Photo by Olha Khomenko

What It Feels Like To Have ADHD

Tara Lyn Mallick

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It might not be exactly what you think.

Let’s just get right to it, shall we? Here is a list of things that have happened to me, in no particular order:

  1. I spent an hour driving around looking for my lost phone. I asked restaurant employees to dig through their garbage and went to AT&T to find out what I still owed on it (a lot). I combed parking lots and dug through crevices in my car while I left my family waiting for me at the mall. My phone was in my purse the whole time.
  2. For two hours, I left my car running in a restaurant parking lot with the doors UNLOCKED (apparently, car thieves don’t like Toyotas).
  3. At 6 a.m., I locked myself out of the coffee shop I worked at with no phone, the sinks running at full blast and scones burning in the oven.
  4. I once spent over an hour wandering around in a parking ramp because I couldn’t find my fucking car.
  5. I struggled through a semester of Abnormal Psychology with a tyrant of a professor to end up with a hard-earned B. At the end of the semester, I found out I WASN’T EVEN REGISTERED FOR THE CLASS.

You’re probably wondering how I’ve survived to make it the age of 45. Trust me — I’ve wondered the same thing.

Anyway, these things aren’t anomalies. Any one of these could happen to me on any given day. Most mornings, I would wake up terrified about what the day would bring. Would I lose my wallet? Forget to pick my kid up from school? Get lost again driving to the same place I’ve been to a million times? Burn down a coffee shop?

Now you might be saying, “Well, Tara, everyone forgets shit sometimes. I forgot to thaw meat for dinner and now we’re eating peanut butter sandwiches!” With me, though, it’s not just as simple as not remembering. It’s that there are SO many things in my brain that I can’t focus on more than one thing at a time. It’s like I have a brain full of TVs, all turned to different stations (have you tried watching 16 television shows at once?). Thoughts cascade through my mind like clothes in a dryer — a thought won’t even complete itself before it tumbles and is replaced with another one.

I could be thinking all of these things in the time it takes to put socks on: What time is my meeting…

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Tara Lyn Mallick

Top writer in #race and #blacklivesmatter | The Startup | Noteworthy | Social worker | Book lover