I have Squirrels Are Fascinating Disorder. Have you ever truly admired the squirrel? You can be busy doing a business report, or talking with a friend, or even taking a walk, and there he is, the fancy brown oversized mouse with the expressive tail. Much like a cat, the tail seems to say much about his mood. It flips and floats jerkily over it backside if in pursuit, looking very serious, or he simply eats an acorn. These guys are everywhere. Dogs and cats seem to share in S.A.F.D., but it does not interfere with their lives as much it seems. Dogs are praised for their squirrel hunting abilities, and even expected to behave in such a way. On the contrary, people are not generally inclined to drop everything to follow a squirrel, even with their eyes, unless they are affected by this devastating disorder. This disorder can truly interfere with higher functioning, because as anyone with this disorder knows, squirrels are everywhere.
Yep, I am ADD. Let me rephrase that sentence. I am a person who has Attention Deficit Disorder. Although, it is often hard for me to separate out the challenges and the gifts of having ADD; when I see myself, I look beyond misplaced keys, disorganization, and lost belongings. I lose things because my mind is chasing squirrels. People often have difficulty believing that people like me are truly distracted by squirrels to the degree that we can not remember to finish a simple task, or arrive on time. People do not see that its more than squirrels that plague the ADD mind. Its cooking, its mail, its stamps, where are they? Right now, for me, my squirrels are getting on Facebook. I keep getting notifications across my screen. I would love to see what this chat is about that my good friend is involved in discussing, but I have set aside this time to write.
There is also the fact that I have begun this eBay business. I realized a few months ago that I had stuff that I might could sell on eBay. Well, I got hooked. I love playing with my new mannequin, and dressing it up in clothing and planning my next post. Its like playing with dolls again. I am very frustrated that the sweater top I purchased for a very reasonable price off Amazon to go with the amazing Talbots skirt I found at the thrift store, and washed four times and oxi-cleaned and q-tip bleached to brighten, yes I can concentrate on the mannequin, but dishes will sit in the sink. I set timers for how long I have to do the boring tasks and complete them with ease only with knowing the timers will stop me thank goodness. I can spend hours thinking about ways to make that Talbots pineapple skirt sell. It just needs the perfect…, I digress.
Plus, I have this gift for writing everyone tells me, and I do write all the time, in memo pads, way too much on Facebook, and twitter makes me nuts with its word limit, and I just love to talk and talk and talk. So, you see, squirrels can be so many wonderful things.
What is amazing about having Squirrel Disorder is that there are stories very many very creative people who have squirrel disorder and achieve great things. Many of them have lost their mind in some shape, but when they latch on to something that stimulates them, that they can feel enthusiastic about doing, the timers go to the side. When they learn to actually recognize that they must choose one squirrel at a time, and return to the same squirrel to finish the task daily, they can write books, become famous authors, painters, leaders, CEO’s, and they often have this charisma which inspires others. Yet, the one sentence that is most often heard about us ADDers, is that we are a bit crazy. Or, if we could ever get it together and stick with something, we would be amazing. And, many of us do just that.
So, I am typing right now and enjoying this really cool site that is allowing me to just type away and say what needs saying about Squirrel Disorder. I truly feel like there are many things, traits, and struggles I would gladly give back if I could. Often times my thoughts overwhelm me. I find that the books are right in that medication alone will not keep me focused on one squirrel at a time, I must still face the hard tasks, and be organized. Just when I think I have it the most together, and just when I feel I have reached the pinnacle of perfection in the world where I am going to impact the world in a way that will transform people’s thinking, and we will be a better world for it; I do something stupid. It can be the smallest of things that sets me off. This week, it was my cell phone. I lost my cell phone three nights ago. I can not explain it. What perplexed and absolutely yes vexed me the most, why not use rhymes, they are fun, was that I had just organized so much of my home, and reworked my lists, and made plans, and prayed for direction. (keeping the run-on sentence, I like it) With my husband out-of-town, I felt it was a good time to organize. I did, and in the midst I lost my phone. At 2:00 in the morning, I fell into bed exhausted not knowing where it went. I had been through every stack. We Squirrel People like our stacks of clutter. What do I do with this? Stack. Where does this go? in the basket stack. See, the stack is in a basket, so its purposeful now. How painful it is to look around your room, and realize that you may not be a hoarder, but you might be in training. It’s not that I have trouble tossing. It’s very different from hoarding in that way. I have been known to in aggravated moments take whole stack of clothing and toss them in the trash. I have taken stacks of paper and just tossed them all. Hence, I am very excited about this eBay business. I am actually doing something creative with my things. And, as a friend once told me, these things are valuable, they are yours, they are not junk. I have at times been way too willing to just ignore the stacks, because it takes too much concentration. Sharing this fact is actually somewhat painful, and it would be harder if I did not know from reading that I am not alone in this struggle. Many people with ADD can focus on the most complex of information or projects, but ask them to unload the dishwasher. If they start, they may forget what they were doing while talking just walk off. The sad thing is they really don’t know what they just did. Later on they will remember, and they will be embarrassed, not just embarrassed, ashamed. Over the year the frustration and guilt over not being able to do what others seem to be able to do with ease can break the spirit, if we let ourselves forget our gifts.
