It is like the window at the local candy making store…a view into the mind. It is only me behind that glass…all of the equipment and machines and conveyor belts cranking out the candy faster than I can possibly box it appropriately. Usually I can handle it all with ease, moving with grace from one task to the other like dancers from Swan Lake…composed and calculated and getting the job done. Then there are those moments. The moments when I am frantic, chocolate smeared across my brow, and the famous scene from Lucille Ball cues up.
There is nervous and anxious energy that hangs in the air…I want desperately to gain composure in my mind, to organize, to reach once again, my familiar state of comfortable chaos. I am certain that everyone around me can see the distress playing out in my mind. I search for a way to distract others from discovering my franticness. I ask questions that I may already know the answer to, a stalling tactic of sorts…I fidget and look around for an external distraction that will surely reset my ability to gain internal composure. As I have said before, I cannot do one thing unless I am doing two. I have to engage both engines in order to take off…I am not a single engine plane. It is double or nothing. So I search for that filler to cover my nervous energy, a distraction in order to fill the time… the awkward silence. If you look close enough in this moment in time, a glimpse may be seen of my coattails as I dive down the rabbit hole on my latest tangent thought or genius idea.
A second or ten later, I am recomposed, put back together and ready to move forward. The view through the looking glass is much different now…all machines are running smoothly and all of the boxes of chocolate are neatly packaged with crisp satin ribbon. I have pulled myself together and am now able to attend to the real conversation that is happening.
This is a difficult characteristic about my ADHD…I feel anxious and ashamed at the thought that others really can see the inner workings of my mind and assume that the chaos they see is a sign of inadequacy, of lack of intelligence, or disorganization. Is this realistic…perhaps not. I have over time, developed various strategies that minimize the visibility of this scenario for me. It takes time, it takes growth, it takes trust and a lot of the time it takes a little humor!