Another Productive Day

Last night, I went to bed tired and a little anxious about “Who Am I Living With?!?!” I have dozens and dozens of bits half written and more percolating in my head. This morning, I woke up feeling 100% confident I can put this together, probably in 1 day. It’s 1 p.m. Let’s see where I am by bedtime tonight.

I usually work this way. Correction, usually i would be pulling it together right up until day-of. I don’t mind, I’ve worked that way forever and it usually comes together. But this time, I need to be done sooner for two reasons. First is that I have a couple of people who are willing to watch it for me and give me input. The other is that I want to write a script that could maybe be performed by someone else. So, my entire approach of waiting till the last minute has to change. I’m used to leaving maybe 20-40% open for adlib. This time, I want to reduce that number to maybe 10%.

Let’s see how it goes.

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Last Comments from Orlando ADDA Conference

(the following has been sitting in a file on my iPad since July, sometimes they get posted out of order…)

I’m sitting in the Brick House Tavern and Tap House in Orlando, decompressing. I have a 22 oz Cigar City Jai Alai IPA, imported from Tampa. I recommend it if you like a nice, solid IPA. It’s just after 7p.m.

As expected, the week was intense. I feel great though. It was a victory for my experiment in time management. I was involved in 3 “things” (to use the technical word): 2 sessions and the Talent Show. I paced myself over the last three or four weeks, working with the amaaaaaazing Kirsten Milliken on our Improv course, tweaking and modifying over 6 different version of “I’m With My Tribe” and making little changes here and there to my “Who am I Living With!?!?” session.

What are my take-aways?

One is that I now have 2 more models to use when talking about relationships. Linda and Victor Roggli’s life story has components of the other resources I’m using, but it’s more accessible, more “feet on the ground”. The simple, practical take-away for me there was “would you be willing…?” as a way of starting a request. It fits nicely with my understanding of the power of narrative over information. Showing us that they start a request with “would you be willing…” is very different from saying “make request, not demands”.

The other new model had some of the same attraction. The session by Drs. Ferman and Wilford actually started with a real life example (his copying the wrong slides and not bringing the thumb drive). Again, realtime modeling of how things like “kindness not criticism” works. The Roggli’s had a nice scripted introduction that had them arguing about the placement of a frosty, drippy cup of ice water. I am making the assumption that Ferman’s and Wilford’s introduction was not scripted, but they might consider using it again and again. It set a tone of compassion and understanding for the entire session.

I had some great conversations with Patte (the ‘e’ is silent and so is the invisible ‘i’) the Monty Python loving, character vocalizing, burlesque performing, always positive, sequin-dressed Canadian powerhouse; kicked around some ideas about how next year’s Ambassador Program can be better with Doug and Melissa; had a wonderful conversation with a 40-year married woman whose husband is undiagnosed but she’s been able to live and work (really, he’s self employed and she works for him); and even got some insight into my own problems by asking Ferman and Wilford the questions I wanted to instead of sitting on them.

Ned Hallowell was a beacon of positivity and creativity as usual. I’ve modeled a lot of my understanding of ADHD-in-the-world on my study of comparative religion and Foucault’s work on “who gets to define ‘normal’ and how do they enforce it?” I understand what Rick Green said in his talk about “Friendly Fire”, what Sari said about “diversity is the norm” and what Ned said in his closing talk about ADHD being a trait with its positives and negatives. In my world, it’s like this: do drummers get to think of guitar players as “abnormal” or “deficit”? Do adherents of religion A get to look down on adherents of religion B because they have a different framework? Inside religions, do the Pentecostals or Sufis – all movement and sound – get to be critical of the Shakers and Theravadans – all silence and observation and listening? or the Unitarians or Vendantists – all theory and analysis (and yes, I understand I am painting with a broad brush).

No. They are different, not better and worse.

And while each of these things can have a dark side (neglecting your job and family to get in “just one more gig”, holy wars, people who take risks that endanger others as well as themselves, etc.), it is not the fact of their difference that makes it a dark side, it is an excess of one thing or another (reference Aristotle and the Golden Mean or the Buddha’s Middle Path).

Phew! Enough heavy thinking. What else happened?

I sold some T-shirts! Yay! Linda Roggli and Janine F were generous enough to let me display some of my ADD/ADHD t-shirts at their booth. AND I am very excited and proud that Frankie Williams (the amazing woman who sang the Our Father at the Talent Show) was the first person to buy one! How cool is that?

I have to admit, though, that the high point for me was everyone singing “I’m With My Tribe”. When I asked everyone to sing along, it was a real Moment of Truth. I could have been left standing up there being the one guy in the crowd singing Kum-ba-ya with everyone else standing staring at me. But my Tribe didn’t let me down.

And that’s kind of what ADDA’s all about. We won’t let each other down.

See you next year.

