The Improv Playground of Deranged Spontaneity

Where thoughts run free…

A penny for your thoughtsI’m back at the keyboard trying to put together a sentence. Woo-hoo! Got one! Now, where do I go from here?

Down the page, of course, keyboarding my way through a bramble of thoughts.

Ouch! I wish they’d stop needling me. Yet, they continue pushing their prickly points. Bramble! Bramble! Bramble!

Translation: What’s trending on Twitter? Did the dog poop in the house?

Two tangential thoughts, different, yet similar: digital distraction and doggie dysfunction. Although, my arthritic dog’s prognosis is better than mine.

She lays on the rug in the family room, old and broken, a fixture of decline. Her gaze holding onto a moment.

I’m always, sort of, almost there — Butt on the chair. Thoughts up in the air.

Focus is a temporary condition as variable as the Comcast channel lineup, which changed again.

Comcast and I have a lot in common as I shift my line of thought to the next thing, away from the “this” thing–completing a piece of work and summing up what I don’t know yet.

Up seems to be the theme, as in “up in the air” where my thoughts float searching for an anchor.

Will they land upstairs in the shower or downstairs in Dog World?

The shower equalizes me, prepares me for the real world, while in Dog World, my thoughts run free chasing tangents.

I don’t know when they’ll come home again.

Guessing is as good as it gets. It’s my specialty, along with mind travel, to escape the voices in my head. Will they ever shut up?

And we’re back to the “up” theme. But, that will change.

We’re seesawing in the improv playground of deranged spontaneity. No rubber mats here to cushion a fall or audible hecklers. Only internal voices taunting me, vying for attention.

“Hey! Hey! Pick me!” OCD Voice screams.

“Forget her! She’s boring!” ADHD Voice says while spinning around.

Instead, I focus on the keyboard in an attempt to ignore them, but it’s hard in the silence of the house–the house always wins. If I stay, I lose.

I leave in a daydream and find a time when I mingled with people, not dogs–before I joined the ranks of the underemployed.

As a member of the “too many hours in the week club,” today is a non-working day of sedentary discontent, idling without a schedule to reel in ADHD tendencies.

I embrace distractions that lead me through a parallel world where time speaks softly from a faraway place. “Come back,” she whispers, in a tick-tock way.

Of course, I ignore her and continue corralling wisps of thoughts as nebulous as clouds.

Whoops! Another thought gone. Another thought wrangled, ends up on the page.

Every day is a contest between thoughts I catch and the ones that get away.

Is there flypaper for the brain?

This inquiring mind wants to know, as I meander toward the end, wondering when the last period will leave a mark.

Finding My Focus In Life And Writing

When you're ADHDI’ve always had trouble finding my way from Point A to Point B and often end up at Point Z.

With thoughts in a constant state of flux, the only way to anchor them is to purge them onto paper. If I didn’t write, my backed-up brain would need an enema.

It’s hard for thoughts to stay in one place when you’re ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). While flitting around inside my head, my thoughts are every place instead of where they should be–at my desk focused on writing.

Most days I curse the ADHD gene (my son has it as do brother 1 & 2). Yet, I do enjoy the creative component of the trippy brain bugaboo, the other Stooge-like stuff, walking into walls, not so much, “N’yuk N’yuk N’yuk.”

When my mother was pregnant with me, she didn’t send a memo to the birth procurement department asking for her daughter to be born with a circus in her head. The circus was part of the bundle my parents received when the nurse dropped me off without instructions.

I didn’t know that I had a circus in my head until the adolescent years when my thoughts traveled to distant places and followed the spotlights sweep across the tent.

Sometimes my thoughts played hooky from the circus and took a trip to the beach, usually Tahiti.

I return from a head-trip with my gaze fixed on the same wall I was staring at when my thoughts went MIA.

I say to Myself, “Myself, where was I?”

Myself finally responds after repeating the question several times.

“Sorry, I didn’t realize you were talking to me,” she says.

Myself and I have a lot in common. She has good intentions but slips up every now and then.

“You were working on a blog post,” she told me. “… You were in hyperfocus mode until you flew to Tahiti.”

Let me explain the ADHD trait known as hyperfocus, which is similar to hyperspace because you’re in the zone, a Get Smart-like dome of silence, but invisible and does not appear on TV.

When I’m in the zone, I can focus for hours, an ironic comorbid ADHD condition in which half my thoughts want to party while the other half want to work. While in hyperfocus mode, I don’t eat, shower or pee. My thoughts fuse to the computer and I write for hours (or cruise the Internet if my thoughts were out late partying the night before.)

Distraction and hyperfocus are the two most vexing attributes of ADHD. Of course, there are others: obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, lack of time-management skills, impulsivity, difficulty transitioning, i.e., etc.

On days I have an open-ended, schedule my thoughts endlessly pinball in my head as I try to catch them. If my thoughts can’t latch onto a point of focus, they disappear in the Bermuda Triangle of tangents where ships and planes are lost and a clock becomes a quaint mechanism of time.

When your body’s constantly catching up to your thoughts, time passes in a parallel dimension. One minute it’s 10 a.m., the next 12 p.m.

And you scream, “Holy Shit! I missed an appointment. That’s why many ADHDers use tools like timers and/or medication (Concerta, etc.) to manage their thoughts.

That’s what it is like to be ADHD, a lifelong condition. The traits don’t suddenly appear one day while you’re shopping for spaghetti. They’ve always been a part of you along with that birthmark on your ass.

Are you ADHD?

What tools do you use to manage the symptoms?