“Adults with ADHD who are undiagnosed and untreated in childhood are at greater risk of low self-esteem, substance abuse, anxiety and depression,” Labour’s shadow minister for mental health, Barbara Keeleyshe says. “Despite the serious problems that adults with undiagnosed ADHD face, many living with the condition say it has had a positive impact on their lives too.” I pulled that quote from the Guardian, under an article titled: ‘I assumed it was all my fault’: The Adults Dealing With Undiagnosed ADHD. My reason for this and the main inspiration behind me writing this thought piece, is that I’m pretty sure I have ADHD. ADHD is an acronym which stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. I’d claim that I just have ADD but that no longer exists as a classification.
Attention, and retention. What makes us pay it? And what makes us forget? I joke that I have a terrible memory, but truth be told I remember things fine in the long term; it’s just the little things like dates made for next week that seem to enter one ear and exit the other. I don’t mean to not pay attention either. It just happens. We can find through evolutionary biology and psychology that our primate brains were made for the untamed savanna. We can feel a presence watching us from behind when nothing is there. Shadows in the night keep us up in horror. Negative acts or event reside permanently in our minds but happy ones can be easily forgotten. Why? All for the silly sake of old world survival. So many of our instincts now are not only useless, but actually harmful. Anxiety can make a person’s life a living hell. The fact that I’m an alcoholic, (though now recovered,) is clearly from a compulsion that if I don’t binge now I might not get a chance again. All of these defects in the human mind suck, to be sure, but the pros that come out of them may make the pain worth something.
I consider myself a very creative person. Flashes come to me of inspirations, ideas, and images from seemingly nowhere. I’m certain this experiential process exists in me due to my mental makeup; the fact that I zone out and daydream. I remember always daydreaming when I was a kid, but the flashes started happening in a serious way when I turned twenty. That’s also when my drinking habits increased to an unhealthy degree. It was unfortunate that I relied on drinking alone as much as I did, but though great fear came with it, once I stopped drinking I found that there was zero dip to my creativity. Lucky me. Many artists rely on unsustainable methods to keep the wheel spinning. My fear was that I’d lose it, but when I took my out, it hindered nothing.
I also figured once I stopped drinking that my attention to things and people in my life would improve, but that actually wasn’t the case. I seemed to pay just as much attention as I always did. I can’t say I wasn’t at least a little disappointed, but keeping an open dialogue about that helps keep harmony in my relationships. What one must do with their intentions as life continues to flow and form and mold one’s character, is take the time to try. I may have little attention span in my resting default mode, but during waking hours I must simply TRY to pay better attention to those around me. They appreciate it. I feel better about it. And everyone wins.
To close, pay attention to those you love because they’re worth the extra effort. I love you all… and, as always, thanks for reading.