I can zoom in on a task and get it done. Con: I am completely unaware of everything else around me and it could result in me forgetting that I left the stove on.
- Multi-tasking – Pro: I’m sure getting a lot of things done right now at the same time! Con: Except I’m not getting the important stuff done, but my cellphone screen is really clean.
- Quick Thinker – Pro: I’m sharp and have many creative thoughts at the same time Con- What is going on in my brain? Racing thoughts abound.