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Well That Explains A Few Things

Our bartender at Eventide . Because we're old, we didn't drink and we harrumphed when he rushed us on a busy Saturday afternoon, uttering things like "these days" and "Back when we were...."

My friend was more troubled by these bloody seagull wings than I,. Docks are places for blood and guts, no?

Thems real docks

I was not allowed to bring these home, sadly. But now that I'm looking at the sign, what do they mean by "as is"?

Last weekend, I was in Portland with a friend who has known me through many different lifetimes. We were wandering the docks and enjoying an unseasonal spring day while walking off our absurdly delicious Eventide brown butter lobster rolls, fried oysters and scallop ceviche, making room for the M&Ms we'd consume on the drive home.

We were reviewing our week and I told her about what seemed a pretty big revelation.A few days prior, bored on the T in the tunnel where the train moves slower than molasses, I broke my rule about never reading the paper and logged onto The Guardian, hurrying past photos of Donald Trump and the profound inhumanity in Gaza and Rafah, to what seemed a benign article about an ADHD diagnosis and a marriage. I was surprised by how much I could relate to the issues the writer had, and sent it off to someone who had, despite being far from hyper, impulsive or socially inappropriate, self-diagnosed herself with ADHD. A lot of back and forth transpired with links shared and exclamation marks, resulting in both of us being pretty sure we had ADHD.

When I told my friend in Portland, she laughed, in disbelief that this was news to me. Wearer of the same badge, she asked me a few times if I had never suspected I had ADHD and I honestly (and appropriately for someone with the diagnosis) replied that I didn't remember., but didn't think so.

This is absolutely what it feels like sometimes

I had lazily thought that ADHD was that thing little boys had, identified by hyperactivity and impulsivity. Not surprisingly, in women it's quieter and harder to diagnose, often leading to adverse effects on a woman's emotional well being. Luckily, this other woman and I have not had to deal with depression or anxiety, but there have been other things that are hard. We shared the shame of teachers telling us we were smart but weren't making an effort. And then there are other every day life things: unintentional double booking that insults or annoys friends, impatience for waiting in lines, an inability to do anything repetitive. Maybe the hardest thing is being genuinely enthusiastic about something one day and the next, not having the slightest interest.

Because other people can deal with things that I have not been able to, I'll get frustrated with myself that I can't do any better and feel bad about it and about me. As an example, I have blamed myself by pinning it all on excessive weed smoking when I was young (I'm sure this didn't help...). So, I'm hoping that defining the problem might help getting rid of the feeling bad part, now that there's a possibility it's not my fault, and that these shortcomings aren't a result of a lack of will or good intention, but structural.

Despite the potential of this self-diagnoses alleviating bad feelings I've had in the past, I remain ambivalent. All these years that I haven't known, I have been pushed to create systems for myself and ways of dealing with life, allowing me to at least partially harness some these challenges and be a problem solver and self-reliant. I make lists, I purge, I always put my keys in the same place, I rarely plug into media. I've a fear that I'm going to start feeling sorry for myself, be helpless, take the easy road. In the first draft of this post, my writing was undisciplined in a way it usually isn't, wandering down different paths, this time leading to a hard edit. I am curious to see if the drill sergeant in my head will remain, telling me to parse words and keep to the story, or whether I'll allow myself to go off on some wild word adventures Only time will tell.


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