By: Mike Tozer
Yesterday, I was thinking about how my ADHD is like my dog when she gets a bone. The moment she gets it she takes off like a bat out of hell. She will sit there and chew on it and will keep her eye out for anyone who is getting close to her. If anyone gets too close she will pick it up and take off. Eventually, though I always find the bone in the backyard abandoned.
Those abandoned bones are like a metaphor for so many ideas I have had my life. Be this, be that, do this, do that. At first I ferociously set on a course of action only to get half way done, sometimes not even that, usually returning back to what I was doing. It becomes so frustrating because the ideas are usually good ideas (not all of them of course) but many of them. Over the years I have improved in following through. I finally started a business venture that I kept putting off. The challenge has been remaining consistent and focused. It ebbs and flows right now, but I like that I am still doing what I set out to do.
What I have found difficult is to remain focused as the new idea wears off and the actual work begins. Usually, the distractions of my daily life begin to distract me from the task of following through. I find myself losing the motivation because of the daily life tasks. I find myself abandoning the bone in the backyard and then I feel bad about myself because I “failed” at another idea.
What I have found that when I get these ideas that I have learned my interest will falter because I have ADHD. I can’t hold my interest consistently. I have to pay attention to the times that motivate me and put forth my effort. I also have to remind myself to be careful to beat myself with that toxic club I have. Also, I have learned that I can do a little at a time as well until the interest returns. It’s okay that I lose interest because paying attention to the daily tasks are important. I just have to remind myself I will return to the idea and continue from there.
Eventually I am learning to go out in the back yard and find that bone and start to chew on it again. I find the bone has a different look to it, something I did not notice when I had it the time before. My interest returns and I am able to move forward again.
I have learned that my ADHD is not a curse, but it’s a gift. I am glad that I do not have to compare myself to those who do not have it. I am finding my own way and that is okay. It’s like Albert Einstein said, “Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” I have felt like a fish out of water for most of my life. I no longer have to judge myself this way anymore. Besides that, I don ‘t know how to swim!