Today, working with myself meant going to gym. Zumba to be precise. It seemed like I would be too late and that instead I should hurry straight to work. But then I noticed how tight my shoulders were, with a little twinge in my neck. I noticed how stuffy my thoughts were- literally stuffed into my head too full and simmering in anxiety. And I Just Went to my imperfect heaven that gym with dungeon ambiance and just danced. Afterwards, I was sweaty and relieved and now I can breathe again.
I’ve noticed, my mind is full of delight. I’ll start writing on a chapter of my PhD, and ideas will come tumbling out. Good ideas. Good turns of phrase too. Like when I am focussed and relaxed at the same time it is just so easy. And pleasurable, even, to write.
All my life I’ve tried to avoid being typical and being categorisable. This what part of what made me stubbornly resist coming out the closet. I couldn’t bear the idea of being put in this Lesbian box and people thinking that they knew what I was like or should be. I also couldn’t bear the mundaneity of the Coming Out conversation – the familar script, the “mom”, “dad”…I think these stubborn concerns subconsciously held me back from becoming just like any other sexually confused but happy (or at least not single) queer person for a long time.
That said, imagine how I feel being diagnosed with the most ubiquitous disorder of our modern times, being placed in the same category as over-stimulated hyperactive boys who play TV games all day. It was horrifying. But then still I try to set myself aside by asserting that this is something which only affects my work, my PhD so it is kind of an elite version.
When they asked questions about whether I have problems of low-self esteem or low self-confidence of course I thought not. But yesterday I realised this is not true. I was returning an e-mail to a man who had asked for my assistance on a research project. I had said yes and then when his students contacted me, I never wrote back. Then the man wrote again to say they were having their presentation the next day, and I never replied because I was so embarrassed for not having responded to his students. Finally I wrote back after missing the presentation to apologise, but my words – “busy” – just seemed so inadequete. I was truly ashamed, and that is a shame that is very familiar to me. When it may seem to other people like I just don’t care, and actually it is that I don’t remember, or wrote it on a piece of paper which I lost and never located again, so forgot. Or started using a diary and then left it somewhere. This everyday carelessness is a constant source of shame.
My whole life I have felt like there is not enough time. But I realise that actually I don’t have enough space in my mind, it is cloudy and busy and I am always late and that is what it is like to be me. A very, very typical person with ADD.