Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Bathe in the light of a thousand candles.©

Holy Hesus Batman, the United States Senate is recognizing AD/HD Awarness day, today, September the 20th 2006. US Senator's Maria Cantwell and Richard Durbin (of my home state), issued Senate Resoultion 544 which designates September 20, 2006 as "National Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Awareness Day." Amen to such an affirmation that I am not alone in the struggle to conform my charismatic personality to the proverbial box in which so many seem to place their thoughts. There's now not only a term, but a day to define my scattered mind. The dialogue is now reinforced with a National Day strengthening the campaign to find methods by which to acknowledge, accept, and treat it.

I represent one of a supposed 8 million Adults struggling with a disorder that is powerfully pervasive in its ability to debilitate, frustrate, and lead its victim into temptation after temptation. All too often ignorance infects people's minds and leads them to believe half truths. With ADHD, millions of otherwise intelligent adults are convinced of myths such as, "you're not ADD, you're just lazy," or, "ADD is just in your head, everyone has ADD," or the worst, "ADD just doesn't exist, get over yourself." Attention Deficit Hyperactive disorder is not limited to children in grades 6 through 12. It's not a disorder that can be cured through stimulant medication. In fact, contrary to popular belief, it's doesn't disappear once the child reaches some form of adulthood. According to an article on the myths of ADD by Michigan Adolescent and Adult ADD Network for Professionals, "individuals with ADHD may develop a variety of secondary problems as they move through life, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, academic failure, vocational problems, marital discord, and emotional distress." If treated and properly managed, the piece continues, "most individuals with ADHD live productive lives and cope reasonably well with their symptoms."

I'm willing to conjecture that many people reading this article can think of at least one person we'll call Jane for the sake of argument, who seems to never have grown up. And if you happen to know a Jane, I bet you can think of at least three, if not five or ten things/schemes/and dreams Jane talked about pursuing with such fervor and passion she nearly knocked you from your seat. Sadly, Jane or whomever you happen to be thinking of was never able to follow that path. Instead of finding joy in her "lofty dreams", she was busy riding a perpetual rollercoaster of moods. She was happy and driven to succeed one minute, and drunk with booze or frustration another. I've known a few people who were so fed up with the world seemingly screwing them over that they've taken drugs or drank to the point of their death. Years of misunderstanding and misdirected passions brought about the ultimate sacrifice, their life in the name of a propagated lie. To many, these people seem a fool for not having listened to the sage advice preached by the ones who loved them.

I'm here to say that I too have been driven to the side of a bridge in my time. I became convinced of pedestrian opinions that I truly was the crazy one for being unable to conform and silence the passionate symphony of creation, love, inspiration, and daydreams that roared through my consciousness from the daybreak through insomnia to daybreak and back. The world was out to get me. The world was unfair for binding me to conformity. The world surely seemed to be a horrific place. Yet by the grace of God, psychotherapy and western medicine, I was saved to share this thought with you today, that ADD is real and that left untreated it becomes the source of great misery in our world.

There's plenty to be miserable about, not being able to pay attention seems hardly worthy of a passing thought when so many perish from famine, hatred manifested, disease, corruption, fear, and so on and so forth. Not a single doubt exists in any persons mind that true suffering and pain exists in this world. We can see the look on a hungry child's face, or the absence of life in a full blown AIDS patient's eyes. We can see the missing limbs of the innocent and the guilty. As blood pours from wounds or cries pour from tombs, we can see and feel and know without a doubt that this world is full of suffering far greater than that which the man in the adjacent cubicle is experiencing. But, as the great writer, dreamer and aviator Antoine de St. Exupery said, "What is essential is invisible to the eye." His statement echoes across myriad subjects upon which I could expound, but in the context of mental suffering I see his words as a shadow of truth's figure. That which is essentially causing so much suffering is the collective untreated, unacknowledged ADD of an entire world, for if we were actually focused on that which was essential in THIS WORLD, we would not be wasting precious money on National Enquirer's or rounds of shots for random strangers. We would not be trying to find solace in games of chance, drugs or booze, rather in the hearts of the ones our dollars have gone to feed, whose hands we've reached out to, and whose voices we've heard through their dark days of sorrow and misery.

