ADHD: Of Mousse and Men
Tuesday, September 20 2011 Douglas Cootey
Sometimes when life gets crazy and your ADHD mind seems determined to make the worst of your day, finding the humor in the situation is the only remedy you have left to keeping your spirits high.
I was feeling pretty good Sunday morning. I had a new pair of pants. They were used pants with a rip in the side, and they only cost $6, but the most important thing about them was that I fit in them.
Over the years, I had let myself go like most married people I know. Since the sudden shift in my marital status last month, I've lost weight—about 13 lbs. In fact, I have been trying to lose weight since last year. I've dropped 28 lbs. over all. So to fit into a smaller pant size was a big event for me. I had refused to purchase any new slacks until I had lost weight. With the stress of moving into a new place, I could use some excuses to feel good about myself.
My pants looked good. Heck, my shirt and tie looked good, too. Maybe my hair should match, I thought, so I rummaged about the counter top looking for some mousse. With a home filled with girls, my hands didn't have to rummage about too far. Without a care in the world, I filled my palm with foamy goodness and applied liberally. Then I had the following conversation:
"ARGH! I smell like a chick!"
"What did you use?" called my daughter from the other room.
"This mousse!" I said in a not so manly tone.
"Daddy, that's from Victoria's Secret!"
Ah, one would think the label SO SEXY would have been a clue, but I hadn't taken time to notice. I was too preoccupied with how good I looked in my new pants.
We were late, but I couldn't go out into the world smelling of lilacs and rose petals. I rewashed my hair, redressed, gathered my girls and ran out the door without my keys. Fortunately, I had forgotten to lock the door.
Keys in hand, we rushed to the minivan and discovered I had left the seats at the old place after the previous day's big move. I piled the girls into the minivan anyway and rushed (very carefully) back to their mother's. In slacks, white shirt, and a tie I reinstalled the car seats.
At this point, we had missed much of church, and I no longer looked my best. It was a fiasco of a morning. Where on Earth was my brain? I'd have taken a picture of what I looked like if only I had remembered to bring my iPhone.
The funny bit is I wasn't stressed out. After years of ADHD moments, where my mind seems out of sync with the universe around me, I've developed a sense of humor about the whole thing. There are times when ToDo lists, reminders, sticky notes, and scheduled alarms cannot save you from yourself. Sometimes, you just need to take a deep breath and pause.
And that's what I did.
I gathered my wits (a difficult task, I assure you, since they were scattered between two homes), calmed myself, brushed off my pants, and enjoyed what church service was left. Then I had an amazing day.
I baked birthday brownies, threw a party, cooked steak and potatoes for dinner, and delivered the girls to their mother for their first two week split. The entire time I just kept taking deep breaths and staying calm. If I had remembered to do that in the morning, I might have enjoyed more of church. But, at least, I still looked good in those pants.