I am a Jerk too!

28 06 2010

Say it ain’t so, Taylor …

Okay, I’m a pretty stable guy, most of the time, but last weekend I snapped. I lit into a friend (I have damned few of them) and made a total ass of myself (or revealed myself to be one).

The details are not relevant, the circumstances may be marginally relevant, but I’m not going there, even if I were able to understand why I lost my way. The point of this post might be me attempting to apologize, but that’s been done, so I won’t waste time doing it again.

I can’t explain my outburst in that I can’t define what put me into the mood that allowed me to snap, but snap I did.

And now for something really insane

What makes it worse is that I did it by email. Yeah, I know, why did I click the send button? Funny you should ask. Why do we do these things? (Oooops, that should be why do I do these things. You, my dear reader, are never guilty of such misbehaviour, I’m sure.) A self-destructive need to be friendless? Maybe, but I have a different take.

This is not an excuse, but more of an explanation … and a confession of sorts. I have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder). Yeah, I hear a collective “Aaaaah, that explains it!” from those who know me, but a “huh?” from those who don’t.

Well, first, ADHD (a.k.a. ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder) isn’t just “can’t pay attention,” it’s “can’t pay attention properly.” In actual fact, ADHD is being unable to pay attention to any one thing that isn’t so totally interesting that it forces me to pay that attention exclusively. I’ll say that again for those of you with ADHD: If I’m not completely absorbed in what I’m doing, I may wander off, mentally if not physically. No, make that I most likely will wander off.

So what happens when I’m absorbed and fully engaged in what I’m doing? A little thing we ADHDers like to call hyper-focus.

Hyper focus vs. Tunnel Vision

It sounds amazing, but is it the gift that some think it is? Well … yes and no. It can help me get through complicated and arduous tasks that require concentration. It can also render me incapable of waking up from my focus to observe what’s going on around me. Sometimes I miss things I maybe shouldn’t be missing. Another problem is that I can focus on what something means to me and not realize I’m not alone … that that same thing may affect others in ways I’m not thinking about. This brings us to my bad behaviour …

The gift that keeps taking …

I was trying to make my friend see my point, but the more I dwelt on my point, the less I saw how my words could hurt my friend. Justifiable anger was the understandable result.

The amazing thing is that my friend forgave me, proving that friend to be the bigger person. Not surprisingly, ADHD is a part of my friend’s life, perhaps past experience was part of the decision to forgive me. I don’t care, I’m just glad that it worked out. As to being forgiven, I hope that someday I can do as much for my friend … or be there in the same way for someone else. I’d like the chance to pay it back, or pass it on …

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