MENTAL HEALTH | ADHD | DISCIPLINE
Is This How the Mind of Someone with ADHD Works?
Or it’s just laziness?
The moment I start off this sentence, I want to be doing tens of other things instead, but this is not the issue. The issue is that this happens to me whenever I’m doing one of those things I want to be doing.
It’s been years since I feel disconnected from myself. Even when I write, I’m not fully here, this is why I cannot penetrate deep into the concepts I want to portray with my words. Instead, I get lost wandering and whenever I ask my brain to get back to the topics, he gives me a confused look ”I…I…I’m here!” and continues with a shallow presentation of what it sees.
I’ve tried guided meditation so far, and it has helped me a little, but even during those sessions, I get easily disconnected from myself. Points in time when I’m really present are a matter of seconds that slip fast and I try to forcefully retrieve them.
However, this state of my being, which medically may be called ADD or ADHD, according to my doubts and research, is responsible for causing me some weird patterns of thinking. (A complicated way for saying that “I’m responsible for all this mess and still haven’t found a way to figure it out”). It causes these patterns of thinking which led to weird decisions or ideas.
For example, when I’m researching, my mind clings to one word, and it sticks to that one until I research its meaning. Thankfully, as long as I’m all alone writing and reading, this is fine. I can take the time to look up a word.
But what happens during conversations? Whenever I’m making my point, all the information vanishes, as if my mind is playing golf on a corner of the brain without giving a damn I’m stuck here!
It’s a state of wanting to be somewhere else and when you’re there, wanting to be somewhere else!
And it’s painful sometimes. It’s there when I’m hugging my parents to listening to their jokes. It devoids me from being present and the only way to bring love is by trying to connect with memories.
What Happens When I Try to Complete Simple Tasks?
Let me take you through the process of writing on Medium.
I went to share my publication on Twitter. As I copied from notes what I would post, I went to copy the publication link. I thought that there should be a way to share the article directly from Medium without copy-pasting links, but I didn’t find such a button so I decided to leave it.
“Anyways, it’s not that important. I don’t have much activity on Twitter.”
So I jump back to writing another article.
As I was writing I wanted to find a subtle synonym for the word contemplation. So, I visited WordHippo. While searching I thought of bookmarking the website since it’s quite helpful. So, I bookmarked it but it didn't show on the browser’s top bar. Having it there is practical.
So, to do this, I have to delete a few sites my cousin has bookmarked. She is a programmer, and I’m interested in programming so before deleting these bookmarks I check if they cover any interesting topic. While deleting them I find this article on star patterns.
I click. I’ve always wanted to learn how to create such patterns, but whenever I read a piece of code it was so confusing. I never read it to the end.
So, I try to read this code, but I’m struggling to understand it because I haven’t read much on this topic since two years ago. It reminds me of an article I was writing the previous day about learning and how lack of reading brings the most struggle. Maybe I should go back to finish the article, but no. Now I’ll read this code and understand it, which is exactly what I wrote in the article.
So, I read the code. Hmm, what if I run this code and see how it works? I search for an online editor to run it quickly. The first editor I find it says “error”. So, I open Sololearn, maybe this works if I run on their playground.
I completed a few courses on Sololearn when I was studying programming, and I know that their editor hardly failed. While scanning the menu I see that they have a blog section as well.
“Oh, they have blogs. Maybe I can write about them. Let’s check their outlines.”
I click to read this article about software engineers and imposter syndrome. I go halfway to it and then I think. “What does imposter exactly mean by the way”. So, I Google it. Then, I get back to the article. After I finish I notice a small option in their foot menu that says they’re hiring.
“Oh, maybe they're hiring writers.”
I can make money while writing about coding and develop my coding skills further too. It would be great if I worked at Sololearn.” Their career page is quite interesting. I read the page and see the pictures. I examine how it’s written, with a copywriter's eye and then I click on open positions. I see that their URL goes like this: https://sololearn.bamboohr.com/.
This means that Bamboohr is a job posting platform. Nice, maybe I should check it out. I might need it in the future since I plan to work in HR roles. However, I resist the temptation and click on one of the job descriptions about a product manager. They seek experience with Python and its libraries.
Oh, Python. I’ve always wondered what are all these libraries for. I resist the temptation to search because there are too many of them. Maybe I should continue my Python course. I resist the temptation. I must finish the article.
Wait, let’s run the code first. I click one of the codes posted on their playground. It’s quite interesting since it finds the day of the week you were born on. I run it, and try to understand the code. However, it’s in C++ so I leave it and paste the copied code. It shows an error again.
My efforts failed and I’ve wasted so much time! I think I have ADHD definitely, so I continue to finish this article. As I get to this point and recall each action, I understand why the code didn't work. I pasted it into an editor that was in C++. The code is in C. Damn. I go back and search for an editor that runs code written in C. I paste the code there. It works!
Now what? It’s been more than two hours since I sat here to finish this other article on Medium. Okay, let’s go back. Enough with this. What I was doing? Uhmm, I was cleaning the bookmark section. Back there. I promise I won’t get tempted anymore.
Shit! There was an option to put my bookmarked website directly on the bar without having to delete anything! Oh, my! I lost so much energy during the process. Now, I have to finish this article, and then start with the client’s articles.
However, I want to justify the time I spent understanding the star patterns so now my mind wrestles between heading back to the article or trying to understand the star pattern code. I went so far anyway.
Back to the code. I search on Youtube first. Only videos in Hindi pop-up.
I search on Google. There are only code examples. No explanation of the function.
Why I’m learning this anyway? Well, the function is quite similar in the other programming languages I want to learn. Matrices exist in Python too. So, I notice a pattern in the output. I search for a notebook…but.
“Wait! I must check What’s App.”
I left my phone at home so I could ‘focus better’ on work so I need to make sure nothing urgent has happened. There’s a message from my friend, asking me to meet. He’s in a bar nearby. What do I say?
Well…I told him that we could meet two days ago. Plus, I want to ask him how his sick relative is because he hasn’t been much active these days on Instagram, and in his last article, he expressed his sadness. It’s better if I ask him in person.
I also can work there, right? Plus, I’m excited to show my friends about analyzing my work process and my doubts about ADHD. So, what do I say?
This happened within four hours (10 AM — 2 PM).
Final Thoughts — My Friend Says I’m Just Lazy
Chances are that he is right. After I showed him my doubts he advised me to keep fewer tabs open on my browser and declutter my workspace. That was a piece of valid advice. It helped me for some time. However, even after that I still find myself trapped in a similar process.
This realization hits me and I’ve put different names to it. Maybe it’s writing that I don’t like and I end up in rabbit holes like this. Maybe it’s because I have never been disciplined other than when I was in front of tight deadlines. Even then, I decided to sleep and let fate take care of things, promising that I’d punish myself with disciplined work if things went bad.
Rarely did they. I guess I’m lucky.
The other thing that I point fingers at is that I don’t do many things for fun and that’s why I seek to follow my curiosity for that dopamine hit. I mean, I don’t play video games, watch movies, or do anything else except stay on social media (until it eats up all my time and I delete it), or meet friends, and try to help them with their interesting projects. That excites me.
However, I’ve tried to watch more movies, play games, read more books and watch some comedy (open to suggestions). Whether this is ADD/ADHD or I am just lazy doesn’t matter much in my opinion. I’m confident that I will conquer it with more discipline, meditation, and tighter deadlines.
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