Some background: for a long time, I’ve been explosively angry when I was interrupted in the middle of something. I’ve done a pretty good job of not just yelling into the phone, but I’ve done all sorts of other things:
- after hanging up, I would sit and stare at the phone, waiting for the next interruption
- I would not go back to what I was doing, I would just sit back and cross my arms and stare. What was the point of starting up when I was just going to get interrupted again?
- at least once, I’ve thrown the phone (gently – I’m too aware of price to lose control completely) across the room and talked to it in very harsh terms
I’m aware that this is not uncommon among us ADD folks – at various intensities, of course. But today was the first time I really noticed the physical sensation.
It isn’t anger at all. It’s more like disorientation.
I was in a state of flow and I was yanked out of it. And I’m keenly aware that when I get started back up again, it won’t be “where I left off”, it’s going to be “part 2”. And that is never the same.
It was an actual physical sensation. A slight bit of dizziness, like walking out into the sun after being in the dark for a while. Or sitting up after laying down too long. I felt it in my head and I felt it in my stomach. It was unpleasant. I can see why I don’t want to experience that feeling often. I can also see why it makes me angry. But anger is a secondary response not a primary response.
Downstream, there are other considerations:
- the ramp up time to get started again
- things that might have been percolating in the back of my mind that are now lost
- the pressure to handle whatever the call was about
And, on top of those, the guilt about feeling angry at the poor innocent person who had the nerve to interrupt me while I was working on something
There are a lot of levels to this, but I’m hoping that the realization that it isn’t really anger will help me handle it next time around.
I wonder how soon that will be…?