Right now, if you could see me, you likely wouldn’t hesitate to call me lazy. I’ve got a sink of dirty dishes. There’s a bit of clutter on the floor. I’ve got my laptop propped up on my legs as I lay in bed watching Pawn Stars on Hulu. I’ve not done anything productive today despite having a laundry list of people to call and places to email. I have so much stuff I should be doing, but quite frankly, I’m not.

To the outside eye, I’m lazy. I’m capable of picking up my PS3 controller and playing a game, or booting up my computer to surf Facebook. Surely, if I can do these things, it means I’m lazy for not doing the others, right? Surely, if I am able to make a cup of coffee (which I actually failed in doing today. Yeah, I can’t even successfully make coffee. Go team Annora), I can safely cook food, right?

What about getting single serve foods? I admit to buying prepackaged foods because they’re easier to cook and there are less dishes. I get backlash for this – it’s so bad for the Earth! It’s so lazy! But what is worse – doing something that makes my already difficult life a bit easier, or merely not eating? Because, as absurd as it sounds, that’s often what it boils down to.

But I don’t know that I agree that it’s laziness. To you, it looks lazy. As I sit in bed sipping my Diet Pepsi, trying to get my ADHD brain to be less zippy, munching on pretzels because I don’t have the energy to get real food… it looks lazy, right?

But in really, it’s executive functioning problems. For me, it isn’t as simple as just saying “OK, I need to call the social security office and I need to email my case worker.” I have to write up a script and come up with possible scenarios. I have to brace myself because I have a fear of phones. I cannot just suck it up and do it. By doing this, I am developing autistic burnout and pretending to be neurotypical. And as a result, I am unable to get anything done. I try to barrel though and pretend I’m Super NT Girl and can handle it all, but the truth is I cannot and unless I do things my own way at my own pace, I burn out and nothing gets done.

I don’t know that I truly believe laziness is a thing. Lack of motivation? Maybe, but I think that’s because of outside factors. Depression, anxiety, illness, etc. I want to do things. I want to be productive. But the simple truth is, I can’t. I’m not lazy for taking things at my own pace and doing them my own way.

I’m simply me.

What I Want You To Know

What I want, no, need you to know about how my brain works.

What you should know is that when I play with my phone while you’re talking to me, it doesn’t mean I’m not paying attention. It doesn’t mean that I don’t care about what you have to say. It doesn’t even mean I’m being rude. By playing with my phone, or sometimes iPad, I’m keeping myself grounded in a world that’s scary to me. I’m stopping the thoughts and obsessions from spinning in my brain. I’m stopping the sounds and noises from pulling me away from reality.

What you need to know is that I am not lazy. For most people, going out and about is no big deal. But for me – it engages all my senses. I have the unfortunate combo of hypersensitive hearing in one ear and hearing loss in the other. It makes it easy for sounds to overwhelm me. Lights hurt my eyes. Everything hurts. Certain sounds even hurt my ears.

What I want you to know is that some of my interests are childish, despite being 28 years old. It doesn’t mean I’m childish, it merely means that this is something that comforts me in a scary world. Yes, I’m 28 with no kids and can sing a lot of the songs from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and countless Sesame Street jingles. What of it?

What I so badly need you to know is I’m not flaky. I’m not lazy. I’m not unreliable. If you knew me, you’d know I’m loyal, almost to a fault. Ask my best friend about the impound lot adventure from hell. If you need me, you bet your ass I will be at your side. But sometimes, even often, I cannot function. It doesn’t mean I don’t love you. It doesn’t mean you aren’t important. It does mean that my body just sucks and sometimes decides to go on strike or stage a mutiny. Or both, I guess.

What I need you to know, with all my heart, is how much it hurts me when you judge me. When you cast me the side eye for not being disabled enough. When you look at me funny for using the motorized cart at Target. When you judge me and my friends when we park in the handicap spots at Noodles & Company. I wish with all that I am that it wasn’t like this. I wish with all that I am that it was different. But it’s not.

I need you to know so that you can be my friend and that I can be your friend.

ADH… OMG SO SHINY! Is it like a Shiny Pokemon?

Image description: One of those "keep calm" memes. The text is a deep green. There is a crown at the top, and it states "Keep calm and SQUIRREL. Brought to you by ADHD."

Image description: One of those “keep calm” memes. The text is a deep green. There is a crown at the top, and it states “Keep calm and SQUIRREL. Brought to you by ADHD.”

When people think of ADHD, they think of  the “ADH… ooh, shiny!” trope: Which okay, that’s legit. I was once walking into my college dorm with a friend and I spotted Christmas lights. I literally stopped in my tracks and stated “Ooh! Shiny!” I may or may not have been 24 years old. Yeah. I have ADHD but it’s so much more than “Ooh, shiny!” and “OMG, a squirrel!” It’s actually a living hell.

I will say that it has its perks. People with ADHD are known to be creative. I can multitask like no tomorrow and caffeine has a reverse impact on me (it calms me down and helps me focus). But that doesn’t outweigh the problems of ADHD.

You know how you feel suddenly overwhelmed when you click a link on the internet, and somehow about two dozen tabs pop up?  That’s what every moment of my life is like. You know what it is like when you have over two dozen tabs up, but you’re actually interested in each one? Again, welcome to my life (queue Simple Plan song here).

I can’t focus. I can’t sit still. The smallest, most mundane tasks can take hours because it’s so difficult to keep focus. I lose track. I get sidelined. “Oh, I should write about this. But wait, something is happening on the Internet! Well, okay, it can wait. Oh look, a picture of a puppy. Aww. It’s cute. I like puppies. Hmm. I want to work on my service dog paperwork. Oh, I have to list a reference! I should go talk to these people!” However, the chain is not always logical and sometimes it feels like falling down the Wikipedia or the Youtube rabbit hole where you just keep clicking on random things, and that’s what your life is like.

I spend my life feeling like I’m lazy. If I could just get motivated, maybe I could get the stuff down. Do that paperwork. Make this phone call. Send the email that’s been sitting in my draft folder for weeks now.  Do the dishes. Swiffer the floor. You see where this is going.

But dammit, I am the opposite of lazy. The thing is, my brain is just wired differently than yours. The tasks that most people do without the slightest bit of effort, takes every amount of mine. I am not lazy because it sometimes takes me longer to complete tasks. I am not lazy because things don’t get done. I am more than easily distracted. I am more than someone who is lazy.

I may have ADHD. I may be unable to be medicated. But it doesn’t mean I’m lazy.  It doesn’t mean I’m not intelligent. It doesn’t mean that I don’t want to do things. Oh man, I want to do them. I want to stay on topic. I want to stay on track. But with a little extra help and a heavy dose of compassion, I can achieve my goals, despite having ADHD. Not suffering from, having.





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