Evelyn Polk Green, ADDA President-Elect
I cannot believe this! I had ¾—no, 7/8 of my next blog post completed, and just a little ahead of deadline no less, when my computer decided to eat it! Is there anything worse than the dreaded ‘program not responding' message when you're working on some important document or project?!?
I am so frustrated; ready to hurl this brand new, shiny red laptop right out the **** (can I say that here?) window! I think, perhaps, the only thing stopping me is that I'd have to replace the window. Recognizing and owning my ADHD, of course, I made sure to get the you-can-do-everything-including-letting-the-elephant-stomp-on-it warranty, so, damaging the laptop really isn't an issue!
Geez... it is hard enough just to discipline myself to sit down and write these posts; forcing words into some coherent message isn't that easy either, particularly at 9:00 pm, after an intense ADDA Board of Directors meeting (the subject of the lost post, by the way) and after my meds have worn off! So, having written something I was actually happy with and then have it disappear into cyberspace... well arghh! is the mildest response I can come up with.
How many times does this happen to adults (and kids and teens) with ADHD? Far too often, I think. But then sometimes I also wonder if it isn't just our reaction (or overreaction) to setbacks, that when things do go wrong, it seems to us that we have more than our fair share of ‘oops' in life.
I mean, realistically, we can't be the only people in the world who make mistakes—or whose computers or cars or ovens or any number of tools, appliances or electronics are out to get us! Can we? I don't think so.
The difference for those of us with ADHD is that we have already worked so darn hard to get to that point, the frustration seems 100 times worse. I have a theory: We have to use so much more concentration, energy and effort than others just to reach the same place, e.g. making sure we have all the ingredients for the recipe, researching all the facts for an article, gathering all our bills in one place, or completing whatever preliminary tasks are necessary to successfully accomplish the goal. So, when things go wrong, particularly when we've almost completed the task, our reactions are bound to be much more intense and our frustration much greater simply because we've already exerted so much effort just to prepare for the real work!!
And that of course, makes it seem as if we are the only ones to have these kind of setbacks... or at least that we have them much more often than most people.
So, the next time it happens to you, give yourself permission to yell or scream or cry; to be frustrated and angry (but don't throw the laptop unless you have a good warranty!). Go ahead and give your spouse or partner or co-worker a dirty look when they say "Oh, I'm sure it'll be even better when you re-write it," or "It shouldn't take you too long to re-enter all that data," or whatever other helpful advice they have to offer.
You've already worked so hard, you're entitled to be angry, frustrated and unhappy. Once you've muttered all those bad words, taken a couple of deep breaths and maybe walked around the block, that good old ADHD creativity, energy and hyper-focus will strike again. And the stubbornness that makes us determined to succeed against all odds will likely kick in, too. You may even get lucky like I did just now; the results may be even be better than that first effort... just don't tell that know-it-all who said it would!
Peace and Love,
Published On: March 24, 2008