There is little worse than being pitied or “labeled”.

This is a sort of confessional, an opening of the egg which contains my life to exchange the light and air of the past with the present, and the dreams of the future.

That said, I have dealt with “mental illness” (I hate that term) for 12 years overtly, and for the rest of my 69 years covertly.

I run in fear.

I do not know my pursuer.

Someone knows that I cannot conform.

Normal eludes me as I elude my hunter.

I dodge and dive and hide in dark or lonely places.

You may see me in my camouflage as I pass through.

But you will not know me.

Humans are often good at hiding the deep secrets that say they are broken.

I will give you a bit of my personal history which has started to make sense after studying some of the data on ADD/ADHD.

As a child, I was a daydreamer. The world outside the school window was a wonderful canvas for the imagination of a young boy. Notebooks, assigned for taking class notes, became filled with doodles, thoughts and poems.

I did very well in classes for as long as I was interested in the material, and middle to poor when I lost interest. Algebra made sense of arithmetic. I loved reading (even if it wasn’t the assigned stories). I bounced between college-prep and “terminal” courses.

Homelife consisted of high-strung, neurotic mother, an intelligent and wise, alcoholic, and often absent father, and two siblings who I had been made responsible for from a young age. Unsurprisingly, this was topped off with a heavy helping of poverty.

After graduating, I knew I didn’t have the focus, willpower, or whatever to take on university. There were too many interests and an inability to decide.

And so, I started finding “interesting” jobs. I have had more jobs, in a variety of fields, than I can readily enumerate.

I’ve gone back to school at times to study things that I thought might be careers. But, though I learned interesting things, I lost interest after a while and moved on.

I jumped into some philosophies and organizations that promised to put me in control of my world. And, I read all the time about philosophies, psychology, science, arts, fiction and non-fiction and poetry, etc.

I am impulsive, sometimes hyper-focused, I procrastinate and am distractible.

I have had 3 marriages and a number of relationships.

I have declared bankruptcy 3 times and am currently deep in debt.

I have started a few businesses and blogs only to loose interest before they became profitable. Usually the paperwork and long-range planning overwhelmed me.

A dozen years ago, in my late 50′s, having tried to conform to “normal” for too long, I wrapped myself around a psychological pole — panic attacks, serious anxiety and depression. I believe that if I had understood ADHD earlier, it may have changed some of how I led my life.

What has my life with ADHD been like?

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“Lazy!” “Worthless!” “Immoral!” “No willpower!” “You’re so smart. You just don’t try!” Ah, those echo through my mind and soul.

It’s not that anyone knew any better (I certainly didn’t) Psychological/behavioral conformity have always been expected. It is only in the past 100 years or so that differences have been officially recognized and, sometimes, tolerated.

So…I recently was forced by life to realize that I am a bit scatterbrained. I googled “scatterbrain” and ran into ADHD and read up on it. The symptoms were my normal.

I asked my therapist about it (she had mentioned it a year ago), and talked to the psychiatrist. After testing I got the diagnosis and have started medication — my brain is a little calmer now. I am getting onto the skills I need.

I never got organized to be rich, famous or obnoxious enough to be well known. I am writing my experiences, wandering thoughts and poetry.

Thank you for reading.

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Poet. Philosopher. A sense of Humor. 60 years ago I rode the winds at the top of a tall cottonwood. Buy me a coffee @ https://ko-fi.com/danasanford

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