Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Everyone's Normal Until You Get to Know Them

What is normal? As kids we think we's whatever we grew up with. That was our normal. Then we get to school and compare ourselves to others and television to figure out yet again what normal is. Was it designer jeans in the closet? (Showing my age here...) The brand of shoes on our feet? Having the latest technology? At some point I remember a kind of shock to learn that not everybody had a fully stocked bar in their house. Everyone that I knew did (well, their parents did), and my neighbor had a tap. It wasn't odd for some of my friends to have wine with dinner, because in their cultural upbringing it was the acceptable thing to do. It wasn't until later in life after witnessing a few jaws drop that I came to realize not everyone grew up that way.

After Hubby came home from work today I showed him the results from the ADHD test. He found it a bit humorous and said it 'explained some things'. Since he's known me for a long time, I asked him to be the second opinion. He answered the statements and scored it how he saw me...until question 17.

There is a lot of 'static' or 'chatter' in my head.

Besides not having a telepathy helmet, he was baffled by the statement. Completely lost. I understood what chatter was without looking it up, because it's something I can't get away from.

Me: You mean you can turn your brain off anytime you want?

H: Yeah. (said matter-of-factly, with a 'Why can't you?' tone.)

Well I can't. It's always been that way, so I don't see it as anything but normal. I don't understand how someone can will their brain to turn off. Perhaps that's why I'm a night owl. Engage my brain to exhaustion, then there won't be a lot of time between hitting the pillow and sleep, thereby circumventing it. Because maybe I can't shut it off, but I can direct it. Which brought us to this statement:

My thoughts bounce around as if my mind is a pinball machine.

Hubby couldn't comprehend this one either. Probably because he can will his brain off. Something, anything from whatever environment I'm in will trigger a ping in my brain and connect it to something in my memory, which will in turn ping and connect it to something else, then something else, then something else. There are rational connections, but unless you were there you probably wouldn't understand them. And to explain it? By the time I've ping-ed about 5 times only a few seconds have passed.

Now a simple online quiz really doesn't say much, other than call the doctor I can't afford. I've been down the ADHD route with my son, who was completely misdiagnosed. The medicines they kept trying nearly bankrupted us, which amounted to teachers attempting to force compliance out of a bright child who simply wouldn't tolerate their busy work. So after witnessing the process, I'm leery of the whole thing. It reminds me of the depression medication. So for now I'll do some more reading, see if this fits (or I'm just really off my rocker), and look into attempting the 'lifestyle' and 'organizational' changes that supposedly help. Of course if I could do those things, I probably wouldn't be here today in the first place.


Kakunaa said...

Rys, the brain pinging is seiously the best way I have heard the never-ending brain chatter explained. Someone says something, and a split-second later I respond with something that seems completely off-topic...but my brain just pulled a quantum leap to get there. I WISH I could turn it off. As for meds, when I was on meds recently, and this could also be anxiety related, sedatives would shut me down...but I think only physically. Couls some of the symptoms fall under an anxiety disorder? Not any better, but often many similar symptoms....

rys said...

Hi Kakunaa, I looked at the symptoms of anxiety disorders, and holy cow! They have a symptom for everything! It was a mighty long list. I can see where your train of thought was going, given the depression. But having read others' experiences of what their panic attacks were like I can say thankfully I've never experienced anything like that.

Some days I wish I could turn the chatter off. But it's also been the source of some great ideas. I write those in a notebook for use someday.

Kristin said...

Honestly hon, you don't have ADHD. You are just an engaged, thinking person. My brain works in a way very similar to yours and I sure as shit don't have ADHD.