Monday, December 30, 2019

'Tis the Season (For Getting It Together)

I know it looks like I've been doing the flaky ADHD thing since I haven't posted since the end of October, but in my defense, I did successfully participate in National Novel Writing Month in November. The rough draft of my novel isn't done, but it's about two thirds of the way there. 

Then in December, I needed to cram for my next promotion in karate because I wanted to earn my blue belt before winter break. 

Yes, I practice karate. 

No, the additional physical activity has not cured my ADHD. In fact, I wouldn't have accomplished as much as I have without treatment.

As it is, I still need to see an ophthalmologist for a possible visual disorder. I'm actually eagle eyed, but sometimes I feel like I can't watch fast enough so even when I'm as attentive as I need to be, I still have difficulty making sense of what I'm looking at when motion is involved. I can read the smallest line on an eye chart, no problem, but driving around curves or mountain roads can trigger anxiety, and learning karate techniques takes me longer than other people.

Once the Shihan showed me the next move of a bo staff kata I was learning, and I was blown away, and nobody could understand why I was so amazed, and I couldn't understand why it felt so much more mundane when I did it, even though everyone assured me I was doing it correctly. Even now, when I watch someone else, I'm like:


Turns out there's binocular vision disorders that makes your eye muscles work harder to maintain visual clarity, and that's potentially another challenge I've been teased about most of my life that was outside my control without identification and treatment.

Ugh.

I'm not bitter.

(I'm totally bitter.)

I've also spent much of December streamlining my life. I don't think I've been overextending myself in terms of the number of goals and interests I'm pursuing, but my time management has not been the best.

I should have changed gyms as soon as my boys and I became involved in karate because I rarely swim laps at my old gym anymore, and the only reason I went to a gym that was further from home was the pool. My new gym is both closer to home, and within walking distance of our dojo so instead of dorking around on my phone when the boys are in class, I strength train. Then I take my class on alternate nights instead of waiting around after theirs. I'm even working out more, and still saving time and money.

I also have a new to-do list app, but it's set up like an RPG. Apparently there was this whole "gamification" trend in time management apps that's great for those of us with ADHD in particular. I always used to turn everything into a game as a coping skill, for better (beat my best grade) or worse (see how many days I can go without eating my Freshmen year of college) so it made perfect sense. Laugh if you must, but the game aspect aside, it's so much more robust than a conventional to-do list, and helps me ascend my personal Wall of Awful. 

It's the free version of Habitica, by the way. I like the clean interface, and it's very user friendly. If improving time management or achieving multiple goals is one of your New Year's resolutions, I highly recommend it, or a similar app of your choosing. 

While I'm recommending things, check out this YouTube channel, How to ADHD. Jessica McCabe introduced me to the whole concept of the Wall of Awful, and has a lot of great insights and information. And I learned about vertical heterophoria from another favorite ADHD resource, RenĂ© Brooks of Black Girl, Lost Keys

Oh, and the Deception anthology featuring my short story, "Alpha", has been available in paperback since November. Same great collection, now with the new book smell!



Author Aly Welch


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'Tis the Season (For Getting It Together)

I know it looks like I've been doing the flaky ADHD thing since I haven't posted since the end of October, but in my defense, I did...