Have You Seen This Missing…And Angry…ADHDer?

I receive emails from many of my blog readers and I’ve decided to use the opening of this post to respond to a number of them. To those who have been wondering if I have been leaving her satisfied or wanting more, the answer is, “satisfied.” Therefore I have no need for those enlargement pills that you keep telling me about. To those who would like me to get involved in the lucrative trade of mining molybdenum, I regretfully decline your generous offer of a partnership. I don’t think business partnerships should be based on a random drawing of someone’s email address. Finally, to those who have been wondering why my blog posting output level seems to have dropped, the answer is “I’ve been busy.” Most of my effort has been aimed at building up a steady stream of business because I’m simply tired of the continual cash flow problems that plague entrepreneurs. And as I have announced in earlier posts, I no longer dwell on my ADHD as the major problem. Instead, I try to understand the nature of the problem at hand and try to arrive at a solution. For example, I realized that I was having difficulty working on several projects simultaneously (a very typical ADHD problem). The solution was to schedule my day in greater detail, breaking the day into chunks of time with different chunks designated for different projects. Now this is a solution that anyone – ADHD or not – may arrive at. However, since I haven’t completely forgotten that I have ADHD, I’ve added some transition time so I can clear out my head before going onto the next task.

Mont Ventoux (Image source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mont_ventoux_summit.jpg)

This new-found approach to problems is a result of my evolving relationship towards my ADHD. Having gone through the ADHD-version of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, I began with magical thinking (ADHD is a gift) to ADHD as a curse (the “evil” form of magical thinking?) to the highest stage where ADHD is no longer the center of my personal universe. Perhaps I reached level OT VIII? During this transformation and Petrarch-like ascent to the top of Mont Ventoux, I entered a whole new world, a postADHD world that provided a fantastic point of view. However, I am beginning to wonder if the transformation and ascent has been part illusion. While I no longer rock back and forth mumbling incoherently about my ADHD not that I ever did…but you get the picture, and I no longer put on a cape and run around the house exclaiming the virtues of my ADHD superpowers now that’s something I used to do!, I realized that my meta-morph-osis, my ascent, has become a game of ADHD Whac-A-Mole. As I went through the ADHD Hierarchy of Needs and my relationship to ADHD had changed, an old friend from childhood popped up. My anger issues were back.

Is dealing with your ADHD really a game of Whac-A-Mole? (Image source: http://switchgaming.blogspot.com/2008/09/game-for-helen-whac-mole.html)

I’ll be the first to admit that I have a limited repertoire of emotions and that anger has been the predominant one. But the anger issues that have resurfaced are not the good kinds of anger issues. Question: What are the “good” kinds of anger? Answer: anger that is motivated by indignation is the “good kind” of anger. I usually use the word “passionate” when discussing this type of anger, such as my being passionate about politics. I will argue vociferously with those of opposing viewpoints and, as I found out early in life, one best have all their facts lined up when doing so. I’ve also learned that many people aren’t really interested in facts because they aren’t really interested in dialogue that ends in a new understanding. Many people believe they ALREADY have the right point of view and anyone who believes something contrary to their beliefs is a meathead. They are anger issues that are all out of proportion to the particular frustration at hand and which often result in explosive anger. This anger has been aimed at those bastards who have parked in my parking spot after I spent hours shoveling snow to make a spot for MY car. There’s also some anger aimed at myself, such as when I forget something that I should have noted in my calendar, and some anger aimed at my HappyLight why did they give it that name? Whenever I say it I feel like one of those Krishnas wrapped in a bedsheet jumping up and down and chanting about  Harvey Krishner which seems to have a diminishing effect on my other F!#*!KING gift — Seasonal Affective Disorder — since it just cannot compensate for a week of gloomy, dark days. A part of me wondered if I am also HSP, since I seem to be the only one in the house who can hear water dripping from forty feet away, who notices the qualitative change in light from day to day and season to season, who cannot tolerate certain sounds (and if my F!*!KING parrots don’t shut up I’m going to make parrot fricassee!) but I refuse to read the book about highly sensitive people (what a shitty name! Every time I say it in my head I can hear the schoolyard taunts) because I don’t want another F*!#@KING acronym attached to me. Some of this anger may be justified, but when the anger does not subside, when it intensifies through its own feedback loop, then it becomes an anger issue. Coincidentally, the next local CHADD meeting will be focusing on anger management. I’ve rehearsed in my head how I will behave during that meeting. When all is quiet I will jump out of my seat and scream, in my best Howard Beale imitation, that I don’t have anger management issues and I’m not going to talk about it anymore. Then I’ll quietly sit down. So while I may have gone through the Hierarchy of ADHD Needs, I may not have made it to the top of Mont Ventoux.

