I have decided that I am ADD and have been all my life. In the first place: Why not? Everybody has to have something to explain their screwups and I have decided that Attention Deficit Disorder works. I mean, I know I’m not autistic and Asperger’s and I are strangers, so until Alzheimer’s sets in I’ll blame my lapses on my newly diagnosed (by me) condition.
And the second reason is: No, wait, I’ve lost focus here. Never mind about the 2nd reason. Must not have been paying attention.
Actually the ADD aspect of my life has nothing to do with my intelligence since all tests on me have indicated I’m in a pretty decent ballpark in the little grey cells department. So, when it came down to dealing with certain realities of my history I could only conclude a couple of possible causative factors. One, I was dead lazy. And the other was I have ADD. Woo-hoo, a diagnosis. Now I needn’t run around making apologies.
For something to work with me in regards to learning, two elements must come into play – again with the ‘two’ – one, it must interest me (or be made interesting to me), or two, there must be a reward at the other end. That means I’ll learn how to accomplish a skill or task if there is reward at the other end like: a job, payment, a skill that gives me pleasure, and so forth.
It all began in my early school days – most evils do. In school I found there were things that interested me, like reading, writing, social studies (especially historical stuff), biology that involved raising tadpoles or something else dynamic. What didn’t interest me was anything that involved numbers. I wasn’t too dumb to learn my sums, I just couldn’t be bothered. I was bored. Even the rudiments of matters mathematical did not catch my attention so I would zone out. I zoned out for years. I zoned out until I failed senior math in high school and that could have been a distinct impediment to my getting into a university. I wanted to get into university because there you could study stuff you wanted to and also there were coeds there. I liked the concept of coeds with all their fine nubile attributes.
So, I worked hard and, partially due to the fact I (finally) had a good math teacher who made the concept interesting – as in, he actually caught my attention and thwarted my as yet undiagnosed ADD. And I sailed through with top grades.
Actually, the coed propensity began well pre-coed but it did involve girls and if anybody can cause my ADD to kick in full force it is a female. Why concentrate on anything if there are girls around?
Due to my ADD – hey, if it’s a reality, I’m going to blame ‘everything’ on it – I was a chatterbox in elementary school. I was disruptive because I preferred nattering to long-division. I got sent into the hall a lot as a consequence of my misbehavior. In third grade my teacher uttered a threat to me: “If you don’t shut up in class I’m going to make you go and sit with the girls!” she warned. That was supposed to be mortifying to me. It was the opposite. I liked the girls in the class. Not that I was effeminate at all, but I found no implied insult in the threat. And she made good and sent me over there. I liked it more than my situation before and within a few weeks she had to admit defeat and put me back where I was.
To this day I tend to ignore things that don’t catch my interest. While I worked as a journalist for many years scads of newspaper items don’t catch my attention. I’ll read the lead paragraph and let them go at a glance. I can also ‘speed-read’ fairly effectively, so sometimes I’ll do an overall scan if it seems like I ‘should’ be interested.
So, I’ll blame it on ADD. Or maybe I’m just lazy.