Too late to go back for it now:(
I had a book in my bag so I read that while I attempted to block out the cacophony of city morning sounds.
When I reached downtown and was walking to the corner to cross the street, I noticed a woman from the corner of my eye that seemed familiar to me, so I turned to look.
As I watched her a thoughts were streaming through my mind like “wow, that is a sharp-looking outfit”, “I like the tight white pants and white shirt combo”, “fabulous red heels”, “she’s walking like she knows how great she looks”, “where do I know her from?”, “I love that natural nappy hair she’s sporting”…and so on and so on.
While lost in my thoughts I suddenly hear a male voice say “You’re cuter”.
I snap my focus to my immediate front view and who do I see?
A short man with milky eyes using a cane to “see” where he’s going. I know there are various stages of legally blind but still….
I laughed all the way to my office.
You know that cartoon character, the one walking down a busy street, totally oblivious to the buildings falling down around it, completely distracted by whatever is happening in its head?
You know the one I mean.
Clothes slightly rumpled, hair disheveled, reading a book while walking and listening to the music on their iPod. Bumping into stationary objects like cars, trees, lampposts, doors and walls that have always been there. Always with a fleeting look of surprise every time it happens.
Glasses slipping slightly down their nose.
They walk into the people on the crowded sidewalk, whether they be in front, beside or behind them. Moving too slow, too fast and lurching sideways. Marching to a slightly different beat, just enough to put them out of sync with the rest of the crowd but not enough to classify them as a “crazy”.
Even if that caricature person is not reading while walking, they act the same way. Like an alien from another planet in human form. Just slightly off, not quite fitting in.
Walking fast down the street, only to suddenly stop, turn around and go back in the direction they just came from. Just as fast. Resembling a pinball in a giant pinball machine, bouncing from one end of the sidewalk to the other. Often losing their way on a trajectory they make every single day.
Or they are crossing the street, look up and recognize someone. They stop. Right there in the middle of the street, for a reunion with someone they haven’t seen in a long time. So very happy to see whoever it is they recognize, throwing caution to the wind while that person they are hugging, with all their wits about them, tries to lure the long-lost buddy back to the sidewalk before they both get hit by the cars when the light changes.
At first glance, the clothes seem right…shoes, socks, jeans, shirt, sweater. The second glance reveals that the brightly coloured runners are not tied properly, the socks don’t match, the jeans are either too long or too short, the shirt is half tucked in half out, and the sweater is not a sweater it’s a hoodie. As a matter of fact, that cartoon character is always wearing a hoodie. Ever wonder why? I know.
The hoodie comes in every colour of the rainbow. Some are thin, some are thick. Long or short though, they all have HOODS. Hoods are attached and cannot be lost. The hood is always there to pull up when needed, rain, snow, wind…doesn’t matter what happens with the weather, that hood will always be right there to serve and protect. And it does not get forgotten, lost or blown away. It’s a win-win situation.
Plus, while wearing the hoodie you can pretend you are cool, down with your bad-self and your peeps. Yah man. That’s right. Bopping and hip-hopping along. Too cool for words.
So, have you? Seen me?
Spent the afternoon at the doctors’ office, waiting mostly, but also fuming as usual. I really really need to end that!!! It has gotten old and stale now, just thinkingabout it makes smoke come out of my ears.
Anyway, lab tests results were spectacular, as usual, for I am as healthy as a horse as the saying goes. Which is really a weird saying. Think about it. Why a horse? Why not a dog? Or a cat? Or a zebra?
First thing doc did was sit and tell me how much of a hurry he is in…do I care? What else is new? Then he proceeded to say why the early visit? What was I doing there?
I clamped my mouth shut, obstinately refusing to respond to what I took as provocative comments about my presence. He continued on in that vein as he flipped through all the pages in my file, came across the lab results, concluded that was why I was there. So I finally spoke up (and he was staring at me expectantly too). ”I’m here because you wanted me here. I’m certainly not here because I want to see you again.” Then he remembered he changed my meds, needed to check up on me etc. He doubled my prescription for the Strattera, brushed aside my description of all the sleep I’ve been getting, putting that down to coming off the stimulants, and said to come back again next week, then left.
