Does ADHD make The Excitement Plan More Exciting?

Perhaps that’s an unfair title.  I can’t really answer that question, so if you are looking for answers, this isn’t that blog.

If you’re looking for company and commiseration, read on. Or if you have ADHD and can answer this question, please comment below!

It’s just that I noticed something yesterday.  I made a connection I hadn’t made before. Or rather I’m wondering if this is really a connection or whether this is just my husband’s fear issues and the fact that he also has ADD is coincidental.

At any rate, I was at the dentist.

So you can already see this wasn’t a good day.  And it was turning out to be a spectacularly bad day, in First World terms anyway.

I wanted to go to the gym after the dentist, but when I went to get my gym bag, it wasn’t where I’d left it. No One had moved it, of course.

So I searched the family room for it, which entailed moving stacks of unfolded laundry, which No One had started and not finished, only to discover that Some One had removed a load of towels from the dryer, still damp, and dumped them on one of the dogs’ beds, which meant they now smelled of mildew AND dog.  When the members of the family were polled one at a time, it turned out that No One had done that either, of course.

I eventually found the bag in the coat closet at the other end of the house.  No One put it there.

(It may occur to my dear reader at this point that my husband is not the only person in the household with ADHD. He’s not.  There are at least two others. It makes life more exciting.  It’s never boring, anyway. At least, those are the adjectives I like to use publicly.)

Okay but I didn’t come on here to whine about the laundry.  I mean, I did, but not really.

So back to the dentist… on the way there I had to do two errands and got lost on the way to one of them. (Note to self: Next time read the map before leaving the house.  Having a 14 year old dictate driving instructions is not the most effective use of technology.)

And then I dropped said 14 year old at a remote park for a party but no one was there. He assured me he would be fine and that everyone was sure to be on their way. I had to leave because I was already going to be five minutes late for my dental appointment.  He had a phone.  He’s 14.  I figured I’d check back in with him.  And I did, a few times during the course of my appointment.

He never did answer.

The teeth cleaning I went in for turned into a filling replacement/crown, because they found a cracked tooth.  They had time to do it right then and the next opening was in two weeks, so I decided to grab the spot and do it right away.  But just as I was waiting for the Novocain to kick in, I got a text from my husband at work.

“We’re on lock down.”

He works in a somewhat, shall we say, difficult part of town.  So it’s not that this was terribly surprising.  I texted right back and asked him to keep me posted and told him I was having dental work so I wouldn’t be able to reply right away.

An hour later he still had not texted.

So between that and the son at the park who was probably fine but was also not texting, the dentist and the dental assistant were surprised at how calm I was. One of them told me that she is “just a worrier” and would be so upset if she were in this situation.

I told them that I simply didn’t have enough information to worry at this point.  It could just as easily be “everything’s fine” as it could be that “something is wrong,” so there was no point in getting upset until I knew which one it was.  Because it’s not like getting upset was going to help either situation anyway.

I realized then that I am really getting better at avoiding The Excitement Plan.

(Granted, I went there earlier in the day when I found the damp and smelly laundry, but that was at least partially so that the kids would understand that their careless actions have consequences.  True story.)

And I also realized that the reason I’m getting better at this is that it happens a lot.  I get lots of practice. Between raising kids who are now teens and young adults, and marrying into a family that thrives on crisis, I am regularly offered opportunities to either join the crowd at an Excitement Plan party or make my way there all on my own.

And yet there have only been a couple of times that something Actually Awful was going on.  One was when I had to take my youngest to ER and found out he had Type I Diabetes. A couple of Awful Events happened with relatives too, but every other moment of Could-Be-Bad/Could-Be-Fine has turned out to be just fine.

I finally got a reply from my husband after I left the dental office and texted him again to ask what was going on.  He then told me that sheriffs had had a stand-off with a guy barricaded in his house a few blocks away and that the lockdown was now lifted.  It was just a precautionary measure taken by the company, not required by the police or anything.  If he had needed to leave, he could have just driven away in the other direction and been just fine.

So, you know, I’m pretty sure he knew this up front.  A company doesn’t go on lockdown and not tell its employees the reason behind it.

But if he had shared this information up front, it would not have been as exciting. I would have shrugged and said, “Oh, okay. Let me know if this is going to make you late for dinner” instead of expressing concern and begging him for updates.

I knew before that my husband really, really thrives on there being A Crisis, but this  reminded me.  I think it’s the only time he really feels alive.  So if there is the slightest hint of crisis, he will go there.  He is on High Alert, tunes into the police scanner to find out what’s going on, locks doors and windows and if he had a gun, he would undoubtedly stick it in the waistband of his pants and walk around in the street seeing what he could do to handle it himself.

(No, seriously, he used to have one, and that’s exactly what he did one day when he saw someone trying to break into a car. The cops read him the Riot Act when they found him walking around the street like that.)

So I can’t help but think that it was at least partially intentional that he left this information out when he told me about the lockdown.

Especially because this is not the first time this has happened.  He once texted me, while I was stuck in traffic two hours away from home, that there had been an armed robbery at a nearby store and that the neighborhood was on lockdown and the police were going house to house.  While I was navigating traffic on the freeway, I was getting short texts (with articles left out) about what was going on, every five minutes or so: “Helicopter loudspeaker saying lock doors.”… “Police going house to house with dogs.”   It was all very worrying and I couldn’t text back, and he wasn’t picking up when I called.

I finally called my oldest daughter to find out what was going on.  She revealed what he had simply failed to mention: the fact that it WASN’T OUR NEIGHBORHOOD that was on the bloody lockdown.

So I’m just wondering if this is somehow related to The ADD.  Or if it’s just a quirk of his personality. Not that it makes a difference, I suppose.  I think I just want to know if I have company in this particular misery.

The son at the park, by the way, was just fine when I got there to pick him up. There were plenty of other kids and parents there with him, who had all arrived within minutes of me leaving.  He had, as I suspected, simply been having too much fun to check his phone. See, in this situation, I had figured no news was good news, and it turned out it was.

I suppose no news in the other situation was also good news, because you can bet on the fact that had there been any real crisis developing, I would have had frequent (but terse) texts updating me.

So perhaps that’s the moral of this story:

The opposite to The Excitement Plan is that No News is Good News.

Yes.  Let’s go with that.  If nothing else came out of this crummy day, I can at least have a new adage to write on my wrist.

And, of course, I can be thankful that nothing bad really did happen.  I mean no bad thing really happened.  I mean that bad things didn’t really happen. Did bad things happen? No.  Not really.

I obviously need to get more sleep before I attempt to blog.

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