victory

Every day is a battle with a bombardment of thoughts, and many are good thoughts. Those who are closest to me know that there are moments when I get intractably frustrated, and that intractable frustration is directed at my self. I have difficulty finding things like my keys, phone and wallet. My office looks like Staples launched a nuclear paper attack on my desk. It’s embarrassing because, at nearly 35 years old, I can help you find the right primary source to answer your most burning liturgical question, but sometimes I can’t tell you where I left my house keys. (Its getting better though.)

Imagine, all your life, being told that you’re “messy,” a “slob,” or even a “pig.” Imagine growing up to discover that you are highly intelligent, perceptive, also keenly aware that you just don’t have that chip that others have. What’s most frustrating for me is that I know I’ve overcome many obstacles in my life, but for some reason, I just can’t seem to put things back in the same place, keep white shirts clean for very long, or have a clean desk.

The last 10 years I’ve been in treatment for ADHD, I’ve done some of my best work. I’ve gotten my credit to a better place (not perfect, but better,) finshed my Master’s and relocated. I no longer pile up clothes on the floor in my closet.
The last three years of my life have allowed me to discover strengths I never knew I had.

Among my proudest moments are the events & liturgies I have coordinated in my parish. There are many elements which have made them successful. First, my coworkers have been unwaveringly supportive. Second, volunteers have dedicated their time to see things come to fruition. The final contributing factor to these events have been my own self-awareness of my innate lack of organizational ability.

Granted, there is still a lone shoe in the middle of my living room floor, but this is an ADHD idiosyncrasy. Don’t mind me. Anyway, getting back to my lack of innate organizational ability…

The key to my success is the overcompensation for my embarrassing lack of organizational skills. When I relocated, I put all my documents in a binder, and when I went to transfer my license, clerks at the DMV commented that I was so organized. I laughed. That was the funniest thing anyone could have said because it was so far East of the truth it was actually West.

“That’s because I’m really not…” I explained. I was overcompensating, because if I didn’t, it would have been disastrous.

Today, we had a fun, exciting event with kids and families at our parish. I spent so much time making spreadsheets, analyzing the ages, grouping the kids with appropriate activities, tweaking and then retweaking the agenda, and timing the delivery of the pizza. I compiled instructions for everything. Very little was left to chance. It really flowed.

While I was finalizing details yesterday, I was reminded that my ADHD is a gift. It makes me a better liturgist. It makes a better pastoral practitioner. Because of it, I have to plan everything in advance. I have to write everything out before I speak. I have learned to be patient with myself and have some flexibility. I understand that sometimes, things happen, things don’t go as planned. I have learned the importance of a contingency plan.

My key to success is self awareness. I am confident in the flood of ideas that pour through my little blonde oversized brain. Sometimes, I can’t stop thinking. Othertimes, I overthink and then over think the over- thought– and I’m okay with that. My challenge is taking the time to close the floodgates and filter through the already existent abundance…

…Otherwise, I will sit and ramble incessantly and eventually tell you about how I’m an adult with ADHD and that I like avocados but I buy too many and then it’s like a produce casino and turtles and how I learned to drive stick but not mastered it yet and did you know that there is a species of banana called the Blue Ice Cream banana and did I ever tell you about the time I saw LL Cool J getting gas on Queens Blvd. when I was 7 years old…

Perhaps victory is not in resisting the battle, but in the surrender. Perhaps my victory is in allowing the thoughts to land, and taking time later to channel them towards their rightful places. Let me think about this…

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