It Does Improve…Really…It Does

A s I write this I’m surrounded by one of the “markers” of A.D.D. – those ever growing “piles.” My desktop is covered with piles of paper and there’s also a pile on the floor. The dining room table has a pile though it’s not as high as the one on the floor. Still, after three years of medication and self-imposed behavior modification I’m noticing changes. They are not dramatic, they are not monumental (though to an they are monumental) but they are changes nonetheless. I noticed the changes by accident.

Last year one of my relatives bought me one of those page-a-day calendars. This one happened to have featured The Onion. I’ve gotten them in the past and usually I just looked through them a few times, put them on my desk and maybe, just maybe, every six months I would pull off a bunch of pages. But this time the Goddess Frontalobia [note 1] descended from the heavens and touched me (this is the only logical explanation I can think of) because, as I write this, the page for September 5 is staring me in the face. [note 2] In fact, what I noticed was that, for the most part, I was keeping up with the ritual of tearing off a page each day. Sure there were times when I missed a day (sometimes a whole week’s worth of days!) but, miracle of miracles, it did not sit there and languish. I really kept up with it…and it didn’t require self-flagellation or wearing a hairshirt. Nor did I dread doing it. I actually LIKED seeing the progress. And in a small way, what has really changed, is my ability to visualize time. (Contrast this with an earlier post – The Tyranny of Now which describes, in short, my inability to visualize time.) Now that seems like a gift from the gods! I can see time as chunks that I can grasp and manipulate, that I can feel and act upon. It is no longer a blur that rushes past (though there are days that it is nothing but a blur and it is only in retrospect that I realize how much time has suddenly passed) but something that I am living in. [note 3]

Again, the changes are small but small changes have a cumulative effect and that is also something I have begun to visualize. I’m seeing how today’s actions translate into tomorrows completed actions which become the basis for another set of actions with all of them propelling me forward.

I noticed that for the first time in my life I maintained a daily planner where I record upcoming business meetings and related information. [note 4] Of course I can have weeks when I don’t use it much and times when I have completely ignored it and need to bring it up to date…but, unlike in the past, I have not abandoned it altogether. It has not become another dust collector!

I’ve also been paying bills on a consistent basis. (Contrast this with an earlier post – A.D.D. Money Blues.) Admittedly, I pay them at the last minute but at least it’s the minute before they are due…not after. Now my thoughts are haunted by my need to pay them on time as opposed to how long it has been since I missed the payment deadline.

How did these changes come about? The atheists among you probably do not believe they are a result of my being blessed by the Goddess Frontalobia. Yet it is the only logical explanation. After all, it can not be possible that the change is the result of simple determination, a willingness to allow for failure and not become depressed by it and the willingness to try again. How can such small things as maintaining an appointment calendar result in real change in my very being and, as a result, real change in my circumscribed world? How can scribbling little notes in that calendar (or scribbling blog posts?) effect any change? That such small changes – putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) – can effect the way I feel, that it can alter the very fabric of my life, can only be described as a gift from a Goddess.

[updated one hour after posting]

As a result of writing this post…I forgot to prepare for my 8am meeting. Oh well…looks like “improve” does not mean “cure.”

  1. The Goddess of the frontal lobe and adjoining hemispheres.
  2. Yes, this being written on September 5th.
  3. See this post, Getting Beyond A.D.D. Paralysis and the link to Koretsky’s newsletter.
  4. In fact, that planner is now approaching its birthday…it is almost one year old!
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