adhd, daily life, Uncategorized, updates

Friday Update and Armchair Psychiatry

Writing from a Chromebook now. My laptop decided after working for a day that it wasn’t actually fine after its little shower, and now it won’t turn on. Since it was a ten-year-old MacBook Air, and I don’t have a lot of MacBook money, I’m probably going to follow Fran’s advice and build a desktop (make her help me build a desktop) to replace it. I also bought a wireless keyboard to go with my tablet in case I need a portable workstation. At least it’s lighter than a laptop.

This situation has made the week a bit stressful, so I haven’t done much heavy reading despite not having much work to do (clients are still on vacation). I did start rereading The Blue Sword (Robin McKinley), a comfort book from childhood, and am plugging through Cold Comfort Farm. I’ve also gotten a good bit done on VOID, and a little on a short story that might even turn out to be short. I swear I will learn to write short stories someday.

It’s almost August, which I personally consider the beginning of fall. The days are hot, but the light is changing. The nights are getting cool. If I open the windows (and lock the cats up so they won’t climb out on the roof), it feels like great weather for a night walk. Unfortunately, my neighborhood, though fine in daylight, isn’t really an “evening stroll” kind of locale. Instead, we started watching Jungle Cruise, which is reasonably entertaining.

On a different note: I have what I’m pretty sure is ADHD. I’ve never been screened for it, but I have most symptoms on every list I’ve ever seen. I saw this in a Facebook group the other day, and it really knocked me over.

Content credit Reddit user soozdreamz

So I’ve been a compulsive eater all my life, particularly of sweets. I could never stay away from them. If there were no sweets, I’d binge-eat whatever I could get. Most of my most shameful childhood memories revolve around stealing food. At parties, I always haunted the refreshment table. The food was always in the back of my mind: what looked like it tasted best, how soon I could eat it, how much I could take without looking greedy. I could never understand how other people could not eat when good things were on the table. It didn’t matter how full I was, or how ashamed of my appetite and belly; if something good was there to be eaten, I would eat it until I couldn’t eat anymore.

I never understood why I couldn’t control myself the way other people could. It was much worse when I was tired or stressed. On a bad day, I’d go to the shop and systematically collect everything that looked tasty, and then I’d sit down and eat through the entire pile. It was like a job I had to do. It didn’t even taste very good after the first minute, but I kept doing it.

So… this post really explained a lot for me. I’ve had people tell me I was eating because I was bored, eating because I was nervous, eating because I was tired. But I’ve never heard anyone tell me, “You’re eating because you’re low on dopamine. Every time you eat something tasty, that little burst of pleasure gives you a little chemical boost that builds up your initiative until you’re able to handle tasks again.” Again, I’ve never been screened for this, but I’ve been observing my eating habits over the past two days, and it really does seem to work that way. Maybe even my procrastination–the long stretches when I sit watching YouTube or reading fanfic or playing mobile games instead of starting on my projects–is a way of banking dopamine, gearing up for the quick bursts of hyperfocused work time when I’m actually able to get things done.

I don’t know. I’m not a psychiatrist. But it seems like a decent theory. I’ll play with it and let you know.

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