Share Your Story – lazy, stupid or crazy?

I’m working on a longer performance piece about Adult ADD and I’d like to ask you to share your stories. It’s important that we do that. We learn from each other than we aren’t the only ones who have messy desks or get mad at interruptions or feel we haven’t really done anything with our lives. Also, it can give our partners, friends, and the public insight into the adult side of ADD. We are dealing with different issues than kids or teens.

In this section, I’m asking this: have you even felt “am I lazy, stupid, or crazy?” This comes up a lot in the literature. “What’s wrong with me?” Can you relate? Have you felt this? Tell me your story.

To add your story, just click the word balloon above and to the right of this entry.

You can do it anonymously if you like, though I’d prefer to have your information so I can do follow up. If I end up using your story in a performance, it’ll be anonymous, so don’t worry about that!

 Thanks!

Share Your Story – miscellaneous

I’m working on a longer performance piece about Adult ADD and I’d like to ask you to share your stories. It’s important that we do that. We learn from each other than we aren’t the only ones who have messy desks or get mad at interruptions or feel we haven’t really done anything with our lives. Also, it can give our partners, friends, and the public insight into the adult side of ADD. We are dealing with different issues than kids or teens.

In this section, I’d love to hear your stories about ADD in any category I didn’t mention below (and even if I did!)

To add your story, just click the word balloon above and to the right of this entry.

You can do it anonymously if you like, though I’d prefer to have your information so I can do follow up. If I end up using your story in a performance, it’ll be anonymous, so don’t worry about that!

 Thanks!

Share Your Story – friends and family

I’m working on a longer performance piece about Adult ADD and I’d like to ask you to share your stories. It’s important that we do that. We learn from each other than we aren’t the only ones who have messy desks or get mad at interruptions or feel we haven’t really done anything with our lives. Also, it can give our partners, friends, and the public insight into the adult side of ADD. We are dealing with different issues than kids or teens.

In this section, I’m asking for your stories about friends and family. How did they react to your diagnosis? Support? Denial? “Ah, so that’s what’s up with you!!!” Do you have a story you can share? 

To add your story, just click the word balloon above and to the right of this entry.

You can do it anonymously if you like, though I’d prefer to have your information so I can do follow up. If I end up using your story in a performance, it’ll be anonymous, so don’t worry about that!

 Thanks!

Share Your Story – low self-esteem

I’m working on a longer performance piece about Adult ADD and I’d like to ask you to share your stories. It’s important that we do that. We learn from each other than we aren’t the only ones who have messy desks or get mad at interruptions or feel we haven’t really done anything with our lives. Also, it can give our partners, friends, and the public insight into the adult side of ADD. We are dealing with different issues than kids or teens.

In this section, I’m asking for your stories about low self-esteem. Maybe that’s not the exact work for it. Maybe you’re successful, but feel like a fake? I’ve accomplished a lot in my life, but I don’t feel like it. I don’t focus on the 10 things I accomplished today, I focus on the 1000 that didn’t get done. I remember sitting in a counselor’s office, whining to her about how there was no point my writing skits since nobody would ever perform them. She reminded me that one of mine was being done by a church group that very weekend. That was a clue that something was wrong. I was living in a negative fantasy while outside, my life was going pretty darn well. Do you have a similar story? Do you enjoy your accomplishments or do they evaporate in the face of your failures? Do you let yourself make mistakes and learn from them without beating yourself up? Tell me your story.

To add your story, just click the word balloon above and to the right of this entry.

You can do it anonymously if you like, though I’d prefer to have your information so I can do follow up. If I end up using your story in a performance, it’ll be anonymous, so don’t worry about that!

 Thanks!

Share Your Story – hypersexual?

I’m working on a longer performance piece about Adult ADD and I’d like to ask you to share your stories. It’s important that we do that. We learn from each other than we aren’t the only ones who have messy desks or get mad at interruptions or feel we haven’t really done anything with our lives. Also, it can give our partners, friends, and the public insight into the adult side of ADD. We are dealing with different issues than kids or teens.

In this section, I’m asking you to talk about something that is very difficult to talk about. Nobody talks about sexuality in polite company, but I’ve been fascinated by the work of Dr. Rory Reid (http://www.rory.net/pubs.htm).  He headed up a group that was/is working on the connection between hypersexual disorder and ADHD. According to his research: “approximately 23-27% of hypersexual men also meet diagnostic criteria for adult ADHD”.

How has ADD affected your sex life? Your relationships? Your own sense of yourself as a sexual being? Do you have stories about that? Do you think there is a connection? Or is he way off?

To add your story, just click the word balloon above and to the right of this entry. 

You can do it anonymously if you like, though I’d prefer to have your information so I can do follow up. If I end up using your story in a performance, it’ll be anonymous, so don’t worry about that!

 Thanks!