Monday, July 22, 2013

The Issue of ADD and Taking On Too Much

I've previously talked about this thing I call "Too Many Interests Syndrome."

It seems like it might not be as "bad" if only I was able to take all those interests, hold the trains of thought, and then carry out the ideas to their natural conclusions. In fact-- in some fantasy world-- I think that would make me a marvelous, interesting and stunning human being with lots of interests.

Alas... not how it works. Having "too many interests" seems to do little more than set up a breeding ground for eternal sidetracking.

This morning, I was looking at my pile of loose "to-do notes" and trying to sort them. And the thing is... I have eight "categories" of things I feel like I would like to get done, today. I don't merely have "40 things" on my overall list, all clustered around one common theme (which is what I imagine neurotypical people do)... oh no, I have odd bits and pieces clustered around eight different "themes."

So even if I were a "focused" person, I'd still be "wandering all over the place" in order to keep up with what I find interesting... even if there were NO sidetracks involved. And just looking at the eight piles gives rise to a little anxiety, because I am acutely aware that I will be "wasting" time, trying to get my brain to switch from one "group" to another... it's that "losing my place" thing, again.

Anyway, it all makes me ponder whether "too many interests" is the common theme among those living with ADD/ADHD. In other words... we don't even start with "simple" minds; we start with something already complex (and potentially cluttered) and then derive ADD from there.

The irony is that there is actually a certain "compulsiveness" involved here... almost like I am a "hoarder" of ideas and concepts. I say "irony" because I actually love simplicity. There are few things I like more than having a day where there is "nothing to do." Unlike many, that would not make me all antsy and bored. And that's perhaps one of the "weirdnesses" of my life that made me question whether it was even ADD that was affecting me. After all... I once went and spent two weeks at my aunt's summerhouse in Denmark-- where there (literally!) was "nothing to do" but sit in a lawn chair and read. And with all the distractions of life absent? That's precisely what I did... and quite happily.

It may sound completely implausible (and like a lie) but I am actually a BIG fan of "voluntary simplicity" and it's one of my aspirations in life. I'm just failing miserably at it...

What's the point?

Sometimes it feels like I actually create the "distractions" in order to scatter myself all over the place to "pursue" them. It's almost like a "cart before the horse" issue-- I'm ADD because I take on too much. The issue isn't "ADD" but "taking on too much."

There's probably no scientific validity to this line of thinking.... but just putting it out there.

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