I’ve spent my whole life wondering why I procrastinate on things I enjoy doing. I think I’ve figured it out, and it’s really fucking stupid.
Intellectually, I know that the future is a real thing. There is, in fact, a time other than now. I know that. But I don’t believe it.
My brain thinks time is a myth and there’s no such thing as tomorrow. No matter how many times tomorrow comes, it refuses to believe that it will happen again. It’s like I think the world is going to end in 15 minutes.
And if the future doesn’t exist, future happiness can’t exist either. I should be writing right now. I enjoy writing. But I’m not currently writing, so the happiness I would derive from writing is obviously fake. ~Obviously~.
I do this shit with everything. Writing, reading, talking to friends, going to the gym, throwing the ball for my dog, even playing a fucking video game. I like all those things, but at this precise moment I’m not experiencing pleasure derived from them, so it clearly can’t be real.
Instant gratification is the only gratification I understand. If it doesn’t make me happy in the next .04 seconds, it’s never going to, right?
That’s why I spend hours dicking around on the internet. I’d enjoy going to the gym more than clicking on a link, but I enjoy the link instantly. There would be at least 5 minutes between getting out of my chair and enjoying the gym, and my brain can’t comprehend that those 5 minutes will actually pass.
Having ADHD is like being handcuffed to a moron who is also a heavyweight boxing champion.
You can tell him to go the ice cream shop.
You can give him directions.
You can explain that he is dragging you both toward a pit of cottonmouths and starving hyenas.
You can show him a PowerPoint presentation explaining in detail why the ice cream shop would be superior.
But it doesn’t matter. He’s too stupid to listen. If you want your sundae, you are going to have to overpower him. Good fucking luck.
The medication helps, but it isn’t a key to the handcuffs. It’s a tranquilizer dart for the boxer. I still have to drag his ass behind me whenever I go somewhere.
I hate this. I hate having to fistfight my ADHD every time I want to switch tasks. I hate having to explain that time is real, SOMETHING I KNOW TO BE TRUE, to my idiot brain every single day. I hate that my brain never believes me.
My inability to overcome inertia is probably the biggest problem in my life. I’m talking to a therapist, trying to figure out how to quit doing this bullshit, but I can’t seem to make her even understand what the problem is. She’ll tell me, “Ask yourself why you’re procrastinating. Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings when you do it.”
Motherfucker, I’ve been doing that my entire life. I ask myself why I’m not doing the things I want to be doing every. goddamn. day. And my brain just replies with a blue screen of death, or 10,000 question marks, or TV static. The closest thing I’ve gotten to a real answer is “the future is fake, the things I enjoy are in the future, so they’re also fake.”
I’ve tried to explain that to her. But she can’t understand how I, the conscious person, and my brain, the subconscious asshole who’s actually got the reins, can disagree on something. She doesn’t get the difference between knowing and believing.
And I don’t get why she doesn’t get it. Hasn’t she ever had to fight a part of herself? Do normal people never feel like their brain is a separate entity that they have to fight for control? The constant struggle between your innate-but-baseless beliefs and your rationality seems like such a fundamental part of being a person. Is it really not a thing for her, or am I just explaining it poorly?
The part of me that tells me “the future isn’t real” is the same part of me that screams “YOU’RE GONNA DIE” every time I see a moth. Both statements are wrong, and I know full well they’re wrong, but that doesn’t change anything. My heart rate still triples like the moth is an acid-spitting honey badger. I still fuck around like I’m frozen in time.
I’ve been banging my head against this wall my entire goddamn life and made minimal progress. I don’t think I’m making any progress now. I have no idea where to even start.
I guess the moral of this rambling bitchfest is that ADHD is really, really dumb.