ADHD

The Devil Wears Details

I realized that I have written some recent posts that seem contradictory, so I’m taking a minute to clarify. Yes, as I go through my day I am bombarded by a billion details that I can’t seem to filter out. And yes, when it comes to dealing with certain kinds of plans, I have a totally different relationship with detail that is also very “ADHD”. Both of these statements are true.

I do indeed geek out on the detail of creating an operational plan because I get totally HIGH off of it. I love solving a problem. I create proposals, and visuals and graphs and even timelines and goals, and all kinds of other cool stuff. I can even geek out a projected/proposed budget for you. And I’m good at it.

At the law office (where I work part time) we did get a “junior” paralegal this year and I have been enjoying delegating, for the first time in my life. I used to find delegating stressful for a variety of reasons, including that it sometimes is more stressful to have to explain something to someone else than to just do it.

It’s a weird limbo, the land where you just “get” the big picture, and in fact see it better than most people ever will, but can’t remember to check your own calendar. Or who you talked to on the phone five minutes ago.

I work my ass off to stay on step ahead of the nearest person that may be impacted by one of my mistakes or ask questions that may reveal my lesser skills. To be clear, I don’t have a hoard of undiscovered messes. What I do have is a cleverly disguised pile of near-disasters. I have coped well, and I have earned people’s trust by appearing to be reliable at all costs. Unfortunately I’ve coped SO well that I really have absorbed most of the costs myself. I really AM as reliable as I claim to be, but by offering myself up as a sacrifice.

But as I said, I have help at work now getting the small, routine things that I can’t seem to make stick finished. And in my self-employment projects queue, I should be able to afford an assistant in the coming year. I love my personal projects because I finally get to fill a role that is more appropriate to my skills as a person and my skills as a person with ADHD.

And likely, I will never be at ease in a job that requires steady adherence to routine. I don’t even fill out my time sheet the same way every time…last week I forgot to turn it in at all.

There are different kinds of detail. There’s the sound of the television and the noisy students that live downstairs, the “electrical whine” of appliances, the overhead lights and the other sensory stimuli that drive me nuts. There’s the routine tasks of daily living, mastery of which always seems just out of reach or reachable only at great personal cost, and the routine tasks of daily office life that fall in the same category.

And then there’s the details involved in either digesting a “big picture” or even better concocting one from thin air. This is the kind of detail that I literally live for, but I’m always fighting my way through the other types in order to enjoy the luxury of applying my mind to. It’s not a matter of inconvenience, it is a battle for simple breath.

I doubt that I’ll bother to explore types of detail in this much, well, detail again but I felt it was important to clarify that in light of my other posts…

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