If you’ve spoken to anyone with ADHD, you’ll probably notice the lack of concentration, little to almost no eye contact and the ability to always cut you mid-sentence.
These are some of the problems faced by us and trust me, it does it’s best to really piss other people off. I’m no exception and it happens. A lot.
Can it be cured? Nope. Can it be reduced? Now that’s an interesting question and for over 6 months now, I’ve made self-observations that might be interesting to some.
Find that one thing you hyperfocus on
I believe that I lost 10 years of my life between 2002 to 2012 because I gave up the one thing which kept me in check…. tennis.
Looking back now, playing tennis held the same equivalence and relevance for me as triathlons today. For most, sports or keeping active is an outlet, a breakaway from work and the stresses of daily life but for me and maybe for the ADHD population who are intrinsically focused on sports, it is an obsession. An emotional property that keeps us together, binds us to our roots and importantly, helps us to deal with certain shortcomings.
When I made the horrendous decision to stop competing, my belief backed by absolutely no science, is that a part of me died. The best way I can put it would be to deny an aspiring footballer the opportunity to ever kick a ball. And I believe that with the removal of this obsession that my ADHD took a turn for the worse over the better part of a decade.
For 10 years I indulged in food, drink and an extremely healthy lifestyle in order to find that new hyperfocus that I had willingly given up. Over a decade, I hit rock bottom repeatedly with my career, health and mental state. Depression set in and everything was a source of negativity.
The rest of my story has been told many times so I won’t go there and this really isn’t the point of my post either.
Why the hyperfocus is so important
First of all, it can be anything. It need not necessarily be keeping fit and that’s what I share with everyone.
I believe that because we are so unable to focus on normal tasks daily that being able to focus and hyperfocus on a passion will always contain a feeling novelty that never wanes with time. That feeling of being able to concentrate and to do something above and beyond what we think we can achieve is liberating and that liberation has helped me over the past 5 years, unknowingly to overcome obstacles that might have been insurmountable at my previous state of mind.
For some reason I became slightly more self-aware and stopped thinking that I had something else better to do. I paid attention to conversations and became a better listener. I could do daily tasks without losing interest all the time (although it still happens but a lot lesser). Importantly, I could socialise better than before although I still prefer being in a smaller setting.
To many of us, these sound like really mundane issues but to us with ADHD and for me especially, these were breakthroughs.
I’ll be sharing more about this in my survival guide and feel free to share your thoughts about hyperfocus and your experience either as an individual with ADHD or if you know someone who does.
Till my next post.