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  • Dr Ben

    Gee, the Carton at the Top is Past the Sell Date…That would make Anyone Angry…..Parrot Ragout is very good, but not for the Parrot…..

  • Robin

    I’m glad you’re still alive, and have some business coming in.
    Please write an article sometime about ADHD and social isolation. For those of us who can’t make friends and don’t know why.

    • Jeff

      Robin, when I first saw your suggestion about writing an article on ADHD and social isolation I thought to myself, “Wow…that kind of sucks. I don’t really have that problem.” Then I thought…”Wait a minute, Jeff…you have a small handful of friends and you see them infrequently.” And I’d add, I don’t think of myself as being socially isolated yet…to be quite honest…I spend an extraordinary amount of time by myself. (And sometimes I’m in a crowd and I look for a way to hide. See this post.) So…let’s say that I’m not completely isolated…but neither do I have hundreds of “real” friends (as opposed to hundreds of Facebook friends).

      The issue of making friends would seem to be related to the issue of commitment and the follow-through…something that us ADHDers definitely have problems with. To non-ADHDers…it looks like we’re just making promises we can’t keep and…before we know it…we’re losing a friend. But in actuality, we can sometimes have a difficult time with the follow-through. You should check out this post – Social Skills in Adults with ADHD – which is on CHADD’s National Resource Center website (See: http://www.help4adhd.org/en/living/relandsoc/WWK15 ) I think you’ll find that it addresses this problem.

      I was pretty shy when I was younger (you wouldn’t have guessed that based on my current personality traits) and, luckily, I had friends that understood I had issues (they didn’t know what they were and neither did I…but it expressed itself most often as “anger”). The friendship bond (for lack of a better term) was “loose” as opposed to “tight.” That is, I could engage/disengage when necessary and there were no hard feelings. They just knew that, well, I was different.

  • http://www.diaryofadogbiscuit.blogspot.com Jennifer

    I have been an avid reader of your blog for quite sometime now. In fact you inspired me to start writing my own. I was initially aimed at describing the process of starting a dog biscuit business, but has evolved into something entirely different as my focus often changes, ADD at its best, thus the name of my blog remains the same. The content has very little to do with the title. ADD again. Meaning to change that, SOON. Procrastination settles my mind to that action. I continue to write.
    I also have 2 kids with ADD, teenagers no less. Fun times. I write about that too. The anger issue comes up constantly as I am struggling to end a long suffering and thus doomed marriage of 17 years. no support whatsoever. Even in the best of times I find it difficult to manage my life…add 3 kids and it spells chaos. My soon, I hope to be ex is ADD too, undiagnosed, Spells FUN and a whole lot of ANGER. Would love it if you would read my rants. Let me know what you think. Feedback is a welcome reprieve from my current set of circumstance!

    • Jeff

      Jennifer, sorry for the delay in responding. Got hit with an unexpected new project.

      Thanks so much for reading my blog and thanks so much for letting me know that you read it. As you know…only a small percentage of a blog’s visitors actually leave comments so sometimes you wonder…who else is out there?

