When I first envisioned what the addessories.com website would be like, I pictured a site where both adults with ADHD and teens with ADD and even children with ADHD could get ADHD tools, products, tips and yes, accessories for ADD lifestyles. The idea was that of the many books, magazines, websites and organizations for ADHD out there, there was, and still is, a lack of actual useable tools and products for helping with ADHD symptoms and making time management and organization easier for people with ADD.
For example, every book about ADHD or ADD article you read is going to tell you to do things like make lists, use reminders, and of course get a calendar or organizer to help you get more organized. Of course, unless you are incredibly un-self-aware (Whew, too many hyphens!) chances are that you already have tried tons of planners and calendars and lists and various organizational systems. If you were diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, chances are that you have desperately tried buying calendars and Palm Pilots and BlackBerries and the like hundreds of times in an effort to work better, organize better, and be a better husband, father, dad, wife, mother, or mom. After all, one of the symptoms of ADHD is not liking to be disorganized.
That is why I have started work (again) on the ADHD Planner which will be a calendar and organizational system specifically designed for people with ADD to use. Since no two cases of ADD are exactly alike, the ADD planner will be customizable based upon your particular case of attention deficit disorder.
What Is It Like Having ADHD or What Is ADD Really Like
Along the way, to creating my utopia of the best ADHD gadgets and top ADD tips and tricks, I’ve gotten side tracked.
Now, I know what you are thinking, and yes, I get distracted just like everyone else, both with and without ADHD. However, in this particular case, the distraction has been a bit of a good news / bad news sort of thing. The delay it has caused in making this ADHD website what I want it to be is the bad news. The good news is that much of the distraction has come in the form of increased work for my freelance writing business, which until I get all of these products created, manufactures, and sold, pays the bills.
However, there has been an unexpected distraction in the form of visitors to this website. They come here for many reasons. Almost everyone who ever lays eyes on this website for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder comes here via results for queries made on search engines. When that happens, there is a log of information that basically says what the keywords were that were used to search for ADHD or ADD. This is, of course, why I constantly shift between using ADD/ADHD and why I also try and spell out both acronyms at least once per post.
The really odd thing is that a lot of the traffic to Addessories comes from searches for things like:
- What is ADHD really like?
- What does ADHD feel like?
- Is ADHD a real things?
- How Do I Know If I Have ADHD?
- and so on…
The weird part is that this is isn’t really a broadly covered topic. Read any of the major ADHD books out there and you will get a clinical description of ADHD as well as a handful of what I have come to call either "Me too stories," or "Sob stories," depending on my mood. These are the "examples" or "cases" that the PhDs that crank out these books write about where a patient or client of theirs relates how ADHD has affected their life in some way.
What is almost always missing from these writings is an indication of what ADHD actually feels like, or what it is like inside the ADHD brain. I don’t know if this is due to the difficulty in describing it, or if it not scientific enough to relate in formal writings, or (if I’m feeling jaded) if the authors of these books really don’t know because they don’t really have ADHD or it is something very minor to their overall life.
Whatever the reason, people keep coming for answers about what ADHD is like in the real world, outside of the clinics and counseling sessions. Therefore, I will endeavor to keep exploring this avenue in detail and welcome your help in doing so. After all, I can only tell you what it is like inside of my brain.
With all of that being said, I think I may have finally gotten into words a key concept about what ADHD is like and how ADHD is different from everyone getting distracted sometimes.
As I have said in the past, and most ADHD authorities point out, ADD involves an unusually high level of distractibility on a chronic (on-going) basis, not just getting distracted sometimes by distracting things. Which brings me to my pseudo-epiphany which we will cover in more depth in the next post.
The difference between ADHD and regular distraction is that people with ADHD get distracted all of the time by things that are NOT distracting.
Put another way, ADDers get distracted by boring stuff just as often as they do by exciting stuff.
If you have ever brought home a brand-new DVD release that you have been dying to watch and ended up cleaning the dust bunnies you noticed under your TV stand instead, you know what I’m talking about. I needed to be reminded a half-dozen times not to use up all of the already minimal time we had for "date night" because I was trying to get a laptop to play the DVD onto the TV so that I could show her some of the new features in Windows Media Center. Instead of eating popcorn, laying on the couch, and watching the movie I desperately wanted to see (and which she has no interest in, but agreed to watch for me) I was trying to find the online manual for my laptop. Instead of fun, I was troubleshooting keys, software, and S-video cables.
In other words, I got distracted by something boring. That, my friends, is what it is like to have ADD.