One of my earliest childhood memories is of being five years old, and hearing the phrase "Paula! Stop daydreaming and pay attention!" for the very first time. It was the word "daydreaming" that impressed me most, which smacked of fairies, magic, and romance. Unfortunately, the tone of voice my teacher used did not match my vision.
It is a phrase I have heard on a daily basis, sometimes several times a day, ever since. Back then, I was referred to as a daydreamer, and I invented my own tools to work around it. While somewhat effective, this has always taken a huge amount of energy to do what most people do naturally. It's exhausting!
A couple of years ago, my friend Wayne, who has been trying to get me to pay attention for over 15 years, tells me he saw a list online of symptoms for Attention Deficit Disorder.
"Guess what?" he says more than asks, "You totally qualify". It turns out, after all these years of dillusion, that I'm not a beautiful daydreamer after all. What I really am, figuratively speaking, is the poster child for ADD.
As I've gotten older, my attention span has continue to shrink. Soon, it will be more of an attention moment than an actual span.
One of the reasons I've been reluctant to go see someone about it is because I suspect that I do my most brilliant work when my mind is in ADD overdrive. I really hate to lose that part of myself.
On the other hand, I've started my own business and realize I'll never be able to perform on the level I need to if I don't deal with my ADD.
After much ado, which I will not bore you with, I've decided to see what modern medicine can do for me. So far, my journey has been very informative, especially when I'm paying attention.
Turns out, it's not my general practitioner who can treat me for this. It's a specialty, a psychiatrist affair. I am not at all happy to hear this, but my ADD is so off the chain these days, I have no choice but to take the plunge.
My doctors, including my dentist, are all women. Women make wonderful doctors, they always spend more time with you than their male counterparts. Sometimes, you can even make them cry with you. Guy doctors NEVER do that.
It's difficult to find anyone, including psychiatrists, that specialize in treating adults with ADD. In the end, the only one I could find was a man. I can't tell you his real name, so let's just call him Dr. X for now.
My dynamic with Dr. X is entirely different than it would be with a woman. His communication skills are alien to my matriarchal background. Dr. X is just fucking scary. Full of authority and testosterone, I'm not sure what to make of this bundle of "big-daddy-ness".
It was all so very strange and compelling, I actually agreed to return for a second appointment. It was on that second visit that the honey moon ended and the "Therapist Ultimatum" was issued.