Wednesday, February 21, 2018

ADHD - Of Cocteau Twins and Shoujo Title Generators

Ever wonder what it was like to have ADHD? I can help you out with that.

I’ve recently made a goal of tagging all my published blog articles so I can see which ones haven’t been published. OS X allows me to tag files with colored dots. That way all the untagged files will stand out. OS 9 used to allow the entire filename to be colorized so that it would shout out at me from the din, but now we are living in the future where small dots of color are considered more noticeable than one inch long filenames in pulsating bright green. Regardless, now that I’ve slogged through the past three years of posts, I have discovered an alarmingly high number of posts that never saw the light of day. It’s as if some unnamed power gripped my mind and caused me to wander off. I wonder if there’s a name for it…

Some of the lost blogs have great descriptive names like “Untitled 3.txt” and “Food.txt”. Today’s entry is based on a text file with the sagacious label of “I share the.txt”. I know you’re gonna love it.

I share the following so that you can understand the types of things that excite me, but also how ADHD leads me on merry distractions. This will likely be my blog topic this week (I wrote in April 2015).

I just discovered that I did not miss buying the final Cocteau Twins album, Lullabies to Violaine. It was released as a limited edition boxed set in 2005 and contains almost all the B sides and EPs that hadn’t seen print for ages. I was busy helping my daughter Joy​ launch her podcast and singing career that year while homeschooling Cathryn​ & Lorelai​, while also producing a podcast of my own with Cathryn. That podcast, Harry Podder, was featured in a graphic during a Stevenote when Steve Jobs was introducing podcasts to his audience. At any rate, a friend sent me an MP3 of one of the tracks on the album. It was wonderful, so I searched far and wide on the internet for “the track name, and discovered Lullabies to Violaine. There it was on iTunes, Volumes 1 & 2 for $17.99 each. On I could get those double CDs for $12.99 ea. Hmm, decisions. Wait, and save $10, or splurge and have them NOW… Then I saw it. There was ONE copy left of the limited edition boxed set of all four CDs. It was only $39.99 and included all 4 CDs. Why was I excited to buy this edition instead of saving money on the barebones individual CDs? Are you kidding me? The CDs were lovingly presented in a fold-out package made of a strange dream-like substance: ”Curious Soft Touch Milk“. Who wouldn’t want to buy a limited edition boxed set made out of that? It sounds like a shoujo manga title.

At this point, the ADHD kicked in. No, really. I was totally not distracted before this. Anyway. If you don’t know what I mean by ”shoujo“, give this page a few reloads. Shoujo manga is what they call girls comics in Japan. They have airy, sweet titles, often in English, that make no sense. That random shoujo title generator is spookily on the nose. I found examples like:

Moonlight Icicle Princess
Strawberry Dawn Kiss
Cherry Butterfly Childhood
Detective Marionette Hunters
A Cup of Paradise Wonderland
Sweet Sugar-sprinkled Bandits

I found myself thinking those titles sounded like stories Arina Tanemura would illustrate. Suddenly, I realized that I was just sitting there reloading a stupid web page when I had writing and errands to do. So I sheepishly closed the page and gathered my thoughts here. I’ll make a blog of it so it won’t be a total waste of time (I wrote three years ago…). I actually spent more time writing this than I did being distracted, but for me, this is ADHD at work. It’s a wonder I get anything done.

It is a wonder, indeed.

You know, I never did buy that album. I got distracted and forgot about it. A week later it was gone. I missed buying it, after all.

From time to time, I will refer to something as ”Classic ADHD“, then be called out because ”everybody has that problem“. They usually confuse my self-deprecating humor as some sort of victim impact statement, then feel the need to correct me. I offer this blog entry as exhibit one in my defense.

Everybody does get distracted from time to time. Older people dealing with ”senior moments“ may be distracted more than others. People with brain injuries get distracted. People on medication…people with sleep deprivation…the list is long and varied. However, what marks ADHD is not the distractions. It’s the intensity and frequency of the distractions. My trip down Curious Soft Touch Milk Lane is just one detour of many I will experience that day. Every day. Every week. If I’m lucky, I’ll catch on before too much time is wasted. This morning I lost eighty minutes reading news and posting to Twitter. Now I’m blogging instead of working on my book. Fortunately, I see this as work, too, but there’s need for balance. ADHD adults often lack that balance. It puts us terribly behind. That’s why I like to poke fun of it, and let some of the stress go.

There are plenty of people out there who will scold you. Don’t be one of them. Learn to laugh at yourself when these glorious distractions happen. At least smile. The distractions are a bit funny. Then refocus in on your task at hand. Sometimes, it’s all that you can do.

If you like distractions, you should read my book on Pokémon. I’m working on another one just like it before delving into mental health topics again.