That’s a quote from Babylon 5 for whomever is paying attention, and the quote goes something like this:
There’s your truth, their truth and the truth inbetween.
For me, when my Executive Function flips out, there’s my truth, the truth things are going wrong, and the truth I want to stab something repeatedly, possibly even me.
FYI, Executive Function is the part of the conscious brain that says “we’ll do things in this order because it’s going to be the most logical and beneficial”. Although it’s much more complex than that because it’s the brain FFS, the grey matter we really live in and which contains a multitude of mysteries still unsolved (which is why they’re a mystery, but I digress)
For me (and others) with ADHD, Executive Function is about as useful as using a banana as a hammer. No matter how hard or soft you hit that nail, change the angle,try the other end or indeed a fresh banana because this one seems to have disintegrated, you’re still unexpectedly left with a great big mess.
And more often than not, someone *without* ADHD looks at you strange and says “Here’s the hammer you actually need for that job (you moron).” Shame and internalised frustration usually result, potentially with a socially inconvenient meltdown and on we go.
My Executive Function goes haywire when I’ve had too little sleep and haven’t eaten well. Today it failed me because I got around 3 hours sleep last night, (ironically enough because my happy ADHD pill kept me awake) and didn’t have any food in the house so went out and had breakky at a local cafe I like. And there’s nothing wrong with breakfast in a cafe EXCEPT when it’s two pieces of toast at 11am and I don’t eat anything else until 4pm that day, and I ate poorly the previous day because I was In The Zone (AKA Hyperfocus) and fixing things around the house so they worked better, and oo, shiny, that needs doing too… and suddenly it was 8pm and I’d eaten a single English Muffin for breakfast at 10am.
And another irony is because my Executive Function is faulty, I keep making the same mistake. I’ll admit it doesn’t happen as often as it used to, but the cause and effect is Exactly The Same.
And when I go looking for strategies on Das Interwebben, I invariably come across articles that explain what Executive Function is with varying levels of detail and then start going on about how to handle a child with the issue.
Seriously internet? This is the best you can do? Are we honestly still going on about children being the only humans with ADHD?
Except yes; yes we are.
That was another digression, and I’ll try and drag myself back to the point of the article, which is this:
All the coping mechanisms I’ve found are perfectly helpful so long as You Have Already Done Them. Yes, I get that I should eat well. I know I should sleep better. And exercise. And all the rest of it.
But if I’m in a crisis I’m not looking for advice on things I should’ve done last night or earlier today, or will try tomorrow. It’s fundamentally useless information. And it adds a veneer of “stupid” to my currently low self esteem. Shoulda, coulda, woulda, as Jayne (Adam Baldwin) of Firefly would say.
So this is my conundrum. And at times like this I reach for more bananas. Trancendental Meditation, might help. I could sit down and hum a mantra when I’ve fucked up again. Which is actually going to be pretty hard if I’m seeking my center with a nice tune and calming myself whilst chastizing myself for making The Same Damn Mistake Again.
So, to summarize, ADHD Executive Function is a tangle of irony. Because it doesn’t work properly, no amount of research or knowledge can get past the fact that when it fails, I forget to do the very things that will make it work properly. And realizing that gives me another punch in the self esteem.
Right. Going to feed the cat. Because unlike me, he knows when it’s meal time and what he wants.
Maybe I could train him to remind me!
Yeah, that’d work well…