Darkness

Well I was having a good day at work. Didn’t start out too well. Lots of procrastination etc, so put my geeky pink headphones on and turned up the music. It was great. Music really helps me focus. Those annoying phone calls do not. Got lots of those today. Anyway, one of those phone calls was my team leader who wanted to work out the budget for one of my programs. She said she’d never seen the order form for it and I was sure I sent it. Turns out I had, but she only looked at the first attachment on the email (maybe she has ADHD too???). Finally I told her what had to be done and she gave me the ok to put the order together. So of I went, wanting to get it out of the way as I’m going on leave for two weeks next week. I just couldn’t work out why my figures were so different to hers- $600 different on a $3000 order. Grr. I was getting so frustrated. My calculations were correct, I’d checked and rechecked them, quite a few times. So what was the problem?

After a few hours of frustration, a light bulb went off and I saw that I had ordered 200 packs per age group instead of 200 all up. Woohoo!!!! I was so happy I knew what was going on. Then….

Darkness…

The power went out, and remained out until after I’d gone home. So I didn’t get to finish my order and will probably have to start again in the morning, as I hadn’t saved the changes. Oh well. At least I worked out what was going wrong.

Hence why I hate working with figures. I make silly errors that stuff up everything and it takes me hours to figure out where I went wrong- or I don’t figure it out until a manager comes down on me for questioning why I didn’t get something- I didn’t order it properly in the first place. This isn’t the first post I’ve written about my struggles with detailed work, data and numbers. It seems like a common theme with my ADHD and I’m not sure how I can manage this problem better, so any ideas would be greatly welcomed.

Cheerio

Johnah

ADHD Taken Out Of Context

I came across an article today and WOW, someone has been inside my head to write it. It is so accurate I can’t believe it.  Twelve months or so ago I thought everyone’s head was like this, didn’t know this wasn’t normal. How different my outlook is now.

“Taken in the context of their thoughts, your words may look to them more like mud than beautiful, stately stones.”

I’ve been trying to explain to people that I’m not very good with ‘winging it’ in speeches, or talking and making sense in general because I have trouble articulating the fabulous ideas and words that are inside my head- it always comes out sounding completely wrong and I feel embarrassed and stupid. I might be able to think at a million miles an hour but that means what I’m saying has to come from something in a microsecond of my thoughts, and I just can’t do that very well. I can’t slow my brain down enough to make the words I say make any sense- most of the time anyway.

So if you know someone with ADHD and want to understand why what they say doesn’t always make sense or is out of context, or are just interested in finding out how our minds work, check out this article.

http://blogs.psychcentral.com/adhd-man/2012/10/adhd-taken-out-of-context/

Trying Something New- ‘Uni’-Tasking

I am the queen of multitasking- At work I can have 5 tabs open on the internet at once, whilst doing a report for work, checking something on the database, listening to music, answering the phone and having a conversation with someone in the office.  At home I can be watching tv whilst using the laptop- again with 5 or more tabs open- with the newspaper open and talking with my mother.  It’s the same with everything I do.

However, I rarely achieve anything, even though I look so busy. So I thought I’d try something new- unitasking I have called it (which I have subsequently looked up and it is a real word!). So my intention was to do one thing at a time, get it finished then move onto the next thing. Sounds easy right. HA. I can’t even write this post without doing a zillion other things. I’m listening to a cd I purchased at a concert the other night so had a look through the cover and noticed a link to the website where they buy their instruments, so I had to have a look. That lead me on to finding out more about one of the instruments, then looking up the bands website, then their facebook page, then looking through their photos and watching a few videos. Also reading an article on the web and thinking about what to pack for my trip tomorrow. Obviously my plan is not going so well so far.

Well I’m hoping things change as I’m sick of being worn out at the end of a day because I’ve been so busy, but have next to nothing to show for it.  I’m going to keep trying with the unitasking and will keep updates here on my blog.  I hope it is good news!

Cheerio

Johnah

Mad At Myself

Check it out- for a laugh! Found it on the ADD- ADHD Mindfulness Maters Musing website

Mad at Myself

 

In Just Two Days

I spent a few days this week away at a state meeting for work. It was the first major meeting that we’d had since my adhd discovery and I learned a lot about not only how the disorder affects me, I learned much about myself as well.

