Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Projects!! And a confession......

There may be a deeper reason that my newest Work in Progress (WIP) is entitled Project Specter. I LOVE projects!

Ready for a moment of honesty? A confession of sorts?

I have ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Well, more like ADD. I’m not a hyperactive person but apparently it’s no longer classified without the H, so there we have it.

I’ve had it my whole life but was only officially diagnosed with it last year. It’s not something I like to talk about as a general rule. For a long time I was ashamed of this disability, as though I was broken or mentally ill and people should keep their small children away from me. But remember that honesty I was talking about? How’s this for honesty?

For many the term ADHD brings to mind the worst kid in their elementary school class. You all know who I’m talking about. The one who could never sit still, the one who would make you lose class points toward your popcorn party, the one who got the bad grades because they weren’t listening, or were lazy etc.

Well, that wasn’t me, but I’d own it if I could. I was more the quiet type. I’d sit in my chair, listen to the teacher with my eyes glazed over and proceed to fail in a lot of subjects because they just weren’t interesting to me. I was also the kid who would hyperfocus on English, reading and art projects. And you know why? 

Because for those moments, the very real disconnect in my brain that refused to allow me to focus on the mundane, boring, or just not-in-my-interest-zone, would go into overdrive. This is when I would wake up, see the world in Technicolor and really come alive.

Well, it didn’t get better when I became an adult. Now instead of failing in math, I was failing in things like laundry, dinner dishes and toilet cleaning. I say WAS because since my diagnoses, I’ve found new ways to cope and turn on that other side of my brain that simply refuses to work right.

That doesn’t mean my ADD has gone away. No, it’s still there, determined to make me finish my book rather than the mounds of laundry piling up around the house. It can often be a dreary place. On one hand I know that not wearing smelly clothes is important to the entire family, on the other hand I can’t help craving that feeling of being awake and alive in all its Technicolor detail.

This is why I love projects. Writing projects, art projects, home improvement projects, yard projects. Ya’know, just projects! And as a bonus, I find when I have a project, some of that alertness, wakefulness, whatever you want to call it, bleeds over into the more mundane parts of my life.

I’ve heard it said before that many brilliant artists of our time had ADHD. I would agree with that statement wholeheartedly. ADHD may be considered a disability, but at least for me, it contributes more than its fair share to my art, writing, and other brightly-colored projects. And those, my friends, make the world a more beautiful place for everyone.
And if that means I have to suffer through the dreariness when my brain is not turned on, it’s a small price to pay for even small moments of Technicolor brilliance.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Being Honest, Mostly with Myself

I consider myself a pretty moral person. I don’t steal, cheat, murder…..or lie. At least not much….on the lying part that is. Did I just admit to the blogging world that I’m a big fat liar? Erm, yes. There. That was at least a bit more honest than I’ve been in a long time.

Now don’t panic and wonder if you really know me at all. It’s not that I’m a bald face liar. I won’t lie to get out of things, I won’t lie to get what I want, I won’t lie to your face (unless it’s a courtesy to spare your feeling.) What I will do is omit the truth. A LOT.

The truth is (yes the TRUTH!) that I’m an excellent faker. I’ll be having the worst day of my life and yet you’ll see me and I’ll smile sweetly, ask you how you’re doing, tell you I’m fine and leave it at that. Now that’s not such a bad thing in my mind. Who want to be burdened with everyone’s problems on a daily basis? We all have our own traumas that we’re going through and if we had to shoulder everyone else’s, we’d crack.

The danger (for me, at least) comes when I don’t think I’ll be able to fake my way through the day… or week or month. Then what? Well, I stop going out in public where I may need to fake it. I tend to go silent and become absent from my favorite social situations and social networking sites. If you cared to hunt me down during one of these times when I’m suddenly just missing from online and elsewhere, you’d probably find me curled into a little ball in my bedroom, watching episode after episode of ANGEL or FIREFLY or DR. WHO. Really, there’s no shortage of my favorite shows on Netflix to keep me in self-imposed exile indefinitely.

So what does all this have to do with honesty?

It has everything to do with it. The reason I fall into these bouts of depression (well there are many) but one of the reasons is because I’m not being honest with myself. Just like when I smile sweetly to your face and tell you I’m fine, I do the same thing to myself. You’re fine, Christauna. Everything is fine. Now pass me the cheetoes and a leaded Dr. Pepper.

In the past couple of months I have had to face myself, look myself in the eye and become brutally honest. I may not have to shoulder everyone else’s burdens but I for darn sure need to shoulder my own.

Yes, I do have issues with depression and have for many years. I’m beginning understand exactly what that means and how to deal with it. This involves being honest with myself and confiding in a trusted few when I find myself curled in my room with my Dr. Pepper and remote.

It’s no longer good enough to lie to myself, survive and be an excellent faker.

Which is why in conjunction with the reboot of my writing career and this new blog, I’ll tell you right now, I will be totally honest here. If you’d rather not shoulder a particular burden of mine, you’re welcome not to read the blogpost.

That being said, I will not generally pour out my darkest secrets and desires here. I enjoy a certain amount of privacy, but for things that are relevant to this blog, you may get an earful.

Today is a beautiful, sunshiny day and I am happy and fine. And that is the honest truth.