Dear ADHD…

Posted: February 3, 2011 in ADHD
Tags: , , , ,

My friends are mad at me and I blame you.

Okay, I’m exaggerating. They’re not all mad at me. But some of them do think I don’t really care to stay in touch. That’s what people do when they feel ignored: they take it personally. And even those that I do stay in contact with get pissed off from time to time because I can’t remember what we talked about, or I can’t even concentrate on what we’re talking about right then and there. People find this insulting. They feel neglected. I’m going end up a cantankerous old hermit with burning poop* on his doorstep.

And it’s all your fault, ADHD.

I care about my friends. I care a lot. I’m way too empathetic for my own good, actually. (Probably a little pathetic, too, but that’s for another set of letters. Maybe I’ll talk to Depression or OCD about that one later.) Their smallest successes excite me, and their most minor disappointments touch me. I notice the details. I really do. But I can’ t seem to communicate that well.

Actually, it’s not that I can’t communicate it well. It’s just that I can’t time the communication properly. I either don’t say what I feel when I should say it, or I forget to say it at all.

And it’s all your fault, ADHD.

You see, thanks to you, I can’t keep thoughts straight in my head. ‘Oh man, Jimbob’s promotion is great news for him!’ I’ll think, and go look for my phone to text him. By the time I get to my phone, I’ve already forgotten why I was looking for it. ‘What was I doing again? Dammit, can’t remember. May as well check the weather forecast.’ Poor Jimbob will never know that Bezuidenthustra thought his new gig as Master Burger Flipper is aces.

That’s not all. Thanks to my jumbled aural memory, weird shit happens all the time.

“My cactus died,” Gertha tells me on Monday. That’s terrible. Luckily, she adds, her cat is still alive.

“My cat died,” Brumhilda says to me on Tuesday. That’s also terrible. She doesn’t even have a cactus to console her.

That Sunday, I run into Brumhilda. “How are you feeling about your cactus?” I inquire, concerned.

Not good.

Later that same day, I run into Gertha. “Did you bury your cat?” I want to know.

“My cat’s dead?!”

Also not good. In fact, when that burning poop arrives, I’ll bet my wrinkled left nut that it’s Gertha’s doing.

But that’s not the worst of it. The worst is really the fact that I can’t keep track of who I have and have not talked to lately. I really care about Cletus, but the last two times I wanted to message him to let him know, I got sidetracked. The first time, I logged onto Facebook to tell him and three friends pinged me at once. I totally forgot to send my message. The second time I meant to write an email, but when I opened my email I remembered I was supposed to send my trip itinerary to my mother, and I forgot about my plan to email Cletus. Problem is, I actually thought I did email him that time. For months I was under the illusion that I’d communicated with Cletus. ‘Why ain’t Cletus writin’ me back?’ I wondered. When I finally ran into him accidentally one day, he was cold. Distant. Not like the Cletus I knew. I was confused. This is how life goes for me.

These are mild examples. I’ve tinkered with some details, of course. In isolation, these things don’t seem all that important. But they build up. They happen daily, and they work to sow distrust among those who know me.

And it’s all your fault, ADHD.

Nowhere does it manifest more profoundly than in intimate relationships. When I forget to call, you’re at work, ADHD. When I don’t do the little things I said I’d do, you’re at work, ADHD. When I confuse one detail with another, you’re at work, ADHD. Hard at work, screwing with the hearts of people I love.

The most frustrating thing is that I try. I try so hard. But the harder I try, the worse it gets. And the worse it gets, the less it looks like I try. Can you blame people for not believing me? I wouldn’t believe me either.

I can’t imagine what life would’ve been like without the internet. It might serve as a distraction sometimes, but at least the immediacy of being able to ping someone right then and there helps my chances, and I can leave messages and emails for myself as reminders. If this was 1950 I’d probably be living in complete isolation right now.

Well, maybe with a cactus and a cat. And burning poop.

So do me a favor and let my friends know that I care, even when it looks like I don’t. That’s the least you can do for me, ADHD.

Make yourself useful, dammit.

Reproachfully yours,


*For someone with a filthy sailor mouth like me, the word “poop” sounds utterly hilarious in this context. Had to use it.

  1. Boozenhoot2 says:

    Must be genetic — same problem!

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