Thursday, January 10, 2019

ADHD Is Like a Cupcake

If you’re willing to do the work, your ADHD will come out of the oven like a batch of perfect cupcakes?

I have to agree with you. Comparing ADHD to cupcakes isn’t the best simile. What could I possibly mean? Am I saying that ADHD is covered in sickly, sweet frosting and helps you put on weight? Coping strategies for ADHD are most efficacious when baked at 325ยบF? ADHD is best dealt with by spreading it thinly with a knife while gently twirling?

If only dealing with ADHD was so tasty!

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Capitalism as a Coping Strategy, Plus Other Successes

2018 was a good year for me. Thank you all for reading my articles, sharing them with friends, and supporting me over the years. This blog, A Splintered Mind, has been tackling ADHD and depression with attitude and humor online for fourteen years now. It is the longest project, aside from parenthood, of which I have remained consistently engaged.

In the past year, I have been spotlighted in Esperanza magazine, had blogs published at, had an article published in ADDitude Magazine’s Fall issue, and was selected to participate in a blogger advisory panel. 2018 was busy, but it all came together in the Fall.

The event that took the most effort was the blogger advisory panel—even more effort than trying to get a decent portrait for Esperanza magazine that didn’t make me look like a doofus. That project involved all of my smiling daughters giving me encouragement on a bright summer day. I felt so awkward doing a photoshoot in a public park, as if I’m a looker, but my girls boosted my self-esteem and got me through it. For the Boston gig, in contrast, I had to utilize every coping strategy I’d invented, plus make up a few on the fly, to prepare and present for the panel. It was me vs. myself.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Dropping a Beat on My Depression Fail Days

Dancing like nobody’s watching is more than a cutesy saying on a dance studio’s wall. Read on to learn how it helped me fight off depression.

The Binge Diet

I’ve been down in the dumps lately.

My healthy breakfast of a protein shake with a side order of an entire bag of Tostitos Salsa Verde chips was the first clue that things had gone off the rails. And a few days later that package of Haribo Sour Gold-Bears chased down with a zero calorie, Stevia sweetened soda? Yeah, I’m definitely going to see results with that regimen, right⸮

Yet as Fall became more like Winter, I couldn’t go out for a walk or a ride on my longboard. At the same time, family stress spiked just when I could have used exercise. I found myself drifting into a depression routine: comfort eating and gaining weight again. Truthfully, I made a lot of progress over the summer. I lost seventeen pounds and four and a half inches off my waist as I converted chub to muscle. Yet there I was, deep into Winter Depression with a face full of comfort carbs.

Monday, December 03, 2018

ADHD: On Time, but Half an Hour Late

Sometimes you can do everything right and still get it all wrong.

Cheerful Reminder

It seems the only thing I can count on reliably is my ADHD tendency to embarrass myself. It’s even more reliable than death and taxes. I make plans. I execute them. Then they execute me.

My regular hairstylist is out on maternity leave, so I’ve been seeing a colleague of hers. She does a good job, and I am intensely thankful to get a professional cut on my schedule at the same location. She’s a nice girl and very courteous, too, which makes me want to return the favor by being on time.

You can probably guess where this is going.

Between ADHD, Tourette’s, and my daughter’s disabilities, many days I find myself 15–30 minutes behind schedule, racing across the valley to be as close to on time as possible, basically Douglas Standard Time. If you’re wondering why I’m so chronologically challenged, ADHD inspires last minute distractions that put me behind, Tourette’s is a neurological earthquake that goes off unexpectedly, and my daughter is a learning disabled teenager who does a great erupting volcano impression. Any of the three is enough to get me off track, but often I get the full hat trick.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Life Usually Has Other Plans

For the past week, I’ve been stressing out over an upcoming event: my return to the dating pool. I can’t say that my swim went well. First, I paced back and forth on the pool deck, eyeing the water suspiciously. Then I stuck a toe in, but quickly retreated to a safe distance. Wet! It was much too wet. Then I shook myself off, scheduled my swim, awaited my moment, and dressed for the occasion. I even took a selfie to send to my daughters before I took the plunge.

In the photo, I’m so nervous in my bathing suit, I don’t recognize the man looking back at me. There’s something wrong with his face. He doesn’t look anything like me. It might be his rigor mortis smile, or the overly pink complexion moments before he begins to steam from apprehension. Whatever is ailing him, it doesn’t matter. Life managed to keep him away from the water 35 minutes before he was scheduled to dive in.

The school gave me a call seconds after I took the selfie. My daughter was having a breakout seizure.

The Best-Laid Schemes

This month, no, my life isn’t going as planned. It brings to mind a certain poem:

❝But, Mousie, thou art no thy-lane,
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!

~“To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest With the Plough”, Robert Bruns, November 1785

I know. It’s not the most upbeat outlook, and Steinbeck repurposed it better, but life certainly does have a way of uprooting our carefully built nests. In response, I could get frustrated, or I could get creative. I chose the creative solution, even if it feels a bit bleak—even for me.


New blog posting later tonight.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Worry Is a Waste of Imagination

Worry is a waste of imagination. ~Walt Disney

What Do I Get out of Blogging about Mental Health?

I was recently contacted by a college student who requested an email interview. I share the answers below because the interviewer asked excellent questions.

If you follow my blog, then you’ll already know that I have been diagnosed with Clinical Depression (Major Depressive Disorder), Adult ADHD, and Chronic Tic Disorder (Tourette’s). What you may not know is what I get out of blogging about my experiences with these conditions. This was the one of the questions the interviewer asked that made me think.

Why on earth do I do this?

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