Friday, November 18, 2011
I think I have Attention Deficit Disorder. I’d say mine is a mild case; I’ve seen people who are much worse than me. I’m nowhere near considering medication, but I’d like to try some concentration exercises. While my inability to maintain focus is occasionally inconvenient, I truly believe that ADD is a skill that we’ve developed as a response to our culture. Multi-tasking is necessary in today’s world; it benefits us to become adept at it.
ADD, for me, is like most things – a benefit in some situations and a liability in others. I’m usually good at coming up with solutions, yet completely worthless when it comes to seeing them through. The biggest problem for me is how the lack of concentration impacts my memory. Here’s how that works:
“Gee, they still have their Halloween decorations out.” “My sheets need to be changed.” “I’ll ask Laura what veterinarian she uses.” “Oh, I still need to schedule that dinner!” “I wonder if it would be cheaper if we flew Delta?” “I need to get gas . . .” “If the showing is in the morning, I’ll call her in the afternoon, but if they show him in the afternoon, I’ll have to call her the next day.” “Is this cherry or strawberry flavored? “ “I don’t recognize that phone number.” “Hey, they painted that house!” “How did I get this bruise?” “There are two different campuses?”
So, it makes perfect sense to me that I can’t recall where the Halloween decorations were.
Some of my friends actually get upset when I don’t remember something that they’ve told me; it’s truly nothing personal. There are lots and lots of things that I make no effort to remember; I intentionally save my memory for things that are more likely to matter in the future. The fact that I don’t remember that you prefer to use brown sugar, instead of white sugar, to make bread pudding honestly isn’t indicative of whether or not I think you are important; I just don’t think your recipe is important. If you tell me that you were sexually assaulted as a teenager, though, I will remember it forever and be cognizant of how that may still impact you today.
Something kind of scared me today. While at work, I suddenly remembered that I called a friend last night. I remember looking up the number, and asking her how she was. I remember her saying, “I’m good.” And I had a vague awareness that there was no more to it; that was the end of it. What the hell happened? Wouldn’t I have called her back if the phone had cut us off? Was this just me projecting how I thought the call would begin and I never actually dialed her? I had virtually no awareness of what happened. My cell phone showed that I dialed her, and then I dialed someone else 2 minutes later. Did she even answer? No other calls came in at that time. WTH?!? It’s almost as if my memory were scrubbed; I was just blank.
I really scared me, this mental lapse. About a half hour into it, I remembered that she was eating and I said I’d call her back in 10 minutes. I forgot to do that, of course. But, I was driving home, had talked to my furnace company about having no heat, someone else was texting me, and I called another friend to tell her that an acquaintance had died. I wonder if all that is just too much for me to do at once? Or is there something medically wrong?
Does this happen to everybody? And did I already post about ADD once? ;)