October 1, 2009 at 2:00 AM | Posted in Personal | Leave a comment
  The emotion that I’m feeling is so unusual that it calls for a new word.

  My friend Bunny recommended a book for me.  I reserved it at the library, and in the middle of their new system they lost it, then found it again, and I finally got it last week.  Of course with everything in my busy schedule I didn’t get to read it until last night.  During our slow time at Domino’s, I read practically the whole thing.
  The book is called "Driven To Distraction," and it’s about ADD.
  Remember what I said a while back (and I do expect you to remember it all, too; there’s going to be a test) about how people always like to think that they are "crazy" because it makes them unique or whatever?  And that I realized that what makes me unique is that I’m NOT crazy–but everyone else certainly is.
  I may have to take that back.
  Not the part about everyone being crazy–I stand by that.  But the part about me.
  Bunny thought (and perhaps logically) reading the book about ADD would be cathartic for me, a revelation.  It was.  It was too much of a revelation.  I felt like for the first time I was seeing clearly into the mirror.
  Everyone likes think they have some ADD, at least in America.  And culturally we are more prone to it.  It’s a cross between a joke, a badge of honor, and an excuse.
  I find it to be none of those.  I’m having a hard time accepting this.  It’s going to take some work.  I’m still–I actually want to go to a psychiatrist or some other professional and get a clinical diagnosis.  Just to be sure.  To *know*.  Because when I read the book I saw so much of myself in every case study I felt like crying.  Not the tears of relief, either.  I think.  And maybe my diagnosis will be that I don’t have it.
  I mean, how can I know?  I feel like everything I know about how I feel about everything is a facade based on a chemical imbalance in my brain.  Finding out you have it–just knowing–is supposed to be part of the healing.
  But not only that–I’ve always felt that how I feel, how I think, how I react, how I do everything in my head is perfectly normal.  Maybe better than normal, because I’m super smart and super creative, not to mention humble.  When you add in my charm, good looks, and incredible sex appeal, I am one dynamite fucking guy.
  All of these things that make me *me* are…based on a disorder.  A malfunction.  I’m "broken." 
  What if they fix me?  What if I go to a doctor, and they give me medication, behavior modification, and electroshock therapy, and life coach?  Then what?  Will I no longer be me?
  What’s it like to be normal?  I…I want to say that I like the way my brain works, but maybe that’s not entirely accurate.  Let’s just say I’m used to it.  But for the life of me, just trying to imagine how everyone else thinks, how they function–it scares me.
  I don’t mean to sound condescending, I just am.  I have so much going on in my brain at any one time that–well, let me explain how I see you, the huddled masses, the man on the street, the hoi polloi, the regular Dick and Jane.  Ever seen a zombie movie?  The zombies kind of drift around with a blank expression on their face, they have only one goal, and they don’t comprehend anything?
  That’s what all of you are to me.
  I mean that in a good way. 
  No, I guess I don’t.  On one paw, I would like help because I realize I have a problem and I would like to be able to focus my creativity and perhaps finish a novel or twenty.  On the other paw, I don’t want to get the equivalent of a chemical lobotomy.  On yet a third paw, I don’t know if I can continue in this state of dysfunction. 
  I feel like my body is a golf cart, and my brain is a tricked-out 427 big block.  Too, too much brain for the tiny golf cart to handle.

  What evidence do I have, you ask, that I have ADD?  That’s a good question.  Well, I’ve always suspected it–or for the last ten years, anyway, once it had a name.  Before, it used to be called MBD:  Minimal Brain disorder.  That’s as bad of a name as ADD.  Neither one is accurate.  But in the book, the author shows several case studies, and I could identify at least a little with all of them, and usually very much with most of them.
  Then there was the family history thing.  It is genetic.  I realize now that my mom had the classic ADD that girls often have:  She was a daydreamer, completely introverted, and always in her own little world.  Even as an adult–I had a strange childhood.
  Then, of course, we get to the list.  None of this is binding, of course, and the real test is to get tested and evaluated by a qualified professional, which I recommend to all of you.  But there is a list of 20 classic symptoms, and you need to have at least 15 to win the prize of being called ADD. 
  Without exaggeration, I have about 24 of the 20 on the list.  I’m not kidding, either.  I had Detroit on the phone after I had already gone through the list, and we went through it again.  Some of the items I had been unsure of, she said, "Oh, definitely."
  Skipping around from topic to topic is a natural thing for me, so I’m not going to apologize for it any more.  I just thought of my great grandfather, the one whom I have written about that was a legend in Canada, who built a sea-worthy ship in the middle of the Saskatchewan plain in the middle of The Great Depression.  He was an inventor, a builder, a visionary, a crazy man. He was eventually committed.  Did have mania, or did he merely have the Hyperfocus that many with ADD will have?
  I’d continue, but I’m already distracted.


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