Thursday, December 27, 2007

Finding Humor in ADHD

My forty first birthday has come and gone and I survived. A few more of my hairs have grayed, my eyes are a bit more wizened, but otherwise I am no different than I was when I was forty. Or thirty, to be honest. 

(cc) Douglas Cootey

For all my talk about managing Depression with Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Positive Thinking, and a spicy stick of gum, my attempts to manage AD/HD have not been as impressive. I won't bore you with the details. Just peruse through any book on Adult ADD and you'll see me written all over the pages. People with AD/HD make so many mistakes they tend to have self-esteem that droops and drags. The trick to my sparkling self-image is that I learned to laugh at myself years ago. I make so many mistakes I keep myself in stitches all day.

If you weren't already aware, people with AD/HD tend to be forgetful, much to the consternation of their friends and loved ones. I'm certainly no different. The list of important events I've forgotten to attend is longer than most people have patience to read.  Actually, the truth is that the list is longer than I have patience to write, so you'll have to take my word on it this time. Where were we? Right. Forgetful.

About half a year ago I discovered a fabulous Downtempo band when link hopping around MySpace and added a song of theirs to my profile. Then I promptly forgot about them and my profile for months. I wasn't a regular MySpace user by any means, not for myself. I spent my time on it managing my daughter's band page. MySpace generally meant "work" to me. When I visited my profile again a few months later I discovered the song I liked had been yanked. Unfortunately, I had no idea what the song was. 

Move forward a few months and I heard a great song on Moonlight (that TV show about the angsty vampire who hangs out in L.A. with a short blond girl and pines for mortal blood coursing through his veins) and spent some time to look it up. The song was by a band named Fauxliage. I bought their album off iTunes that very night. A week later I revisited my MySpace page and the band song had returned. It was by Fauxliage. I guess I really liked them since I discovered them twice.

Ten years ago something like this would have launched me into a miserable fit of self-loathing. It's not a big deal, but it would have bothered me nonetheless. Now I just laugh at it. I consider myself lucky that I didn't already own their CD when I  bought their album onlilne. 

Keeping a positive outlook is vital to having a healthy self-esteem, but when one is as blunder-prone as most AD/HD adults are one develops serious insecurities. It is tempting to get down on oneself. Do yourself a favor, however, and stop beating yourself up. You can start off by stating one good thing about yourself every day, and when one day you go to the store and forget why you went there, send your boss two "Thank You" cards for the same raise, or leave the storefront unlocked, you'll be able to have a chuckle at your own expense. Well, OK, I still wince at leaving the store unlocked, but at least I never sent my boss two "Thank You" cards. I forgot to send even one!

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