Saturday, April 21, 2018

Too Proud to Have ADHD?

Are you too proud for ToDo lists? Don't like to admit you have ADHD memory issues? You aren't alone.

Shopping List of Usefullness

I have a family member who has ADHD. They never write anything down. They don’t make reminders. They insist that they have to remember everything on their own, and of course, they seldom do. I’m so glad I don’t have that hangup anymore.

It reminds me of the hard time we had with my daughter in middle school. Her teacher—supposedly trained to teach learning disabled children—insisted my daughter had to remember to complete all her homework assignments on her own. She wouldn’t tell me what the assignments were so I could help my girl get them finished. Her grades were terrible.

You see, my daughter has severe memory impairment, among other issues. I fought every year to get parental homework reminders on her IEP, and that teacher resisted. She didn’t want to be bothered? She was stubborn? She thought my girl’s memory issue was a discipline problem? I may never know. She’s retired now. However, it took us a full psych eval at Primary Children’s years later before we could have that diagnosis added to my daughter’s IEP. Fortunately, her teacher in high school witnessed and understood that my girl had memory issues. What a difference addressing that learning disability made in my daughters education!

I, too, have memory issues. They are of the ADHD kind. I’ll walk into a room and forget why I entered. I’ve developed the ability to reconstruct my fragmented thoughts and get back on track, but sometimes, there are too many distractions to filter out. For example, I can’t remember more than three things on a shopping list. Heck, I’m lucky if I can remember two. I’d enter those delectable warehouses of colorful distractions and suddenly I’d be calling home to ask why I was there. Embarrassing! So I don’t bother trying to remember anymore. I haven’t tried for over ten years. I write everything down.

I used to be too proud for ToDo lists. I HAD to remember on my own!! But after many years of coming home from the store with the wrong items or worse, having to go back for the items that I forgot, I became a convert. I love love LOVE ToDo lists now.

I wish my family member wasn’t too proud to help themselves out. I’d rather take pride in never forgetting anything than to obstinately insist that my flakey brain had to get its act together. I remember plenty of things, but milk, eggs, and that other thing aren’t among them.

Nifty logo of words in a fishbowl

Big plans! I had big plans to blog every Thursday while finishing up my Pokémon gaming book and structuring my next mental health book on fighting depression. I was also going to start sending out articles for publication again. Yes, indeed. BIG PLANS.

Then an interesting thing happened. I was awarded a scholarship to Writers and Illustrators for Young Readers out of the blue. I took a few days to decide if I wanted to accept the offer, and ultimately accepted. But I was in the middle of one of the longest bouts of illness I’ve had since 2013. Adenovirus led to a sinus infection, and Mother Nature’s ambivalence about whether it was Spring or not left me ill for over 45 days. I was bedridden, coughing up lungs ill. It was a nasty virus. You cannot imagine my relief that it is finally over. I wrapped up my research for the Pokémon book, finished the first draft, caught up with everything in life I’d been unable to attend to while sick, and only signed up for WIFYR two weekends ago.

Then I was told on the 10th that I had until the 12th to submit 6000 words of my story. “What story?” I asked myself. I had hoped to have more time!

I’ve been working long hours plotting, plotting, plotting since last week. My story idea was only the slimmest of thoughts — a cottonwood seed upon the wind. My original plan was to begin formulating the story sometime in the summer. Now it’s planted, and watered, and only needs 6000 words of growth. No worries. The hard part’s been done. Haha…

I have to admit that this ADHD thing of not being able to focus if there’s too much going on is a pain in the binding when I have blogging, writing, caring for a disabled child, and Tourette’s to collate and organize. I’m a mess, but it’s been fun. I began my book last night. I will not allow illness or disability to deprive me of this opportunity. Now if only I was that determined to stay away from Twitter.

Coping Strategy: ToDo lists are your friend. I’ve written many blogs about using them. Here, here, and here for starters.