You Got Fail…

November 3, 2011

Good morning afternoon evening, Internet.

It’s 9.13 am. Today I am going to achieve the follwing:

1. Blog post – about things I’m going to achieve today.

2. Exercise – 30 mintues of entertaining mid-morning passengers on bus routes 36, 136, 171, and 177.

3. Shower – no explanation needed.

4. Go to Post Office to collect parcels that postman should have delivered but didn’t because he couldn’t be arsed to ring the doorbell so left “while you were out” cards instead. (I feel like crossing out the “while you were out” bit in angry red pen and changing it to “while you were in your flat patiently listening to door bell, not having a bath, or playing music, and generally postpoing all activities that could pose an obstacle to successful receipt of parcel.” And then posting said cards back to Royal Mail.)

5. Write 800 words of PhD thus attaining 8 points towards weekend reward.

12.19 pm: Haven’t yet achieved any of the above. Could’ve achieved step number 1 had it not been for reading new blog posts by other people and getting distracted. However since then, I’ve drunk some coffee, brushed the cats, and had a think. Thinking resulted in realisation that I might have got my priorites muddled and should maybe reorder list before embarking on it. Have now decided that list should read as follows:

1. Write 800 words of PhD

2. Go to Post Office

3. Exercise

4. Have shower (whichever way you look at it, this one needs to come after step 3)

5. Write blog post so can include paragraph on sense of achievement to be had from successful completion of five-point plan.

12.48 pm: Have just looked at Royal Mail cards and realised Post Office shuts at 1pm. Bollocks. Will have to go tomorrow. Have also realised that M is coming over tonight and therefore I will need to do the washing up and collect up the contents of my study from the living room and return them to the study. Revised list:

1. Write 800 words of PhD

2. Tidy Up

3. Exercise

4. Have shower

5. Write blog post.

14.43: Realised I had no coffee, cat food, or lightbulbs, and was quite hungry so went to Tescos. Forgot to buy coffee, cat food or lightbulbs so had to go back. Still achieved none of the above aims for the day. Am going to skip steps  2 and 3 due to lack of time. New list:

1. Have shower

2. Write 800 words of Phd

3. Write blog post (so far this is the only thing on the list that I have made a start on. And this has definitely not been the post I was planning to write).

 

15.15: Have successfully changed lightbulbs in all lamps. Haven’t managed to change ceiling lights due to possibility of injury/death etc. M can do this when he comes over later. This wasn’t on the original list, which is a shame as represents an achievement (have been carrying around old lightbulbs in handbag for a gabillion years).

 

16.15: Internet! You’ll be glad to know I have had a shower!  1 goal down, 2 to go.

 

16: 24: Went to make cup of tea. Couldn’t decide whether strange flashing I saw out of corner of eye was lightening or something wrong with one of new lightbulbs. Further investigation proved distracting but inconclusive.

 

16.30: M just text to say he’s got to work till 18.30 so I have an extra hour to write these 800 words. Have decided therefore to publish this blog post thereby achieving 2 goals from the updated list and getting rid of the temptation to blog rather than PhD.

 

16.37: Just counted number of words in this post – 611. That’s 189 words off my daily PhD writing goal. OUTPUT FAIL.

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Good morning, Internet.

It’s a chilly autumnal morning here in Wonderland. I have had an uncharacteristic (and entirely involuntary) early start to the day, having been woken up by the postman who delivered my Halloween costume. I forgot to take off my make-up last night and had been in a very deep sleep so the poor guy could be forgiven for his barely concealed surprise when his knock was answered by a creature for whom the donning of a scary Halloween costume could only represent an improvement. A creature who resembled this chap:

Anyway, I digress. After a shaky start, I am determined to remain on-topic today without hesitation, repetition or deviation. I need to talk to you about my decision to go back on the Ritalin before the rapidly loosening ball of wool that is my life unravels completely. I’m feeling completely incapable of getting things done and it’s always the PhD and my blood pressure that suffers most.

