I got an email this morning that had a long list of "Whys", but the end was my favorite - it said: 1 in 4 has a "mental problem" think of your 3 best friends, if they're ok, then you're it! I HAD to laugh, cause I already knew I was it! Ever since high school (or college, it's hard to remember back that far) I've done almost daily sanity checks. I discovered that I don't always see the world (or react to it, for that matter) as others do, and sometimes I've been considered downright odd. Eccentric. Weird. And it's totally ok. I've also known for quite some time that even though "they" (the great, mighty, all-powerful "they") make the rules, I don't necessarily have to live by all of them. Yes, I do obey traffic signs (or at least try to), and yes, I do get that one about not killing other people, animals, etc. But the really important ones, like we all must eat low-carb, or high-carb, or only veggies, or only meat or that we have to wear certain colors because "black is so slimming" or we have to have the latest celebrity hair cut, or whatever just don't cut no slack with me.
When my daughter was diagnosed with ADD several years ago, the nice mental health people gave me a book. No, I don't remember the name, but it was about ADD. It had a long list of "symptoms" and as I read them, they started to sound more and more familiar (Nancy, you should pay attention here). ADD does not only mean a complete lack of focus, but it can also mean hyper-focus. You know, when you're watching TV, or reading a book, and someone walks up to you and scares the living CRAP out of you 'cause you didn't see them??? There are other things, too - but the longer I read, the more I realized that I, too, was ADD. Had ADD. Whatever.
Anyway - life became so much easier - and I was now equipped to help my daughter without the benefit of Ritalin. See, I was ADD before there ever was such a thing - as were a BUNCH of kids in my class. We made it through, and most of us without the benefit of medication (I'm not talking about the self-medicated ones, we'll discuss them later). Anyway, I decided, or sort of fell into, "owning" my mental health.
I embrace ADD - love it, live with it, I say. And, I'm convinced that all my mental problems stem from knitting. (You didn't think I'd get to the knitting today, did you???)
Here's what I've formulated so far:
ADD: Multiple projects. I couldn't tell you how many projects I have going right now - a minimum of 5. I get bored, I do something else for a change. On the other hand, I started and completed my neph's hat in one evening. Easy Peasy.
OCD: I count. All the time. I don't count when I type, because I have to focus on where the fingers are and how to spell words (which could also be an OCD-thing, I'm not sure). But I count. Stairs. Steps. How many up-and-down trips on the cheese grater it takes to get enough cheese to make tacos (21 to 36, depending). Stitches.
I was watching Monk the other night, and they were in a room with other crazies, and his assistant leaned over and said "You're not the craziest one in the room anymore." I DIED laughing. How totally cool!!!!! To absolutely KNOW that you are not the craziest one in the room!! There are days when I'm pretty certain that I'm not the craziest one, but there are days when I KNOW I am. It's ok, they say that those who don't think they're crazy are the ones who need the most help. As long as I'm certain that I'm not sane, I think I'll be fine - oh, and the happy pills hold out.
OOPS! I forgot - I started Halfdome last night, twice. Remember the ADD-thing? Turns out I can't count stitches, after all. Anyway, it's started. I'll let you know how it goes.