A while back, I made a video where I attempted to show what having ADHD is like for me.

The basic idea is that you’re trying to listen to the story I’m telling while all of the other things are happening. The only problem is that I don’t know if it works for other people. It works for me, but I’m hardly the best test case.

ADHD is easy fodder for comedians and grumpy folks who like to complain about things. A lot of it is stuff like, “My dad had a cure for ADD. It was called a BELT!!!” Whoop, holler, everyone loves it.

I went to a parochial school, where corporal punishment was allowed. So, if I was talking during choir, or wandered off from the group, or got out of my desk during class, I got hit. I got hit a lot.

I was mostly hit with paddles. Sometimes I was tugged by an ear, or smacked on the back of the head, but mostly paddles. I still remember one time when the paddle actually broke. A piece of it flew off when I was hit. Granted, it was probably an old paddle, but it still made an impression.

The thing is, it didn’t work. I’d still space out during lectures in High School and College. I still got into car accidents when I zoned out while driving.

When I was growing up, my parents insisted there was nothing wrong with me. I believe they thought they were being supportive. They were being supportive, in their own way. The fact is, though, that what they meant (even if they didn’t know it) was that I was still okay, even with my inattention and odd behavior.

Now that Betty’s growing older, I see her just being a 3-year-old. I also see myself as a little kid. I hope she doesn’t run into these problems when she gets older.

If she does, though, I’ll understand.


About paulgude

Paul Gude writes small books, makes stupid music, draws silly pictures, and does weird things on stage.
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4 Responses to Distraction

  1. Lex Vader says:

    Like everyone in the 90s, I’m sure, when they started talking about ADD on all the TV channels, I said, “Hey, that describes me!” But as they weren’t announcing cures, it never went beyond that. Plus I might have just had Bored By Schoolwork Syndrome. I mean, I could have any number of disorders right now, but as I have no life, they can’t interfere with it. And I’ll never get in a car to go be diagnosed with something, so I’ll never know. And if I don’t know if I have it, how do I know if anyone has it, or if anyone doesn’t? So… um…. there.

    But I do think in grommet – Wallace & Grommet – Holes – Shia LeBouf tangents, if that counts for anything. My favorite game is to try and figure out the tangent backwards and remember what I was originally thinking about.

    And that’s why I’m crap at trying to make arguments online. But since everything online is a tangent, I don’t think internet people will ever know if they had ADHD.

  2. Brian says:

    ADD here…. i don’t get too hyper much any more, but the thinking is pretty much the same damn thing. Funny part is i had no problem following wtf you said or did in the video. my wife think’s i’m nuts when i go off on something and wind up someplace else.

    i keep telling people thats why i love twitter. if i can keep my thoughts to 140 characters then they should be pretty concise so that most ppl will get them and not wanna kill me.

  3. paulgude says:

    I know exactly what you mean about twitter. It really helps focus.

    I’ve been trying to think an entire sentence in my head before I speak it lately, but it’s REALLY tough and feels like it’s taking a long time. Surprisingly, no one I’ve complained to has noticed any long pauses. Maybe because it’s offset by the fact that I keep trailing off when I space out while talking to them.

  4. Brian says:

    i count on the “huh?!” so i can explain it. hopefully they get it and then i seem brilliant.

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