Imagine yourself in a multiplex movie theater. Curiously, no walls separate the half-dozen theaters that form the multiplex. Miraculously, you are watching six different screens all at once, thoroughly understanding and enjoying every scene, word, character.
Welcome to ADHD.
[You in the Real World, be sure to click on the red underlined hyperlinks!]
Gasp! gasps Screen Five, a science purist. But we’re supposed to have just six. How can this be?
“Simple, really,” I respond. “Nobody took into account Attention Deficit (with Hyperactivity) Disorder.”
Six slaps his forehead. Or would, if he had one. “You’re right again!”
Wait a minute, protest both Four and Five, the strongest scientific screens. How does ADHD factor into time zones?
“It is its own realm, its own dimension,” I explain. “Time in an ADHD world obeys no rules. It can speed up, slow down, even disappear into a black hole and emerge intact.”
Six screens talk among themselves as I impatiently tap my toe and say. “Don’t have time for this, fellows.” Screen One laughs at my unintentional pun. I chide, “Pull yourselves together.”
“That’s what I’m talking ‘bout,” I exclaim, exceedingly clear-minded. “When you six separate entities finally find something that makes you focus intently, something that really draws your attention –
A pretty girl? asks Six.
A fascinating book? quizzes Five.
A first-rate meal? lipsmacks Two.
– you lose all track of time. And that gets ME in trouble. Why? Because I tell my boss, my brown-eyed bride, or a friend that what I’m doing now I will do only a moment more.”
But instead you get so engrossed you stay at it for hours! shouts Four.
“Yes, all while seemingly mere moments pass by.”
Got it! exclaims Five. This often happens when you’re writing, doesn’t it? You tell Miss Laura you’ll be at the dinner table in “just a moment.” But then you blow through your writer’s block and nine fingers type merrily along until suddenly she’s standing beside you, wondering why you’ve allowed her wonderful cooked meal to cool and lose its zip!
“Ha, ha,” I laugh weakly. “And that’s why I now set a timer. When that goes off, I know to get myself front and center pronto! It’s made a huge difference in our relationship!
Three laughs. But you repeat the mistake when Laura has nicely showered, dabbed perfume, thrown on soft, dangerous “slinkies,” then invited you to –
“Set two timers for bed,” I interrupt.
Time flies by in the Real World, explains Three, but in ADHDville, you think 10 minutes have passed.
Four agrees. Laura says she’s leaving the house to run errands and will be gone all day. You sit to type or study and, shortly afterward, hear her call. Stepping outside to learn why she came back so fast, you ask, “Trouble with the car?”
She shrugs. “I’m calling you to help me unload.” As Laura pops the trunk open, you whistle in amazement. “How’d you buy so many groceries that quickly?”
“Say, could we look at some other ways time is affected?”
That’s just it, Black, explains Five. Time isn’t affected. Only your perception is.
“More details, please.”
You always underestimate the amount it will take to complete a task. Sitting at your desk on these chilly Saturday mornings, you say, “Not worth turning on the heater – won’t be here long enough to make it worthwhile.”
Then Laura’s knocking on your office door and you stand up, teeth chattering and titanium knee aching from the cold.
You ask her what she needs and as she shivers, Laura says, “You. I need you, IceMan, to come eat.”
“Oh. Time for lunch already?”
“My turn, boys,” I say, flustered by their ready stories. “Here’s what you screens do to us.”
No need for nastiness, warn the six.
“In California, a young man of 20 has just heard me speaking about ADHD and waits to shake my hand. Since he’s the last in line, I relax and chat for a moment. Asking him if he’s ever had difficulties arise from his disorder, I hear the following tale….”
I’m walking to the kitchen when the phone rings. Since I’m the only one home, I answer the phone. It’s my girlfriend, and she wants to talk about some problems we’re having. So I lie down on my back on the soft rug and start listening.
After a bit, the doorbell rings. I put the phone down, run to the door and sign for a package from UPS. On the way back, I drop the box off in my parents’ room, then pass the piano. Or try to. The music book is open to a good song – I like the really fast ones – so I play it, then decide to tackle several others, some of which I sing along to as I pound the keys.
The singing makes me thirsty. I walk to the kitchen and pour a cold milk. Gotta have some cookies with it! Finally find ’em hidden in a cupboard because my mom knows I can’t stop with just a couple. Do you have a big appetite like mine? I wonder if we all do.
Anyway, I decide to take the cookies and milk to the living room to see what’s on the tube. On the way, I pass the phone, still on the floor, and shout, “Aughhhh! My girl!”
I bend down and press the ear against my phone, afraid she’s gonna blow like a volcano. She doesn’t, though. She’s still talking.
I think it’s cool we both have ADHD. Y’know?
Fifty examples of perfect timing
You’ve just run out of time
A time to heal …
Time to talk Teddy into this!