I had been looking forward to the meeting for a long time, but not for the actual meeting, but the social aspect of it.  I knew quite a few of the staff from the different regions in the state and I hadn’t seen some people in years.  These are people that have always appreciated my ‘uniqueness’ and have never judged me, and a few are my closest friends.  So there were a few late nights had but what happens on tour, stays on tour (not that anything overly exciting happened anyway! lol). But the actual meeting part- that was actually freaking me out a little. The first day looked pretty boring on paper and the second looked like torture. It was a workshop on public speaking- my favouritist thing in the world… NOT!  I was envisioning having to stand up, in front of the group and do impromptu  speeches and all of these other nightmarish activities as well.

Day one- My team leader decided that my team should mingle with the other teams and not sit together- which was fine as I didn’t really want to sit with her.  But talking with strangers- not my strong point. I found a table near the back of the room where I knew a couple of people, and there were a couple I didn’t know as well and sat down.  Another one of my team members also sat with me. So much for spreading out! So the first session of the meeting- I can’t actually remember what it was.  I think it was our new general manager telling us some really important. Oh hold on, I took notes… Ahh, it was our GM, but she just introduced herself and then we got cracking into what they called ‘Communication Cafes’.  I must say that the cafes were the greatest things ever introduced in our organisation. An ADHDers best friend. What they were were fifteen minute sessions on particular topics such as media, learning and development, volunteering and a number of other areas prevalent to our work.  Fifteen minutes only meant that the presenters, who were ultra passionate about their topic, had to condense a lot of information in so were really focused and had beaut hand outs, flip charts and other visual aids. I didn’t have time to get bored. Plus you had to get up and move between cafes so I got to get rid of my wriggles every 15 minutes. Awesome.  Some much different to every other meeting I had been to in the past seven years.

But it wasn’t all rosy. We only had two or three cafes each go, and they were broken up by a sit down sessions from the GM, CEO or other National Office person. All of five minutes into the first talk and I was distracted. Tapping, squirming, bored, looking at everything around the room, thinking about lunch, avoiding lollies etc. Ironically, the complimentary writing pad on the table had a message on each page- the first page one being ‘I will try to stay focused on the speaker’. Whoops, that didn’t last long- although I was actually trying extra hard to be focused. I had brought along my tablet computer and was trying to take notes to force myself to keep focused, but it didn’t work.  I couldn’t focus, no mater how hard I tried.  Watching and listening to someone up the front of the room standing behind a lectern just wasn’t going to happen.  It got to the point that at one stage during the CEOs talk, I forgot what she was talking about- who is this person she is talking about and why?…a few minutes pass… Oh that’s right, someone asked her who was on the board and that’s who she is talking about (not bored as I was! lol).

I couldn’t tell you much of what the important people talked about, however, I could tell you about the room we were sitting in. Like that it had three identical clocks- which I figured out was because the room could be split into three because I saw the doors to which the room divider partitions were behind, and there was a clock for each room; that there was a recessed section of the ceiling which had what looked like modern version of pressed metal panels in a bronzy- coppery colour and you could see reflections in it; where the controls for the lighting were etc.  Other than checking out the room, I was also checking out the people. They say 1 in 25 people have adhd, which meant about four people in the meeting have it. Me being one, I tried to figure out who else may have it.  I am positive my regional manager has adhd- he can’t sit still, fidgets, paces whilst on the phone, gambles big time on horses, is impatient (I was once stuck in a traffic jam with him- lots of swear words came out), not a details person and I’m sure there are many other traits he has.  So I was trying to work out who the other two were but everyone else was looking very attentive and focused- except for someone behind me who kept clicking a pen.

So that was pretty much the  way the first day went.  Not as bad as anticipated but still difficult to maintain focus, sit still and all those other important things ‘normal’ people can do without thinking. Grrr.

Day Two-  Public Speaking- Oh Joy!

Can you guess I don’t like speaking in public? lol.  Too many things can go wrong and I could make a complete fool out of myself as has occurred in the past.  I wasn’t looking forward to this day.  I arrived and a very nice man greeted me at the door. I found out he was the presenter, Peter.  So that was a positive start.  He also went on to say that the workshop would be interactive, questions and discussions encouraged and if you needed to get up and walk around then do so.  Good.  Peter was very charismatic and added in humour, personal stories and plenty of time for us to ‘practice’ what we were learning in an effort to spice up the workshop, and I was actually engaged for a long while.  It was through this that I discovered something about myself.  Before my ADHD journey began, I never thought I was impulsive.  But part way through the workshop, I realised I had been fooling myself and was very impulsive.  One question that I always answered no to in adhd quizzes was the one about blurting out answers before a question was even finished being asked. No, I don’t do that. I’ve never done that. How wrong I was.  Peter would ask questions and I’d give say the answer usually before he’d even finished the question. However, I must have done this for a very long time because I’d actually developed a strategy to counter the yelling out the answer and making a fool of myself aspect of this impulsive behaviour.  I might have been answering the questions before they were finished but I muttered them softly, to myself, and the only person hearing my response other than me was the person sitting immediately next to me. Rather than blurting a response out a loud and embarrassing myself.  Wow, it always amazes me how, even though up until nine or so months ago I thought I was normal, I have created all of these strategies to counter my adhd without even knowing why I needed to or what was the reason behind the actual behaviour causing me to require such strategies.

