I am am about a month into this process of learning about ADHD and attempting to put in place some structure to mitigate my symptoms. There is so much overlap to our(wife and I) situation that I am confident that this is the root of the issue, but the more I read the more the overall summary of ADHD seems to veer off my experience. Specifically I was reading part of Melissa's book last night:
"It’s like listening to a radio station with a lot of static and you have to strain to hear what’s going on. Or, it’s like trying to build a house of cards in a dust storm. You have to build a structure to protect yourself from the wind before you can even start on the cards.
In other ways it’s like being supercharged all the time. You get one idea and you have to act on it, and then, what do you know, but you’ve got another idea before you’ve finished up with the first one, and so you go for that one, but of course a third idea intercepts the second, and you just have to follow that one, and pretty soon people are calling you disorganized and impulsive and all sorts of impolite words that miss the point completely. Because you’re trying really hard. It’s just that you have all these invisible vectors pulling you this way and that, which makes it really hard to stay on task. Plus, you’re spilling over all the time. You’re drumming your fingers, tapping your feet, humming a song, looking here, looking there, stretching, doodling, and people think you’re not paying attention or that you’re not interested, but all you’re doing is spilling over so that you can pay attention. I can pay a lot better attention when I’m taking a walk or listening to music or even when I’m in a crowded, noisy room than when I’m still and surrounded by silence.
What is it like to have ADHD? Buzzing. Being here and there and everywhere. Someone once said, 'Time is the thing that keeps everything from happening all at once.' Time parcels moments out into separate bits so that we can do one thing at a time. In ADHD, this does not happen. In ADHD, time collapses. Time becomes a black hole. To the person with ADHD it feels as if everything is happening all at once. This creates a sense of inner turmoil or even panic. The individual loses perspective and the ability to prioritize. He or she is always on the go, trying to keep the world from caving in on top."
Almost none of this is familiar. My brain isn't noisy and I don't feel like thoughts are in static. I don't feel overactive or impulsive. I tend to launch into whatever task comes in front of me, but not compulsively so. It's just a coping mechanism to get work done, going into a blaze of productivity is how my mind prefers to work. When I focus on something I only jump to other tasks in the same genre. If I'm cleaning I might leave every room cluttered with things off the floor because I'm sweeping the floor, and eventually when I'm done with sweeping I'll come back and do another subtask on all the rooms. My wife hates visible disorder and leaving the room unfinished drives her nuts. If I'm going down to the deep-freeze in the basement I'll see the laundry and cycle loads, coming back up with clean laundry and the frozen item. I have forgotten it entirely, but that is usually something I catch myself doing as I start to leave the basement. I guess on this one there is more overlap, but I really don't feel these "invisible vectors" pulling me any which way. It's just what is in front of my face and the actions triggered by looking at that scene.
I can be totally still and serene. I have meditated without much issue, and working in complete silence is not a problem. I do not often tap or hum, and no one has ever commented that I'm fidgeting. Turmoil, panic, buzzing, static; I know not these things. There is only nonthought and the weight of knowing how much is stashed away.
Time doesn't seem to happen all at once. The thing that really makes me wonder about ADHD is that I am not "busy", I do not initially feel inadequate (And when I come to reality I don't think I am garbage[In the wrong, and definitely messed-up, but not worthless]), I don't hesitate or distrust myself. As a teenager I was one arrogant bastard, and all the more encouraged because I could often live up to the arrogance. I deflect. I rationalize without being conscious of the rationalization process. I just do not think of things. The more I perceive a task/subject to be unpleasant, the more likely it is that it will vanish in the void. I lie and fabricate, tell the best possible version of events, and charm people. I often think about that classic trait of serial killers: superficial charm. I do this without intent or malice or any kind of ulterior motive, and there is no man behind the curtain gleefully watching the facade. If there is any motivation or introspection about this behavior, it is to realize the phrase, "everything's gonna be alright." When I was three and anything bad happened, my mother has told me I would hug the injured person and say these exact words.
Right now I am typing here instead of doing work, and I assume that it will be fine because when I get on the conference call things will always turn the way that makes me look responsible. Most of the time I'll fly through an ultra-productive binge and get it all caught up, but I seem to crave falling behind. That stimulation of a crisis scenario definitely plays to me as ADHD.
I'm on Vyvance and about to do the second jump up in dosage (to about the middle of the recommended range), and have not felt any massive change. Perhaps the fact that I've been on these forums seeking some kind of help and reading up on it is an effect of the Vyvance. I've been on Wellbutrin for years to combat depression, and I am certain that whatever disorder this is, dopamine is a huge factor. I'm just afraid that I'm barking up the wrong tree and wasting more time that my marriage cannot afford.
P.S I always, always re-read online postings like this and made edits and modifications with the reader's POV in mind, but perhaps by not doing this my honest attempt to be "real" on these forums will be even more "real." I've not gone back and edited since finishing the narrative, but I cannot stop myself from going back and fixing spelling/grammatical mistakes. No content was harmed in the making of this vainly revised post.