      Sounds like we should swap war stories, re: Anger. I think the danger, especially in light of the family/marital issues you are grappling with, is to color all anger with the ADHD brush. I’m sure there’s a lot of anger that, may be fueled to whatever degree by ADHD but which, in these circumstances, is more than justified. That is, any NON-ADHDer would also be in a rage.

      And I’m the one who left the “etch-a-sketch” comment on your blog.

  • http://addmsorboth.blogspot.com/ Scott Hutson

    ” I don’t want another F*!#@KING acronym attached to me” ….I hear ya Jeff. It’s hard enough to deal with the “Alpha”. So many of us, including me, have tried treating the symptoms before knowing the cause. It makes us(me anyway) angry when some ppl try to convince us that the symptom is the cause.

    • Jeff

      “symptom is the cause” – That’s putting the cart ahead of the horse.

      • http://addmsorboth.blogspot.com/ Scott Hutson

        Like I self medicated with whisky and it caused the reason I self medicated. Or something kinda like that. Oh I forgot, it also cause me to be a genius. ;)

        • Jeff

          I once heard a theory that goes something like this. Question: Why do people get smarter the more they drink? Answer: Alcohol kills brain cells. The smart brain cells move quickly…the stupid ones…slowly. So the alcohol kills off the slow brain cells leaving you with (drum roll please….) only the smart brain cells. That’s why you get smarter the more you drink. ;)

  • Denim

    Laugh out loud grasshopper!!! Do any of these adjectives, keen, perceptive, quick, acute, sharp, appeal to your sensiblities? From the first day our paths crossed on the world wide web I knew it. You were a HSC and are now a HSP no matter what YOU call it.

    Own it!!! You already use it!!!

    HSC = Highly sensitive child
    HSP = Highly sensitive person

    • Jeff

      Denim…I take the fifth amendment on this one. In fact…I never heard of any of those adjectives. ;)
      But seriously…I don’t need another acronym. I’m already an ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder); FC (Follically-Challenged); PM (Perpetual Masturbator…hmmm…maybe I shouldn’t include this in a “public” list); CA (Carbohydrate Addicted) Jewbacca.

  • http://18channels.blogspot.com Katy R.

    Clearly you’re referring to that “ADHD is about as glamorous as herpes” feeling. It’s fantastic.

    • Jeff

      Ah, yes…the glamor of herpes. One clarification is required. Are you referring to Herpes Simplex, Duplex, Split-Level or Center-Hall Colonial? ;)

      • http://18channels.blogspot.com Katy R.

        Why does it have to be so complicated with you Jeff. Why can’t you just have yours with mustard and ketchup like the other kids…no, no, not you. You have to have sauerkraut and celery salt too. Well I’ll tell ya what buddy…um…I don’t know.

        • Jeff

          I know…I can be annoying. But if you are going through all that trouble, put two slices of swiss cheese on top of the sauerkraut and then melt it in the oven.

  • http://www.ADHDRollerCoaster.com Gina Pera

    Jeff wrote: “Are you referring to Herpes Simplex, Duplex, Split-Level or Center-Hall Colonial?”


  • K9something

    First time here. I am in a rather frustrating and crumbled cycle right now, but watching one of your videos made me feel better for a while. It was because of both what you said about ADD and the Drake rigs behind you. I have a TR-3 and R-4A/T-4X twin. They are sort of my security blankets, but I try not to use it too much for that purpose.

    • http://jeffsaddmind.com Jeffs ADD Mind

      Ah…a fellow ham. I haven’t touched those rigs in some time. I need to fire them up again to make sure they’re still okay.

      And I’m glad you liked the video too.

      And welcome to the blog.

  • Dunna

    I cant yet -Im too angry.

    • http://jeffsaddmind.com Jeffs ADD Mind

      The anger passes…eventually.

  • Jimmyflatbush

    Your ADHD BS sells chemical poisons that kills children…


    • http://jeffsaddmind.com Jeffs ADD Mind

      Not sure I follow you. Are you saying that ADHD doesn’t exist or are you saying that ADHD does exist but that you object to the medications?

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