Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Our house is still for sale but there is an offer on it, subject to the person selling thier own house. We aren't too excited about the offer but we're hoping that, if they don't sell thier house, they may go ahead and buy ours so they don't lose it.

Now that we've been working on our house for months, it's everything I've always wanted it to be. Almost every little problem has been fixed. There's granite in the kitchen and bathrooms. The yard is landscaped. Well, half of the yard. We are an ADD family so you're not going to get everything done. But it's starting to not feel like a home somehow. It's too tidy and perfect. I've never lived that way.

I feel weird not leaving the house in some disarray when I have to go somewhere. When I get back it's so tidy I'm afraid to move. It's not just me. If my toddler gets a few toys out, she looks at them on the floor and says, "I made a mess." Yes. Three stuffed animals. The horror.

Since the house doesn't have a sale "pending," it isn't off the market. Another buyer could make an offer and then the current buyers would have 72 hours to make good on thier offer. So, it's still being shown. Every time it's shown, I go into some state of "boggle".

And since it's been shown so often, I now understand the semipermanent state of boggle of ADDers who are selling/moving. I think that my coach training has helped me, however I can't get over how strange it is to be the coach, watching myself experience the textbook ADD "boggle". I understand and recognize it but I can't stop it. At the end of the day I'm still an ADDer like all of my clients. The only thing that can be done is to use the same techniques that work for every other ADDer. I don't get any special exceptions just because I know how all of this works.

I can't help but wonder how bad I might feel about myself if I didn't know about ADD boggle. I have a tendency to have unrealistic, high expectations for myself. To combine that with lower than normal functioning is a recipe for depression.

For those who aren't familiar with ADD boggle, it's basically too much stress causing you to shut down. I may not have described the nuances of it but that's basically it. Some people get cranky, some people get more spacey, the list goes on. Functioning is impaired. Not in all aspects. For example, you might be able to "escape" the boggle by leaving the situation at home and going to work... However, if you have already "boggled" earlier that day, then your functioning for the rest of the day will suffer.

I have become an expert at recognizing boggle in myself. I've come to recognize a physical sensation that, sometimes, I can feel coming on. If I have the ability to stop doing what's causing the boggle, and wait until later to resume the activity, then I can still have a normal day. Boggle happens when I'm startled (can we show your house in 15 minutes?), or if I study something that I don't have an avid interest in. I can read a few paragraphs, underline, make a few notes, but I have to stop after a few paragraphs. If I don't, then my brain will melt and that will be that. I also boggle after 45 minutes of sustained attention to conversation.

But luckily, I have found a way around having to do that. If there's music playing, I can read and study anything for as long as I need to. I discovered that when I was attending support group meetings. I would always leave the meetings with what I called "brain burn" - LOL. After 45-50 minutes of sustained attention, I am so boggled, it feels like there's some kind of loud piercing alarm going off, except that I don't actually hear anything.

The support group meetings would last for an hour or more. I was torn. Should I disrupt the gathering by leaving at 40 minutes (thereby assuring that I'd get out of there OK)? I could have. But I never did.

Then during one of those meetings, there was a radio playing in the corner of the room, and I walked out of there feeing just fine. That's when I figured out that music helps me to overcome boggle. It does not matter what kind of music. I think that music even helps my brain to function more normally. I am less distractable when there's music playing. I am able to converse with more ease. I have more "brilliant ideas" when there's music playing.

To each his own, but you may find that music helps you (or ADDers in your family) with your daily functioning too.


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