I have so much and yet no idea where to put it.

No crafts today, just my mind.

“At that time (and all my life), I had a little room in one part of the house in which I spent each night and weekend trying in vain to “get organized.” I had no idea that other people weren’t spending each weekend as a bridge between Friday and Monday trying frantically to dig their way out of the “rubble” before Monday arrived again. As I began to understand AD/HD, I began to notice small things; for example, I heard other people making plans to go to the park on the weekend or to a concert. To me, it was like hearing people from another planet. Each Friday at the agency where I was working, my friend and colleague, Lisa, would ask me, “What are you doing this weekend?” I would say, “I’m getting organized.” After a few months of hearing this response, Lisa finally said to me, “Oh, you must be working on a major project!” And I said, “No, I’m just getting organized.” It started to dawn on me that others weren’t living the same way, but I had no idea how they did it.”

— Women With Attention Deficit Disorder: Embrace Your Differences and Transform Your Life by Sari Solden

I didn’t know others didn’t live the same way. I mean, I kinda know but I just thought that those who didn’t were better at life than I am.

And when I read a simple example of short term memory, that functioning short term memory storage does things like help you store a phone number you’ve just been told, I laugh. I know in theory people can retain a phone number….but if you try to tell me yours I will stop you and grab something to write with. I cannot store a string of numbers I have just been told. I’d assumed it’s because I’m bad with numbers…but it could be how my short term memory works. No. It could be how my short term memory doesn’t work.

Then I think about the other subject I always thought I am bad at. Languages. My only bad grades in high school were in Spanish, a subject I loved. I struggle with Japanese despite living here.

I Google ADHD and foreign languages and read.

I feel both hungry and finally seen.

As I read this book, Women With Attention Deficit Disorder , and listen to the audio version of The Queen of Distraction by Terry Malte (another book about women with ADHD) I keep wanting to cry.

I read about the internalized shame undiagnosed women with ADHD have.

There I am, naked, described.

I hadn’t seen myself in discussions of women and girls with ADHD before because of how it’s generally stressed that they are more likely to be inattentive instead of hyperactive.

I wasn’t the quiet girl in my class. I wasn’t so loud as to be hyperactive either. I didn’t have bad grades.

“One of the most telling signs of the child with this type of AD/HD is disorganization. One look at her locker, desk, room, or maybe even her handwriting might give you a clue that she may be struggling with this disorder. They might also be extremely sensitive to visual stimulus and physical movements and be highly distracted by both their internal and external worlds.”

— Women With Attention Deficit Disorder: Embrace Your Differences and Transform Your Life by Sari Solden

It wasn’t until I started seeing descriptions of how the specter of clutter haunts women with ADHD and first-person accounts of how they deal with the seemingly simple task of putting things someplace that I thought. That’s me.

My obsessive days spent trying to organize. Those days that my shrink, and my friends, and I, think of as a sign that my anxiety/depression isn’t properly balanced….I now wonder if those days are a symptom of ADHD and the feelings of shame, stress, and worthlessness are what presents as anxiety/depression.

It’s, of course, not exactly an either or equation. Anxiety/depression and ADHD are often linked together in women.

The idea that I can’t function with too much visual stimuli and yet am wired in a way that creates piles and clutter would go a long way to explain my documented decades of decluttering and cleaning.

(Sigh) I want to keep writing. I’m hyper focused on these ideas. I’m good at focusing when I’m interested. I’ve read a lot in a short amount of time. I could write for hours.

When I’m interested I go deep. My mind makes connections fast and time falls away.

I function the same way creating things.

It’s yet another reason why the term “attention deficits” never rang familiar with me.

But now, reading that ADHD isn’t a deficit in attention, that it’s more like a surplus of attention that is hard to prioritize, I know I must now seek help.

One thought on “I have so much and yet no idea where to put it.

  1. That’s me too. I have the tendency to overcompensate in those areas where I see the issues being a problem but sooner or later all that extra effort to just function daily and keep up with everything starts talking a toll emotionally, physically, and then it’s like I’m seriously running out of steam/energy. Starting to feeling like I’m getting to the point where I just need to buckle down, get some help. I’m sure once you/I do, we’ll feel so much more amazing, just need to get to that other side…

    Like

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