Slump and Recovery

I know that sounds like the world’s worst superhero team-up – He’s a washed-up private eye who can only see the darkest future timelines! She’s a hyper-efficient android with a million projects! Together they fight crime! – but it’s pretty much just my life these days.

A sleeping dog

Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

Over the past year or so, I’ve been getting increasingly frustrated with myself. I’m not writing, I procrastinate on simple tasks for weeks rather than minutes. I’m not able to stay focused on my day job, I’m getting more and more forgetful about things, and I’m making stupid, obvious and easily avoidable mistakes. The slightest disruption to my daily routine – the slightest disruption – will mess up my entire day.Instead of doing things, I get stressed about not doing things.

I spend more time recriminating myself than I do taking positive action. Or any action, in a lot of cases. And the more ineffective I feel, the more stressed I get about it (in a way that the anxiety meds are barely staving off), until I get to the point of having a panic attack. Or freakout, depending on your preferred medical terminology. I fall into hole, silently screaming the whole way down. Sweats, shaking hands, the lot.

And then what invariably happens is that I scare the shit out of myself so badly that I immediately flip a switch. I become a productivity machine. I Get Shit Done. I make lists, I power through them, I make more lists. I operate at a level of focus and efficiency I don’t even recognise.

Trouble is, it doesn’t last. At best, I sustain the burst of energy for a few days in a row. Most of the time it lasts a day, then I crash so hard I get home from work and need a nap. By the next day the slide has started again.

It’s becoming somewhat obvious to me that I have some sort of attention deficit condition. The good news is that my spouse finally pushed me hard enough to get the ball rolling on an ADHD assessment. The less good news is that it turns out, psychiatric services specialising in this extremely common complaint are rarer than a sunburned sirloin. It took weeks to get the appointment, and it’ll probably take a number of followup appointments to arrive at a diagnosis. I’m looking at potentially months of this internal psychodrama going on before I can start on effective treatment, and that’s only assuming that my half-arsed amateur self-diagnosis has any validity.

My first session was scheduled for yesterday morning.

Funny story: I’m currently in lockdown after testing positive to COVID on Wednesday morning. (I’m physically fine. I’ve been lucky enough and vaccinated enough to score one of those “It’s no worse than a bad head cold” doses.)

Because I couldn’t attend in person, and because apparently the initial consultation needs to be face to face, I had to defer my appointment to the next available slot – in late August. Agh.

The horizon stretches on, I guess. Hopefully it’s closer than I think, but I’m not all that optimistic at the moment.

PS: Don’t get me wrong – I’m not in any danger of causing harm to myself or anyone else. I’m just stressed (sometimes) and exhausted (usually). It’s possible a week of enforced best rest might be the best thing that could happen to me. Not likely,  but possible.

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One Response to Slump and Recovery

  1. That all sucks, Dave. I hear you about the procrastination/inefficiency morphing into rampant efficiency. I’m going to DM you about the ADHD aspect. Take care, G x

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