Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I'll get right on that! (What was I supposed to do again?)

During the first few days of taking Adderall, I spent a lot of hours at work cleaning and organizing my desk.  I sorted through piles that had been growing for months, filed things, and threw out tons of useless crap.  In addition, I went through a stack of notebooks in which I had scribbled some things on a few pages, only to lose track of each notebook, or misplace it, or whatever.  In any event, the notebooks never served as a helpful resource as I intended when I optimistically started each one.

Now much calmer and focused, I carefully pored through each written page to see if there was any important information to be retrieved, like perhaps, assignments that I had been given and then forgotten to do in light of the fact that I misplaced my notebook.

The good news - or maybe it's the bad news, depending on how you look at it - is that I hadn't been missing much.  Instead of being filled with coherent to-do lists, important insights and reminders, and clearly explained assignments, they were filled with chicken scratch.  A few pages here, and few pages there.  Scribbles, doodles, funny comments I wrote to colleagues who sat next to me during meetings.  Incomplete phone messages. 

Reading through these notebooks ended up being less an exercise of professional organization and more like reminiscing over scrapbooks or journals that recounted a worklife of someone whose mind was somewhere else - everywhere else.  The pages revealed a mix of boredom, frustration, and confusion, as well as some good chuckles. 

My favorite was the page that read, "Create Awareness," written with big letters in red ink, and underlined.  Wow, this looks important!  Allegedly, I took this note during a meeting with my boss.  I could deduce that my boss probably wanted me to create awareness . . .about. . .I have no idea what.   I laughed out loud.  It was so important that I create awareness that I set forth  the imperative boldly on its very own page so as to not be detracted from by any other words on the page (however illustrative or illuminating such words might have been.)

I shared this discovery with my good friend and colleague, Cleo, who appreciated the irony right away.  We enjoyed a good laugh as I asked Cleo to help me try to remember what it was about which I was supposed to create awareness.  Always at the ready with a logical and helpful tip, Cleo suggested that I turn back to the page before this one to see if something I had written there might offer some insight.  The comedy continues as I read the preceeding page that said only, "Ask Cleo."

In the end, I'm not really sure what all that was about.  But I do believe that creating awareness is something I can be doing.  It seems that everywhere I look these days, I'm seeing things about ADHD - news articles, blog posts, personal anecdotes, etc.  I've never noticed this before.  I hadn't really been paying attention. 

Cynics will say that we have the pharmaceutical companies to thank for the increasing dissemination of information on this topic.  Be that as it may, ADHD is as real as it is widely ignored and misunderstood.  If you have a child or an adult loved one with this condition, awareness can lead to helpful tools and resources.  Awareness might save a relationship or improve a child's chances for success in life.

If you suspect you might have ADD/ADHD, awareness offers hope, relief, and perhaps even miracles.  So I'm happy to jump on the awareness bandwagon and share whatever insight or information I can, based on my own experiences and research.

Here's a blog post with an important message, that I happened upon today:  http://apps.detnews.com/apps/blogs/disabilitiesblog/index.php?blogid=573

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