Have you ever wondered what it’s like to experience ADD, and if you have ADD have you ever wondered what it’s like from someone elses shoes?
Scrolling along I saw an open question about it, the thread was amazing with so many diverse answers, some experiences I share, some totally dissimilar.
(I’d love to hear more peoples answers to this question too!)
Feeling compelled to answer the question myself (since I have ADD), here’s my response:
Was diagnosed with ADD as a child. The person testing me couldn’t see how hard I was trying, wiggling my toes constantly to keep my attention on their test at all.
You know, that moment when you thought you were still awake but you realized you had just dozed off?
It’s that, all the time, except you weren’t sleeping you were zoned out. My focus could slide outside or inside, it gets caught in my peripheral vision, or in my head, and suddenly I’m no longer in the moment listening, or focused on the task.
I *want*, want so much to focus on the thing I have directed myself at, but my brain slides away from it. Sometimes to dwell on another thing for a few moments before I realize I had just been doing something else- Hadn’t I?
That moment I thought I was still paying attention and then suddenly realize I wasn’t, is gone, it’s like it never existed. I have no idea how much time has passed when I snap back to the moment. 20 second or 20 minutes.
Other times it’s not being able to focus at all. Every little tiny thing grabs my attention, and my brain flits between them, while I try to force myself to be directed, to remember I have a desired task at hand.
Attention grabbed briefly and let go almost as soon as it’s caught by: The sound of my own breathing, cats crashing around the house, light from spouses screen out of the corner of my eye walking through the room, the smell of food, or the wind through a window, you name it.
But the worst part is that my attention when it’s being distracted like that, isn’t even held by the distraction, instead it’s like someone hit the reset button and saved progress. My brain boots up again, tries to reorient and figure out what I was last attempting to do, and has to do it all over again as soon as I have another distraction.
Hyper-focus is something I sometimes have, it’s like the rest of the world doesn’t entirely matter—or scratch that, more like it doesn’t even exist to me, I almost forget everything but what I’m focused on. Even if I notice something it doesn’t distract me somehow, it’s like it’s not my concern, not important. (in the not my problem field by Douglas Adams?)
I had it a lot as a child, but not much as a an adult I find I am much more prone to flitting about forgetting things.
It’s easier to keep focus in all instances while stimming, and hyper focus is more likely to induce stimmy behaviours, like foot bobbing while gaming, or pacing while reading.