Have you ever had one of those days where you just feel utterly overwhelmed and inundated with things that need to be done?
I don’t necessarily mean those days where you feel somewhat stressed.
I mean those days where you feel like too much is going on and you just don’t have enough time, money, fuel or other resources to properly get the job done.
I mean wedding day or Christmas gathering preparation sort of busy. The days where you are tempted to surrender to reality, by locking yourself inside your bedroom with a slapstick comedy and a big bowl of ice cream, amid the most crucial moments in life.
I am a grown woman who is affected by Adult ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). I was actually diagnosed as a young child but never really started addressing it until nearly a decade ago.
My world has never been the same since 2006 … but in a good way.
What was my world like prior to 2006? Day-to-day chores were like doing a marathon or scaling a mountain. The saddest part was that I would witness friends, family and society around me doing it with such apparent ease.
New jobs would be started with considerable excitement and enthusiasm, only to fizzle less than a week later.
School assignments were like pulling teeth to me. I could only imagine what writing this very column would be like had I not known as much as I do now about this condition. It is especially frustrating when you have so many excellent theories and ideas pooling in your brain, but then impulsive thoughts hijack your best intentions.
I shudder at the thought of how many appointments were made and then subsequently cancelled in my lifetime because of some distraction that sidetracked my plans.
Relationships are also shown no mercy either and are often the hardest hit by the wrath of ADHD. Family members are unwitting hostages.
It is for these reasons that I find it disheartening to see how some people in today’s society will flippantly use ADHD to describe temporary situations which seem to distract them.
I realize that people do not intentionally mean to come across as being facetious, but maybe such comments are cues that more public awareness of how ADHD and other learning disabilities tend to affect individuals might be warranted?
Maybe some discretion can be used next time someone is tempted to jokingly say, "Oh, look! A squirrel." After all, a person who struggles with ADHD is often debilitated by "squirrels," song lyrics, billboards and conversations on a moment-to-moment basis. It can be so intimidating at the best of times.
Next time someone tells you they are affected by something as serious and chronic as a disability, try to refrain from saying, "I think that I have that too." If only such diagnoses could be so cut-and-dry for those who honestly struggle with such conditions on a daily basis.
I would say that I have moved some pretty big mountains in the past eight years. I take immense pride in all that I have, and continue to, accomplish since then.
After all, I know just how hard it has been to get to where I am today. Part of what I’ve accomplished involves calming down the inner dialogue in my head enough to somewhat act as an advocate and educate others about conditions like mine.
Life continues to be full of little victories, which collectively create even greater accomplishments.
» Trish Cullen-Watt is a Carberry resident, who performs freelance research in genealogy, local historical events and First Nationas issues. firstname.lastname@example.org