…my brain on a Monday 

  
“This is your brain…this is your brain on drugs… Any questions? “. You may recall this powerful Public Service Announcement funded by the Partnership for Drug-free Kids. It ran in 1987. This ad has always stayed with me… I’ve created many versions of this PSA in regards to my own brain…some are quite funny and some…well not so much. 
Today’s brain PSA….
AND…this is my brain …on Monday! 

Did you see that shirt I just had? Where’d my pants go? I just had them are you kidding me? Is that my phone? Can someone shut the alarm off?  Anyone? Hello? Ok…found pants…where’d my shirt go?

Never mind I will shut the alarm off… Thanks though! 

Coffee water is heated…start making it…

Recycling has to go to curb…why is it cold out?

Shirt? Do we have zip lock bags?

“What day is it? A or B? ” she inquires…

Huh? I have no idea…brain frantically searches…am I supposed to know this? Did I lose that memo? 

I ask…what do you mean? (Even though I have quickly figured out that she means that she wants me to open the app on my phone and find out for her)

Ok… Where are my shoes? Where are your shoes? What the hell is my name? Oh yeah phone… Where’d I put it? 

Umm…”I don’t even know where my phone is” of course I find it…and I look up what day it is…I don’t know if it’s A or B … But you have English 

Did I make my coffee? Have to bring the compost buckets out.  Was that the microwave?  Wait a minute… Where’s my phone?  Is that the recycling truck I hear? 

Should I start the car? Zip locks? What am I going to pack lunches in? There’s my shirt! Is the water hot enough to make my coffee? Yay! A new box of zip locks! Excellent! Two lunches to pack… Coffee? Did I start the car yet? 

“I can’t find my fleece!” Hmmmm. My brain scans to visualize where I last saw that fleece… Maybe the stairs? Must pack those lunches… Oh the water is hot again…start the coffee… Fleece?  Did I forget to buy creamer? 

“I can’t find my iPad”…. Couch? Kitchen? Fleece? Near the backpack? Wait a minute! The fleece is right here…  The fleece was found and the search party wasn’t called off.  Not a surprise! 

Lunches!!!! Finish making coffee. iPad? Where did you use it last ? Searching….searching… Is it in Dad’s office with your bass? No! Ugh! Ok…lunches done…is this my coffee? Can someone see if the car is started? 

“The cat? Mom we don’t have a cat! ”  sigh… 

Why????

 (Insert expletive here) … What? “My iPad was underneath my backpack the whole time! Can we go? Mom I’m going to be late”

Really? REALLY?? REALLY???!!!!!

Sigh… This is 15 minutes of my Monday morning… Today’s coping strategy? 

  
This has been a public service announcement from my brain on a Monday…

…swallowed up

…the trumpet sounds …troops recalled to battle

startled and staggering they arrive as the territory is bombarded and overtaken

anxiety soars …immobilizes

although their location remains unchanged, stunned they are to be once again called up to serve

certain they were, after the last time, that this war was over…

at least it was the resounding hope…

the jaws of depression closed around me….and swallowed me up once again

…and I am left to wonder how I will emerge this time …

…sidelined

Sometimes I feel as though I am living life sidelined…

I am stuck …benched…knowing in my heart I am capable, intelligent and even fun though I find myself sitting out, opting out, paralyzed and defeated .

I am willing to jump up… To support and to play, to give it my all. I cannot seem to initiate leaving the bench, my stomach in knots, consumed by the weight of a thousand sandbags…

I want to rest… I’m tired…my enthusiasm meter reads zero, my affect flat, motivation evasive…as though I myself am not enough to rescue.

My mind is muddled and foggy, scanning like the fm tuner for something that will boost me… Wake me… usher me from the bench on the sidelines where I sit…

looking for time…

Waking up early for more time in the day… More time to do more…

Rushing to get it all done or just shutting down and avoiding it all together because that just seems easier…

Overwhelmed by it all… Closing up even more and retreating as time slips faster into the darkness of my curled up self…

Taking the first step…being brave… Mornings first deep breath and stretch, I find thankfulness for waking…

I pause…and breathe … and grow…and awaken to the quiet, find comfort in it, restoration in it

I hear birds outside and inhale the richness of my freshly brewed coffee… Has it ever smelled so good?

This moment of pause becomes the foundation of my day… In this moment of pause, I have gained time …somehow stretched my minutes, and enjoyed it… I inhale the truth of Be still…and know …I exhale and sink into this cozy place

God whispers to me in those moments and He says just what I need to hear…’ You do not need time to do more… You need more time of doing less’

…what…why…how…

…so part of my amazing ADHD brain allows me to become incredibly bothered by rather benign things.  One of these things, for instance, is seeing random single shoes, sneakers, sandals, flipflops, boots…you name it, sitting along side or even in the middle of the road.  This makes me absolutely NUTTY!  Everytime I see it, I think to myself ‘what is happening’?  I really get annoyed at why a random piece of footwear is just there.  AND HOW did it get there?  Do people NOT notice they are missing a shoe? Where is the other one? Is there a band of menacing people that do this just to mess with me?  I really and truly ‘DO NOT get it.  It irks the daylights out of me…no exaggeration! (Just ask my family…)  So this past Sunday morning we were on our way to church and I had just done an overnight so perhaps I was a bit tired.  All of a sudden there it was…the rebel black boot…it was even furry and had pom-pom tassels…SERIOUSLY?  It bothered me so much that I mumbled about it  all the way to church and even more so such that on the way home, I insisted my daughter use my phone to take a photo of it… I drove down the same road on my way home the other night and guess what?!  IT IS STILL THERE!  aaaaaaaaaaaggggggggghhhhhhhhh!

Image

Can you relate?  What really irks you?

…through the looking glass

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!