Category Archives: Rants

ADHD gives me superpowers and why that makes my life hell

So, today, someone in one of the ADHD support groups of which I am a member on Facebook posed this question: “We post a lot about the negative aspects of our adhd… but what if it were a superpower in disguise? What are your strengths- superpowers if you will- that are thanks at least in part, to your adhd?” (sic) Below is my answer.

Tl;dr YES we have superpowers, but the “real world” does not recognize superpowers, or if they do, does not like superpowers, and that is why our lives are so rough.

So, this turned into a dissertation. Read if you like, this is something that always really pisses me off, but I just went off onto a rant today because my depression has effectively canceled any impulse control I might have.

I have ALWAYS thought of my “differences” (what I used to call them before I knew they were from ADHD) as superpowers, and they really are. I mean, I can put ideas together that nobody has thought of, creating brand new and much better outcomes. I react like the fucking Flash in cataclysmic situations. Hyper focus is fucking amazing, when I can get it harnessed to do what I want. I can hold way more knowledge in my brain than the vast majority of people. Sure, some of the knowledge may be totally unrelated and random, but it is there. I literally know a lot about nearly everything, from neuroscience to eastern philosophy. Anything that I have spent anytime studying is likely retained, at least somewhat. And, I am absolutely immune to advertising because I am totally internally motivated. I have lots of superpowers, and I love them all.

That being said, I’m not idiot and I know that all superpowers also come with weaknesses. If you study the history of the Hero Myths, something I highly recommend for a hyperfocus session, you see that every hero had some special weaknesses.

For example, my hyperfocus is awesome for gaining in-depth knowledge in a subject quickly faster than anyone else, but sometimes I cannot control what it wants to learn. So, that means that sometimes I spend a few hours learning something that is not immediately relevant.

Likewise, the ability to hyper-react with clear thinking and time-slowing perceptions is awesome and has literally saved my life before. But, that means I get to be on edge all the time, leading to hypertension (high blood pressure), mental/physical exhaustion and other negative effects.

And so on. Would I give up my superpowers if it meant being relieved of the weaknesses that come with them? FUCK NO. Once you identify and understand your superpowers, you can start to harness them and use them for your benefit. Honestly, THIS is what more ADHD therapy should focus on.

BUT!

And here’s the big but that ends up killing so many NDs. ME or any ADHD thinking/knowing we are superheros is not the problem. Yes, self-esteem and self-understanding is important, but low self-esteem is not intrinsic to the ADHD condition. The REAL problem comes from trying to fit into a “normal” society that not only does not recognize our gifts, but in facts sees us as broken, sub-normal, of lesser quality than they are. I mean, the BIGOTRY is RIGHT THERE IN THE NAME: Attention-Hyperactivity DEFICIT DISORDER.

I mean, the whole ass name of our condition is an insult!!! And, not to be bitter against some of our ND sisters & brothers, but many other ND conditions do not have actual insults in their name. Like dyslexia, autism, Asperger’s. I mean, can you imagine the outcry if they changed the name of the “Common Cold” to something like “Just breath you fucking Moron,” or “Stop coughing stupid you are bothering me.” It’s the same damn thing, don’t tell me it’s not. And we wonder why so many ADHD have low self-esteem, depression, and a lack of productivity? Fucking hell, how about they stop calling us broken and maybe we can finally stop acting broken.

Seriously, I cannot believe the psychiatrists, neurologists, and ADHD activists have allowed it to go on this long. There have been many diseases whose names and indications have changed over the years, as they became more well understood. I mean, the term was coined in fucking 1902, OVER 100 YEARS AGO, and was then defined as “an abnormal defect of moral control in children.” Many people still think of it as that, though the actual science has moved WAY beyond that. Hell, I am more moral than most NTs.

And I would like to counter the assumption that our condition is ACTUALLY an attention deficit. I have come to think that is total bullshit, honestly. When I am interested in something, I have excellent attention. Better than most NTs, in fact. There are a couple things that kill my attention and this is same for most ADHD. 1) the subject or presentation is boring or 2) depression.

Addressing that first one, it seems that NTs, especially in K-12 schools, have some perverse obsession over being boring. In school, they love to present subject matter in the absolutely most boring manner possible. Here I am going to diverge into a revelatory story, where I really learned this.

I’ve always loved learning about history. But, of course, I hated history courses in school. Most were taught by coaches as a requirement for them being coaches. Literally the stupidest idea, ever, but that’s school for ya. I did most of my learning on my own, tried to keep my head down in class, and got mediocre grades because I never did my homework, even though I knew it better than the teachers. Then, I got to college. One summer, I took a history course that started at 7am. Fucking 7am, for an ADHD with an altered circadian rhythm. But, this lady was amazing, she explained history as stories. It was so interesting, I was rarely late and paid rapt attention the whole class. Got an A, of course.

