Randomness. One word to describe my mind as long as I can remember. Pursuing thoughts that string out from one to eight others all simultaneously. From those eight that sprouted, another sixteen come up, so on and so forth. Very used to it from many years of not able to kick out the leaching guy on the couch of my mind, I have conformed to the annoyance. The guy on the couch, I have tried giving him drugs, getting him drunk, letting him going on binges, he stays. When I tried pawning him off to other friends places, he would have nothing of it, no compromise, this was his home. Always finding his way back to, you guessed it; the couch. The couch in my mind where the annoyances take up residence like squatters. Not invited and not sure how they got in other than a force beyond me.
One day I asked this annoyance, “What is your name?” He says, “there is no name, I just came with the package.” I was born, I am that package, and in it, is the guy on the couch. He is the running thoughts, the random thoughts, the thoughts that do not shut up for anything. The only escape is when I am hyper focused on something. It always has to be something I am interested in, not just anything. Any casual conversation, any environment. There he is , throwing out ideas like a marketing meeting looking for the next big gig.
Here is an example: I am at work, doing some sort of trivial work thing. The boss is talking to me about her plans for class, lesson plans. Asking me what I think about her plan of action, concerning a science class. While she is explaining, here is what I am thinking: “Does your breath always smell this way? What is it do you eat that makes it this way? Why do you always wear casual shoes with a nice dressy outfit? Is it because of a physical illness? Did you plague yourself with heels for many years and no longer can you wear them due to permanent injuries? Boy, I want some aromatic , strong, and bold coffee right now. I cannot find that here at the school. All they serve is that watered down Folgers crap. I bet a lot of people would be happier with a better quality coffee. I need some air in nature, lots of great trees out there that invite a great variety of birds; pleasant and inviting, I think I will go outside for a five-minute break. Oh and I feel like steak tonight. Steak from a quality butcher around the corner, with a custom dry rub that I have. Baked potato, steamed broccoli, maybe garlic bread? Why does this school look like an institution? Why is the air conditioning only in the offices and not the rest of the school? Who’s sick idea is that? As if the staff in the offices is much more important the student body or teachers. *Pause* She is still talking about her lesson plans, same stuff she always does, nothing new. If I suggest anything new, she will listen but not incorporate, I won’t suggest this time, it is like talking to a brick wall. Worthless. What was that song that I love singing to in my SUV? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…………Boston, “Peace of Mind.” Yes, that is it, play it on the guitar too. Did that student just pass by out of uniform?”
Do you get the idea of randomness and the ever-relenting thoughts streaming in with not much flow or order? Every day, every hour, no elaborating on that. How have I become so used to this? What choice did I ever have? I was not going to just lie down and die, I had to live. I will not miss out on life even though this can be torture. Often, I will use it to make stories of strangers I see for fun. Then tell whichever friend is next to me about it. “Where in the world did you come up with that in such detail?” Just came to me I reply. The randomness makes it funny, the detail makes it funny. When I was a drinker , much younger, I would do this at the bar, which made it much more hilarious, then share it with the group of friends. “What is this stuff you come up with?” I reply it’s fun and keeps me entertained. If I am not dancing, or flirting, it really was not fun just sitting and drinking at a bar. OH, ANOTHER GREAT SONG! Journey’s “Lovin, Touchin, Squeezing,” I must go find it to sing too. Off I go.
Not knowing life other than all this until I got on Adderall. I cried from the results. The results were a complete positive flip of relief. The radio or static in my head ceased unless I wanted to become creative. Tears of happiness, with great improvement in focus. Motivation skyrocketed, and even the mundane things everyone does in life didn’t seem so excruciating boring. I asked my psychiatrist if this is the way neurotypical people think? He said yes. I replied that I have missed out on a lot in life. He replied, you sure have, now go live your life. Perfect song for this moment is by The Band, their song, “The Weight.” The ever burden of this weight, lifting. 35 years young and I can remember feeling this way all the way back to first grade.
Adderall continued for a couple of months , twice a day, it only lasts four hours, maybe three. Last week, my doctor switched me to a 13 hour pill that is in the same family of Adderall but lasts the entire day. This stuff works even better and I will stick with it. It treats my ADD but also helps my OCD. Can you imagine having the overlapping symptoms of both diagnosis’s? That thought makes me laugh out loud at the irony. How in the hell did I live in my own mind?