Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How AD/HD Makes Me More Like Monk Than I Care For

I’m sick with some sort of flu so this article lacks sparkle. I’m forcing myself to meet my new schedule, however, so I believe I deserve a cookie…

MonkphobiaI’m glad I don’t have cable TV anymore. All I would do was endlessly surf the channels at 3am trying to find something worth watching. If you’ve seen TV at that time of night perhaps you realize what a pointless pursuit that was. The trouble was that I couldn’t stop myself. I’d get into an AD/HD rut and flip, flip, flip the hours away. I’m sure I could have trained myself to not waste time in that manner, but it was easier and cheaper just to cancel the service.

Thankfully, the magic of the internet lets me keep up with a few programs I like, but otherwise I don’t watch much TV. However, the new programs during Fall make it a tempting time for TV viewing so I sample quite a bit of the old and new. This year I sampled Monk.

I decided to rent the pilot episode. I had caught one episode years ago and found it uncomfortable. Up for laughs was a sad shell of a man who, like some psychotic idiot savant, managed to solve the mystery, but only after bumbling about from phobia to phobia. At the time, I took it to be an unkind show.

I’m glad I gave the show a second chance. Clearly, the show was written well. I laughed in all the right places and enjoyed the story. I even wondered why I had been turned off by the show years ago. I don’t have obsessive compulsive issues or germ phobias so I couldn’t relate with most of Monk’s hangups. That was until I stepped into the kitchen.

I’ve written about the link between AD/HD and Hypersensitivity before, especially about my paranormal olifactory powers, but in later years I’ve come to realize that I have serious tactile & auditory sensitivities as well. A sticky patch on an otherwise clean working space will drive me mad. A twisted blankets, crumbs underfoot, or books & media in disarray will cause volcanic discomfort to stir within me. Never mind the issues I have with background noise (see here & here). These sensitivities are my quirkiest aspects.

The other night when I stepped into the kitchen to get a drink I found my feet bonding with the tile floor. A blessed little faerie child has spilled ginger ale everywhere. As I backed up off the floor onto the rug, my wife began telling me about the mess I had discovered. I listened to her dutifully while noticing I was standing in crumbs—now superglued to my soles—while my fourteen year old also began asking me questions from the other room. It was at that point the the dishwasher kicked into a very loud cycle.

The sensory tsunami drowned my brain.

As I began to vocally react to the onslaught I suddenly realized why it was I hadn't liked Monk all those years ago. I may not have all Monk's phobias and OCD issues, and really wasn't anything like him, but darn it all if it wasn't like watching myself up on the screen.

I can't say that I'm a big fan of the show now, but I am glad I have a new appreciation for the production of it. They did a really good job characterizing that psychopathic neatnik—too good of a job. I don't need to watch Monk. I am him.