Updated: Apr 25, 2022
Tricks and tools to make living with ADD/ADHD easier
When ADD/ADHD* started becoming more well known, I looked back at my childhood. I remember the teacher talking. I would try to stay focused on what she was saying, but before I knew it, I was off in Wendy’s World (as my mother called it). I would be startled back to reality when the teacher would say something like “When did…” I would jump a bit thinking she was calling on me for something. I recall the relief I felt when it turned out she was just…well…still talking. If it hadn’t been for my above average memory, I probably wouldn’t have made it out of school! My homework was usually late, my projects were always late, I was usually late. I thought to myself and would express to others that I most likely had ADD as a child. I figured I had outgrown it. I was an office manager and a paralegal, after all. I kept the entire office running. How could a person with ADD be able to do that? I was and still am a super focused person.
Then I took my son to a doctor to help him with some issues he was having with school work. It was then that I learned that I actually did have ADD as a child, and I didn’t grow out of it! I overheard the doctor telling another doctor that my son had ADD, “…and the mom has it too.” What? I wasn’t there for a diagnosis! What did I do or say that made him think that? When he returned to the room I said “I overheard you saying that I have ADD too?” He replied, “Yes you do.” I said, “But, I am a really focused person. I’m very organized at work.” He told me that hyper focus is a coping mechanism of ADD. My brain figured out a way that I could accomplish things to completion and without distraction. This explained why every time I was doing ANYTHING that involved my need for focusing, I would practically jump out of my skin when someone would just walk up behind me and tap me to get my attention. This is why my mother would yell my name. My reaction “WHAT?!” She yelled because she had tried to get my attention two or three times prior. My mom would say “You’re always in your own little world!” My response: “Yep. I’m in Wendy’s World and I really like it there!”
Flash forward to present life. I am still a hyper focused person when it comes to projects or focusing on typing something up, but what happens when I’m not involved in a project, etc.? I drift. I drift easily, randomly, and far away. Someone could be telling me something or giving me instructions and I will have a thought pop into my head of something else I have to do. I will get up and go do it without even letting the person finish. I don’t do this consciously. I would not be so rude. There are times when I need to tell someone something and I go into hyper focus mode. As soon as I see that person I blurt out whatever it is I need to tell them. Followed with “I’m so sorry, I didn’t even say hello.” This is because I don’t want to forget what I needed to say. I interrupt people while they speak so I don’t forget what I need to tell them. Meditating began as a huge challenge. I was a person who said “I can’t meditate.” But that’s the point of meditation.This is ongoing, but I have taught myself some tricks and have gotten much better at avoiding these behaviors. What are they? Tune in to part two for tricks and tools to help you manage your ADD/ADHD.
*ADD/ADHD: Attention Deficit (Hyper) Disorder. The difference is basically one has hyper tendencies and one doesn’t. For example, a child with ADD has all of the issues of inattention, without the behavioral issues. A child with ADHD is more likely to be diagnosed due to behavioral issues.