Second, depression really kills attention. This is true for everyone with depression and is a well-known and well-documented fact, so it is not opinion. As an ADHD person, especially if diagnosed young, you are being continuously told you are a disorder, aka broken, fucked up, less than good. OF COURSE YOU ARE GOING TO BE DEPRESSED. As I said early, even if you are surrounded by supportive and loving friends, family, and doctors, the very name of your condition reminds you that you are less than adequate every time you hear it.

So, the likelihood is that nearly every person with ADHD is depressed, at least to some extent. And, we know depression kills attention. Ergo, nearly every person with ADHD is going to have attention issues. How do they researches tell the difference between attention-lack caused by depression and attention-lack caused by a neurological misfunction (aka ADHD)? Answer, they cannot. Ergo, they think ADHD causes attention-lack. I completely disagree, and would be happy to challenge any neurologist to prove me wrong. The attention-lack is caused by depression which is caused by a world that hates us.

So, to answer the question, yeah, I know I have superpowers, and it really destroys me to know that I live in a world that hates superpowers. (please pardon any typos, written in a hyperfocus rant without proofreading)

Social Post April 13, 2016 at 09:33AM

#ProTip, if it is not working, STOP IT! Try something different. I see the same people fighting the same battles with the same weapons day in and day out. Quit it. Your whining is really wearing me down.

Step back. Stop thinking you know what you are doing. Get a coach. Get a consultant. Get a mentor. Find someone else with a different perspective and different skills to talk to. FOR FUCK’S SAKE STOP DOING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AND CRYING ABOUT HOW IT DOESN’T WORK!

Let me tell you, I’ve been a business coach for decades. I help people get their own businesses going. You guys know that, all of you come to me with your questions about how to do this or that. And I know the answers, right? I have massive knowledge and experience in this area.

BUT, when I found myself stuck in my own business, the FIRST thing I did, as soon as I could, was find other consultants, advisors, to come in and help me take a fresh look. Stop whining about how nothing is working and DO THAT.

Get some other people to come in and tell you how you are doing everything wrong and LISTEN. And do what they say. Get your own ego out of your way (that took me a bit to master). Nobody expects you to know everything. Nobody is going to look down on you because you don’t have all the answers. People will respect you MORE if they see you listening to the wise advice of other experts.

“A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client.”

(PS: No, I am NOT pitching you to hire me as your business coach. I don’t do that anymore.)

(At this rate, I’m going to have to rename my #LateNightRant as #EarlyMorningRant ) via Facebook

Social Post April 11, 2016 at 05:20PM

#LateNightRant (done a little earlier today)

Every time I hear the word “innovative” I want to throat-punch someone.

The words I want to hear are “effective”, “sustainable”, “practical,” and “impactful.”

I could not give a flying flabber if your idea is all brand spanking new, I want to know that it WORKS and CAN BE DONE.

In my years in the #changemaker biz, I have seen so many bullshit “innovative” schemes come and go, I cannot even begin to count them all.

If it is innovative, in ADDITION to those others, that is fine, but that should be the last adjective you use for it, not the first. via Facebook

Social Post February 05, 2016 at 10:39AM

#LateNightRant While there is no question that most of the buildings could use a little TLC, pushing out the working families is just terrible. This is my neighborhood (thankfully my building was spared) and I very much enjoy living around just regular folks, moms, dads, kids, abuelitas, people who do not post selfies on social media every day. People often ask why I do not move to some core location on the mainland, and one of the main reasons is that I do not want to be surrounded by the type of narcissistic nouveau wannabe yuppies that these developers are looking to attract.

But, more importantly than my disdain for narcissistic nouveau wannabe yuppies is the additional #traffic issues this will cause. By moving all these people, who are mostly hospitality workers at the south beach hotels and restaurants, off the island, you are going to create an even larger traffic issue across the MacArthur Causeway, which is already #epicfail By moving the yuppies who work downtown or Brickell onto south beach, you create even MORE traffic across the causeway, just the other way. The goal for development should be to encourage people to live near where they work, like the financial-centric high-rises in Brickell do. Pushing downtown workers out into the suburbs is exactly what got us into this situation in the first place.

