Do you have ADHD?  I was diagnosed with it when I was a kid.  Well it wasn't ADHD, it was only ADD, since at the time they didn't have ADHD yet.  Either way, they gave my dad some pills for me to take, which I did.  The pills never really helped that much -  my feet wouldn't be dancing all the time, and my brain could stay on track on the things I liked, but it never really helped with anything else.  I struggled with ADHD for years: being called a "spaz", always blurting out stupid things I didn't mean to say, not having many friends, doing terrible in school, not being able to hold a boring job for a long time.  I thought my school situation was because I was lazy or because I was stupid.  I often felt like I was an unlikable person since it was incredibly difficult to make friends.  

It has been really hard to explain to people how my brain works, especially since I don't understand how a non-ADHD brain would be, but I'll try to do it in a story.  

Have you ever read "Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut?  It's about a dystopian future where the government tries to force everyone to be equal, and does so by giving advantaged people "handicaps".  These include things like masks for attractive people and heavy weights for athletic people.  One of these forced ailments is a radio ear-plug that plays random sounds or music every 5 seconds to stop intelligent thoughts.  Speaking of music... do you have a theme song?  I have a different one every day in the morning.  Well, it's not so much of a song as it's 5 seconds of a song repeated constantly while I get ready until I hear something else.  Do you know how fucking annoying that is?  Especially if its a song that I can't stand, like the theme song to the television show "The Nanny".  I don't even know the words, it's just dah do dah do dah do and blah blah blah to some jazzy ass music, then some nutty broad screams out "THAT'S HOW SHE BECAME THE NANNYYYYYYYY".  It is seriously distracting. Kind of like the movie "Up", except the thing Dug the dog wears only says stupid things at the worst times or plays random sounds and music constantly. Although, I can totally relate to Dug and his never ending quest for squirrels.  "Up" was a good movie.  Did you know that there is a house in Herriman, Utah that looks exactly like the Up house?  It is nestled in a subdivision of normal (boring) looking houses.  You are just driving along in Mormon suburban hell and all the sudden - BLAM! "Up" house. It's like a pastel oasis in a sea of shit.  Apparently the other homeowners don't like the house there because they say it increases the traffic from all the people coming to look at it.  I think they probably don't like it because it made them realize their houses look like giant turds.  Literally.  Lit-er-ally.  Okay, maybe more figuratively.  I wonder if the word "literally" came from "literature".  I bet it did.  See, now I bet you're thinking about it too.  But we're both wrong.  I just looked it up and it comes from the Latin word "littera" which means letter.  Thought you were smart, didn't you?  I thought I was, and I still do sometimes, when the wind is blowing the right direction.  However, a lot of the time I have a lot of doubt about how I got to where I am.  Impostor syndrome.  I'm poster syndrome.  I'm pasta in drones.  I'm pasta syndrome.  Now that sounds delicious.  "I'm pasta syndrome".  "How are you feeling today?"  "Al dente, thank you."  Anyways, "Harrison Bergeron", could you imagine having something interrupt your thoughts constantly?  You're trying to write your annual review for work and you need to think of a word and your brain just refuses to focus on the fucking word and keeps trying to tell you about why impostor syndrome doesn't apply to you (it's because you DON'T deserve to be where you're at), and instead you're writing a fucking blog about ADHD!  AHAHAHHGGGGGHHH.  It's like that, but multiply the train of thought by ten.  It's frustrating.  Sometimes it's infuriating.

If you want a visual, think of raindrops running down a window.  You have a bunch of drops, but your eyes can only focus on one at a time, for a second at a time.  You watch one for a second as it rolls down, then focus on another, then another, then back to the first, then you lose the second, and you pick up a new one, and back to the third, then you find the second again, and you just keep doing this.  Unless the drop is really, really interesting, then you can watch it intently until it reaches the sill, and you can sit and reflect about it for hours afterwards.  I think the difference between myself and a lot of other people is that I 'can't' force myself to focus on something if it isn't interesting to me.  I sure as fuck can try, but that in itself becomes something I have to focus on, and usually takes over the original task.  It's like my brain just stops thinking about whatever I was doing and moves on to something else, whether I want it to or not.  I know that it will eventually get back to what I was working on, or am supposed to be working on, but it may take some time.  

My wife finds it incredibly frustrating.  She'll be talking to me, and I'll be responding, but I'll have no recollection of what was just said during the damn conversation.  She has learned to deal with it though, by learning the look that I get when I seem like I am paying attention, but I am not.  When she sees that look, she'll ask me if I'm paying attention, to which I'll respond automatically "yep".  She'll then usually stick her face in my face and ask me again, and that does the trick.  ah ha. NOOOOOW I'm paying attention.  Are you?


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