A quick case study in ‘easy’ being ‘hard’ for the ADHD brain.

I’m going to give you one specific example, call it a case study of what I talked about last week in terms of easy often being really hard for us. It involves an anonymized former client. He was, in fact, one of my earliest clients when I was first doing professional organizing, before I even started coaching. 

Awesome guy. Very nice. And very smart. Had a big job in the banking industry. Travel the country. Did lobbying work. Was paid handsomely. Excelled in his job in every way. Though I will note, I virtually guarantee you that was supported by a personal secretary who did all of the tedious day-to-day stuff. I’m so confident in that guarantee because of what he hired me for. It may best be described as a modern day archaeological dig. He hired me to go through his mail. As brilliant and talented as this man was, the tedium of opening his mail and dealing with its contents was completely overwhelming to him. That simple task, which most people look at as so easy they don’t even really have to think about it, was Kryptonite to him.

The reason it felt archaeological, or maybe I should say anthropological, was that it was like going back through time because I needed to go through the seven years of unopened mail dating back to his divorce. This is the man who would be having dinner with us senator in Washington on Thursday only to come home to his beautiful house on Friday and find out that his cable had been turned off because he hadn’t paid the bill in two months. Not surprisingly if you did not know about ADHD and how it worked, you would have a hard time making sense of that guy.

Of course, if you thoroughly understand ADHD, this guy is a very typical to E person, that’s a term we didn’t have when I was a kid but I wish we had. It means that he was exceptionally gifted but also exceptionally compromised by his neurodiversity. Not an uncommon story at all. However, a lot of things have to go right for even that level of intelligence to shine if we don’t address our company and weaknesses in one way or another.

Standard disclaimer. As a person with ADHD, I made the decision when I started my blog, that I didn’t want it to be that thing that I avoided out of perfectionism. I made the decision to get my ideas out there with very little filtering and rarely any editing. Adhering to this philosophy means that I may never have put out a perfect blog post. But it also means that I put a really good blog post out most weeks for the last decade. So please continue to bear with me by overlooking awkward phrasing, typos, grammatical quirks, etc. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the heck out of the contact. P.S. I’m not even gonna read this before I start slapping it on the end of my blog posts. Ha!