Man walked into a bar…
This could be a weird one.
I just figured out why I’m so irritable these days. Thank you. Susan Kaufer Carey for prompting me with your questions. That process helped me discover some answers for myself.
With the doctor’s office and insurance company vying for most incompetent, I am temporarily but significantly out of chemical kilter.
I’m off my meds.
After nearly 4 weeks, the chat with Susan reminded me that I have no quiet place without them. My mind and my nervous system ping and jangle all day, 24/7. Please don’t talk to me about meditation. No offense, but if I could meditate this away I would not be taking amphetamines. This is a chemical imbalance that the amphetamines bring back into balance. Adderall allows me to have one thought at a time in my head if I so choose. It stills the jangles and helps me to relax. I also get to focus on a project for as long as I like (nothing short of miraculous).
I waited until I was in my 40s before I “broke down” and found a medication that helped. Until then, from my experience, being an ADHD human was something I should have been able to control. “Buckle down, stop fidgeting, be still, don’t jump off that roof, make a decision already, I’m going to give you a passing C because I feel so sorry for you, if you’d just apply yourself.” I should be able to will myself to sit quietly and read, study and write a 30 page term paper.
The other edge of the blade is that my chemistry played an enormous part in my becoming a Nia teacher and how I’m becoming a Feldenkrais teacher.
Since I couldn’t keep my mind still as a child and my teachers told my parents that I was “stupid” and “wouldn’t learn”, I began to pay more attention to my body. The gifts of my body didn’t require me to be still in the same way. Now, I’ve discovered that, for me, neither does more specific “mental” learning. As disappointing as it was to “stupid”, my sensitive athleticism helped me to find a way out of what could have been devastating depression, bitterness and complete loss of self-worth.
Today I consider it better living through chemistry and I am grateful it exists.
I have come to more fully appreciate that not only am I able to settle and keep my attention steady, but I am also less easily frustrated. There has been a certain level of liberation in terms of speaking my mind these several weeks as acting and speaking impulsively have gotten me into so much trouble over the course of my life that this side effect definitely bears mentioning.
One does not become ADHD. I’m not sure I even believe that there is not ADHD and ADHD, From the research I’ve done and the stories and experience I think of it more as a continuum. It’s not that you are or are not, but how much or how little. Do you have 3 of the traits (you may get slightly distracted with fatigued or lose your keys when stressed)? Or 27 of the 28 (like me)?
We all are distractable from time to time. It’s when the noise won’t stop and everything going on around me is equally important every second of every day that this becomes a problem.
Squirrel! Thank you Barb Wesson!!
My classes are crystal clear, though. Interesting thing. One of the many gifts I have received from teaching Nia is embodiment. After a period of practice, I no longer have to go to my mind to teach a class. I fact, thinking about what comes next actually gets in my way and those are the moments that trip me up; cause me to lose a beat or lose my place and miss a cue (or several). The routines – the material – the information is in my body. I don’t need to fish around for what comes next or worry about where I am in the music. Once I learned to trust this I would only “forget” when I had not spent the time required for embodiment to occur.
Embodiment is not the same as the mental learning we we taught in school. I can no longer teach that way. I don’t know how I did it for so long in conventional fitness before teaching Nia. Teaching fitness was arduous and really not fun at all. Since I had my proverbial foot half in and half out of embodiment I continued to do it. Once I discovered the difference, I never went back.
What’s all this got to do with the man who walked into the bar?