For example: I have so much to do today, and I am desperately trying not to panic. I am having people over to the flat tonight for a halloween gathering. Ideally, my itinary for the day would go something like this:

1) Blog about my ADHD meds (or lack thereof).
2) Despite lack of said meds, nevertheless, produce 3 or 4 hours of quality writing towards my PhD, thus sedating the little monster of PhD anxiety so that he has a good long nap.

3) Clean flat from top to bottom without breaking off at any point to explore the Internet or check that the dietary needs of chinchillas have not changed since the last time I conducted this research. Pay particular attention to the removal of cat fur from surfaces that guests are likely to want to sit on.

3.i) Decorate flat with cheap Halloween tat purchased from poundshop.

3.ii) Do so without sustaining injury from climbing on furniture.

3.iii) Dispose of all packaging and rubbish associated with cheap tat. Do not
leave on living room floor.

4) Go to Sainsburys and purchase food, alcohol and suitably proportioned pumpkin.

5) Carve pumpkin (may require sudden and spontaneous increase of artistic ability)

5.i) Do so without sustaining injury from big sharp knife.

5.ii) Should injury occur, at least have presence of mind to collect blood into
suitable container for incorpration into Halloween costume.

6) Shower, apply scary make-up to face, put on scary costume and wig.

7) Admit guests to flat without any indication of preparation hell. Probs attempt smile if poss but if not, pass lack of smile off as costume-appropriate expression.

8)  Drink Halloween punch until I pass out and care not that my flat enjoyed approx 1 hr of tidiness before being littered with the debris of celebration and intoxication, debris that I will inevitably be too hungover to dispose of.

Oh crap. How is that the time?? Despite the carefully delineated 8 point plan above, I am going to have to jettison Step 1 and postpone my post on ADHD meds. Again. FFS.

Good day to you, Internet.

Today is the penultimate day of my current contract at work.  I then have nearly two weeks to make some significant progress on the PhD, undistracted (HA!), before I return to the same place (but a different department) in order to begin a new contract. In honour of my last day in this office, tomorrow I am going to make a concerted effort to arrive on time less than an hour late. I am making this promise here and now, in writing. Because, clearly, if I tell the Internet something that makes it true.

I am so fed up of having to call in to work at 9.05 and explain, in my sleep-hoarse voice that I have overslept (again), and then make a promise to be in by 9.30 even though I know that it takes at least 30mins to get ready and at least 20 minutes to actually make it from my flat to my place of employment. Add at least 15 minutes to account for ADHD, and it is clear to anyone with only a rudimentary grasp of mathematics, that it will be AT LEAST 10am before I make it to work, overheated, overstressed, and dangerously under-caffeinated. Why do I do this??! Why is being late for work once not enough? Why engineer the situation so that I am compounding the original lateness, by further tardiness so that I have to feel humiliated by my own inadequacies not just once but twice?

The thing is, they’re kind of used to it here. It’s not that the chronic lateness goes unnoticed but it’s tolerated. It helps that I seem to have accidentally cultivated this image of myself as a sort of lovable scatter-brain.  I think it might be an ADHD survival strategy that enables one to get through life being a bit crap but without incurring the same penalties as other people might. I think I’ve inherited it from my father who is anything but lazy but whose working days were a scramble of missed meetings, forgotten deadlines, and lost paperwork. Strangely, he was always well-liked despite these short-comings, and I am fairly sure that he retained the affection of his colleagues by the same means as I do now: 1) Apologise profusely, even when things aren’t your fault. 2) Be more cross at yourself than your colleague is – this results in their irritation metamorphosing into sympathy before your very eyes. 3)  Seem a little bit helpless. Instead of wanting to kick you in the face, they want to help you.  4) Cultivate an attitude of self-deprecation which encourages others to laugh affectionately at your difficulties and roll their eyes with a smile instead of a final written warning.

