Monday, April 29, 2013

Stumbling down the stairs with our feet in our mouths: ADD & AUUS*

L'esprit d'escalier (literally, staircase wit) is a French term used in English that describes the predicament of thinking of the perfect comeback too late.

Is there a term for saying something you realize later was the wrong thing to say? Maybe "l'horreur d'escalier'? Or just plain "stumbling down the escalier"? Most people say the wrong thing every once in a while, but if you have ADD, chances are this is a more regular occurrence. Like this morning, for instance, when an older gentleman complimented my toddler son's hat, and I quickly responded "thanks! I love dressing him like an old man!" Not horrible, but after I said it, I wanted to crawl in a hole for a second. (ZOMG I said "old" to an old person!)

He makes a durn cute old man, though.

Allow me to introduce you to my little affliction, AUUS* or Awkward Unfiltered Utterance Syndrome (a made-up illness I have acronymed to lend credibility, obv). You may be familiar with it as "Foot-In-Mouth Disease".

I get anxious in social situations. I have social skills and I hide my anxiety, but I also sometimes trip up, like when I'm tired, which lately is always. My anxiety is intrinsically linked to my fear of saying the wrong thing. I have anticipatory horreur d'escalier!

What's happening in my brain?

Normal people have filters that stop them from saying the wrong thing. ADDers have neurological differences in the prefrontal cortex of the brain--the area that, among other functions, controls impulses and filters our thoughts before we utter them--so we stop ourselves from doing or saying those faux pas (faux pases? faux pahzez? foe pauses?) that might rub others the wrong way. Imagine how much more difficult social situations are for ADDers when we can't rely on our filters to keep us from putting our feet in our mouths. Our prefrontal cortices actually function at a slower pace. The addition of stimulants allows the filter which monitors behavior to speed up and begin to function correctly, which is why stimulants seem to slow ADDers down. But don't take my fuzzy sciencey word for it, listen to a real scientist.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Forcing Adagio

I'm laying in bed as I write this, pinned under twenty-seven pounds of sleeping, nursing baby. I'm reminded that at times, our rhythms don't naturally match the rhythms of those who depend on us. As much as I'd love to be up and doing weekend tasks that prepare us for the week, my tired and cold-fighting child needs me right now. He is sleeping the staccato sleep of someone whose periodic cough keeps rousing him from a deeper place of rest, but my presence allows him to keep trying to get there. In turn, I'm feeling myself slow down, face my impatience, and breathe. We're a symbiotic little mother-child dyad!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Fruity Crab Salad

Menu planning. I'm trying to get more organized about it. Here's an attempt! A new tag called "recipes" where I shall list my very favorite recipe creations so I can easily access them when I need a menu planning fix.

Last night's dinner was a refreshing & fruity paleo salad creation:

2 oranges
2 kiwis
1/2 pint strawberries
1 can lump crab meat
1 head butter lettuce
1/2 C sliced almonds
1/2 C coconut
1 Tbsp grapeseed oil

Chop lettuce. Cut kiwis, strawberries, and one orange into bite-sized pieces. Toss with crab, almonds, and coconut. Dress with the juice of remaining orange and a drizzle of grapeseed oil.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The honeymoon is ovah!

Been a while, eh? I lost my steam.

I began this blog as an exploratory project so I could learn more about ADD as I got used to the idea that this may be an accurate diagnosis for me. I was so very excited at the prospect of having an explanation for why some things are so hard -- and others so easy for me. During the last few months, reality has set in and I've begun to see the limitations of what it means to have ADD and how much harder everything is and always will be for me than for other people.

That last sentence brought up some feelings for me.

Part of me still holds on to the belief that this is all just an excuse for bad behavior. I just need to try harder. Other people try hard and accomplish a clean house, bills paid on time, non-anxious interactions with other humans, regular meals consisting of healthy food, avoidance of sugar, emotional self control. How can I assume it's so much easier for them? Welcome to my pity party! Life is so hard for poor me!

This is what I'm struggling with right now.

The honeymoon is over, but additionally, I'm chronically sleep-deprived and exhausted with a preschooler who just turned five and a baby who just turned one. Baby still sleeps with us and I wake up several times a night to nurse him. I'm formulating a plan to get him over the night-nursing, but I'm kind of dreading it because *duh, transition* and I also don't want anyone to suffer during the weaning.

But my lack of sleep has so severely exacerbated these ADD symptoms that I don't believe it's even possible to accurately attribute them to ADD.

And that, my friends, is what I've been up to lately.

Plus also these adorable munchkins: