Kryptonite Kreativity

I take it as a great compliment when people comment on my creative endeavors (no, I'm not hinting around for something, but thank you anyway). Usually, I get the question asking to what do I attribute as the source of my creativity, and to which I always reply with a straight face, "Drugs. Really strong and illegal drugs." About 80% of the time people don't get I am joking and their discomfort in searching for a socially appropriate response only confirms what a talented actor I am as well (oh, stop... well, thank you). On one occasion a lady followed up by asking if I still used those drugs. Of course I told her I did and continued by explaining I, in fact, planned on taking another "hit" once I finished speaking with her. In hindsight, I wished I would've have invited her to join me just to see if she would (hey, she asked).

The truth of the matter is there are no drugs involved and never have been. I quickly point this out in those above conversation when I am in my "acting zone" lest any unfounded rumors get started. When it comes to my creativity, it's a combination of solid genes (no in-breeding), God's blessings (or mercy if you will) and a healthy dose of good ol' fashioned ADD.

Ironically, the very reason for much of my creative output is also the obstacle holding me back from reaching a reasonable level of productivity. In Superman-speak, Adult ADD is my kryptonite. I've written and joked about having Adult ADD a few times, but beyond that, I haven't maintained any direct focus on the issue (no pun intended) in the Lunchbox. I've been somewhat deliberate in that decision because I don't want to appear to readers as having an "excuse" for how I behave or for what I say. Taking responsibility for my actions - good or bad - is paramount to me, especially when exposed to such a diverse audience.

However, there is a danger in downplaying its existence to the point of not respecting the effects it can have. When life is good, you eat healthy, sleep regularly, manage stress, establish disciplines, but it also can become easy to let little things slip, like missing a meal or forgetting your meds, and soon, life isn't so good anymore. It's in those moments you respect it again and get back on track.

Understanding my ADD has come in stages since my diagnosis several years ago. First, was to realize its power and reach in my live. Next was to learn how it impacted my relationships, my job performance, and my self-image. Finally, was to implement the correct measures to make me a smooth operating machine. Now I'm coming to a new realization over how, as my lifestyle changes, so to, do the measures I need to be effective.

A couple years ago I was in a place where I could afford to eat the healthiest food, I exercised regularly, managed stress effectively and stayed properly medicated. Today, however, my life has changed dramatically in that I don't have the same convenient resources at my disposal, and as such, I'm feeling the radioactive rays of my ADD in ways I never have before.

It's from my ADD I get a flood of my creative ideas. So many, in fact, it's unrealistic to be able to act on all of them. When I'm effectively dealing with my ADD, I manage to keep the flood in check, which is to say, I realize I will never be able to use all of the ideas that pop in my brain and I pick the best ones to work on, and go from there. On the other hand, when my ADD is in a full-on, unchecked rampage that flood becomes a tsunami, and not only is it impossible to keep things in perspective, it's debilitating in my attempts to accomplish everything my brain can imagine.

It becomes cyclical at this point. Unmanageable ADD translates into a torrent of ideas. Those ideas, unfiltered, result in a feeling of being overwhelmed, which then results in shutting down. Shutting down means sitting on the couch in the fetal position and watching Sponge Bob Squarepants for several hours with the depressive awareness of the lack of productivity. No productivity means no money, and thus, no money, means working harder at managing ADD with the limited resources available for my current lifestyle. If I cannot manage the weakness created by my ADD, I will never attain the level of output that will generate the income to make life a bit more manageable.

My point in all of my musings is to set the groundwork for future posts in writing about how I manage my ADD. As a freelancer, there is virtually no structure for me (except from 10am to noon and 4pm to 5 when Sponge Bob is playing on TV), and no structure for an ADD'er like me is as self-destructive as holding an AA meeting at a Jim Beam distillery. So, just an alcoholic stands and acknowledges and owns his weakness, I need to acknowledge mine as I adapt to the changes in my life.

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? Ooh, gotta run. SPONGE BOB SQUARE PANTS!

Note: If you are curious to find out whether you or someone you know may have adult ADD check out this link (no, it's not some goofy joke with shiny objects - it's legit), and answer the questions on the second page.

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