As I write the above, I realise that this sounds very manipulative and a little exploitative, as though I purposely deploy these tactics of defence. This is absolutely not the case. It is a defence mechanism in the same way that a squid releases ink in response to attack. It’s the ADHD equivalent. In the face of attack by completely normal, everyday challenges, it’s me rolling myself up into a little ball with my arms wrapped protectively over my head, shrieking ‘I’m not very good at this, it shouldn’t be this difficult, but rather than you take my shortcomings too seriously, I’d rather you just took me less seriously. I am therefore prepared to relinquish some of my pride and dignity in return for your forgiveness and tolerance’.  I don’t want to be seen like this. I would quite like to feel that people took me seriously. I would quite like to feel that people looked at me and thought, ‘there goes a capable twenty-something woman who is going places’ rather than ‘ Awww, how typical – Rose has fucked up again, bless her. How *does* she make it through each day without close supervision?’  Sometimes I feel like I am a joke of my own devising.

But when I move departments, I would really like to try to minimize the extent to which my crapness is immediately obvious to my colleagues. I want to start a clean sheet, a new leaf, and other paper-related metaphors for a fresh start. And this brings me to the thing that I was actually going to blog about today but which might need to wait until tomorrow now because I am running out of working hours in which to do some actual, y’know, work etc: Namely, I have decided that coming off the Ritalin was probs the worst decision I never actually made (I lost my repeat prescription and was too embarrassed to admit to it.  And as an(other) aside, by the way, the staff at the GP surgery are definitely not as susceptible to the whole lovable scatterbrain thing as my employers seemingly are). So that whole post is now going to have to wait until tomorrow. Tomorrow, when hopefully I will be able to report that my punctuality has (at least temporarily) improved.

Until then, Internet, I bid thee farewell.

 

 

 

Funny how one day can make so much difference to my mood. Yesterday, I sat here, at my nice warm desk with the mid-morning sun shining in through the window and I felt happy and positive.

Today I sit in exactly the same place, complete with sunshine and coffee, and I feel like crap. Here are some reasons for this rapid deterioration:

1) High Hopes – not worth it.

Yesterday I wrote that I was feeling very positive about the PhD, and looking forward to spending the day really getting into it and making some progress on this last chapter. I really thought so too, which just goes to prove (even at 28) how little I actually know myself, and just how much I have the ability to deceive myself. Of course, despite my high hopes, I proceeded to piss away the day like a drunk pissing her money down the pub toilet (oh wait, I did that too – spot the other reason I’m cross at myself). I can tell you exactly why this happened. A simple household job needed to be completed, and i didn’t know how long it would take so I wanted to do it before settling down to work. But this simple household job was very boring, and I wasn’t entirely sure how to go about it. So from 11.30am until 3pm I drank coffee, tweeted some people, and must have done some other things I suppose but I’m now really having difficulty accounting for what I actually did for three and a half hours.

Anyway, I finally got round to said household job about 3.15pm. It took 20 minutes. 20 fucking minutes that’s all! Except by the time I’d got round to it, it had actually taken twenty fucking minutes plus the three and a half hours I’d already wasted trying to motivate myself. By which time I had half an hour before I had to leave to go to a lecture. Outcome – no PhD words written. Fail.

But the lecture went on until 7pm so I still had several hours after that of which I could make good and productive use, right? Nope! By that time, I was so full of self-loathing and recriminations that I went to the pub instead. Just to make sure that I would really really fucking hate myself by the time I woke up this morning.

Fail fail fail fail fail

Actually, I’m not going to give any further reasons why I feel crap this morning because that one up there ^ is the biggie. I am just hoping that writing this out, typing violently with angry fingers of self-recrimination, will be enough to prevent me from doing the same thing again today. Frankly, it has to be. Because this work is due in on Monday night and I have a friend staying from tomorrow morning until Sunday evening and then I’m working all day on Monday. So I have today. That’s it. And as my alcoholism will, as sure as eggs is eggs, drive me into the pub by 5pm, the diagnosis of the situation is clear:

1) Stop fucking about.
2) Get a move on.

Upon which note, dear Internet, I will conclude my lecture of self-hatred, and hope that today I do not fall foul of the demon procrastination and end up, at 1.30 a.m. tonight, a sad empty shell of a woman, dressed in the tatters of my self-worth and vomiting the last alcohol soaked dregs of the day’s potential into the toilet bowl.

Internet….wish me luck!