So I made the appointment for next Thursday and headed out into the rain. Tried to keep my cigarette dry long enough to smoke it. Almost was successful. As I was crossing the street to catch my bus…the bus left. Which left me another 30 minutes to wait for the next one. Then my iPod ran out of juice, leaving me wide open to the sounds of traffic, which got louder by the second.
I finally got home, changed out of my wet clothes after letting poor little Boo out.
I was thinking about the people I see every morning in the train. All glassy-eyed, all sitting or standing still, staring down or up or anywhere but at another person. Avoiding all eye contact, trying to remain unseeing and unfeeling. Completely disengaged. Motionless, even the ones with the iPods. Not even the most minute nod of the head or tap of the foot to keep time with the music. I wonder if the iPod is actually on at all. They have all turned inward to disengage themselves from what I can only conclude is their unpleasant train ride. Perhaps they are all this way because their personal space has been invaded by strangers? Are they just looking for a tiny piece of personal space when they turn themselves into zombie-like creatures?
Unlike me. Absorbing all sounds and lack of movement. Making me stand out even more with my constant foot tapping, leg bouncing butt wiggling moves to the beat of my iPod. My eyes constantly roaming through the faces of each individual seated and standing, not because I am particularly interested but because I am mind-numbingly bored and my attention wanders constantly. My thoughts bounce around ideas, most outlandish and often mundane as they are quickly discarded by me. No great moments of brilliance I’m afraid.
Although I did come up with the thought of Killing Time as a future blog post. I have become an expert at Killing Time. More to come on that.
Well, I must be off once again to the office. In the train. With the zombies.
Zombies are dumb.
Holy Cow Batman! How are we going to get through all this crap?!
Yes, in my mind, this is how I feel today. So overwhelmed with all there is to do in a day without being late for work.
Usually, just getting out the door, dressed, presentable and slightly human is a big accomplishment for me.
Forget about the daily household “must do” chore: even the personal care things to do are a lot for me.
Yesterday, I made lists. Daily tasks. Weekly tasks. Monthly tasks.
One glimpse of those lists this morning sent me into hyperventilation mode.
Those negative thoughts do not creep into my mind…they bust their way in…take over and are SO LOUD!
Shut up, shut up, shut up!
Lists. Do. Not. Work. For.Me.
Not only does the sight of all those duties on one piece of paper, or even many pieces of paper, overwhelm me; lists mysteriously disappear all the time!
I often wonder if there are little Gremlins stealing them and hiding them somewhere.
Messing with my mind.
But this morning the lists are still on my desk.
I will get this done.
First, I will enter each item into the online calendar.
Set the alerts.
Get rid of the list.
I love technology.
Pop up alerts if I’m on the computer.
Pop up alerts on my iPod when I’m plugged in.
This will work. I just know it.
Make it there on time, the right day and the right place…how I’ve “organized” myself over the years. Maybe something here will help you too. Who knows? Worth a shot right?
There are some things I can’t ignore, things I can’t escape no matter how hard I try or don’t try. Mandatory is different from taking on too much, making too many promises I can’t keep and just plain not being able to say no to helping. All those obligations that overwhelm you are mostly your created by a desire to please. That desire to please is kinda missing in my DNA. Thankfully.
Nobody else can actually do this thing for me, like go to the doctor. Mandatory is something that has to be done by me, my responsibility and no one elses. AND, if I don’t get it done the repercussions are not something I want to deal with. That is how I measure mandatory.
So here are a few ways I make sure I get them done, my “organizational” tips so to speak. I truly don’t think this term, organizational, really applies to how I get my mandatory life moments done and I think of these types of methods as “my way”. They are just my way of reaching certain goals.
- I make my doctor appointments as I’m leaving the office, with my trusty little calendar that I keep in my purse in my hand. As soon as I get home, before I even take off my coat, I go to the kitchen calendar and write that appointment down. Then, I go to the living room calendar and write it down there. Always in this order. For some reason, if I write it down on the living room calendar first, or bother to take off my coat first, I forget to write the appointment down or I miss an important step in the process and I never get to the appointment when the time comes. Go figure. Anyway. I put my purse and the appointment calendar on my desk, take off my coat, use the washroom, get coffee, etc. Then I enter the appointment into my Google calendar with some adjustments. I start by figuring out what time I have to catch the bus to get there on time. Then I add 10 minutes to that time. This is the time I put for the appointment reminder. I set the alerts to start 30 minutes before I have to leave to catch the bus and for every 10 minutes.
