ADHD v/s TIDY
By Betty Fokker on May 18, 2013
I had a few brief years of tidy shortly after college. That evaporated the minute I met my now-husband,Sweet Babou. It turns out Sweet Babou is a force of nature that destroys tidiness. It's worse now that I have presented him with three little female clones of himself. Tidy doesn't love me anymore, and won't return my calls.
Since I have OCD, you would think I would be a clean freak but that’s just a myth. Although I am a germaphobe and have all kinds of needs for hand sanitizer after grocery shopping, so I guess I do meet the mythos in the middle. But the point is that OCD also spawns hoarders, not just neatniks. As well as people like me who just can’t get off whatever treadmill of thought our brain has jumped on.
Honestly, OCD is a real pain in the ass.
Nevertheless I must live with because it came with my Asperger’s syndrome, along with other joyful things such as depression and the inability to figure out why the hell anyone gives even a gnat’s shit about what the Kardashians are up to. Asperger’s is a bit like eating at Cracker Barrel; you cannot escape the side dishes and good luck telling them you can’t eat the biscuits.
But I digress. Which reminds me that I have ADD (now more universally labeled ADHD-PI). It basically means that my train of thought doesn’t run on tracks; it’s more like a zippy little UFO. Yes, my brain is infested with little green men. Little green men who know all the lyrics to songs from the 80s no less. At least I assume that they’re the ones who have put my brain-soundtrack on a loop of Whip It and Safety Dance.
Plus, my OCD and ADD together mean that I fear I have already blogged about this.
Where was I? Oh yeah. My ADHD-PI was always semi-manageable. I had “poor executive function” but that only meant that I couldn’t do things like plan a party, remember that sentences need articles and conjunctions, or find my ass with both hands. It was not that big of a deal. However, with each progressive pregnancy it got worse. I was hardly alone in this. My shrink says that there is a growing volume of research how hormones can effect brain chemical balances, and that many of her patients have run into it when they are pregnant and then menopausal. Sometimes it is temporary. Other times it seems to have changed the brain permanently.
After my third daughter I realized it was starting to impair my ability to be a functional human being, let alone a mother. When she went from exclusive nursing to nursing plus baby food that it really started to go downhill in my head. The final straw happened a few months ago when I forgot to raise the garage door and backed my van right into it. That was several hundred dollars in damage, which was unpleasant, but it scared the shit out of me because what if I hurt one of the kids because of my inattention??
Yeah, I ain’t playing with that.
So off to the shrink I went. We discussed meds for a long time and decided to start me out with the smallest dose possible of Adderall. For the first two weeks I thought I was having a bad reaction to them because I was sleepy all the time and started napping like a old cat confronted with sunshine through a window. My shrink told me that this was actually a good sign; other patients it was effective for had the same response and it was a good sign I did indeed have ADHD-PI. Adderall is basically speed, and for normal humans they get high and hyper-focused. For ADHD peeps it slows your brain down and you feel calmer and you are able to focus. For me, it is as if it has lowered the volume of the white-noise in my frontal lobes, allowing me to think again.
I’m still “ditzy” but I feel like I did 10 years ago as opposed to the space cadet I had become. I can once again find my ass with both hands! My blog posts can still meander but I no longer try to back out of closed garage doors! Success!
There has been only one negative side effect – my house has become even more of a garbage pit than before. Seriously, that thing like a meat candy cane with an eyeball on it from Star Wars would be right at home here. It looks like I am decorating in the squalor motif and shopping at Slobs ‘R’ Us.
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