As a person with ADHD, I do not perceive time passing.
Apparently there is a part of the brain that manages this in neurotypical people, to varying degrees, but for me, that just doesn’t exist. Time exists in one of two states: now and not now.
When I first tripped over this phrasing, it was in the comments section of the Captain Awkward blog, and I think my brain screeched to a damn halt when I read that. Read it again. And again. Holy shit. Holy shit.
That’s how I first began to truly suspect I might have ADHD. That was my lightning bolt moment.
See, the thing is, just the week before, I’d explained – with self-deprecating humour and apology and embarrassment, because I am always fucking late – that I had this weird thing where time only seemed to exist when I looked at a clock. “It was twenty past ten,” I said, “and I knew I had to get moving at ten thirty, so I figured I had ten minutes to read! The only problem is that, while I was reading, in my brain it was still twenty past ten, and it stayed that time until I looked up.”
At which point, time doing that thing that it does – i.e., being in continuous forward motion without stopping, like a complete bastard – I discovered that it was not twenty past ten. It was closer to eleven. I had now missed one train and was well on the way to missing the next one.
But… everyone knows what’s it like to look up at the clock and be genuinely shocked, right?
Well, yeah, but here’s the thing: most people don’t need a series of incremental alarms to make sure they get to their appointments in the morning.Continue reading “ADHD and Other Letters: Time, the Suitcase“