Paul’s Story

My Name is Paul, I am a 32 year old South African and I have ADD.

As a youngster I can remember thinking how I have always felt different to other people.

I can remember how upset my parents used to get with me for not being a successful student and sitting down and completing my homework

I remember being constantly compared to my sister, who could sit and study for 8 hours straight whereas I couldn’t even sit for 5 minutes and complete assignments.

I often found myself jumping out of the window to go occupy myself with something more interesting rather than do homework, like run down to my friends house and ride his motorbike all afternoon.

Everything of mine was untidy, even my books ( those that lasted the school year ) were a complete and utter mess.

I not once worked out of them and got through highschool by simply remembering what was said in class and completing tests and exams by memory alone, needless to say my grades sucked.

I never did homework and it wasnt because I didnt want to, oh I did, believe me I did want to be able to proudly say that I had finished this or finished that.

The sad reality is that I always dreamed of being a Doctor, a psychologist but the inability to study or get good grades always hampered me.

I was labelled as lazy and hated that label as I have _NEVER_ been scared of hard work and have sat at work on many an occasion until late into the night to finish work that was detrimental to the department or whatever. But this only applied in areas that kept my interest.

If it wasnt interesting enough to hold my attention I’d simply put it off or simply not do it.

Not out of spite or a need to be malicious or disobedient, but simply because I could not bring myself to do it.

Even now there are hundreds of things that I would like to accomplish yet I have such a drive to start them and then get lost on the internet and when next I look I have 13 browser windows open and cant remember what I had started on.

Forgetfulness also became a huge problem because I would try and remind myself to do important stuff and next thing hey I wonder whats on tv later ?

Even writing this story, I knew the message I wanted to get across, but I forgot what I wanted to say 🙁

Work was always hard as I could only sit for a few minutes at a time and do something before having a need to get up and do something else.

As a smoker for a long time it was also not cool, cause that meant getting up to smoke every few minutes and was at one stage putting away up to 60 cigarettes a day away when I was in my early 20’s. I cut down to about a box a day as I approached 30 and finally because of the influence of my wife to be, I quit completely after 17 years at the age of 32. This was earlier this year.

Quitting smoking infuriated me even more because I now can’t get up to go and smoke, I now get up to pace or go irritate someone else in the office or just walk around to clear my head, sit down and carry on working.

There are positive aspects to it as I know that I am an intelligent person. I have a great memory for facts and information.
And I am creative in the sense that I have tons of ideas and am proud to be a “dreamer”
I know that I have an ability to inspire people, cheer them up and make them laugh.

There are some things which at face value may interest me until I can get the gist of it then I lose interest. I also have this ability to store all sorts of useless bits of information which I feel I need to share with other people.

I am able to retain a lot of information and my mind has an uncanny ability to remember facts and information but not dates, times or other things which socially is more important than remembering trivial trivia.

This has also made me quite learned in a variety of subjects but not a master in any. You could say I know a little about a lot but not a lot about a particular subject.

I have also battled with time. I dont have a watch and dont live by the clock I cant, even if I get up early I will still arrive somewhere late, not because I want to.
This is in effect such an obvious trait of mine and I am always in a hurry to get here or there and always late for stuff that my nickname is rush.

And that’s been my life.

I just wanted to make sense of why I was the way I was and why I could not be more like my sister. I knew I was different but just couldnt put my finger on it and its painful to realise over the years that people have regarded me as being lazy or inept or disobedient or lacking discipline, yet I wanted to break out of this feeling of being closed in.

I am in the process of coming to terms with my disorder and look forward to tackling it head on so that I can start making sense of my life.