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What Does It Sound Like With 15 Radios Blaring?

September 12, 2017

My friend Rory posted a comment about “Executive Dysfunction.” I’d never heard of it and now I think I might have it.

In psychology and neuroscience, executive dysfunction, or executive function deficit, is a disruption to the efficacy of the executive functions, which is a group of cognitive processes that regulate, control, and manage other cognitive processes

-Wikipedia Definition

Rory and his friends posted more comprehensible examples:

“Executive dysfunction isn’t just for things you didn’t want to do. I’ve been meaning to go get ice cream for an hour now and haven’t.”

“I spent two hours the other night intending to watch TV and never did. This is the difference between executive dysfunction and procrastination.”

“It explains that time when my hand just opened and dropped a full gallon of milk on the kitchen floor because my brain got confused about what I was doing.”

“Or when you put your keys in the freezer or forget to get your kid out of the car on a hot day. Everybody has occasional executive function blips. But when you sense a pattern and it’s an issue in your daily life, it’s really helpful to have a name for it so you can seek out advice and information.”

After reading through their examples, I decided my issue is probably just ADHD. I wasn’t diagnosed until I was an adult. You take a test to evaluate whether you might have ADHD. If you score 16 or higher, you might have Attention Deficit Disorder. I scored a 33.

It explains a lot. I was a gifted kid who had trouble applying myself. I was great at starting. Terrible at finishing. I got bored easily. I was very active. And yet, I could hyper-focus for hours at a time.

All symptoms of ADHD.

I consider myself lucky. As I’ve read more about ADHD, the failures seem to greatly outnumber the successes. Any article on the effects of adult ADHD will describe failed marriages, inability to hold jobs, lack of stable lives. I’ve got my issues, but my life is good. Great even. I have a lovely wife and a job I love. I have a house full of mostly succeeding teenagers. My adult children have gone on to careers and relationships that for the most part make me proud.

I am not a victim.

However, refusing to be a victim doesn’t change the condition. It only changes how I approach it. I do a lot of hiking and camping in the great Utah outdoors. Last summer, I got lost. I can tell you exactly what I did wrong. (Didn’t bring a map, didn’t hike with the group.) Someone told me that they would leave trail markers for me. There were no markers and I took a wrong turn hiking up Mount Timpanogos.

Was it the fault of the person who failed to set the trail markers? No. It was my fault for not being prepared. I refuse to be a victim.

Okay, great. I refuse to be a victim. I was still lost. I still had to deal with the fact that I was wandering around the side of the mountain with no idea how to find my group.

Not being a victim doesn’t mean you don’t have to deal with the issue. I have ADHD and at times it is nearly debilitating. Ever listen to the radio? Ever tried to listen to two radios? How about 15 radios all on different stations: talk radio, sports, hip-hop, country, jazz, newscasters, all talking and playing at the same time. That is what my ADHD feels like. I catch a brief bit of melody over here and head for the kitchen, but on the way, I hear the baseball announcer and it sends me to the bedroom but I realize the jazz station is directing me to the garage.

I just want to put my hands over my ears and shut it all out. But, I can’t. It’s inside my head. So, what do I do?

Caffeine. Seriously, stimulants help.

Lists. Today I made a list. The first item on my list was “make a list of errands.” My lists have lists. But, sometimes the music is too loud to even find my way to a paper and pen.

ADHD lets me do my job. And I do it fantastically well. I can literally hold two conversations at once. I have two phones and using the mute buttons, I can hold conversations on both at the same time, while also responding to Instant Messages and email. Normally, this is only needed during an outage. Unfortunately, we’ve had outages daily for the past week.

But, when the phone stops. When it’s time to say, “What should I do next?” That’s when the radios get the loudest.

Today, they were exceptionally loud.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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