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May 14, 2024

Destination: ADHD-Town. Population: Me - a lived experience story

ADHD is my low-rent superpower. What’s yours?

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ADHD is my low-rent superpower. What’s yours?

Have you ever started to say something out loud and then your brain just stopped working? It’s like your brain is on the bus- one of those really old ones - and what you’re going to say is the destination lit up loud like a beacon above the windscreen. The bus guns the engine lurches from the curb and then ‘blink” the destination on the front goes dark.
This happens a lot with ADHD.
Strangely enough, you’d think the bus driver would know where the bus was headed anyway but they will likely have to stop and get off the bus and look at the destination on the front just to remember where they were going.
This feeling has happened to me more times than I would care to mention. My friends have come to expect it almost. I start a sentence and then … nup where I was going and what I meant to say is gone.
It’s like my mouth opened the door to the fridge but I forgot what I was looking to say in there.
I never thought it was ADHD - I thought it happened to everybody.

Have you ever felt yourself zoning out of a conversation or a movie? Usually, if the conversation is boring or the movie is particularly bad you can forgive yourself for losing interest. Your brain turns to other things in protest. But what if you had to listen to something important? Your friend is giving instructions on how to administer their epi-pen. Your boss is telling you an important process that your job relies on. Or it could even be lifesaving. Thank god I’ve never been skydiving. With my boss. While we’re both eating peanuts.

I never thought it was ADHD. I just called it “a chronic drift.”
“Sorry, can you repeat that? I was caught in a pretty chronic drift there”.

It never occurred to me it could be ADHD. I just thought, I wasn’t sleeping well, or I’d been staying up too late, or I’d been watching too much TV. Or my boss might’ve been… well… actually boring.

And I thought it happened to everybody.

Do you often get sidetracked? Like you open a spreadsheet at work and for a brief second you wonder… hmm who invented Excel? But even then; what civilization drafted the first spreadsheet? Why are they even called that? Why not; “number-farms”, or “space - maths”, or “the-busiest-flag-of-an-undiscovered-nation- whose-major-production-output- is-really-good- lists”?
And then you finally remember why you opened the spreadsheet in the first place but then it’s time to go home.
Some have called it “falling down a rabbit hole”. I just called it a “massive side quest”.
Turns out it was ADHD.
But I also just thought it happened to everybody.
Women are diagnosed with ADHD much later in life for many reasons, but also in alarming numbers.
At school, we probably got told we “talk too much” or “she only needs to apply herself” or “lacks attention to detail” when really it was just ADHD.

I was diagnosed at the age of 49, just a few months shy of my 50th birthday. A long way from the rambunctious schoolgirl with a “colourful” report card but better late than never. It’s been an illuminating journey and explains a lot about the woman I have become.

And it turns out ADHD is classified as a disability, but I don’t really see it that way. For a disability, it has often come in handy.

ADHD is probably responsible for my ability to remember irrelevant hit songs or dumb movie facts. In fact, I could even be your secret weapon on your pub trivia team. Just don’t ask me to work your epi-pen.

In all likelihood, it’s the reason I'm a chronic note-taker, I might look like I’m being efficient but in actuality, I will have forgotten most of what you’ve said in 5 minutes. But I’m here if you’ve forgotten it too. I’m the stenographer you never knew you needed.

And it’s also the reason why I often make jokes I mean no one underestimates a woman with a quick wit. Am I Right?

Lucky for me I ended up doing stand-up comedy. I mean who knew I could turn “masking my executive dysfunction” into big entertainment dollars? Am I right? Right?

Hello? Is this thing on?

So yeah, a disability it is, but I don’t think of it as my disability. It kind of feels more like my “weird, low-rent, least-applicable off-key” superpower. I like to think of it the same way a computer programmer does when the app they’ve just launched does something unexpected.

“No, it’s not a bug - it’s a feature”

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