Monday, November 7, 2011

Sometimes I Think I'm Normal and that ADHD/SPD Is Just In My Head Until...


There are times when I start to think that I’m normal and that SPD and ADHD was just in my head and that, in reality, I’m like everyone else.

I start to think that all those sensory issues I’ve had were just an exaggeration and if I wanted to, I could stop having them.

And then I have nights like Halloween night and days like yesterday.

On Halloween night, SPD shined and yesterday was when my ADHD, un-medicated, could not be contained.

Halloween night started with changing in schedules, the unpredictability of plans, and a few truck-loads of stimulation. After dinner we were told we would leave in some 9 minutes to check out Halloween on Bowen Island. This is after the entire afternoon, a Monday, had been all flipped around. A bike ride had helped keep me pretty calm.

Halloween on Bowen Island deserves a post of itself - it’s huge here. The biggest holiday they celebrate.

In the dark, flashing lights met my eyes as we wandered and there was a lot of bumping into people. I was doing fine, though, and felt ok. I sensed I could be getting off as I found myself charging on and feeling peculiar emotions, but blamed it on other things. The fireworks were loud and bright, but beautiful and I didn’t feel bothered by them. But it was the leaving, after the fireworks, that I started to feel like I was being overstimulated.

It’s like I have a stimulation limit - where it all builds up until I’m brinking on feeling dysfunctional. It’s like I’m trying, trying to be normal and not react, without knowing it, and using so much strength to do so and then the damn breaks and all lets loose.

The moment that damn was broken, I began to charge home - head down and legs extended. I pressed ahead of everyone, not saying a word. My mind was set on isolation and trying to re-achieve the calm. A serendipitous moment brought us home and raised the spirits a bit, but then the dirty kitchen brought on another wave of burbling in my body.

Melanie and I were the only ones at home, thank goodness, so I was still able to sort of function.

She got to work making “fantastic” (muesli) and I decided to tackle the mountain of dishes. One touch of the water and I flinched unvoluntarily. An attempt to start and I my hands shook.

I ran to the bedroom, grabbed my headphones and music and brought it back. Blasting out tunes from the Yesburger Band (thank you Devon) my nerves started to settle as they do when music is played. Two songs on repeat, I was able to start mastering the dishes - hyperfocusing to the best of my capabilities. I just had to  get them done and then I could skitter to the bedroom to isolation.

A full meltdown was averted, but it certainly was a wake up call.

“Margaret. You are not normal.”

I had begun to think that, maybe, maybe I didn’t really have SPD.
But I don’t see anyone else reacting like me to the chaos and dishes.

This isn’t a mournful re-realization. It’s sort of like you're on a road and for a while you forget what road you were on but then you see a sign that announces it out very loud and clearly.

As soon as people were coming home, go to my room I did and hermited the night away with my laptop. I tried to be social for a short bit (2 minutes, if that, be proud) before taking refuge on my bunk.

Blind-folded and ears safely covered, I slipped into sleep. My body relaxing, recovering, and repairing. Sleep, Maggie, sleep.

The next day, once again, my schedule was ever-so skewed. With childcare in the morning and child-sitting in the morning and studying in the evening, somehow I forgot to take my medication.

By the time I remembered, lunch, I think I could have taken it then but I forgot, once again, to take them and by the time it was time to study, it was too late.

My impulsive, true self was already in action during lunch. Speaking up without hesitation (luckily I don’t think I said anything I ought not have). Being me. Being Maggie.

It was time to study and that didn’t seem in the slightest bit possible. I set my books out... and then saw some thread. I tried. Failed. Tried.

Tea time!

I skittered to the kitchen, a bit discouraged, but there was a friend! I sprawled onto the kitchen counter and we spoke back and forth.

One of the members of the community had come back from a four-day trip away. He had unfamiliar facial hair - in the process of being startled by the abnormality of it, I hid my face (fight? flight? flight) on the counter. A quick hug with continued avoidances of looking - I felt like I was in elementary school again, seeing my mother were new glasses on (I used to be very distrubed when she would get new glasses).

Post-tea time, well, any attempt to work was still futile. I biked around the property, worked with photographs, and snatched up the opportunity to run across the entire campus yelling, “IN YOUNG! IN YOUNG! VISA!”

My brain was everywhere.
My impulses were uninhibited.

Small flails, talking to myself. Stuttering and the wandering around without a purpose.

Margaret - you have ADHD.

Don’t worry , I don’t mind. I just sometimes forget I have it. I don't consider myself a victim. I don't wish I wasn't who I am now.

Sometimes I think I am ever so normal, ever so like the others. And somedays I’m fine without medication or with stimulation.

But this evening and day, well, it was just a little pat on the head for me.

Today I’m all drugged up though and feel really mellow.. notice I just typed all of this out without any stopping or hesitation.

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