This morning I was supposed to be going to a conference at the Wellcom in London but indecision over spending the cash to get there and other responsibilities sent me over the edge. Bloody waste of a morning. So instead I hid in bed and wrote.
The conditions for functional coping are so nuanced, so precise, so delicately engineered. This is tolerance of the most niche kind; personalised, individual. I’m in daily hostage to my neurochemicals.
ADHD in action, or is that inaction?
Everyday things are rarely enough to make systems begin. The sure windup of oiled machinery rarely gains its own unchallenged momentum in this ADHD mind. Rote learned Sensible ideas do raise a rational response. But, lacking sufficiency of regular neuro-fuel, this brain is now trigger happy on adrenaline; conditioned by parental and school frustration to ‘Just Do It!’ To ‘stop daydreaming’ .
I tell myself ‘Make a calm choice and follow it through, yeah?’ But there’s importance here. There are consequences and other people. And just as night follows day, the indecision that comes standard with this self determined action potential gives a generous slug of the fight/flight ‘drug’ to my brain highways. Flooded thus I’m Driven and galvanised (and brilliant in an emergency!) and ideas and connections come thick and fast. All the world seems possible. Things are happening! I’m doing it!
It’s a thrilling ride. But I need wolves to chase me – to flee from. I Need need, to focus the adrenaline. Without it – unchased and unrequired – I tip quickly into a vertical free fall of anxiety. Hyper aroused and hyper alert to every twitch and light and sound. The crash is swift and brutal. And the critical thinking functions – of balance, of reason, of consideration – are subsumed by survival instinct. Alive but paralysed. Inert, voiceless, scarcely daring breath. The wolves were there all along – but they weren’t chasing, they were hidden; waiting to tear apart and devour the spoils of that impulse to creativity. The ideas and connections slip away back into the recesses, leaving me with little but a memory of how stars are made, and a surer knowledge that functional usefulness and brilliance alike are trapped in a maze of mirrors and menace.