This is absolutely a failure of our city and county planners. via Facebook

Social Post December 30, 2015 at 08:23AM

#LateNightRant (early in the morning). So, I recently updated my phone from my good old Samsung Galaxy S4 to a spanking new Samsung Galaxy S6. The S4 broke during Art Basel (it might have been “acute concrete trauma” that may or may not have included alcohol and a fit of pique, but we are naming no names). Generally, I like the S6 fine, except…

IT CANNOT F*CKING SURF THE WEB WHILE ON A PHONE CALL!!! Are you freaking kidding??? The S4 did this JUST fine! But, when you “upgrade” to a phone after that, it does not. Get this, supposed this is a FEATURE! WHAT THE ACTUAL F**K?!?! You remove services and call this an upgrade? Such bullshit.

I had a whole Twitter conversation with Sprint about it (attached). Samsung Mobile apparently just doesn’t give a f*ck.

So, now I am stuck with the choice of going BACKWARDS to the S4, buying one on Amazon or something, to get this useful feature, or sticking with the S6 and losing something I used ALL THE EFFING TIME! Just another example of the corporate overlords f**king us all for profit. via Facebook

Social Post July 20, 2015 at 12:09PM

#ProTip – PUT YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS AT THE TOP OF YOUR WEBSITE!!! Jeez freaking meatballs, why do you make me work so hard to follow you??? This is simple stuff, people! Put ALL your social media on your website! It’s ridiculous to leave off important stuff like Instagram. What the heck is wrong with you people?!?! It takes like 5 minutes to add in the little icon with a link to your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And if you are not on ALL three of those, GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER! Freaking 21st century here, people. Those three are the absolute minimum. Then you can pick and choose the others.

Ugh. Kinda turned into an early #latenightrant, too. via Facebook

Social Post March 26, 2015 at 10:15PM

#LateNightRant So, yeah, this is the thing, stop asking artists to work for free. I’ve been holding this in a while, but can’t, anymore.

Artists, you shush now and let me defend you. I know you are all of good hearts and want to help, and that is great, but you need to pay your bills, too.

I have seen this trend growing and it is really getting out of hand. We should be doing fundraisers FOR artists, not taking their work for free. Yes, anytime you ask an artist to donate work, they probably will, but that does not make it right.

I’ll first talk about all of you for-profit people, who come and ask me to find an artist to work for you for free, for “exposure”. No, I absolutely will not do that. You’re getting paid. Your boss is getting paid. The shareholders are getting paid. And, yet, you cannot find a few bucks to pay a struggling artist? Get in your beemer and drive the hell out of my sight before I pop you. That’s all there is to that.

If, on the other hand, you understand the value of skill and creativity and are happy to pay for that value, then I am your guy. I will happily supply you with the exact artist you are looking for.

Now, you fundraisers, of which I am one. When you ask an artist donate, and they almost certainly will, you are asking for hours of their lives just to create the art, not to mention the time and effort it took to build up the skill. Do not ask me to find artists to donate work because not only will I not do that, but you will get this lecture all over again.

But, as you know, I am a man of solutions. So, instead, go to the airlines and ask them to donate tickets. It costs them almost nothing to donate those. Plus, they are more saleable. It is much easier to sell a couple tickets to anywhere. Go to the hotels and ask for room nights. Go to the movie theaters and ask for tickets. Go to restaurants and ask for gift certificates. Not only will you make more money, but you will not be asking struggling artists to give away their time.

You see the difference here? Artist = costs them hours of work, already struggling to pay bills. Airline/Hotel/Restaurant = costs them almost nothing, already making tons of money. Who should you ask to donate?

And do not talk to me about “exposure”. Not to be mean, but nobody at your little fundraiser is looking for a new artist to follow. The art is always poorly presented, there is no one there representing the artist or properly selling the art, and inevitably the art sells for way less than it should. You are doing the artists a disservice when you just throw their work out there on the table or string it to the wall with a barely readable bid sheet.

So, just stop it. Stop asking artists to give up so much of their time and talent. There are much better ways for you to raise money. As I said, we should be raising money FOR artists, not taking it away from them. via Facebook

Social Post March 13, 2015 at 08:41AM

#LateNightRant (and this one is probably going to piss some people off) I had a very smart person ask me the other day how I thought the art scene was doing in Miami. Trying to be diplomatic, I said, “It is better than it was 12 years ago, but it is still nowhere near good.”

To illustrate, I asked, “If you want to buy local art, where do you go?” A shrug and quizzical look was my answer. In other cities, other counties, even as close as Fort Lauderdale, there are an abundance of galleries that carry local art. There are whole zones designated for it. There are well-funded organizations supporting the local arts. Not in the 305. The only local artist zone we have is far off in the hinterlands and even it is falling apart.

