Monday, March 31, 2014

Time to think...


I was talking to an acquaintance the other day about ADHD, more precisely, my experience of ADHD.

I found myself saying - as I often do, speaking and hearing my thoughts as the words erupt from my mouth - that I often need to hide away after a full day at Uni. I come home and I feel exhausted, so I lay down and nap.

Friends have noticed this phenomenon remarking that I am regularly absent from social media between 4-8pm. I am not napping that entire time, usually, but yes, this certainly is something I do often.

When I got to bed, I don't usually fall asleep right away. I will lay in the silence of my room and think. Think about the day and process all the unfinished mental business.

Busy - ness.

You see, as an easily distracted person, I find most of my thoughts are left dangling throughout the day. Ethereal threads of conscientiousness drifting in the breeze of conversations and rushing about.

When I lie down, I am able to gather up some of these threads and tie them off. Tuck them back into the fabric of life, contextualise them.

ADHD is a lot like Autism in that the person living with this disorder has no filter for the world - or perhaps they have a filter, but it's holly. So, throughout my day, my sense take in everything, all the sounds and sights and smells and textures and flavours. It all goes in, and I don't get to process much of it because, well, I'm human and it's impossible to process millions upon millions of stimuli every day.

I filter out what I can. I expend most of my energy attempting to focus on what I need to be doing now, or next. Far too often I become distracted, and yet, I muddle through.

But it is mentally, emotionally and physically exhausting, and at the end of the day I still have so much back log of unprocessed 'stuff', that I will collapse in a heap for a while to manage some of it.

The Grumpy Old Man was listening to a radio program last week talking about the impact of technology on people, particularly young people. The program was describing a subconscious state of mind which continues to process stimuli while people are in a resting state. However, as young people spent so much time focused on technology, apparently they are not in this resting state as often as their parents were at the same age.

Less time process stimuli equates to less self-awareness and less learning. Considering how important my downtime is to my wellbeing, I can't help but be concerned that the kids are not getting enough unplugged time to process all that is happening in their lives. Is this why so many children become irritable and antsy when they do not have access to technology? Do they become overwhelmed by the back of stimuli they have to process?

I think these are important questions.

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Good Job!