Do I Know You?

T here are two photographs that sit on my desk. In one I am next to my wife who, at the time, was pregnant with our first daughter. In the other I am sitting next to her and she is holding our newborn first daughter.  I stare at those photos and see the Jeff-of-then. I can understand the physiological changes that have occurred over the past twenty years, how the dark beard turned gray, how the balding head became completely bald. Yet there is something haunting about those pictures. I know that image is me but I don’t feel a deep connection between Jeff-of-then and Jeff-as-now. I cannot find the threads that weave the past to the present.

Admittedly this is starting to change. I’m experiencing echoes of Jeff-of-then, the reappearance of ideas that were the focal point of Jeff-of-then. Yet despite their reappearance, they do not completely feel like they are a part of Jeff-as-now. I feel I am reliving the memories of a person not fully connected to the same person who is writing this. It is as if two different people occupied the same body at different times. There is, of course, enormous overlap between them. They have been having very similar thoughts throughout their nearly parallel lives. They’ve also been sleeping with the same woman.

Post Script
I like to reflect on a post before making it “live.” I’ll walk from my desk to the kitchen, get some coffee, pet the dogs, then sit back at my desk. It is during those few minutes away from the computer that I may come up with new ideas or I may suddenly see connections that were not obvious when I was buried in the writing. The latter has occurred. Five years ago I wrote about this same issue of the “incomplete self.” However, the fact that I made this connection between a not-so-distant past and the present may mean that I am on the path to completeness, that I am slowly bringing together the different pieces of me.

See:

  1. How Long Will “Me” Last?
  2. A.D.D. Rage or The Centerless Facets
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  • Anonymous

    Jeff, I think about these things quite a bit> What was I thinking when I did this or that back then? Have I really changed as much as the people say I have? The “People” being the ones that knew me back then. The other question I ask myself is “Why”. Why was I that person? Am I still that same person, only a different way of doing (or not doing) things the same way? Is it just a natural part of getting older?
     
    In your Post Script, the words: ” I am on the path to completeness, that I am slowly bringing together the different pieces of me.” I hope that could be the result of my own quest for answers to my own questions that I ask myself. I think your on your way there from what I can see. :)
     
     

    • http://jeffsaddmind.com Jeffs ADD Mind

      ADHD, by its very nature, creates a fractured sense of self. We have all of the pieces of a “self” in the same way we have all the pieces of a shattered piece of glass. The difficulty, of course, is putting the pieces together. However, the blog has helped enormously because it is a tangible, referable externalization of my ideas. Note the two links that I added at the bottom. They are posts that are now five years old. The two paragraphs that make up this post were written two years ago and sat around in draft format. They recently popped into my head because of a different writing project I’m involved in, hence my post script that acknowledges that, to a degree, a whole “self” is being formed.

      Further, you too have progressed along this very same road. Think back to the difficulty you had when you first came to this blog and had difficulty expressing yourself. Well, that problem is long gone. You may want to go back in time (you can do it through Disqus) to find your comments so you can amaze yourself as to how much you have also changed.

      • Anonymous

        Oh yeah, no doubt about the change in the way I express myself as compared to previous comments I have written here. It is much like seeing a picture of myself. “Amazing” is the best word I can find to describe this road we must travel. It helps to look back and see the way we somehow survived the trip…so far.

        “Tools” is the word I think of when describing how I have changed. Learning from each other how to use them is part of the journey. ADHD’ers have a different way of useing them I think. But “Tools” don’t work unless we use em’. 

        • http://jeffsaddmind.com Jeffs ADD Mind

          Yup, tools don’t work unless you use them. And we have *definitely* learned a lot from each other through these various exchanges of ideas.

  • Katy R.

    I don’t know if this is a similar thing Jeff, but I used to feel that there were two of me. Two distinct, different mes. I think I’ve written about them before. One is entertaining and outgoing and the other is the more authentic introvert. At times I have been bothered by their separateness from one another. More recently I feel less divided. Clearly, I grew the other self as a form of self-protection, and she is very useful at times. But the more I allow the other me to speak, the happier I am and the less divided I feel. It can really feel weird to realize you are disconnected from yourself.

  • Tre

    I’m a first time reader of your blog.
    I’ve been reading it now non-stop for two hours. I have to say Jeff you are blowing my mind. I have identical thoughts & feelings to so many posts on this blog. Especially the one above about the photographs. I’m a picture freak, I have billions & billions if pictures. I have a passion for photography. I’m constantly comparing my present self to my old self while wondering why I was the way I was & where did my happiness go? I just wanted to thank you for showing me I’m not alone. Ty Ty Ty ~Tre

    • http://jeffsaddmind.com Jeffs ADD Mind

      Welcome to the blog!! My own passion for photography waxes and wanes but I’m very much a “visual” thinker.

      “thank you for showing me I’m not alone” – You are definitely not alone. That’s the great thing about the internet. It helps to validate those feelings and thoughts that, we assumed, were peculiar to us alone. We find that there are others who think the way we do.

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