I see every day artists grasping at straws, taking “opportunities” that are blatantly a bad idea. Yes, part of it because they are gullible (sorry, folks, no offense meant), but that is an education problem. They do not have enough of an opportunity to learn how to avoid those mistakes, except the hard way. And that is because the major funders in this town have decided that artist education is not a priority. Our one little educational program is desperately underfunded. And, nobody else is doing it.

But, this is also a problem of opportunity. A huge problem of opportunity. There is a famine of real opportunities for artists, so many of them just jump on anything that comes along, squandering their time and talent. Work for free, work for free, work for free. How many times do we hear, “it’s for a good cause”? Well, you know what is a really good cause, artists being able to pay their bills. Think about that next time you ask an artist to donate a piece of their soul (and that is a whole other rant that we’ll get to later). I see it over and over again, artists jumping on anything that comes along without any real critical analysis. Why? Because it is all that is available.

To compound the problem, many in the ivory towers, many outside the business, many people who are not on the street and amongst the artists every day like I am, they think the problem is solved. Seven or eight years ago, artists leaving or quitting the field was a significant topic of conversation around town. Now, you never hear that mentioned, except by me. But, it is still a huge issue.

It isn’t fixed, people. Artists in this town are still struggling. Many drop out of the field, many never enter it. Talent is being wasted.

Why is this so important? Because the local artists are the cultural expression of a place. Because the arts are not only an economic engine, they are also a significant contributor to quality of life, to the happiness and contentment of the residents. Study after study after study shows how important the arts are. They can help heal the sick, they can help teach the children (and the adults), they can make a place feel like a home, they can inspire the weary and speak for the oppressed, they can create opportunity for the needy (and for the rich), THEY TELL OUR STORY!

There is no longer any question of the importance of the local arts. But, it is not good here. Yes, it is better than it was, but there is still so much work to be done.

That’s it, I’m ranted out. Exhausted. I’ve held this one in for quite a while, but after recent events, I could not do so, anymore. via Facebook

The Impending Miami Changemaker Collapse

The Impending Miami Changemaker Collapse

I don’t really know if this should be called a #LateNightRant or just a #MondayMorning #RealDeal, but here goes. This is something I have been mulling over for quite a while now. Anyway, sit back, this is going to be a long one.

You all know I tend to overshare, and about two months ago, I overshared about my battle with anxiety and stress. I was near collapse at the time. Many people gave me much great advice, some of which I have followed and am greatly improved. However, that is not the point of this post.

Because of my propensity to share and be open about my trials, it seems that many people are willing to be open with about theirs. What I learned due to my sharing is that not only is my condition not unique, it is not even unusual. It is practically commonplace. It seems that there is an epidemic of burnout spreading throughout Miami’s changemakers and do-gooders.

When I shared my problems, other people started to share theirs with me. Once I started noticing a trend, I dug deeper. When I would run into someone I know, which happens often, of course, and we exchanged the common courtesies of, “How are you!?” and they would inevitably respond with, “I’m great!” I would ask again, “But, how are you really?” More times than not, the response was different and not near as positive Then, knowing that they knew about my fight with anxiety, I would ask if they ever dealt with the same issue. Because I had shared my problems, they felt comfortable sharing with me, as well. The majority, the vast majority of people who I asked said that they indeed were fighting the same battle as I.

Also, after co-founding an organization dedicated to supporting those changemakers, I have become much more familiar with the processes that many of them operate under. I have been researching the funding process and have spoken with many of these organizations and changemakers about their experience. I have also been studying the formula that local funders use to assign funds to refine our own processes in obtaining said funds. I have spoken with many, many changemakers and leaders regarding their experiences. I have probably spoken directly and honestly to more changemakers than almost anyone else in Miami.

Again, as an oversharer, people are much more willing to share the actual truth with me than they are with most people, especially those in power. More on that later.

So. Here is the trend I am seeing, there is an impending epidemic of changemaker collapse coming in the next few years unless we significantly improve the way things work. There are so many more people working on so many different aspects of the community than there were just 10 years ago, not to mention 20 or 30, and the support infrastructure has not kept up. We need to restructure the institutional support systems for the changemakers. There are not enough resources to support what everyone is doing, even though it is all good work. The resources we do have are significantly misallocated.

The current state of affairs is not sustainable. All of this changemaking is wonderful, but we see people drop out all the time due to inability to continue and we need to look at what changes need to take place in order to better manage our resources. These are issues that we are currently socializing to bring it into the light and really start talking about it on a large scale. Think about it for a while, and we can go into more depth later.

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Social Post August 21, 2014 at 11:38PM

GRRR #MeasurableImpact is what I want to see. Too much money is squandered on things that sound cool but actually have little long-term impact. #changemaker #latenightrant via Facebook