- My key ring, wallet and pen are big, bright and shiny, never black…not small or regular size, so I can find it quickly and easily without looking or emptying the actual purse to find what I need. My purse is the smallest, lightest weight I can handle for all the stuff I need, is a cross body so I don’t have to use my hand to keep track of it and I use a purse insert so that I can just grab it and put it in a new purse whenever the season changes. When I take anything out of my purse it always goes right back in it when I’m done with it.
- My desk is the smallest size possible to accommodate the iMac, keyboard, mouse, back up, in/out tray, candy dish and my coffee. I have almost no room for papers to accumulate.
- I will never remember the name that goes with someone’s face. Faces I remember, names not so much. Ever. No matter what game I play to trick myself into matching the face to a name, it does not work. So, everyone is forewarned.
- In the winter I wear pants only. And they are all dark in colour. It doesn’t matter which top I grab, they are all bright and warm, so in the morning when I get dressed my mind fog cannot make me look clownish:)
- I started using online banking when it was first offered by my bank, and paperless statements from every company that offered them. Then, I taught my hubby how to use the online banking and made him responsible for paying them on time:)
- I try not to collect anything like I used to. It’s a sickness and one that I embraced and cluttered my space with. Now, all my music is downloaded directly into the computer and iPod, everything gets scanned that has to be kept and I only watch movies through online rentals, play computer games and eventually, my telephone/address book will also be all online if I ever finish that damn project.
- My kitchen is small, and things are all in their rightful place, like-minded objects stored together. Hubby the organizing guru keeps the pantry looking like a grocery store shelf, all in order etc. I’m not allowed to put things away when I try to help him after he gets the groceries, but I can sure find things easy.
- If you do not have an organized person in your life, then hire someone to come into your home and create an easy system that suits your style. Best money you will ever spend.
- In the entrance I have baskets for gloves/mittens, hats/tuques, scarfs and hooks to hang the coats/umbrellas. I have 3 small shelving units to house all the shoes and a spot for the wet boots. I tore out the closet to have this system put up instead.
- The filing system is simple, generalized and colour coordinated. Credit cards, regardless of what company provides them, banking, pets, etc. That way is the simplest and easiest for me to follow without getting muddled up. Filing by topic works best for me rather than alphabetically.
- Prescription refills used to be an issue for me until my pharmacy started to offer the automatic refill service…yipee ei yeah! Plus, I use a place that is open late and only 5 minutes away if I forget to pick up that prescription and only discover that fact in the evening. And when the doctor gives me a new prescription, I immediately put it into my purse and I stop at the pharmacy before I go home so they will have it and I won’t lose it. My son once lost his prescription between leaving the doctor’s office and his car…he drove to the pharmacy, had to go back to the doctor and wait 3 hours then spend a lot of time convincing the doc he actually lost it and wasn’t a drug dealer so he could get another!
- Every box I pack has a list of what is in it taped to the top.
- I bring in the mail and I sort at my desk, using the clear trays attached to the sides to sort it by mail (used for outgoing/incoming addressed to others), to file, to shred, to pay, to call/follow-up, one with just my name on it and one with hubby’s name on it. If it doesn’t fit in one of these spaces, it’s trash.
- I use a lot of post it notes that are stuck on my monitor so I will remember to make those calls I have to make, finish the chores I must finish etc.
- My washing machine and my dryer have buzzers that I use all the time. My stove/oven timer gets a lot of use as well. It’s the only way!
So. That’s my wacky ways to get myself through life with the least amount of repercussions I don’t want. These are things that I have worked out to work the most efficiently for me. Some are old, tried and true and have worked for years and years for me. Others are newer, still open for tweaking if needed since I haven’t been using them all for over a year yet. One year seems to be the magic number for time…if I still haven’t got any issues using it for one whole year, it will stand the test of time for me.
