Skip to main content

View Diary: The struggle/cause of my life: ADHD (37 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Be glad you are haunted by what could have been (7+ / 0-)

    It's worse if you aren't. At least you have some drive to make things better in the present and the future.

    I would very much like to feel that way, but I can't. The reward mechanism in my brain -- the part of your brain that makes you feel good if you accomplish something for yourself, and also the part that governs the effect of many drugs, legal and illegal -- does not function. In the medical alphabet soup bowl, this comes up as RDS, reward deficiency syndrome. It is a powerful disincentive to doing anything at all, since a successful task will not make you feel good, but a failure will still make you feel bad. Instead of being +1 or -1, depending on results, everything is 0 or -1. You can break through this to a certain degree, get started at least, by the use of other incentives -- intellectual curiosity usually works for me -- or hostility -- but everything still ends up feeling empty and a bit sad, at the very best.

    So, the opportunities of the past don't haunt me, because I never saw them as opportunities in the first place. The challenges I rose to simply gave me trouble, even if I met them fully, and now all I really remember clearly is the trouble. Failures sometimes make me relieved, since they at least foreclose the possibility of having worse failures later on. For instance, possibly the high point of my brief and abortive career as an academic was being shortlisted for a job at the University of Chicago, but when I remember it, the only emotion it evokes is relief that I was not hired. I look on events that people say make them proud and happy, graduations for instance, and seriously wonder whether they have been telling the truth or whether it was all some sort of elaborate and incomprehensible joke. I skipped every one of my graduation and award ceremonies, and when I finally attended another person's, a friend, I found the fuss everyone made over it to be very odd. For myself, I didn't even bother to keep the diplomas and certificates they mailed me.

    "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

    by sagesource on Wed May 01, 2013 at 12:39:19 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site