Living with ADHD

woman looking at her phoneDo you ever walk into a room and forget what you went in there for? Or maybe you’re mid-conversation with someone and your head slowly starts turning towards the television, even though you’ve probably seen that same episode a thousand times. ADHD is kind of like that but with a million more distractions.

Sometimes from one room to another I’ll think of about thirty irrelevant and unrelated things, but I can only remember about 3 of them by the time I get to the next room and forgot what I went in there for. It’s really hard when someone asks me to do something in an hour or the next day, because I can be so focused and ready to do it when they ask for the favor, but an hour or a day later, I’m not even thinking about it. Sometimes when conversing with others, they are talking to me and everything is okay. But then they say one word or phrase and it makes me go on a tangent in my head. For example,  if someone is talking about how they got their cat a collar, and my mind could focus on the word collar and then I start thinking about why people wear clothes or put clothes on their pets, and it keeps going from there.

Then out of nowhere, I slowly tune back in to the conversation this person has been having by themselves for the last 10 minutes. I can’t stick with something for more than probably 20 minutes without getting bored, and it’s not that the task or the person themselves is boring. It’s that my mind just wonders off at the most random of times.

If a task is too time consuming it drives me crazy. And the worst part is that I can’t sit still. So it feels like there is constantly a battle going on in my head about whether I want to jump up and do something or just sit and let my mind race. And you’d think with someone’s mind that races about the most random ideas and unlikely scenarios I’d be able to come up with a conversation or even something to do when I’m bored, but it’s actually very difficult when it comes to self-entertainment or conversing with someone.  The best I can come up with is maybe some video games or a movie. And even those only last me so long.

One of the best ways I keep myself busy is through working. It’s easier when someone gives me a task, and I work in an environment where a lot of small tasks finish the overall goal, so I feel rewarded. I also like that because it doesn’t just feel like an ocean of work flooding in all at once. At the end of the day with the help of family and friends I manage to keep myself together. I’m a work in progress but I do a good job most days.

Paige Shepard is a member of Youth MOVE Massachusetts. Paige enjoys working with her hands and currently is a successful roofer. Paige also has a few pet cats who she adores and loves hanging out with her friends.