I feel like I should contribute something to Beckie from Beckie’s Mental Mess’s Working On Us Prompt for Week #19. The prompt is ADHD, after all. It’s kind of what my blog is fundamentally about, right?
Except writing something on command seems like so much pressure. Maybe I’ll do it later when I’m not still half living out of boxes this weekend. It’s a week-long prompt. I have a week to write it in. Except, if I let myself put it off once, I’ll most likely never write it at all. I’ll forget. Or I’ll let myself keep fearcrastinatinating forever. I should really write something…
But, what if I try to describe ADHD, and I do so so poorly that people end up doubting that I have it at all? Or, what if they decide that it isn’t really that different from normal anxiety? What if they don’t see what the big deal is and I reinforce all those stereotypes that we’re all “a little bit ADHD?” What if I somehow manage to make it worse? I’m tired and not really focused on this project right now. I’ve used up all my spoons at work. I should wait to write anything until I can order all of the random snippets of ideas floating around in my brain into one at least vaguely tangential “stream of thought” flowing in a vaguely recognizable direction.
If I don’t write something immediately, I’ll either forget or wait until the last minute. If I manage to remember, it’ll be a coin flip between whether I produce last-minute brilliance infinitely better than anything I can come up with while trying to force my brain to behave, or complete bullshit. The neurotypical thing to do would be to write the first draft now and steadily revise it tomorrow and Saturday before posting it that night.
It’s too bad, then, that I have no idea how neurotypicals ever manage to actually “outline,” “draft” and then “revise” anything. I can only ever write – and then completely re-write over and over again when my brain can’t get back to the same “stream of thought” that led to the first version. It’s kind of a classic all-or-none conundrum. Either I write the entire post now, while I’m thinking about it, or just assume I never will. And, since I don’t have the time to re-write forever, what I write first is what I will write. This is why I can only ever manage writing once a week. Doing the entire writing process all at once is so easy on a train, and so impossible on command. Doing anything at a time someone else chooses is so impossible on command…
Still, I should write something. It is kind of a thing I seriously care about. I’ve been saying I want to be more of an advocate and to shut the bully-in-my-brain up and silence the voices of my past that saw my ADHD only as a “flaw.” I do want to promote the idea that, just because we benefit from accommodations for neurodiversity, it doesn’t mean someone who is neurodiverse is “lesser.” And, I think it’s important to remind people that ADHD is a real and equal type of neurodiversity. It has always been under the neurodiversity umbrella, even though it doesn’t always get taken as seriously or talked about – and there isn’t as much of a burgeoning self-advocacy movement for it – as there are for other types of neurodiversity. It’s probably even more important that I remind people of that, or they might think that the recent suggestion that I’m multiple kinds of neurodiverse means that the ADHD somehow doesn’t “matter” anymore.
No, it still matters. I probably am multiple kinds of neurodiverse, but the lightning rode nature of my being visibly hyperactive ADHD has probably been the most impactful of all of my (many) expressions of
ADHD is real, and it not a punch line (even for a semi-comedienne with a semi-humorous blog).
It’s just that being rejected is the most painful thing in the world for a girl with ADHD. (Speaking of that, I should probably go find an article on Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria and emotional dysregulation in ADHD. Except, if I do that, I’ll spend hours trying to find the perfect article to perfectly capture what I don’t think I’ve actually captured in this ramble. In the process, I’ll have to re-read half the literature, and it’ll end up late and I’ll have forgotten to eat. Also, I still won’t have ended up posting anything. And, by that point, I won’t be sure anymore whether I just genuinely ran out of time to write anything after hyperfocusing down the rabbit hole or whether I was using looking up an article in the first place as an excuse to avoid writing something that might be rejected….)
Wait, I know! I’ll do what I always do when I actually really care about something, but I’m afraid to admit just how much I really care about something because people always act like there’s something wrong with me when I try to talk to others about how people with ADHD also have special interests.
I’ll “try”, but not really try. I’ll just ironically try. That way, if what I write doesn’t end up being very good, I can always say I wasn’t really trying anyway. It hurts so much less to deliberately self-sabotage and to leave open the possibility that I might have been able to write something better, if I’d actually “tried,” then to admit that I did actually try and I ended up out of phase with everyone else like always…
Yes, it’s definitely better to have people think I just didn’t “apply” myself than to realize how much more work it took to write even this not-a-post compared to how much work it takes for everyone else. If “lazy,” “selfish” and/or “stupid” are going to be my only choices for why I never seem to “get” those unspoken rules for interacting, then I will choose “lazy” for myself rather than let someone else choose either of the other two for me. I will never be called “stupid” or “selfish” again. Never. I’ll “ironically” not-write something on my own terms. Because that’s better than unironically reminding people how not like them I actually am.
Oh, wait, even better! I know! I’ll post a doodle that I drew randomly while feeling overwhelmed during our recent move. I didn’t draw it for Beckie’s prompt. Thus, if people don’t like it, it’s fine. It’s not like I specifically tried to describe (by word or picture) the most defining lightning-rod feature of my personhood for which I was bullied my entire life and which contributed to an unfortunate amount of my childhood trauma and only came up with this, right? (Also, apparently, last week’s prompt was C-PTSD. Eh, well, I legitimately missed that one. And, that’s kind of a relief. Then I’d have had to figure out how to mention that neurodiversity too often leads to trauma exposure, and – assuming I managed to do that – what would be left to write this week?!)
Then, in a couple of days, I’ll finally figure out what I truly want to explain to neurotypicals about why everything that is supposed to just be normal adulting feels so overwhelming to me all the time. And, when I’ve finally gotten it right, I’ll post it. I totally will. This weekend. When it’s finally good enough, and I can just force myself to sit down and prove I am good enough even though I sometimes need some accommodations.
In the meantime, an ironic doodle is a good-enough placeholder until I finally can focus all these thoughts about what I want to say into something coherent, right?
Also, if I contribute this week, that’s not setting the expectation that I’ll contribute every week going forward, right? That would be entirely too much pressure for a girl who needs three reminder alarms to remember to eat meals at work or she’ll accidentally starve but spent her lunch hour not-writing a post that she will totally not-post until this weekend…if she ever does…