Stream of consciousness has taken on new meaning for me lately.
I used to have a love/hate relationship with thoughts that flew in and out of my mind – the questions, the ideas, and adventures, which seemed to arrive like shooting stars, and disappear just as quickly.
Rarely did they stay alive unless I captured them immediately by writing them down. But that was my norm for as long as memory carries me – it was neither wished for nor understood, and I never wished it to be different because I had no idea that they could be paused, diverted, redirected or held in abeyance. And now I know differently. Now there is magic in those early morning hours when the waking brain has that brain-circus doing its trapeze act for a short time. It is like being a kid in a candy store, partly for the sizzle of ideas and imagination, but also for knowing it is a brain-play time that will end by choice, that can be put back like putting Jack back in a jack-in-the-box. And 90 minutes after that 5:30 AM pill, the choppy surf is calmed, and the steering for the day ahead has my hand firmly on the wheel.
I could imagine (wouldn’t that be nice) that most decisions I make are suddenly better.
While I think they likely will be, I’m not a fool getting ahead of myself – but I know my choices, even in quick decisions, are intentional. Sure, some things happen so quickly it is difficult to analyze why I chose to say yes to one thing or no to another. It’s rapid decision-making based on the fastest computer I own – the one between my ears. I think I’m a better driver, more careful to be sure, but also less distracted. My reactions are just as quick, but they feel less auto-reflex and more intentional. That feels like the best way to describe it …
My ADHD had free reign all my life, unchecked, untreated, and unidentified.
My learning journey has been only a few short months, and I’ve been on my ADHD medication for a few weeks, so these comments are best characterized as early days reactions. And it can also be described as definable, as the day is from the night. On the surface, it might appear that little has changed. I live and work and play in the same places, and most routines of my life are unchanged. For nearly 20 years, I’ve written and published a column like this every morning (today is 7,088 consecutive days), but since I commenced treatment, my writing has felt more focused and clear, and my thoughts more organized than ever.
I’m not alone. It has staggered me how good it feels to have support and encouragement from friends and colleagues; some understand, some don’t understand, but they are incredibly understanding and kind cheerleaders, and I could not be more grateful to have the help of people who care and a physician who is treating the whole me, not just the ADHD patient.