I'm tired of being convinced by myself and the citizens of this world that I am the one with ADD. My doctors, friends, bosses random people I happen to meet accuse me of having ADD. Having blown off an hour of my nine to five, I write today to send a message to the world that we all have ADD. In some way, shape or form the entire world suffers from ADD. "Not me," you might state boldly. Look to your life and the lives around you. We're human, primal in our capacity, distracted by sex, gossip, television, drama or self doubt, hatred or lack of good will. Illusions of false realities bombard us from every direction and our collective attention pretends not to see. Recognizing that fact is a step towards understanding the plight of those who struggle with the disorder in its extremes.

We must wake up to the fact that it is not a manifestation of a lazy mind. In addition, we must understand that the drugs used to treat this disorder have side effects which lend themselves towards being abused, and that this is not coincidental. If these medicines did not have side effects, people would not be able to attach ignorant stigmas to their otherwise beneficial use. People might actually pop these pills as Advil after a night of heavy drinking and they might all wake up to the monumental task which faces nations across the globe. Light would no longer dance off the glitz and glamour of Hollywood's dazzling sequence dresses, but off the tears streaming from liberated Darfurian's faces. Sonic seductions from stars of theThug Life would no longer convince us that we too could live our lives with the top down, in baths of crystal, screaming money aint a thing. The wizard's grand illusion would no longer distract us from the mission at hand.

I leave you with a quote, one of my favorite quotes by a man revered by so many. Jack Kerouac is credited for starting a revolution of beatniks. By believing in and living through his words, a generation of thinkers and copycats was born. I look to his words as I look to the future of a generation whose purpose has yet to be defined; my generation of lost sheep who all too often see reality in television and advertisements. Jack's sentiments echo those which I feel as I struggle this morning to accept the fact that I've bills to pay, clients to call, meaningless rote tasks of repetition to complete in the name of a "living." I have ADD and for once in my life that's damn fine with me.

"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace things, but burn like fabulous roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue center light pop and everybody goes 'AWWW!'"
Jack Kerouac


For all those interested in reading more about ADHD, I offer the following links.

2 Websites:

http://www.adultaddandmoney.com/: this blog inspired me to write this piece. It’s an add sufferers oasis for ideas, the food upon which our scattered minds thrive.

http://www.add.org/index.html : The Non-Profit Attention Deficit Disorder Association website. There are myriad links to a wealth of information all in the name of their mission statement, from which I quote: “The mission of ADDA is to provide information, resources and networking to adults with AD/HD and to the professionals who work with them. In doing so, ADDA generates hope, awareness, empowerment and connections worldwide in the field of AD/HD.”

2 Books:

http://product.half.ebay.com/Driven-to-Distraction_W0QQtgZinfoQQprZ437383: Driven to Distraction is an excellent glimpse into the mind and lives of those with ADD. It is from this book that I determined, through the aid of my “life coach” that I indeed suffer from ADD. It is also from this book that I learned strong techniques by which to manage it.

http://product.half.ebay.com/Delivered-From-Distraction_W0QQprZ30761486QQtgZinfo: Delivered from Distraction is the sequel to Driven to Distraction. It’s thesis is built upon the profoundly important idea that : “the idea that success in life comes more from playing to your strengths than overcoming your weaknesses.” I have not yet read this book as it sits at the bottom of a pile a literal mile high.

1 Exercise

Yoga. Yoga is the real deal. Get over your inhibitions and submit to the sensation.

1 more piece

I posted this piece awhile back. It references 12 steps condensed from an amazing list of tips as presented in Driven to Distraction.


  • Awesome post! Thanks for sharing..You inspired me!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:36 AM  

  • Jobe -

    I too really enjoy this Jack Kerouac quote. Thanks for reminding me of it. As for ADD, I have seen it in action. It is real, for certain. I also agree in that everybody has some strain of something like this at some time. We are products of an overly-stimulated, overly medicated society. This is not to belittle things such as ADD, anxiety, depression and such. They too, in fact, do exist. However, we also live in a society in which people are quick to place labels all around.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:30 PM  

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