A little while, ago I wrote about self-improvement in a post littered with attention problems. Somehow, during the process I forgot to mention a really good book I have been reading about managing attention problems. I’d like to do that now. Well, soon anyway. I want to get the title correct because there are a few other titles that are close.
I was very distracted by the process of getting your sister officially diagnosed with ADD or ADHD. I realize now that the precise combination of letters may not be terribly important in her case. Is it a disorder if a person is not functioning at their very best, or is it a disorder because they aren’t functioning? What is the junction between dysfunction and disorder? Is something a disorder just because it annoys others? What if the subject is content to be bopping around in a forgetful fog? I really do meander. I’m sorry.
Anyhoo, just because we haven’t yet reached a consensus on her diagnosis, that doesn’t mean I can’t still mishandle things. Apparently, the greatest challenge for kids with attention problems may be having parents with attention problems.
We can’t teach things well if we don’t understand them, and I have learned that I am not very good at managing my attention. It’s time for a crash course, and I’m crashing it.
I always thought I was exempt from attention deficit because I tend toward extreme focus. It’s a subject that comes up regularly in the family: how opposite we are from ADHD types. What a gorgeous case of family denial it has been. Hyper focus is just another attention problem, and the operative word is problem, like when you forget to eat and blink and all that.
I don’t imagine that Jaclyn Paul is inventing any new information in her book “Order From Chaos: The Everyday Grind of Staying Organized with Adult ADHD.” She does present the information in a very compassionate and digestible form. She has her own struggles and failures and successes to share, and for me, I found encouragement to try some new things and to give some old methods a re-try.
Maybe only a mom would love it, and if you don’t love it, let me know so that I can mock you in my disbelief.
Your sister can’t tolerate the medicines, so techniques are what we’ve got to work with. We now have a command center that works for me, and that’s a very good start. Maybe it will work for her too, eventually.
I’m setting timers. A lot. Any time I feel that I might disappear into a focus hole, I set a timer. I tried to get her to do it and she shooed me away, because her phone is a timer and beeping noises terrify the big dog. Fine. I’ll check back in fifteen minutes, exactly.
Every day, I have a short list of things I will do, not to do, but will do. People are noticing a difference, they just can’t know that it’s a very small thing. The difference is that I feel much more effective inside and just a little bit is leaking out.
I’d say we’re off to a really great start.
Everyone has disadvantages and everyone can decide if they want to ignore them or harness their disadvantages. Why not cherish your hummingbird nature? Why waste time and energy on self-flagellation? Don’t beat up a hummingbird!! You are not a monster!!
Further reading: The Art of Getting Things Done
Further, further reading:
Undertakers, Harlots and Other Odd Bodies is out now. A free preview is available and all electronic formats are priced at a very reasonable US
$3.99!! ($1.99 this week!!)
For reasons I do not yet understand, the UK kindle version doesn’t show up when you surf in from this side of the sea. Please let me know if your country isn’t offering my drivel and I’ll help get it delivered, the drivel that is.