ADD, End of the Year, and Revelations

It’s the end of the year, and in the best spirit of articles like Things I Promise to Do Better Next Year and Top 10 Holiday Party Ideas, I bring you, My Exploration of the Mechanics of ADD.

OK, back up for a minute. I have not actually been DIAGNOSED with ADD, but I really think the name applies here. Nor am I a mental health professional. So everything you are about to read is completely made up, subjective and far from technically correct or accurate.  For the purposes of this piece, I will use the term ADD to refer to what I think of as “challenges in staying focused.”

OK, so now I will give you my impressions of life with ADD, and how I think this underlying condition has contributed to my creative energy, my incredible sense of loyalty, and my issues with boundaries. You may notice that I jump around a bit. Of course I do.

Carpools may be inadvisable, as then you will drag unwitting victims (and possibly their children) into your web of creative timekeeping. There’s nothing worse than being the one that makes everyone in your little circle sigh and tap their feet about, while they roll their eyes upward. Being resented like this does not make you popular.

There is just so much amazing shit in the world to get excited about… truly! If I had actually lived during Renaissance times, perhaps I would have made a name for myself as a Now Woman. But alas, my predilections are a bit outdated. Or at least, referred to by evolving and various nomenclature:  confused, dilettante, experimenting, needs to settle down, self-involved, genius, iconoclast, not sure I get her, anti-establishment, multi-genre, entrepreneurial, impractical, unconventional, bohemian, radical, ridiculous, original, derivative, ADD or just plain weird. But really, everything is just SO COOL!


Here’s the thing about commitment. When you have ADD, you are just so glad when you can lock onto something, you just might never let go. I think it’s kind of an action/reaction sort of thing – like how we’re attracted to the things we fear the most. This of course is the most mysterious part of the whole syndrome for me – and the most fascinating. It’s the “Backwards World” section of the story – the part where hyperactive kids are given speed to calm them down.  So paradoxical in its truth.

So it makes sense that people with ADD might actually be very loyal and good at long term relationships, because a steady, committed partner is just the thing to help tether us to something resembling normal. I believe we also make good caregivers because we’re excellent in a crisis, and adrenaline is extraordinarily focusing. I’m talking about that heightened sense of knowing the correct thing to do during an emergency.

We are also very in touch with our potential as human beings, because we’re aware of every little molecule in our midst. We understand the power we’re sitting on with atomic energy, because you blow one of those suckers up, and you’ve got acres of possibilities. Well, mostly blown to bits, but you get where I’m coming from…

Here’s what the creative process is like. OMG, if I don’t get this (pick one) story/song/poem/dance/screenplay/painting/theory/video/sculpture out of me, I’m going to throw up. Either that or, I feel something, but I’m not sure what it is… maybe I need to do the dishes, no, cook some soup, but first I will just read this article, and I’ve been meaning to google that friend of mine from high school, what the hell is her name (I always forget when I’m in front of the computer), and then I will take a shower, and oh – don’t forget to buy milk, butter, olives, that bread with the parmesan cheese and tomatoes on it, what is it called again, it’s from that region in Southern Italy where what’s her name’s family is from – ooh, I have to call her about the tickets for Friday’s show, damn, I sure hope they haven’t sold out already, let me just check their website – yes. THAT is what I call a theater. I would definitely have my play performed there, and Oh My God, the character’s name is Darcy!! That’s her name, holy shit, I can’t believe it, I found my main character’s name, and oh… she’s definitely talking to me – QUICK! Grab some paper and get this down before it disappears…

And four hours later, a first draft is complete.

Now just imagine I am your friend, and we live in different countries. You may not hear from me for months, but when you finally do, I will have sent you a 20 page, handwritten letter, detailing in flowing prose every single one of my current obsessions, revelations and special moments that will seem more real just for the sharing of them, along with as many genuine questions about your life since the last time you wrote to me.

And I will revel in the backwards process of gathering up all of the exploded pieces and forming them into something new and beautiful, and quite meaningful for the sheer fact that it came from the splattered pieces of my mind all over the floor.

So the next time I am the last one to leave from one of your parties, just take me firmly by the shoulders, look me directly in the eyes, and gently but firmly tell me, Deborah. Focus. And go home.

PS – Forgive me, I might let the dishes pile up once in a while, but once I get to them, they will be spotless.

PSS – Forgive me also, old friends who hadn’t heard from me in over 20 years, for those really long messages I wrote to you describing every single detail of my life since then, during that time right after my husband died and I discovered the true networking capabilities of Facebook.  I got very excited, but it was harmless.

PSSS – Happy Holidays to everyone who is, loves, or fantasizes about being a person with ADD or who is too distracted to care!!

PSSSS – It might just be perimenopause, I’m not sure…

Photo courtesy of Plinkk


6 Comments to “ADD, End of the Year, and Revelations”

  1. Fantastic writing… so honest and dead-on funny, Deb.

  2. You and your irrepressible idearrhea. I loves me some Deb.

  3. That was hilarious, Deb!! I love reading your writing because it’s so YOU!!! I feel like we just got off the phone. 🙂

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