See what I have had to go through over the years to become the most efficient that I can be? Some things seem convoluted and too complex but they are representative of how my ADD mind works. A little messy, a bit messed up but a whole lot better than trying unsuccessfully to be organized like a normal person:)
Bottom line…use whatever means possible that works for you and forget the rest. forgetting is the easy part, right?
Music…I love and adore music SO VERY MUCH! Like a teenager, I will listen to a new downloaded fav tune of the moment over and over and over again, until I know every word and nuance of the song.
I have my Playlists on my iPod divided into decades, starting with the title 50′s + earlier, 60′s, 70′s etc. all the way to 2000-2010 and the single year of 2011 and 2012 (these 2 years will eventually be combined into the playlist of 2011-2020).
All the music I feel have withstood the test of time. Meaning they do not annoy me when I hear them. Some tunes that I remember loving now get on my last nerve. I do not have those songs on my iPod. Also, there are some tunes that I did not enjoy way back in the day but now I do like they enough to have them on my iPod.
I have everything from classic R&B, classic rock, blues, boogie & southern rock, folk rock, alternative pop, and a even a little bit of country rock. Sinatra to Eminem. I even have songs downloaded from Glee that were covered on the show. I also have songs from my favourite contestents of American & Canadian Idol, America’s Got Talent, The Voice and Cover Me Canada. I’ve got my brothers songs on my iPod as well. Not that I listen to them (cause they are folky/country/something something, my least favourite tunes). But they are my brothers, I love them and support them any way I can.
Blatantly missing from my iPod is opera and classical, as well as show tunes.
I enjoy musicals, like Cats, Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, you know, stuff like that. But no songs have ever spoken to me enough to make it onto my iPod.
I’m not a classical music buff, nor have I ever pretended to be. Not that I don’t like some of this moving, profound music (hubby pretty much only likes this type of music), but there are no words to any of these songs, and that leaves me with nothing to do but listen to the melodies. No can do. I have to be able to sing along. It’s a MUST. I like words. Words are my obsession.
And then there is opera. I like Pavorati, Bochelli and those Tenor guys, but I cannot listen to any of the soprano voices. Those voices cause me severe physical pain. I’m not kidding. I’m not exaggerating either. I literally get instant pain in my head from the first note they hit. It runs down my spine as well. After 2 minutes, a blinding headache takes over. Must block the sound. Leave the room. Run for the hills. Smash the record/disc/machine that’s playing the sound. AAARRRGGG!!!! MAKE IT STOP!
Oh well. That’s OK. There are no opera buffs in my house. Although I do have an older brother that’s a big fan. He’s kind enough not to play any during the few times I’ve been to his home. Good man that way to spare me so much pain.
So. There is no type of music that I listen to the most. There are just a few types that I do not listen to at all. Opera. Oh, and that painful, annoying Techno. I have not been able to develop a taste for that at all. Not as painful as Opera but damn close.
2nd in SPD series;
2. Auditory Dysfunction: Difficulty processing auditory stimuli and responding appropriately with no known hearing loss. This has also been referred to as auditory processing disorder. However, this term implies that the only challenge is with the auditory sense and usually an individual with auditory processing problems also has other related sensory processing problems.
• Difficulties with attention and memory for information presented orally
• Difficulty carrying out multiple directions
• Poor listening skills
• Need more time to perceive and interpret information
• Low academic performance
• Struggle with Language(e.g., they may confuse words that sound the same and have problems developing vocabulary and/or understanding language)
Problems with reading, comprehension, spelling, and vocabulary
Hypersensitivity to sounds
• easily distracted by sounds not typically noticed by others such as, refrigerators, fans, heaters, humming of lights, or ticking clocks and heavy breather, mouth breather or anyone else breathing in the vicinity:)
• startles easily, gets upset at sudden noises, almost fearful of loud noises such as, blender, vacuum, lawn mower, hair dryer, or ambulance siren, traffic, anything mechanical. Even when you have heard these sounds your entire life!
• likes quiet areas but I prefer nature sounds rather than total silence, which is almost impossible to achieve, since I can hear things others cannot:)
• tries to avoid loud public places as much as possible
• like someone by the sound of that person’s voice
B. Hyposensitivity to sounds
• not responding when others are speak
• it’s a struggle to understand and remember what a person says, lecture halls are a nightmare!
