I know little about ADHD, despite knowing that a few friends’ children have it and having read that certain well known people have it. I do remember someone once proclaiming that they had ADHD, then OCD which after further discussion, actually turned out not to be the case, in either case- she was just trying to explain how ‘obsessively tidy’ and ‘restless’ she was followed by 'You know what I mean'... I actually think this reflects how some people perceive both of these chronic disorders, partly as a result of how they are sometimes portrayed in the media.
I am hoping to understand more about the ways in which people are living with mental conditions, so that we might share stories that inspire others here at Surviving Sundays. Knowing this, a friend recently directed me to a piece written by Alex Loveless, who is an amazing writer and artist who has ADHD. His piece really opened my eyes to what a day in his life was like- the extreme anxiety and crushing lows that can arise were something I would never had identified as symptoms. Having read his brilliantly funny, sad and insightful piece about a day when he went hiking, I wanted to open the eyes of others who maybe knew as little as I did and for those who have ADHD, I wanted to share a voice with them that might resonate and let them know that they are not alone. And so, I asked Alex to write 1000 words and here’s what happened next as het set about writing…Thank you Alex for inviting us inside- for your courage and generosity.
Just write some words down Alex. At this point I don't suppose it matters what words, but to qualify as a blog post this needs to contain some words.
The nice lady asked you to write an article for her website, and this is what you must do. I can only imagine she was taking pity on you after reading that awful nonsense you wrote for that other site (also published out of pity I suppose) and pretending to like it. And here we are again, getting ideas above our station, thinking that anyone would want to read the drivel you spew. Just write down some more drivel and we can only hope the nice lady pities you enough to publish it so that we can avoid that particular humiliation. But then there's the humiliation of people actually reading it. They might actually hate you. I mean, you're always coming out with inappropriate stuff at inappropriate times, what if you accidentally drop a clanger and someone reads it and takes offence? They'll send their meat-stack uncle who's a gangster around to your house with a cricket bat to teach you to watch your mouth...fingers...whatever, you'll not be using those again once he's finished with you. And don't think you can use ADHD as an excuse while you're begging not to have your kneecaps relocated. No one cares about your ADHD, they all think it's just an excuse for being a lazy gobshite, work-dodger. Best to keep schtum on that one, eh? Just write your words, try not to sound a like a total douche and send it off so we can move on to the next calamity.
Stop feeling sorry for yourself! You're like that robot from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Marvin is his name, always complaining, always miserable. He was programmed that way. You, on the other hand, just need to get a grip. Write some bloody words down. Actually, screw this, let's just write a novel instead, then we'll be rich since it will be a masterwork. People will have whole degree courses on it like Ulysses. You might even finish writing it this time, unlike the other 12 half-finished novels gathering digital dust on your hard drive. Yeah, don't bother with that, you'll never finish it. Go drink a beer instead. This article can wait until tomorrow.
The nice lady said something about a thousand words. Jesus, you can't say ANYTHING in under a thousand words! Always going on and on and on. You can see people's bored, impatient expressions, but you never stop do you? When they do finally get a word in, you just talk over them like a total loon. It's a wonder anyone wants to talk to you, ever! Anyway, she didn't mean exactly a thousand words, just thereabouts. You can manage that right? There's probably some optimal number of words for blog posts, like, 874 words, or something. More than that people get bored, less they feel short-changed. Hmmm, now you're going to have to make this article exactly 874 words, you know that, right? Otherwise it'll feel wrong. But what happens if you miss a typo, like when you put in the word 'and' twice accidentally. Then when the editor goes through it, and deletes that word, and there's now only 873 words. That would not be good! What would you do then? Phone up the nice lady and scream at her "put that bloody 'and' back otherwise I might actually lose my mind!". She'd laugh at you like you were making a joke, and you'll feel even smaller. You should stop this now, for the day, you seem to be getting a little worked up.
You're totally blitzing this today, look at all these words! You're like some word making machine. Look at how they dance on to the page, frolicking together, making each other glow with delight. There's a Pulitzer for you right here, mark my words. You should quit the day job and be a journalist. Everyone will love you, and the BBC will give you your own TV show. How awesome would that be? It would be putting yourself out there a bit though, wouldn't it? More opportunities to say stupid stuff. You'll be hounded off of Twitter by trolls, then the Daily Mail will make up some story about you and you'll get fired from the BBC and labelled a public disgrace. Then you won't even be able to leave the house for fear of being publicly heckled. No, best not do that. Let's finish this tomorrow.
It's a little out there isn't it Al old buddy? When you send it to the nice lady you'll need to preface it saying something like "I'm sorry if this is a little 'out there', hope it's OK?". A get out of jail free card. An opportunity to sweep this whole sorry mess under the carpet and move on. Maybe she'll like it though. It's possible I suppose. And maybe some people will read it and see a bit of themselves among these meandering words, and feel a little less like it's only them who feels like this. That would be OK, wouldn't it?
Just send it, it'll be fine.