I watched this poem and started thinking… so much of that sounded like me.
I grew up trying really hard to be organized and neat, but something about everything in its place just doesn’t work for me. I learned to create landing pads for certain types of items (wallets, keys, homework), because then I always knew they’d be in Location A, B, or C.
I put off homework. I just got lucky and ended up really smart to boot, so no one could tell. The paper was written the night before it was due, but my English skills made it seem well-written and thoroughly researched. My ability to skim the text we were supposed to read during the roll call let me pull answers that sounded intelligent out of my ass.
I don’t finish anything. Ever. Not the novel(s) I’ve started, not the creative projects half formulated, not the spiritual path work I’ve begun. I’ve learned to let myself move onto the next thing, because everything moves in circles and I’ll be back at it again eventually.
I learned to make myself lists on my hand to avoid forgetting things. If I’m supposed to remember it for more than five minutes, whatever “it” is will be in writing in my phone or on my hand.
I’m very creative, and stories run through my head all the time. I’ve never looked at a person and not imagined them into a back story or unseen plot. Do you know how many supernatural creatures live in small town Texas? None, but you wouldn’t know that if you took a peek in my head.
I was never tested, medicated, or otherwise treated like I had a learning problem. Instead, my habits in third grade had me tested and placed into the Gifted and Talented program. There, we sat in classrooms creating inventions to solve societal issues like traffic and crime, mapping the surface of the moon, learning to build a computer, and recording radio shows complete with sound effects and commercial breaks. The non-traditional environment (once a week) helped us all to feel less held back by our grade-level coursework on a regular school day; after all, we knew we’d escape on Fridays to a day of exploration and creativity.
Everyone else in my household (three other adults) has been diagnosed as ADD/ADHD, and medication was the automatic suggestion. Have you ever heard a positive story involving the medication of a student with ADD/ADHD? Sure, the teacher gets a little less energy bouncing around the classroom, but I’ve yet to meet a diagnosed person who appreciated the choices adults made for them. I wonder… how would they have reacted if given the same opportunities that I was given? What if they’d been given an outlet instead of a grounding wire?
We’ll never know, but I can at least be prepared for the same situation in my future. I’m about to try for my first child, and ADD/ADHD is considered relatively hereditary. That means my children have a very real, very solid chance of being just like us.
I’m okay with that.