Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Looking for the Girl Who's Looking for her Keys?

So today I had two - not one - but two good friends complain to me at work, independently of one another, that they miss Premedicated Me.  One expressed frustration that she is no longer able to distract me from my work with idle conversation and gossip, and that if this continues, she will have no choice but to take my rebuffs personally. 

The second friend lamented the fact that I had sat in my cubical all morning working, of all things, without coming to visit with her in her cubical, as had been my daily routine since the beginning of time.  This friend grudgingly acknowledged that my new and improved attention span is, in fact, a good thing; but asked that I try to at least check in briefly in the morning before tackling the world's problems.  I assured her that I would put that on my calendar. 

Who knew that one little daily capsule would turn me into one of those people who believe that work should come before play.  Sure, I wanted to be more productive - that was a major motivation for seeking ADHD treatment.  But I hadn't anticipated that I would experience an ethical transformation.  I always knew that I wasn't living up to my potential, as they say.  But I never would have guessed in a million years that there was a workaholic trapped inside my slacking shell, struggling to get out just so she could update that spreadsheet right now - the one her boss said he didn't need until the end of the week. 

No, I didn't expect any of that.  But once I discovered that Inattentive Poster Girl has a focused, motivated--and somewhat driven--alter ego, I assumed, frankly, that there would be little, if any, use for the old me, with the sleepy receptors.  I spent a lot of years trying to hide her existence, lying for her, making excuses for her.  I criticized her mercilessly when no one else was around.  I was often embarrassed by her.  I was tired and demoralized by all the trouble she caused.  I wanted her gone. 

I hadn't really considered that perhaps she had her place and a purpose. 

Maybe I was too hard on the little scatterbrained procrastinator - the one who talks too much and works too little.  The one who smiles and nods at you, but has no idea what you just said because she's not listening--instead, she's trying to remember where her debit card is. . .and the last name of that guy from Wham . . . not George . . . the other guy. 

I hadn't considered that she might have special gifts to offer - gifts that can be cultivated only by an unconfined, "disordered," mind [ADHD "positives"].

Well, luckily, she isn't gone.  It will take some time for the two of us to figure out how to live together--how to divide up the house work, as it were.  But rest assured she's around.  After dinner on a busy long day is a good time to find her.  You'll know her right away--she'll be the one trying to feed Flintstone's Chewables to the cat, and crunchy salmon-flavored treats to her kids, while recounting for you, in excruciating detail, her zany grocery-store misadventure from earlier in the day.  And she'll probably ask you if you've seen her keys.

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