Overflowing with ADHD Appreciation
There I was in the bathroom, innocently blowing my nose and bopping to music on my iPhone at 12:30am. I had many things left on my ToDo list that needed doing, and with the quiet a sleeping home brings, I could finally focus. I flushed the tissue away and began to wash my hands, deep in thought about all those undone things. That's when I heard a splashing noise.
For the briefest second, I stared at the sink and wondered why the running water on my hands sounded so strange. In the next second, I whipped around and verified what my mind told me in a lightning burst:
The toilet was overflowing!
Another half second was spent realizing that the plunger was upstairs, but a scrubber was to the left. Without hesitation I grabbed it and while standing on one foot, I created an ad hoc suction effect by pumping the scrubber up and down frantically. I hadn't seen a toilet overflow this badly in years. There was at least a half inch of water covering the floor, but the disaster had been averted.
What the heck happened? I had only used three tissues. But another thought occurred to me. Why couldn't I respond this rapidly and effectively on everything else? Why hadn't my ADHD gotten in the way?
This incident reminded me of a time in college when a phenomenally bright roommate, who could speak fluent Mandarin Chinese, burst a pipe. He had plugged up the kitchen sink somehow and had grabbed a coat hanger and rammed it down the drain to clear the blockage—straight through the u-bend. He stood there dumbfounded as water spilled all over his feet. I leapt off the couch, flew through the air, dove for a pot, and saved the day. I could barely speak English without getting my foot hopelessly tangled with my tongue. How could I have out-thought such a bright guy‽
Perhaps I have simply missed my calling in life to be a plumber. Or maybe I have just rediscovered that adrenaline is my friend. Panic, fear, anger, excitement — intense emotions trigger the flood of clarity from adrenaline—sharpening my mind into a shiny blade. But only then.
Put me in a classroom, for example, with a live model to draw with dozens of students around me with skritching pencils, squeaking seats, shuffling feet, and whispering voices and I stand there with my mind as blank as my canvas. I remember those days all too well; my instructors thought I was an idiot. If only the model had overflowed a sink or pulled a palette knife on me. Now then they would have seen me spring into action.
All is not so bad, though. Adult ADHD may be a burdensome annoyance, but it also comes with a joyful side full of creativity, humor, light, and the occasional saved day. As I write here for HealthyPlace.com, I'll be exploring the upsides and the humor of Adult ADHD. There are a lot of stupid mistakes to be sure, but there are also the quirky moments of inspiration that need to be celebrated. I invite you to come along and celebrate with me.
Cootey, D. (2010, January 14). Overflowing with ADHD Appreciation, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, August 23 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/adultadhd/2010/01/celebrating-adult-adhd
Author: Douglas Cootey
Nice to see that my picture came to good use!
Did you ever leave comments over at A Splintered Mind? What name did you use? Or were you a lurker? I’m looking forward to working with you here. But if you need a plumber call Roto Rooter!
Semi-Organized Mom ~ You are very kind except for that Band-Aids bit. I’m not a bad luck shield! But you may want to have me around in your kitchen. I have a superpower. I can step in invisible puddles of water. The kitchen will be full of people, but I’ll step in the water. My socks need constant moistening apparently.
Claire ~ Thanks for the kind words. Hope to see your comments here. I always love to read those.
As for your new gig. Well done! I love your writing. You never fail to make me laugh or think a bit more deeply. Can't wait to read more!
If I'm ever in need of a good plumber I'll be sure to look you up ;)