People with ADD do not have a complete and total deficit of attention paying skills. I personally feel that my attention has value. Because it has value, I am not going to just haphazardly give it away to anyone just because they were able to get me to look in their direction. My attention has a cost and that cost is that I INSIST that they be interesting.
I remember, one of the thousands of people who have enjoyed tormenting me in my life, once asked me if I was talking to myself one day. I knew by his demeanor that his reason for asking was not to “help” me. He just wanted some excuse to start busting my chops for his own amusement.
Douche -“Hey Tom, are you talking to yourself again?”
Tom -“Well of course I am. Why would I not be?”
Douche - “uh why are you talking to yourself”
Tom – “I am talking to myself because, as it happens, I am the most interesting person in this room. What am I going to do; talk to you?”
Today I have quite the opposite problem. I have a lot of people who seem to enjoy talking to me. This may be hard for some of my readers to believe, but there was a time when I was not awesome. I talk to a lot of people. Sometimes, while it is rare, they will be particularly annoying and never know when to quit. There are some of them that I will just allow to do this because I know they really don’t have that many friends and I reflect back on a time when I would have killed to have someone who would just listen to me. There are others though, and I only have so much patience.
There was a guy I worked with and he would not stop talking about a show called “Duck Dynasty” he had some insane notion that I would enjoy this show about rich hillbillies. He then began to go into detail. He was talking and I couldn’t believe I allowed myself to be locked into this conversation. I was so keyed up with disappointment in myself for falling prey to this awful chapter in my life. As he spoke, I stopped listening and was just staring at his mouth. There was something on his tooth and I remember pondering what he might have eaten that morning. I studied it as if I were a forensic pathologist. Then I said “right” he continued for a while and then he asked me a question and I had not listened to anything he was talking about. I said “yes” He said “oh good I missed that what did he play in before that show started” I said “Chris, listen I don’t know what I just said yes to. I just said the word yes, because I was hoping if I said yes, that you would not feel the need to explain anything else to me, and that this conversation would never end”
Here is the cool part. People ask me at work, “Tom, how do you get away with saying the things you say”. Here is the secret. Guess who talks like I do? Nobody! Nobody looks a person in the eye, and with a stern face tells them that they are boring them to tears. That is why Chris laughed when I said that. So I let it go as that and went back to doing what I was doing.
Even at work. In your face honesty is NEVER expected. Years ago, during a morning shift at work I was walking around. I had nothing to do, so I was just checking to see if I could find a customer who needed any help. The Store Manager saw me and said “Hey Tom, what are you doing right now” It only then occurred to me that I was supposed to be working on a project that morning. My reply was in your face honesty. I said “I am walking around trying to appear to be very busy. How is it working from your point of view?” He laughed and during his laughter I asked a stupid question about the project and he answered me and then I went to it. I don’t remember what the project was. It was not interesting.
Maybe you are not there yet. Maybe “currently” you do not possess the quick, sharp wit that I have demonstrated for your personal growth and entertainment. You can learn, because I am Tom Nardone. I wear many hats and one of them is “Professor of Awesomeness”. This site is called WE are ADD. I am what you are, because I was what you were.
There will be a new category on this site called “Victories” This will be for anyone who would like to share a story in their own words about how they succeeded in a social challenge as a result of their ADD. I have heard enough stories about people succeeding in spite of their ADD. I will set you up as a contributor to this site and you can author you own war stories. You can let the world know that you are kicking A$$
I am Tom Nardone, I am ADD, and you are welcome.
- Mental ‘disability’, an individual’s own problem? (ilovemyunusualjob.wordpress.com)
- What is ADHD (engageadhd.org)
- ADHD and OWI (indianajuvenilejustice.com)
- ADD and ADHD in Adults & Children – Possible Remedies with Melaleuca (gogreenfanatics.wordpress.com)
- Recognizing the symptoms of ADD and ADHD (add.answers.com)
- Adult ADHD: The Agony and the Glory (loraleeslooneytunes.com)
- tomnardone.net (I am Tom Nardone)