Late last year, I finally got around to creating this website. I posted a couple of articles I had written earlier in the year so I had content to test the site with, and I was ready to finally make this site happen. That was about 10 weeks ago now, and that is how things go for me often. I was hoping that now that I have been diagnosed with ADD that would change, but here we are.
I have been working really hard over the last couple of months to make content for this site. My life is pretty interesting to me right now, and I thought that would be enough, along with the ADD treatment, to make me do this, but that hasn't been the case. It isn't like I haven't done anything during this time. To the contrary, I have been busy nearly every day feverishly working on things that should help me along.
Once my treatment started, I found that I am woefully deficient in my fine motor skills, so I have been working on that. I am figuring a few things out, but it is slow going. My hands and forearms move a lot more than I ever knew, and I am working hard to gain the range of motion that my hands should have. It has the negative effect of my wife thinking that I am acting like a methhead, when to me, it is very focused, although admittedly pretty constant, work towards getting my hand back to "normal". I was a bit twitchy when I started on Adderall, but I found that the twitchiness was solely due to my belief that I didn't need to watch my caffeine intake like both my psychiatrist and pharmacist warned me that I would need to do. A lifetime of never feeling the effects of caffeine made me believe I knew better. I was wrong.
Next, now that I feel like practicing doing things may actually help me get better at things (which has never been the case for me), I decided to finally try to get good at a couple of video games. I can feel that I can build skill a little bit now, and I think I was getting a little better at Dead Cells (which means I have made it to the first boss exactly once, and really haven't been close since then. It has been about a month since I have played now. I decided that I would like to start streaming my gameplay so I could share any progress I make. I haven't streamed anything yet, but I can do it now. It took me some time, and some money, to get it set up, but it is ready for me to use...when I get around to it.
I have spent a lot of time trying to learn how to play guitar and piano over the last couple of years. I still can't play a single song, but I feel like I am gaining some skills. I was starting to feel like playing a song on piano was going to happen soon, but then I haven't touched it in the last couple of months. I guess that feeling of potential success made me think maybe there was a chance I could learn to play a song on guitar. I have been working at it, and I think I am getting better at both picking and strumming. I am also able to sense the beat once in a while now, which I have never been able to do, so that is exciting. I feel like I could play an easy pop song now, but I have not been able to prove that yet. I can make it about 8 bars sometimes, but then I get sidetracked. I am enjoying the process though, so that is keeping me trying.
I am also trying to relearn software engineering. I got my degree at 40, and worked in the field for about 6 1/2 years before losing that job. I really never wanted to go back to it, but I am hoping that maybe it will be different now that I know that I have ADD and I am being treated for it. I bought and started a course late last year, one of probably hundreds of courses I have started over the years. I made it past the intro on this one though, so I think there is a little improvement now. I have really struggled with keeping at the course though, and I am well behind where I should be. I don't have a firm reason for doing it yet besides the fact that my new real Estate business is failing fast, having started it not long before the pandemic started. I need to make more money, and engineering is probably the best way to do that.
So, here I am about 3 months after starting ADD treatment. The first two weeks, I felt like I had super powers, but now I feel like I have a lot to learn, and I don't really know how to learn it. I have never really practiced anything before. I could get to an advanced beginner level at quite a few things, but I don't think I have ever been able to progress beyond that. This realization has been hard for me to accept, but I think it is true. I need to learn how to learn. I am disappointed by that because it is really fucking hard. I still can't stay focused for long. My attempt to get back into programming has led me back to the things that originally got me interested in computers. Toys. I like games, and robots, and drones. I am not good at them, but they have interested me for as long as I can remember. I had a Big Track when I was a kid. I tried to program it a couple of times, then took it apart. Then I got in trouble for taking it apart, and I never learned how to program it, or put it back together. I think that describes my life just as well as anything.
So now I have a little Sphero ball to practice programming with, which I bought to try to keep the cat entertained. I still haven't tried to program it, but I have bought some legos and a little plastic trailer for it to turn it into a cat toy, which isn't really working all that well. So, while I was trying to force myself to sit down and start programming, I got sidetracked for a couple of weeks trying to find a little robot vehicle that would work better. I have found a couple of choices that may work, but they are not in my budget at the moment, so I did the only logical thing...I bought a cheap little drone to play with that I can also program if I ever get around to it. Knowing that ADD is causing my impulsive behavior has not yet curbed that behavior. I did buy a $100 drone instead of the $1500 drone that I wanted, so hey, maybe I am making progress.
So now I am set up to write about the things I learn. I am also set up to video some of it. I can record any music I may make. I can stream what I learn about video games (on my Switch, I still have yet to figure out how to do it in VR games). Now I just need to do it. I think sharing what I learn here may help other people in a similar situation as mine, and I am really hoping to find a way to make a living sharing what I learn from here on out. I wish I was off to a better start, I really do, but if you are reading this, I have made it further than I ever have in the past, and I am going to count that as a win.
Treating ADD has been life changing for me so far, but I am only just starting on this journey. I have absolutely no idea what I will be capable of now. I may never play a song, or finish a hard video game, but I might, and I really hope that is enough to keep pushing myself forward. I am excited at the possibility. I am scared of the reality. I am hopeful though, and that is a good feeling that I haven't had often.
I am Paul, and I am off to go find out who that is. I hope you enjoy, and benefit from, this journey.