So, I lost my phone. I did remember to get a replacement package to insure my phone, should I lose it. Because at this point in my life, I have accepted that organization is something I must always work to achieve, I will always struggle. There have been times in my life that I have been seen as very organized. I actually reached this sort of organizing plateau. I was able to even go without the medicine, because I was so organized. But, we do not live in a vacuum. Life can not always be structured to the hilt. I really do not want mine to be.
The beautiful thing about letting go of perfection is realizing who is in control, that there is someone greater than you watching and caring and loving you. With losing my phone, I felt this hopelessness. I felt like all the work I had put into being a better me, was lost. All the lists that were on my phone, all the thoughts and ideas for everything that ever crossed my mind were in that memo pad. I sometimes get Siri to write down things I forget. I usually have it all synced, but much of my recent writings were not synced. I momentarily felt very alone, as if no one cared. I felt angry that such a little device could make such a difference.
But, here is where the twist came for me. Imagine if in the Garden of Eden, the tree with the fruit of knowledge had apple phones instead of apples. Imagine Adam standing there. Eve is like, I hear that one can ask that phone anything. We can structure our lives, be in total control of every aspect of our days. Adam takes the phone and is so excited. Unaware of the much greater amount of work they both must do, and the suffering that will now be a part of their lives from choosing to eat of the fruit, and of course being given free will and all that goes with it, they forget to turn to God on a daily basis. They can organize and remind themselves when to plant, which soil is ready for planting, and imagine the possibilities with using the calendar app for crop rotation. They of course learn about crop rotation from Google, because now they have so much at their fingertips. Worst of all, they never had seemed to recognize their need for God.
But, one day Adam drops his phone is the pond. He forgot to seal the waterproof case! Blaming himself for his foolishness, he sulks in his hut. Eve talks with him and hears his woes, and they try to think of how to deal with the situation. How will they know what to do, where to go, and when.
It’s in that moment, when the beeps stop, and the rings cease, and there is no sleep sound or alarm clock, that they both become still and quiet. Eve says, “hey Adam, you remember that cool guy who gave us this place to take care of? I heard him talking the other day about something.” Adam said, “I wish he was here now”. They fell asleep exhausted, and God appeared to Adam in a dream, he told Adam that he was always there for Adam. He told Adam that if he listened to him, and studied his stories in some really big book, he could learn about dealing with hard things. Unfortunately, Adam still needed his phone, because after using it in the first place, he had become dependent upon it. he could not seem to let go of the phone. He made sure to get himself another one, just like I am doing. But, after his experience, and the dream, he remembered every night to mute the entire thing. He remembered to turn it off, and to listen, to pray to God, and to read His stories.
What I love about God is that he does not see me in terms of my ability to clean house, but I think he sees me by how I use my gifts. He sees when I am kind, and when I do get interrupted, and he is glad made me how I am. Maybe its a good thing that there are so many of us ADDers out there that get off track, and may notice what someone else does not. Maybe together, we all make the world a better place. Maybe that’s His plan all along. Maybe, just maybe, differences have a purpose that we just can not understand.