A couple of weeks ago someone tweeted their very important hot take (EYE ROLL) that ADD/ADHD are not real diagnoses and just excuses for laziness and sin. 

My friend Cam responded with how he had sinned that morning by struggling with executive dysfunction.  So, taking his lead and for some fun, awareness, and in honor of mental health day coming up on 10/10, behold, an accounting of some of my sins this week as someone who has ADHD. 

On Sunday 10/3, I sinned by fidgeting more than 10 times in the pew in the choir loft.  Then I couldn’t remember a lot of the sermon because I was preoccupied with worry that people around me would be distracted, then become mad that I was fidgeting and I was concentrating so hard on not fidgeting that the urge to fidget became even stronger so I became distracted by trying a mindfulness exercise of imagining myself melting into my pew so I wouldn’t fidget and distract other worshippers and my choir in person and online, and my choir peeps.   

On Sunday night, I engaged the sin of laziness by moving laundry day to later in the week so I could prioritize hanging out with Andrew a little more, and reading for my DMin class. Then, I was reading and got distracted by the memory ofa chocolate bread I used to eat in Mexico, and spent the rest of the evening that could’ve been spent reading, fully invested in following a rabbit trail of pan dulce internet searches, recipe ideas, and tres leches cake recipes.  

On Monday 10/4, a patient came to my office for spiritual care. We had a long, delightful conversation and I got fidgety in my chair so I adjusted my seating position a couple of times, hoping it wouldn’t send the wrong message that I was getting impatient.  

On Tuesday, 10/5, I got fully in the zone in the morning and had a very productive morning. After staff meeting, with new tasks to do and others to finish, I sat in my desk chair for 15 minutes trying to decide what to do first. This is called executive dysfunction and is one of my more prevalent sins. My brain can’t figure out what do, and when I look at my planner with my tasks, it can’t figure out how to prioritize them. I went and got some tea from Panera, planning emails in my head to send when I got back to my desk, and started with one email, then worked my way down the list.  

On Tuesday evening, I wanted to make a Brazilian meal but I miscalculated my time. I did all the work, but by the time I was ready to assemble the dough rounds filled with chicken, cream cheese, and corn, it was 8pm. We had scrambled eggs for dinner.  

 I mixed up some bread dough and placed it in the oven to rise . I was on my way tosleepyland when I remembered at 11 PM that I had bread dough rising in the oven. I got up, punched it down (my fave part of bread making), and rolled it out to the size of my loaf pan, rolled it up and placed it in my beautiful orange Fiesta Ware loaf pan to rise again, for an hour. I set an alarm to get back up and cook the bread, then another alarm to turn the oven off when it was done.  

It was sinfully delicious! Hahaha. But, it made me late to work today.  

If you’re concerned, don’t be. I don’t consider any of these things “sins,” or “laziness;” and I don’t feel bad about myself because my brain is different. This isn’t self-flagellation, it’s an attempt at making sure we realize how ridiculous we sound when we reduce mental illness to issues of faith or lack of willpower.  When I was little, I would interrupt incessantly, bounce my knees in class to the point it was disruptive and often get up from the dinner table mid meal to work on an art project I just HAD to do that minute. My parents recognized a need for an assessment, so my first diagnostic test was in 1st grade, then 5th, 8th, and 12th so I could have documentation for services. I even, GASP, took medication! Don’t tell God about my lack of faith.  Rather than “laziness,” “excuse-making,” or “not doing a good job at praying it away,” I call it “using your resources.”  

If you struggle with a mental illness or disorder, never let anyone tell you it has anything to do with you as a person. Sure, it’s the way your brain synapses fire and respond, but your soul is beautiful whether or not you can make a snap decision on what to eat for lunch, or have to take multiple trips around the cafeteria or stare inside the fridge/freezer for several minutes because the options are too overwhelming.

You’re doing a good job. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: