Stuck After a Backslide

The last few days have been rough. I had three “bumps” that feel pretty significant, so I want to document them so I can look back at them later and see if they were really as big as I thought.

The first was missing the May 1 deadline for…well it doesn’t matter for what. The point is I missed it. And I know exactly why. I had the 
May 1 date in my calendar since March. In March, it was a long way off. And so it was in early April. But, as late as April 27, I was seeing 
“May” as a distant word on the horizon. That was a common occurrence in the past and has been less common recently. So, when it happens, it feels like a huge event. One of those moments when I question all the progress I’ve made over the last 3 years.

I talked to a couple of people about this and, oddly enough, it seems that this might not be unique to me. It might not even be a uniquely ADD problem. I was told by 2 people that the month boundary gives regular people trouble too. So maybe this one isn’t as big as I think it is.

The second was a scheduling conflict. Again, those used to be a regular part of my life, but not so much lately. Until last weekend. I’d made a tentative commitment to be at church Saturday evening to help out with a skit. Then, on Wednesday, Lisa suggested a road trip to Indianapolis to visit a friend. I love traveling with her, so I jumped on it without noticing the conflict. Everything turned out OK, we crossed emails and they had something else in line, so there was no significant impact. Other than my feeling like “here we go again”.

After those two, I did some talking with friends and decided that my approach to time management has a hole in it. Since so much of my life and ambition is based around projects, not dates, I am often date-blind. So I bought a planner and started the process of trying to integrate my task-based (SCRUM-based) approach with a more traditional calendar-based scheme. Time will tell how that goes.

The third bump was different. It wasn’t about time management, it was about my vision for these ADHD events. I talked with someone at Eastern about what I’ve been doing and whether it seemed like something I should pursue. My model of “do a performance that initiates audience discussion”. What floored me was this: she asked if I knew of other places they were using this model and I said “not really”. Then, she went on to tell me about a program that is already in place on our own campus. Something called “CloseUp”. Evidently, it’s geared for new students or for other topics they want to present and discuss.

I’ve seen the word once or twice, and I know there is something similar going on at the U, but I didn’t know it was going on right at my own school. So, naturally it raised a million questions about how I could be right there, 2 or 3 years into a program, and not know that. I am so unplugged.

So, right now, I am a little lost in the wake of these events and feeling very stuck. Luckily, the weather is changing, I have a garden to get working on, and we have a gig this Saturday. Plenty of things to take my mind off of my Big Project. But for how long?

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Unintended Consequence of Getting Better

Right now, I’m sitting at one of my favorite coffee shops in Ann Arbor – Espresso Royale on South Main. I just posted an announcement about my “Who Am I Living With?!?!” which I’ll be doing at Barnes and Noble toward the end of the month. It took me somewhere between 15 and 25 minutes to do it. That included checking my calendar, emailing B&N, emailing a bunch of the members of our group, then posting to Facebook and arborweb and my Google calendar. I don’t know how long it takes “normal” people to do something like this, but I know that to me it seems like a very, very long time. In the Bad Old Days (pre-diagnosis), I had no real sense of time at all, so if it took 5 minutes or 2 hours it would have felt the same to me. It made it hard to schedule, it was messy and overall, probably unproductive. But I don’t recall ever once saying to myself “a ‘normal’ person could do this in half the time.”

I kind of miss that.