I Used to Think I Was Quirky

Personalities are now mental classifications.  Remember when people used to be “jerks,” or “spacey,” or “forgetful,” or “melancholy?”  Now they all have something.  Now they have oppositional defiant disorder, or ADHD, or depression.  I’m not saying that these are not all real things, because they totally are, but sometimes I miss the days when I just thought I was quirky and didn’t feel the need to take medication for it.

When I took my S.A.T.s in high school, I spent a large amount of the test time making friends with a squirrel who was hanging out in a tree just outside of the window that I was sitting near.  He (or she) was looking for nuts to eat, or something, and was sitting up there nibbling away at something with his cute little paws.  I said a lot of things to Mr. (or Mrs. {or Ms.}) Squirrel, in my mind at least, and suddenly time was up and I turned in my papers.  I really enjoyed that.  At a time when I was trying to define who I was as a person, I walked out of that room and said, “I am the type of guy who does not get stressed out about exams.  I take the time to enjoy the beauty of nature, even in a situation in which I am being oppressed by a big-brother society that forces all different types of people to take only one type of exam and then sorts them accordingly.  While other kids were fretting and struggling over question 23, I was engaging in a lovable imaginary conversation with a squirrel.  I am a free spirit.  I am awesome.”

Turns out I just had ADHD and needed some meds.

As the years went on, I really celebrated the things that, in my mind, made me unique.  Always trying something new, every fifteen seconds or so.  Saying random things to spice up the conversation.  Being adorkably forgetful.  And yet, as it turns out, these things do not help me in the adult world.  Things that the adult world enjoys are focus, drive, organization, and letting other people speak once in a while.  So now I am on medication and it has made my wife, my family, and all of my employers (even if they do not realize it) much happier.  And I am happier too, for the most part.  I enjoy being able to find a thought that I am looking for.  I like getting things done.  I like fewer people being annoyed with me.  But I still sometimes miss the days when things were easier and I just thought I was quirky.

Posted in ADHD, S.A.T.s, Throwback Thursday.

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