So that was the good news from the workshop- my new self discovery. If you want to call it good news. Bad news is I lost it after lunch- BIG TIME.  Couldn’t sit still, couldn’t concentrate on anything, got the giggles, squirmed uncontrollably etc- did I say I got the giggles?  I tried to stop, some jaw clenching and strong self talk didn’t work, nor did going for a walk, nothing. I knew it was happening, and I was getting frustrated because I couldn’t stop it. All I can say is thank goodness no managers were in the room as I would have probably got in to a lot of trouble.

Again I say the only reason I still have this job is because I work in an office on my own and no one comes to visit to see how chaotic my life really is.  I was so happy when the workshop ended, I needed to get away from everyone and ‘compose’ myself. And I was so tired after the afternoons shenanigans, I needed to have a rest. Luckily the evening went ok, we’d decided to head into the city of dinner so lots of fresh air, walking, new sights and sounds to keep me occupied. No more craziness!

Cheerio

Johnah

Where’s the Off Switch, Please???

I love music. I always have. I feel music invigorates my soul and I can’t live without it.

HOWEVER…

When it gets stuck in my head, like a scratched record, repeating the same section over and over and over, it drives me nuts.

Presently one of my favourite songs is doing this. Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen- I love it. I recently purchased an album with another artist singing this song- which is where it all started to go so wrong. I’ve been listening to that song and singing along with it, but I didn’t know the words, so I looked them up online. Then I actually recorded myself singing it (just because… no other reason). I still don’t remember all the words but I know most of the first verse, so I have been singing it all the time, but now it is just going around and around in my head. At first it was ok, because I love that song but now a week or so later…

AARRRRGGGGHHHHH.

I am seriously considering bashing my head against a brick wall and either giving myself concussion so bad I can’t hear the song any more or the best case scenario would be that I end up knocking myself out. Unfortunately, this is not an unusual thing for me, to have crap flying around in my head all the time. In a previous post (here) I explained that it is like my mind is encased by an elastic band and thoughts (or in this case a song) hit the edge and bounce back in, repeating over and over. They can’t escape.  I wish they could. I wish I could find a pair of scissors and cut the elastic band into little pieces that could never be put back together. You’d think after 30 plus years of being wrapped around my head, the elastic band would have disintergrated and gone limp and that thoughts could freely escape-but no. It is still as tight as ever. Grrr. I’d love an off switch for my brain- does anyone know were I can find it? So that I don’t have to bash my head against a brick wall. Even if I could turn it off just for a few hours, or maybe even for just a few minutes.

I’d be interested to know if any other ADHDers have similar issues, or is it just me? Drop me an email or leave a comment if you wish to share your thoughts.

head bangingUnfortunately Luckily there are no brick walls around today.

Cheerio

Johnah

What’s it Like to Have ADHD?

Another article explaining ADHD by Edward M. Hallowell, MD- Child and adult psychiatrist. The more I read of these, the more certain I have the disorder. Up to almost 9 months since my initial discovery and still waiting for the psych appointment.

One particular point resonated with me a lot-

In other ways it’s like being supercharged all the time. You get one idea and you have to act on it, and then, what do you know, but you’ve got another idea before you’ve finished up with the first one, and so you go for that one, but of course a third idea intercepts the second, and you just have to follow that one, and pretty soon people are calling you disorganized and impulsive and all sorts of impolite words that miss the point completely.

I’m always ‘supercharged’. Sometimes this is a good thing as I can get through many tasks quickly (who am I kidding- like this ever happens), but mostly it is a hindrance because I start one thing, flit off to another and then another- and get NOTHING done 😦 . Or I nearly kill my fish.

Anyway, here is the link to the article- What’s it Like to Have ADHD?

I hope you get something out of it, I think it would be a good one to show loved ones, work colleges etc to show what living with ADHD is like.

 

Cheerio

Johnah

 

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