Friday, October 29, 2010

ADD & Me

I've recently learned that I have ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder).  And while it is that knowing what afflicts you is helpful -- it certainly brings to light some of the reasons that I have chronically underachieved my whole life -- it is also, to my addled way of thinking, a tad bit detrimental. 

For example, I now have the added pressure of realising that so much of what has gone wrong in my life has been directly as a result of my scrambled brain.  So, not only do I have to make up for what I messed up, but I also have to correct my neuro-inheritance; i.e., the way my brain turned out because of my undesirable upbringing. 

Then, when I have accomplished that much, I have to set to work correcting my most important relationships: my marriage, and my fatherhood.

I feel dragged out, and beaten down by all of this.  I'm sure some of you out there can relate.

Something interesting has come of this for me, however.  Specifically, my wife commented to me a couple of weeks ago that "if [I'm] not thoroughly repulsed by the reasons why [my] brain has ended up the way it is, then [I'm] not ready to change." 

I'll admit that, at first, I was a little confused by what she said.  Why would I need to tread back over old feelings: anger, confusion, depression, etc. just so I could change my brain chemistry.  It didn't make sense.  However, as she explained more of what she meant, it became abundantly clear that she was right: I have to purposefully determine to reject any and all notions or behaviours that contributed to the reason why my brain has been disordered.  Until I do so, I'm not individuating from those occurences (e.g., childhood abuse), and I'm allowing myself the discomfort of keeping company with past shames.  Essentially, I'm living a shame-based identity.

Once my wife had explained this more, I felt a strange sense of liberty: it's okay for me to be really angry, to be pissed-off, unremittingly maddened about what contributed to my neurosynaptic misfirings, and deeply disgusted by how that has contributed to some fairly self-destructive patterns and underachievement.  It's not even unChristian of me to do so.  In fact, it would be entirely unChristian of me to deny myself and wish my condition away on a fanciful prayer or two.

No, no.  I have the work ahead of me.  And dammit!  I'm going to fix the problem and not leave this as another area where I've underachieved and self-destructed.

I love my wife.


justsomename said...

Wow! That was a powerful & honest post.
I would be careful with your use of the word "underachiever". What I remember was more like you practicing unsustainable overachieving and then beating yourself up when you couldn't maintain that level. The positive side of that strategy is that it has left you with some really amazing skills.
You can't run a sprint well and then be disappointed about not keeping the same speed in a marathon.
You're always an overachiever in my books.

Imogen Skye said...

Justsomename, I think that what you meant is clear, but just for future reference, an underachiever is someone who is achieving less than his/her potential. An overachiever is someone who is achieving *beyond* his/her potential.

Usually, the overachiever obtains results that are beyond his/her abilities and potential by being buoyed by the efforts and abilities of others or by circumstances. By contrast, underachievers obtain results that are below their potential and/or abilities usually because of self-imposed or externally enforced/imposed impediments.

So Kane meant that he is an underachiever expressly because his potential is greater than what he has achieved in his life so far.

justsomename said...

Imogen Skye - I guess if you look at it that way.
I feel like I was using the words in a different sense.
I suppose if I was using them in your sense, it would be rather a jerkish thing for me to call him an overachiever.
This is too deep now.
If I must reiterate, all I was saying is take the middle path because the path of moderate suffering is the path of least resistance. Better?
And I intended no rib or disrespect whatsoever.

ZAROVE said...

I would applaud you on this. I suffered from a deep rooted, and highly destructive, Anxiety disorder and severe depression, but I got to the root of it by confronting what caused those problems, and while it took a long, long time, eventually overcame the problems.

I believe you can too, but I warn you its often highly unpleasant and not always a fun ride. Still, the end result is amazing if you can embrace the Darkness, walk down tat path, knowing it get darker and colder still, but with the knowledge that the is light at the end of the Quest.

Kane Augustus said...

Zarove: Thank you for that encouragement. I really do appreciate it. And you are horribly right that it is a dark path; a path frought with thorns.

Craig: I'm sorry, I forgot to answer to your last response. Neither Imogen nor I took your comments as a "rib" or "disrespect". I think Imogen was simply pointing out that we have different understandings of what 'underachieving' actually is. And that is perfectly fine. So don't worry about our exchange: nobody is offended here at the St. Cynic household.