Forecast for today: cloudy with 80% chance of frustration.

ADHD Version:

If you have ADHD what I call cloudy days are going to come, there is no way to avoid it. The trick is to find ways to combat them, ways to overcome them without ruining your day. For me it is getting outside to the local disc golf course, find yours. The storms will come, and they too will in time pass.

Regular Version:

As John Denver (Google him, kids) once sang, “Some days are diamonds, some days are stone.”

Some days it gets too much for my governor. Sometimes there is so much commotion and turmoil that he can’t sort it out. No matter how hard he tries to sort out the thoughts and emotions and responses that are fighting for his attention, he just can’t. He can’t sleep and he can’t fix it so he just hides under his desk. The fighting and commotion start to swirl and whirl into big thick storm clouds.

I call them cloudy days. Days where my brain feels thick and disoriented, like heavy clouds have moved through making it impossible to see.

It’s easy to tell when these days occur. Normally, when things get too much I “let the dog off the leash” as I like to think of it. This lets my mind wander and run free so my thoughts aren’t as cluttered and my brain as pent up when I need to focus.

The problem is that on the cloudy days, I can’t do that. When I try to listen to my thoughts it feels like my brain is a radio and someone is just turning the knob. I get a lot of static, some garbles, occasionally a snippet, but nothing of any real substance. It’s frustrating.

On days like that I tend get irritated very easily. All of the thoughts are rushing around wildly, swirling and whirling into this cloud, and all my governor wants to do is make sense of it. So he’s trying to fight this cloudy storm while I am trying to function, not a good combo.

I appear dazed, confused, spacey. If you see me like this, please do not approach me with a boring topic, I might snap at you. I am sorry, I just can’t turn too much attention away from the whirling and swirling clouds.

On cloudy days like that there is only one thing to do: hit the reset button. Wait, you’ve never tried that? Aw man are you missing out. Let your buddy John guide you through it.

This weekend was going to be a bad one, I knew it. It wasn’t supposed to be, it just kind of worked out that way. The wife and I went to her parents house and I was to do two things all day. I had to pick up my meds and meet a friend of ours that I do not get to see nearly enough at Victory Brew Pub.  Sounds like a simple day.

When I woke up Saturday morning I knew something was wrong. I couldn’t focus, I was distracted, I just felt not right. No problem, I thought, nothing a little mind-wander can’t help. I just need to center my brain.

So I went into the bathroom. . The bathroom is my most holy of holy places to John. It is my inner sanctum. It is the only truly personal space I have. In my inner sanctum is my mind-clear machine. It is a magical machine that allows me to let my mind wander as much as I like for up to 45 minutes +/-. It provides me with a nice, warm environment with a constant source of white noise to help me keep my focus. I am of course talking about my shower.

It didn’t work. That’s when I knew. I had let the dog off of the leash but my mind was still in turmoil. It was time to hit the reset button. There was no way I could go to a loud place full of commotion and distractions with my friend on a day like that. I would not be able to enjoy myself, I had to reset things.

So how do you do that? It’s actually up to you.

Now, the reset button isn’t instant, it rarely is. Think of it more as a distraction to the governor while all of the other functions fight it out. Think of it as a small vacation for him. See it’s not that all of the functions of the brain can’t function without him, they just don’t as well without his guidance. Sometimes it can all just be too much for him. Poor guy needs a break while everyone else settles their problems.

For me it is disc golf (insert joke here). When I am at the course I can let my mind rage and rage while my governor focuses on the game. So on the surface I am just throwing some discs at baskets but underneath the storm rages itself out, everything gets sorted, and I am happy again. The governor goes back to his post ready to take charge, or take a nap. Sometimes that guy amazes me.

We all have that place. For some it is listening to music or drawing, for others it might be doing a crossword puzzle. It is whatever distracts your governor long enough for your brain to quiet down. Just like in real life when it is stormy out, you just need to find something to do until it passes.

And it will pass too. Just give it some time.

Get it? I hope so.

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What are your special tricks for when the storms come and you have a cloudy day? Leave a comment and tell me.


One thought on “Forecast for today: cloudy with 80% chance of frustration.”

  1. I can usually reset by knitting. It gives my hands something to do, which kind of feels like fidgeting, without actually being fidgeting, and if I engage my brain just enough to have to keep up with my stitches and counting them, it gives all the other voices time to brawl it out in the background and get things settled. Usually works…but I also try exercise like getting on the elliptical or doing something like Zumba, where I have to concentrate on not falling on my face and not having a heart attack, giving the inner turmoil time to get settled.

What do you think?