Should probably write something, if only to procrastinate editing the DAMN BOOK THAT’S TAKEN ME THREE YEARS TO MAKE GOOD. It still isn’t good – it’s amateur and passable at best. Why God?
The problem with the book is that as I get older, I get less confident in my ability to do good words. I’m more confident in my ability to tolerate being disliked, more confident in saying ‘no’ to people – that’s nice, isn’t it – but my confidence in my writing is just canon-balling off a cliff. Maybe it’s because I’m getting smarter and more critical, more self-aware. Or maybe I’m just getting dumber. I don’t know!
Been writing a secret little journal too, which is maybe why I don’t feel compelled to vocalise the humdrum ups and downs of my life anymore. Just put it into a little book instead – pencil, wholesome, sketches too – instead of whapping it out all over the internet like a drunk with a megaphone.
Trying to decide where to live at the moment. Not sure. I’m bad at decisions. I have, like, five inner monologues at the same time – all my voice, I’m not a loon, promise – and they never shut up and all talk over each other, and they all want wildly different things. One of them wants to be a farmer. One of them wants to be handsome and mysterious and get interviewed on the telly. They are all dumb. Do most people have this weird fracture going on? A stupid inner rainbow? Or do most people just have white light that tells them they want one thing at a time, the sum of all those little voices uniting into one sensible idea? Dunno. Wacko.
So I make decisions that appear mental to everybody else, because people only see the weird end result of all this hullabaloo: I do mad shit for seemingly no reason. Like go to France and then come back from France. That probably looks very not normal to observers. But then they don’t realise the process: the weeks of deliberating, cranial brawling, debates with the mirror (maybe I am actually nuts????). And after all of this noise, which often gets to the point of high-level static which makes me just zone out and not listen to anyone, I get sick of it, plunge a hand into the sludge of my brain and just pick something. Anything – any choice will do, no consideration of whether it’s actually a good idea anymore, past that, just want the peace of making one damn decision. And then I go and buy a harmonica or whatever.
I went to the doctor this morning about it, actually. I went back in Feb too, but went again today because the NHS waiting list to get an ADHD diagnosis is two years long, fuck the Tories. When I sat down with the doctor he asked me what’s up, and I told him I think I probably have ADHD of some kind, because everyone tells me I probably do, and then he said what I knew he would say: it’s very overdiagnosed, you probably don’t.
That’s embarrassing, isn’t it? I felt like a teenager, overstimulated by Instagram reels into buying one of those fucking plastic balls you chomp on that apparently gives you a sharper jawline. But no: I wouldn’t let it go so easily.
I started with school. I told him the truth: that I was always a daydreamer, my parents used to joke I could catch flies in my mouth. Still, in primary school I was pegged as ‘gifted and talented’ because I was good at English or whatever, and then in high school I got good grades without having to study because I was smart, but every teacher at every parents’ evening got me in trouble by saying they felt I was ‘coasting’. That damned word haunted my adolescence. Then at A-Level, when the work got harder and I had to revise and just sort of… didn’t… I got disappointing grades and only just scraped into uni. I actually got one point less than required for my course, but they let me in anyway – to be nice, I suppose.
At uni I did good because my degree was filmmaking, so I just spent all day writing scripts and editing silly videos. Never felt like work, never had to apply myself beyond thinking up daft lines of dialogue for characters I’d imagined. Then came employment: long days in offices, staring at a laptop, feeling as though ants were crawling over me and it was almost a physical pain to sit still. Striding around making drinks, writing secret poems, distracting colleagues with idle ponderings – would you rather be a plump duck or a sickly ox? – and then panicking at having achieved nothing for the entire day and doing all my work in 45 minutes. Going home stressed and annoyed at myself, every day for a decade.
I told the doctor it wasn’t just this. My weird impulsive and nonsense behaviours have been disastrous at times. Quitting jobs on a whim, in a flurry of inspiration that hit from nowhere and abandoned me equally fast, two hours after handing my notice in. Moving cities on a whim – moving countries on a whim. Ending loving relationships because of some idiot notion that cut suddenly through the static, dolled up like a good idea. ‘But I’m happy here’, says one voice. ‘You aren’t – go and get your hands calloused and become a true man of the earth somewhere’, says another. That’s the farmer voice talking.
Emotional volatility too – sensitivity born out of endless overthinking. ‘What exactly did you mean by the word ‘interesting’ in that sentence? Do you mean interesting as in, a dickhead? Do you think I’m a dickhead? How can I prevent you from feeling this way in the future? I ought to make some changes. I ought to buy a flight to Sri Lanka, reinvent myself. Are things good in Sri Lanka? I could start a revolution. Maybe I could get gunned down in a blaze of glory. Maybe they’d put me on t-shirts.’
Well, the doctor listened to all of this and then he sat back and had a little head-shake chuckle, and he said yeah, fair, it sounds like you have adult attention deficit. Maybe not hyperactive. But all the signs are there for ADD. I didn’t even tell him that coffee makes me fall asleep and that I’m a shit listener.
But again – Tories! – the waiting list to get a diagnosis is anywhere between one and three years, so. Could go private, but I called a clinic the other day and prices begin at £750. I miss Corbyn.
Would be nice if there’s a little pill out there I could take to help me think more slowly. I think being a good and healthy person would be a lot easier if my brain wasn’t like ‘SMOKE CIGARETTES??’ without warning whenever I go into Tesco to buy a packet of Hobnobs.
Been vaping a lot recently. Vaping like a nutter to boot out the cigs once and for all. Pretty sure it’s bad for you though. Vape too much and it feels like an aneurysm. Will have to quit that as well, soon enough.
Anyway, I started writing this as a distraction from the more-important-but-also-harder-and-therefore-I-can’t-face-it task of writing my book. Break over. Back to it. Bye!