ADD

August 15, 2002

I recently came to understand that I have ADD or attention deficit disorder. I used to laugh at all the people who had all these kids who were labeled ADD. I though it was just some passing fad in the medical world to bilk people out of money for drugs and treatments. I would say that had ADD been a term when I was growing up I would have been tarred by its brush.

I guess the jokes on me.

For the most part I am able to handle my ADD but there are triggers that set it off. When I am, for the lack of a better word, lucid, I understand all of this and it makes sense to me. However, when I am in my ADD state I can't hold a thought much less understand why I feel like I'm coming apart at the seams.

Today when I got home from work the cleaning lady was still there. This upset me greatly and my sweetheart and I ended up driving around in the car so I could be someplace else while the cleaning was finished. I was able to talk out my feelings and discover some of the underlying emotions that occur with my ADD. Emotional expression in my house growing up was something frowned upon. Or at least that is how it felt to me. The salient point is that I didn't learn how to fully express my anger, sadness, upset, etc. What I did do was internalize most of my stronger emotions. When I did express emotions I felt that I was told to stop and I eventually started to feel guilt about having them. I started to think that no one else had them and that I was somehow strange because I did.

Being in a situation that feels like my childhood, a situation where I have strong emotions but for some reason feel I can express them, brings out my ADD. I can't focus on anything and I want to do everything and nothing all at once. Today I wanted to be angry at the cleaning lady for still being here 6 hours after she started. But I couldn't let myself because I felt like a kid again in my parents house. Cleaning was not something my mother enjoyed and it certainly wasn't something you made waves around, if you knew what was good for you. I couldn't allow myself to express my anger this afternoon because my inner child was still afraid of what would happen if I did. Only by removing myself from the situation could I calm down enough to comfort that part of me that was afraid.

I am not sure I fully understand the connection between these old emotional scars and my ADD, but I do see that they are somehow interconnected. More and more now I am aware of when I am ADD and my hope is that I will be able notice my emotional state during those times so that once I am "lucid" again I can sort out what is really going on. I guess in someway ADD is a defense against having to express strong emotion. Only I am not defending against any one except myself.

Author's profile picture

Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.