Jun. 8th, 2011

pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
I haven't been able to focus on work today. Distracted by a program Stacey made me watch last night titled, ADD and Loving It on KQED. I found the format of the program annoying. The editing style was in this sort of cutesy sound-byte form. Which of course is right for its target audience but also vaguely insulting IMO.

More upsetting about the program was... Unlike many things where you read about it and some things are like you and some are not, I fit every single criteria for it. This shouldn't be a huge surprise because I was diagnosed as ADD by the school shrink when I was a child. However, my mother, being an inbred hick like she was chose not to let it be treated with medicine or counseling and I was happy to believe that there was nothing wrong with me and the counselor just didn't understand my brilliance and wanted to make me as dull as the other kids.

And that's the excuse I've run with for the past 30 years. There's nothing wrong with me. The problem is that most things are just too predictable and many things are tedious. It's true of course. Television, movies, and most books are all very predictable. Math is simple and follows a logical set of constructions and in many cases one can intuit B because they can see the pattern extending out from A.

It's false, of course because not everything is the same. People in particular. In math, 2 or even 3 points does not actually identify anything beyond a very simple pattern.

I'm great at a wide breadth of things. I can do the 85 or 90 percent but no matter how hard I work, I never get the final details. I never truly finish anything. More often I just declare things 'done' so I can move on to something else. It's easy to get away with this in art and sewing but anyone who's really looking can see that I could have done more and better.

I've learned to cope. Nearly all of the suggestions the program gave for making you more able to cope were things that I'd worked out on my own. Though a few of the more important ones, I'd only worked out in the past year and I'm still working on getting them nailed down. Still, depressing. I imagine who I could be if I could be my brilliant self all the time. That person is pretty amazing. I'd like to be her. I envy her. In fact, I did believe that everyone had the same focus issues that I do and perhaps I was even a little ahead of the game the past year because of the increased yoga and focus exercises I've been doing. But no. As per usual, I'm behind the game and just too stupid to realize it.

I think the most important thing the program did was point out how a whole batch of things were all related to the same root problem. Like when people are talking, I get about 4 or 5 words into what they're saying and then my brain is elsewhere even if I'm trying hard to listen to the person, even if I care about the person, I can't stay focused on them. Speech is too slow and crude a media. Internet is a little better because it's faster. When I listen to audio lectures I generally play them at 1.5 to 2x speed just so I can stay focused on them.

I also prefer to read tasks although often I miss data and must reread a piece several times to really get it. As I had matured and become more aware of the errors, I had just attributed the problem to the memory damage I suffered from the car accident and in truth that probably hasn't helped but the issue of focus is definitely another issue.

For my childhood, my family was really no help either. I apparently needed: Mental stimulation (which I rarely got), and order and a clean house (which I never got). And someone who gave enough of a flying fuck to help me work on it. (Ha) Once again I can't help but be resentful. My mother was not really qualified to take care of a child. Without the neglect and her superstitious stupidity (or sheer cheapness) I might have become a lot more than I am now.

But there's no point in playing 'what if'. Too much time, too much divergence, no possible way to make anything even remotely like an accurate and unbiased model. So.. I guess the question is, what can I do about it now?

I would like to be brilliant me all the time. I suppose I can see a psychiatrist about it, though that would cost time and money and I still have hang-ups about even though I've had generally good experiences with psychiatrists in the past. There's all this stuff about picking the right one and money and stuff. Also, I'm not really sure they'd be able to do much for me. They'd probably say 'keep doing yoga' and use post-it notes and all the other tricks I have for keeping myself focused but not really a net gain. I guess they could prescribe something but here again I'm not really comfortable with that idea. I am extremely wary of amphetamines being as they're both tolerance building and potentially habit-forming. OTOH, I must confess that when I am using modafinil regularly, I am a lot more focused. Albeit it's a sort of hyper focus which isn't really the same as truly focused.

Lastly, there's a bunch of awkward ego stuff that I'm really having trouble sorting out. I don't like taking modafinil because somewhere in my core I believe I should be able to make my body and mind behave correctly. I meditate stubbornly because I believe I can retrain my brain to behave correctly and I see drugs as a risky crutch. On the other hand... I have to admit that psychedelics did let me see things in new ways and that did help me figure out other stuff and in fact was part of what lead me to really examining my focus issues and trying to work out better ways to learn and study. So it's possible that some other crutch in the right situtation might help me find focus more easily so I can train my mind to do it on its own.

*sigh* Lots of stuff to think about and that's why it's so distracting. I have work I should really be thinking about right now and after that, I should be thinking about the construction project we are working on. Of course, if there is a core issue with the way I approach things (and I do know there is and I have been working on it) isn't that a higher priority than anything else because solving it might make all the other tasks easier? ... Maybe ... Except I know that there isn't a quick fix and any answers I can get are going to be slow, expensive, and require an allocation of mental resources and time. Not like I can put my life on hold for a few months to sort out attention issues but attention issues are very difficult to address in multi-tasking mode. Aaaaand... Reset to being upset that this wasn't solved 30 years ago. *sigh*

Anyhow, perhaps writing this down will let me pop it off the stack long enough to get some real work done. Or, like everything else, it'll just be the 80% solution and I'll decide that talking about it has been enough and seek professional help, choosing instead to continue to muddle forward on my own. :/

It's a lose-lose situation. Yay. :/

February 2012

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