HomeADHDADHD and Housework Don’t Mix

There are days when I can hold it together enough to get everything I need to accomplished, and then there’s today.

A vacuum cleaner handle in the foreground with clean dishes in a drainer in the background.

When one does the dishes, one must also keep the vacuum in mind. There ARE jealousy issues when it comes to housework, after all.

The kitchen is sort of halfway clean, the desk is maybe a third done, I’ve finally gotten a couple of letters ready to send out (after postage got put in the wrong spot on one, and that I SHOULD put a return address on the other), and I’m sitting here, trying to figure out what to do next.

Finish cleaning the kitchen? Oh, probably, but I have homework, and job hunting, and social media scheduling (that I’ve not done in over a month), and about fifty projects that I REALLY want to get going, and next week to schedule, and paperwork for my next doctor’s appointment to finish, and a lawn to mow, and cat boxes to change, and floors to clean, and an acupuncture appointment to make, and…and…and…

And I JUST remembered that I wanted to take chicken out of the freezer to dethaw for dinner.

If the smoke alarm goes off, it’s safe to assume something shorted out in my head and smoke is coming from my ears. That’s right, folks. My brain may just set Minneapolis on fire. I am pre-emptively asking your forgiveness.

Or, y’know, I started cooking something and forgot about it. In that case, my brain is still at fault. Pyrokenisis is so much more fun, though.

How do you neurotypical people get stuff done when there’s SO MUCH TO DO?!

Yes, I realize this is why people go on medication for ADHD. However, I have an extended history of unpredictable, potentially dangerous reactions to drugs – even the generally well tolerated ones. So. Medication is not an option for me. The risk/benefit ratio skews way too far into the “Danger, danger, Will Robinson” category.

Of course, the flip-side is hyper-focus. In writing, the arts, and sports, this is known as “the zone”. For folks with ADHD and many on the autism spectrum, this can apply to just about anything. With ASD, it’s generally restricted to specialized interests, but with ADHD, it seems to apply to a variety of tasks.

My most common is writing, but it’s also happened with crochet, knitting, jewelry making, math, cleaning, yard work, and assorted other things. The math and cleaning categories are especially odd, considering I can’t stand them. I’ll admit, hyper-focus can be immensely helpful, which I guess is the up-side of having ADHD.

It’s not like OCD in that we think something bad will happen if we don’t complete rituals. It’s more that once our brains get stuck on a task, we cannot stop doing it. The world is reduced to the task at hand. There’s nothing else. We could be plunged into darkness, and we won’t realize it until the task is either completed or we come up for air.

For instance, I had to reschedule an appointment on Friday at the last minute, so I had the day free. Instead of getting all of these mundanities done, I decided to give the Lost Souls Shawl another try. I’d already restarted it once, because I couldn’t figure out the skull pattern, and after a second restart, I was hooked.

No pun intended.

Ok, pun intended. Crochet? Hook? Get it?

Never mind.

I actually finished crocheting it the same day. My hands were killing me, and the ends still need to be woven in, BUT the hook-work is done.

Not bad, huh?

ADHD really isn’t ALL bad, but it can sure be frustrating. I wonder, and not for the first time, if I could somehow trigger that hyper-focus for when I want it. Midterms ARE coming up, after all…


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