An Hour (More) In the early morning of an AD/HD Mind
It is Saturday morning. I awaken an hour before the alarm. It is 5:30 AM...I try to find the clock to see what time it is. Shit, I want to sleep. I need sleep.
My eyes hurt from lack of sleep, my throat feels like sand paper from fighting a cold and over use. I have given two speeches, led three IEP meetings, and participated in a long and painful meeting about my mom
in the last 72 hours, but my throat has been sore for days. I hope it is just overuse, but maybe I should call a doctor?
I fight for lucidity….cursing my inability to sleep. I make coffee and go the the bathroom. I sit on the toilet, counting out my pills for the week (I need my stimulant med refilled), while shaving. Still sitting on my roost....
Dan awakens briefly to pee, (in the other bathroom) disrupted by my activity, despite my effort to be quiet.“Go to sleep, buddy….you don’t have to get up for another two hours"….he pees and returns happily to deep sleep, though I can hear him talking out loud to himself in his sleep. I am jealous.
As I count my meds, sitting on the john, my mind shifts rapidly in to high gear. I quickly review what I need to do in the day. First, I need to review and revise my list for the weekend. Already, there are over twenty items, but I am remembering more, including trying to reach the doctor –I need to deal with my throat….and Dan may have broken his nose a few days ago and he may need an x-ray.
My mind races. I curse my inability to sleep. My eyes hurt from lack of sleep, but perhaps also from tears from several frustrating events last night, trying to help people I love, but thwarted by things beyond my control.
I need to refine my list, but I need to shower, to get Dan ready for bowling and to have my Spanish lesson before I work on my list. Then I will meet Nate for breakfast, perhaps our only chance for private time before he leaves town again….I look forward to the time, but think about his desire to take the 17 year old car with him and how I will respond….and, more importantly, my sadness that he is departing so soon. Oh, and I need to see my folks…
As I sit, still planted to the toilet, my mind races to things that have been been percolating in my mind, some for many months, and some just recently.
An article to set forth a new conceptual model for the Duty to Warn, waiting for me to write it for over a year, but now I have a new idea for the concept, and a new plan for how to get it done….
An article, new talks, or perhaps a book, based on my presentation Wednesday night, on the parallels and differences between Kubla-Ross’stages of grieving a loved one that is dying or dead and parenting a child with disabilities…
The need to review a legal brief that is due soon, to blend my different ToDo lists…..I don’t want to lose those thoughts for the articles…. I need to write them down, but I need to make my list. And I need to visit my folks….I dread it…
My mom needs to move from her apartment to the nursing floor. She is upset, confused, scared, lonely, sad, angry, blaming….and still smoking….but I need to see both of them. When to fit it in.
Shit. Figuratively at this point. I need to shower quick. Dan’s first alarm is sounding (he has three and often sleeps thru all of them). But I need to write down my ideas for the articles….and I want to write this poem that has suddenly come to me. The clock keeps ticking.
I race thru my shower, my mind still racing….then I race to write reminder notes for the two articles….
Now I start writing this…is it a poem….an essay…. A diary…..? Why am I writing it….what will I do with it…? I think I will share it, with whom? It wasn't even on my list. It just popped in to my head.
My skype chat beep alerts me that mi maestre escribe sobre mi clase y yo tengo mi clase in trente minutos. Yo necessitar prepararse. It is 8:10. My spanish class starts in 20 minutes. An hour has turned in to more then two....
I need to get Dan up and ready for his bus, but I am not done….and what about my lists….and my eyes still hurt. I need Tylenol….and more coffee, but I need to get dressed and get Dan up and prepared for his bus….
I am not done, but I need to go….but I want to squeeze in just one or two more thoughts, and maybe do something else on the ever multiplying list....a list that grows like rabbits...
My mind races….filled with many things….My mind, by Itself, exhausts me.
But at least now I am awake.
I am a special education, disability rights and mental health policy lawyer in Chicago and represent children and adults with disabilities. I also work with many mental health providers and social service agencies on policy and risk management issues. I do lots of speaking, writing and training on special education law, disability rights, mental health and confidentiality law. I also do lots of writing and training on ADHD, because I have ADHD and I have a son, Dan, with ADHD. I also have a son, Nate, who has had to live with ADHD in the family. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org