• oblivious to certain sounds (that’s right Mom, I wasn’t pretending, I really didn’t hear you LOL)
• confusion about where a certain sounds come from
• talks to themselves when doing something
• not much of a conversationalist and often babbles
directions need to be repeated often and will say “What?” way too many times!
C. Sensory Seeking auditory stimuli
• noisy person
• music or television on high volume
• talks too loud and loves to sing loudly even when they suck LOL
D. Difficulty developing speech and language
• can’t tell the difference between similar sounding words
• misunderstands questions or statements most of the time
• hard time following more than 1 step at a time
• you have to repeat what you said to them often
• spoke late in life
• talks off topic
• hard time answering questions
• poor vocabulary, grammar and syntax, poor spelling and reading skills
• sings out of tune sounding tone-deaf
• minimum imagination
• talks too loud or too soft
• Unable to make themselves understood
Auditory Integration Training was developed in France in 1982
Involves treating a person with an ASD through their sense of hearing. In auditory integration training, musical sounds are washed through a filtering apparatus that alters them, emphasizing some tones and reducing the intensity of others, while the person receiving the treatment listens through high quality headphones. Speech therapy.
What I do:
This one is extremely challenging to me. I use my iPod to muffle the most disturbing sounds, like traffic. I cannot block them out completely because then the music on my iPod would be too loud for me, thereby eliminating any benefits to me. I have a SodaStream to carbonate my water (I drink a lot of club soda, this way is cheaper:)). When the carbonation is done, after pushing the button 3 times, it buzzes loudly. I’ve had this machine for 2 years and use it daily, yet my body startles each and every time it buzzes! My family thinks it very amusing and laugh each time:) What…ever. There are certain tones and pitch of a voice that I cannot tolerate, feeling the effects physically…certain singers and people who a very nice but have that pitch in their voice I must avoid or limit my exposure to seconds. I have also been complaining for years that my husband must be freakin’ deaf if he can’t hear the TV without blasting the roof off the house (his sound level on the TV is way up to 5 or 6)! When I watch TV alone the sound level showing on the TV is not quite at the first bar, no one can hear it but me:) He will definitely have to get one of those hearing amplifier things advertised on TV LOL
I also have some signs of the Hyposensitive but that is caused by the ADD, not the SPD.
Oh well, sorry to all those that people who I didn’t hear or listen to.
It’s not my fault, really.
I am interested in you as a person.
Sleeping has been an issue for most of my life, from having the ability to sleep around the clock as a teenager into my mid-twenties, to not sleeping more than 3 to 4 hours a night since my 40′s. Being exhausted is very familiar to me:)
But now, since I have started taking Dexedrine slow release 30 mg daily, I have been sleeping deeply for 6 to 7 hours a night! It’s fantastic and I consider it to be the very best side effect of this medication! I wake up every day between 5-6 AM, and I take my meds when I get up. The effects wear off by 6-7 PM and I can feel the fatigue deep in my bones. The mind fog sets in right about then too. I get into my comfortable “jammies” and park myself in front of the TV until my eyes hurt from trying to keep them open. The TV is on low, conversation is kept to a bare minimum of “grunts” if someone asks me a question and I have no other lights on; just the glow from the TV is enough to guide me to my trips to the bathroom, my only activity of the evening:) By 11 PM I am more than ready to pass out in my bed and I never fight that feeling. Sometimes, I need to turn on a fan for a little white noise or plug myself into my iPod so my mind doesn’t start “whirring”. I sleep soundly and deeply until morning…I wake up with no alarm, my eyes open of their own accord and I am more than ready to get out of bed. My mind is completely shrouded in fog and my morning routine is minimal. Bathroom, coffee, meds, smoke turn on computer etc. Now these things do always get done but not necessarily in that order. My routines are never completely embedded and they often just change for no particular reason, but now that I can sleep, that little quirk doesn’t bother me so much:)
How about you? Did your medication(s) change your sleep patterns? Have you found a way to lull yourself into a state of relaxation conducive to a restful nights sleep?