Yes, it’s true. I have a t-shirt that says, “They say I have attention deficit disorder, but they just don’t understand… Oh look! A Chicken!” After I laughed about it and had to admit to my own funny failing, it was time to look at why I am the way I am.
I was A.D.D. before we even had a name for it. Sitting still casually in class was not quite painful; but it did ache like one of those spots on the heal of your foot that you can’t quite scratch, but really want to and know that if you take your shoe off everyone will know, a few will even pass out from the noxious fumes wafting up from your Reeboks. I can vaguely remember times when I was sitting there – half-listening to the teacher – wondering why that bug wanted in the window. Would it find a way in through the little hole in the screen that I put there when I threw a pen at a moth the other day? But that was so long ago that it doesn’t really play a role in today. I mean, last week doesn’t count does it?
As I look at my new granddaughter, a basic explanation for A.D.D. comes to mind. A.D.D. people don’t want to grow up. I have heard it said that growing older is mandatory, but growing up is optional. Personally, I don’t really want to grow up. Think of all the fun we get to have if we stay child-like. Playing with Tinker Toys one second, using an easy bake oven the next, and then swinging on an adult’s arm after that, is not only acceptable it is commendable. Why can’t I do that? I love to play with Tinker Toys. It has nothing to do with the fact that I asked for Tinker toys for my birthday and got these things called Legos that were supposed to be even better than Tinker Toys – which I never, ever got as a child and bought for my children so they would not have the same emotional trauma that I had to live with for 26 years before I had a set of my…I mean theirs. But I digress. (A.D.D., go figure.)
Do you have to be A.D.D. to be creative? Some people would say no. I would have to agree with them; however, it does help. Imagine sitting at the word processor, working your fingers down to the manicure, trying to come up with a story or anecdote or even a story about anecdotes and not being A.D.D. You would sit down and write it out very thoroughly and thoughtfully, making the most precise and detailed outline that the world has ever seen. That might work. Now imagine sitting down to write the same story with no basic plan, purpose, or porpoise (you never know when a dolphin will come in handy) and then letting your mind wander from sea mammals to sea turtles to turtles you have seen to scenes from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to “I was a Teenage Werewolf” to Scooby Doo episodes that had werewolves and so on. The first story might have a slightly better structure; but the second one sure does flow in some interesting directions.
There is also a theory that has existed for about 12 seconds at the time of this writing that suggests that all people have A.D.D. Some of us have it naturally while others merely need an alcoholic beverage to bring out their hidden A.D.D. nature. Consider how you feel while wandering through Larry Miller’s 5 stages of drinking. The more beers that enter your system, the less focused you become. I personally believe that a four beer minimum is required for a so-called “normal” person to achieve the levels of A.D.D. that some of have thanks to genetics, mother nature, or the blessing from God to look at the world all at once instead of the narrow-minded, cold-sober, resplendently repressed, one little thing at a time that you normal people like to think is…well…normal.
Whether you are normal or A.D.D. or A.D.H.D. or MOUSE, one thing is clear: A.D.D. people have a lot more fun jumping around and getting into troub…Oh look! A chicken!