Everyone knows what it’s like to lose your train of thought – but for most of us, that’s one train on one track; if we get side-tracked, interrupted, taken-off task, or go into another room, we can usually get ourselves back on the correct track. Or we retrace our steps and try to think through the sequence of recent minutes to recall what we were doing or what we were thinking about when that thought train left the station. Sometimes it comes back, but more often, it is gone – to circle back when triggered some new way later, in a few days, or gone forever.
This is not a product of being addle minded, young or old; it’s something we all experience.
Imagine now, several trains moving in different directions, multiple tracks …
That describes the ADHD brain. On the meds or not, during the 14 hours of sanity, those meds help with anything that happens during the other 10 hours. The meds don’t reduce the number of tracks, trains, or speed – but they help the executive function in the brain stay focused on the priority train until we are done riding that train and ready to move to the next priority.
For music lovers, here’s a favourite of mine by Fred Eaglesmith – and even if you don’t love train songs, you gotta love his hat. And if you like train songs – Cat Stevens has a great tune that never grows old – Peace Train