06 April 2015

The Road: ADHD/ADD and Our Good Intentions

It is a bottomless pit of feeling you're failing, but three days later, you feel you can do anything, only to end the week where you began.
It is not learning from your mistakes….
It is a hyper focus, so intense about what bothers you, that you can’t pay attention to anything else, for very long.
It is a never-ending routine of forgetting things….
It is beauty when it has purpose.
It is agony when it doesn’t.
It is called Attention Deficit Disorder.
~ Shannon L. Alder

In 2015, I’m participating in Jeff Goins’ My 500 Words Challenge: writing at least 500 words a day for a year! (YTD Word Count: 44,891)

In addition, for the next 50 days, I’m participating in the Abbey of the Arts’ Pilgrimage of Resurrection: A Creative Journey through the Easter Season.

ntentions.   We all know what road they pave, don’t we?
Pithy, but it doesn’t apply to all people at all times and in all circumstances.

Take someone who suffers from ADHD.   For many, something vital is missing from the prefrontal cortex.  Executive functions, or management system of the brain, should have developed over time; functions that would enable them to make decisions, focus on tasks, and exert self-control.

They truly have the best intentions, good intentions, but with a neurobiological disorder like ADHD/ADD, these ideas and intentions and dreams often fall by the wayside.  Their brains aren’t like other brains, and until they receive treatment (therapy + medication + nutrition), they will continue to forget vital information, overbook their calendars, and leave tasks chronically unfinished.
They lack the abilities to handle frustration, start and complete tasks, recall and follow multi-step directions, stay on track, plan, organize, and self-monitorADD/ADHD therapists and other professionals who can evaluate and diagnose ADD/ADHD typically point out executive-function problems, but many families dismiss them as less critical than other learning challenges. However, it is clear that effective executive functioning is a key factor in remedying academic difficulties.
Executive functions are the skills that an individual of any age must master to deal with everyday life. Self-monitoring is particularly important for students, because it governs their ability to evaluate their work and behavior in real time.  (Executive-Function Deficits in Children)
When this happens, it causes great distress for the person with ADHD/ADD.  They feel guilty for letting people down.  Depression– whether it is a chemical depression related to the ADHD or situational depression based on societal and familial attitudes and treatment of the person, usually follows.

My cyclothymic depression mimics certain aspects of ADHD/ADD. So I understand all too well how those with ADHD/ADD feel.  My desk at home is layered with projects that were started, but never completed.  I have a notebook full of bits and bobs of poetry and poetry ideas, story lines, dialogue – but no draft manuscript.

However, I did write and complete one today – in honor of #NationalPoetryMonth, for all my friends who suffer from ADHD/ADD and depression, and based on the 50 Days Pilgrimage word for today: Intention. 

I hope you enjoy and it reminds you to take a step back, support your loved ones who are suffering, and join me in fighting to #EndTheStigma.  (Learn more about ADHD/ADD here.)

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela

You are not alone.

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