Nov. 4th, 2017

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 Good morning! I'm at work. This is not technically work, but I can't focus on anything, so no work is getting done here anyway unless I do something about my focus issues, and I know what that something is-- I need to WRITE. Not write anything in particular. Just journal. I seem to have misplaced my private paper journal, but I don't think writing in a paper journal at the reference desk will really work out anyway, so I'm typing instead. Obviously if someone needs my help, I am here and available and ready for the interruption, it's just instead of reading book reviews or outlining future programs, I'm freetyping in effort to get my brain sorted.

I've been reading this book about ADHD-- Healing ADD: The Breakthrough Program that Allows You to See and Heal the 7 Types of ADD by Daniel G. Amen-- my aunt with ADHD sent me an article about his theories that was quite intriguing: obviously Jason and Maddie exemplify classic ADHD, his Type 1 (although using the numbers always confuses me because my first thought is Enneatypes, and in Enneatypes Jason is a Counterphobic Type 6 and Maddie is probably a Type 4 if not a Type 7, hard to say at this stage in her life and it's possible the 7ish traits are just, in fact, her ADHD, but anywho), and I'm a lovely why-didn't-we-see-this-years-ago portrait of Type 2 Inattentive Type, but Sammy, the one having the most problems with it right now, seems to be his Type 3,* Overfocused ADD. So it's interesting to read about not only how the different types present themselves but also how they also require slightly different courses of treatment.

Except all types-- well, all three of OUR types at least-- do best on a high-protein, low-simple-carbs diet, which explains why I felt so much better so quickly on Weight Watchers; but darnit I LOVE my simple carbs! And it was just Halloween so simple carbs abound! And Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming to bring me more! ...but anyway. So, as if it wasn't hard enough to feed this picky family.

Actually it's always driven me nuts that my daughter, who otherwise isn't THAT picky, doesn't like tomato sauce, when spaghetti is my number one comfort-food-quick-and-easy-dinner-favorite. AS IT TURNS OUT, though, we've been tracking down this apparent stomach issue she's had for awhile that seems to have gotten worse since the start of the school year. And we haven't officially got it labelled as such yet, but at present it SEEMS to be abdominal migraines, and they SEEM to be triggered by...wait for it... tomato products. IT ALL BECOMES CLEAR. Meanwhile, her EXTREMELY picky brother only likes about five different meals, three of which involve tomato sauce. If we all had to live on the meals everyone in the family can and/or will eat, it would be nothing but mac and cheese. Day in, day out. Unless we add in, like, pancakes. I suppose we could also live on pancakes. But those aren't exactly high in protein OR low in simple carbs. 

Anyway but that wasn't what I originally was going to talk about. Have I mentioned I have ADD? :P No, he also pointed out that it's extremely common for people with ADHD of some type to have trouble getting their thoughts on paper, with learning disabilities in various forms of dyslexia abounding-- there's Jason for you. Maddie seems to have a bit of slight dysgraphia, too, not as bad as Jason, but she does tend toward out-of-proportion spelling errors and a lot of letter flipping. And all four of us have terrible handwriting. BUT of course, I work opposite. The connection between my brain and MOUTH is the one that's troublesome, and it's in WRITING that I'm able to spout out all the unconnected garbage that comes to mind. He said in the book though that this does seem to occur sometimes in a type of ADD that is otherwise CLEARLY NOT me-- hah! I don't have the book with me right now to give you specifics, but yeah.

Anyway, this book is not perfect. I don't particularly like his negativity toward ADHD-- he definitely frames it as a neurological disorder rather than a neurological divergence-- which sounds like a small issue of terminology, but when you're reading it you kind of feel like "YES, it's giving me problems, but it also gives me some unique skills and perspectives! Stop calling me broken!" Okay, yes, my brain is not working properly, but still, it's just the tone. He's also pretty braggy. OUR special tests, MY special supplements, etc. etc. Also, for someone who claims not to have ADHD himself, he repeats himself a lot, like he wrote it on Scrivener and kind of dumped his notes into various chapter folders where they might apply, then wrote each chapter separately and compiled them all without looking over the whole thing to realize he kept reusing stuff. But that's just me reviewing the book as a whole, as sort of evidence why I don't buy everything in it, to explain why he's a bit wrong here.

And he's not so much wrong, as just, well-- just because you've got seven different types identified and acknowledge they all get treated differently, people STILL aren't cookie cutter examples within those types, of course! In MY brain, the words just want to come out through writing!

I always called it Writeritis as a kid. My brain just got so swollen with words and stories that I had to write it all down, stat. Over time I came to realize that this was a way of organizing my brain. As a kid I just figured it was evidence that I was a WRITER, thank you. It's what I do! 

One thing I definitely learned from this book which was surprising but SO CLARIFYING, is that when people with ADD try to concentrate, it actually makes them concentrate WORSE. Like, physically. They've mapped the brainwaves of people and determined this. That's why it's so HARD to concentrate, because TRYING to concentrate is what ruins your concentration! That's why kids like Maddie and I didn't/don't have the red lights going off in school that makes teachers say "Whoa, problem here, get this kid an IEP!" because we were/are interested in learning things and so don't HAVE to make ourselves pay attention in school for the most part, so we just DO... until, for example, I got to 10th grade geometry, and my brain just turned OFF the moment my teacher started talking. I always blamed her voice. I said she talked in a monoclip-- too fast for a monotone, but equally boring. I just COULD. NOT. pay attention to it. Now I know it wasn't so much her, but me. Yeah, she was boring. But I wasn't exaggerating by saying I COULD. NOT. pay attention. I LITERALLY WAS INCAPABLE of paying attention, and decided I hated math until I took college courses on how to teach elementary school math, and they were totally fun, and since I didn't have to WORK at paying attention, I COULD again. And Maddie can whip off her homework in no time, but when it starts to build up-- like, she keeps missing school because of abdominal migraines-- then suddenly the same homework becomes excruciating torture that lasts all evening, just because there was a little more of it.

So I understand a little more why writing fiction when I was younger was so much easier. BECAUSE I WASN'T TRYING. I was just doing it because I felt like it. But when I freak out about the fact that I CAN'T, or don't have TIME, or don't have IDEAS, trying just makes me LESS ABLE TO, and it spirals down into this DECADE LONG BLOCK.  But the last time I wrote any good fiction-- the Pipeweed Mafia Stories-- I could because I was just playing around. Which also explains why FINISHING writing is so difficult, because then I have that GOAL in mind, so I start TRYING, and then my brain turns off. WHAT THE HECK.

Okay, I have to go eat lunch now. I've got a very low-carb frozen meal awaiting me. Let's see what happens after this.

*In Enneatypes, not to confuse the issue, of course you know I'm a textbook Type 9—an extremely attractive type for someone whose brain is wired as Inattentive ADD in fact— and Sam's a Type 6 like his dad, but much less counterphobic. I like Enneatypes! But they're much more about psychological philosophy than actual brainwiring, and this book is talking about actual brainwiring, so I'll shut up about it.

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