There are so many ways to live, and I don't know which one is right.
I try them on for size, pick bits and pieces to borrow, interpret different philosophies as I see fit and collect life hacks like some weird souvenirs, or better yet--like a junk drawer full of miscellaneous objects you should throw away but don't because you think you might need the odd paperclip or cork someday. I act like I know what I'm doing, but most of the time I'm just puttering around looking disgruntled at the perpetual cricket sounds in my head. I'm almost 40 and I still feel like it's stupid o’clock 24/7. The whole "my way" thing is nothing but a mix of habits and reflexes; wild guesses disguised as free will.
Every couple of months I get fed up with feeling dazed and confused, and I do something radical (or desperate): rearrange my schedule, rethink my goals, regroup and recharge and all the "re's". Things improve for awhile. On the whole, everything is better than ever--life is better--as I continue to simplify and organize. I stay in shape and on top of motherhood, I write regularly, and I remember to eat. I run chores and I enjoy pop-culture, and I do ALL THE THINGS. But then I get distracted. I lose momentum. I crash and burn. And the brain fog settles in again, and I don't do ANY OF THE THINGS.
Sometimes I’d keep my eyes closed in the dark and hope that when I finally open them up, I'd see clearly. I wish for revelations and wait for epiphanies, and I analyze myself and the situation to the very last minuscule detail with the intention of correcting course and trying again--to live the right way.
But that's some bullshit. I know it is. Because it's not something external. Despite the sci-fi level of insanity 2020 has brought upon the world, my problems aren't someone or something else's fault. Sure, I get sidetracked and bummed out by the current
cataclysms events, but that ain't it. Something is majorly wrong with my head. I have a pattern. I've always been like that. I can't focus and I have trouble dealing with life, and I struggle with simple challenges. I can't "fix" it by over-scrutinizing or by re-organizing, and not for the lack of trying. I need help, and I need to sit with my sense of misdirection, and I have to accept that my brain is just... weird.
That's adult ADD. It comes with the classic symptoms of attention deficit, and with depression and anxiety resulting from dysfunction. It also comes with so many other, atypical symptoms. I was diagnosed last month, and all my behavioral patterns and emotional idiosyncrasies began to make sense.
I am obsessed with time because I feel like I am wasting it. I take pictures and write non-fiction because I want to be able to understand myself and my life, as it's so often so confusing while I'm living it. I avoid structured environments and I detest authority and I overcompensate my social inadequacy by being funny and trying to be cool. I operate in bursts. My procrastination skills are unmatched. I have trouble being consistent and I have even bigger trouble finishing tasks. It's difficult to maintain anything long enough to do it well, to master it. I move on, I get over it, I lose interest. I'm either too impulsive or overly concerned with planning. I am a hot fuckin' mess.
Well, there. I said it. Mental health starts with mental hygiene, and I definitely didn't know any of this until very recently. ADD didn't exist in Bulgaria in the 80's, and we were taught to just snap out of it. As it stands, I'm on medication and in the process of finding a good therapist who takes insurance and isn't booked months in advance. I'm also learning how to train my brain to overcome its weak/blind spots. I made it this far somehow, and while it's not always fun or constructive, having ADD isn't fatal. I can stumble my way forward as a person, a woman, and a mom just fine... but apparently I can't write until I improve my symptoms.
That's a big one, writing. Problematic, too, judging by the fact that I've been writing a book since 2007 and still haven't written it. It takes nothing but concentration and dedication and persistence and consistency. I truly hope that it will all work out because this book means a lot to me.
Speaking of which, I am presently at my second writing retreat in two months, and I should get back to work. But thanks for reading, and please, please! if you are struggling with your own mental health, do seek help.
Life shouldn't suck more than it already does.