Hello? Yes, this is Dog.

August 4, 2012

Oh hey, you there. Yes, you! Internet, isn’t it? Yeah, yeah, I THOUGHT it was! You might not remember me. We used to see each other here a while back. Y’know, I was the one wearing mostly black? My clothing...full of holes… you remember? Hair…dishevelled?  Yes, the ADHDer PhDer – that’s right — that’s me! Wow, it’s been some time hasn’t it? So how’ve you been?

It’s been a fair old while. Let’s just get the excuses reasons for that out of the way dead quick shall we? Last time we chatted I’d just handed in the PhD thesis. It’s all good. I had my viva on the 15th June and am pleased to say I passed. Very relieved, delighted, over le moon etc etc. But the trauma that was “writing up” (a trauma resulting in neuroses that I treated you all to in (ir)regular instalments) has left me with an actual hatred/aversion/perhaps even full on phobia to being alone with my computer. I can just about handle a quick consultation with Professor Google in an attempt to work out what the odd little creepy beasties who are colonising my kitchen might be.* But only just. And only then if there’s somebody with me. I really need to sort this shit out a) because it’s sort of inconvenient and 2) because it’s a really lame kind of crazy.

So, in a nutshell, that’s what’s new with me Internet. I have passed the PhD and I have a newly acquired anxiety to add to my little collection. I may be a total fruit loop but at least I’ll soon be Dr Fruit Loop and you’ve got to admit that has a certain ring to it.
Here’s some other stuff I’ve done since then:

1) Went on a weekend away with 7 friends. Fun, frolics and hangovers were had by all. I also got some injuries from playing badminton in a bikini. Mostly injuries of the sunburn variety but one which I think is a hamstring injury (never located my hamstrings before – didn’t think I had any).

2) Grumbled incessantly about the Olympics. Again, another post for that one.

c) Noticed that the only people not banging on about the Olympics this summer are people getting married. People who are getting married don’t care about the Olympics. They care about tablecloths and other small details. But they do so with all the enthusiasm, energy and focus of Team GB. I find it all very tiring. But I am a bit of a bah-humbug about this kind of thing (y’know romance and that) and as I am more than happy to have sex out of wedlock I guess I am unlikely to ever be bitten by the wedding bug. Or is that not how it works?

4) Celebrated Yorkshire Day by skeptically raising one eyebrow and muttering, ‘Waste of bluddy time’ under my breath. Ah, my people, *sigh* I do miss you sometimes.

*more on that later. I am untidy but I am not unclean. I have no idea what these little fuckers are but I cannot eat in that kitchen until they’re gone. Every night I exterminate, every morning they’re back. It’s like that scene from that film with that guy and all the insects  – yeah, that one, Indiana Whatjamacallhim.

Good evening, Internet, and a Happy New Year to you all.

I seem to have taken a break from blogging over the festive period. I didn’t mean to but it just worked out that way. I was brought up not to speak with my mouth full and as I have spent two weeks fattening myself up for Christmas (and New Year as it turns out), I simply haven’t had enough time between mouthfuls of roast potatoes and gin in which to put fingers to keyboard.

I did attempt a Christmas blog post, and I have included this after the jump. I could have posted it today instead of this missive but it’s the 2nd January and I couldn’t bring myself to do that for the sake of chronological integrity (I am nothing if not particular about chronology. Ask anyone).

Today is the 2nd of January (as previously stated (Clearly I am not particular about repetition (or parentheses))), and so as far as I am concerned it is the first day of 2012. I realise that this sounds contradictory given that I have just made a point of my own fastidious approach to the prevention of anachronism, but internally, this makes perfect sense. The 31st December/New Year’s Eve/Hogmanay (delete as applicable) is like walking to the end of a cliff and being tipped abruptly into the 1st January/New Year’s Day/Hangover Day (delete as applicable). This seems very bad planning. I like the idea of waking up at the bottom of that cliff bright, alert, ready to take stock of the new landscape with enthusiasm, planning my ascent up the next cliff face full of optimism. But to do this, you need a little time to brush yourself down, recuperate from the fall and blink the dust out of your eyes (or, to speak plainly, to down a few paracetamol and hide under the duvet until the vomiting abates – meh tomato tomato). My point is that you need a buffer day. So I suggest that the 2nd of January be considered the first day of the New Year from now on and we just write off January 1st for the wash out that it generally is.

So, time for a few resolutions:

  1. Start new year with a hacking cough – DONE (it’s always good for morale to tick off one resolution early.
  2. Finish PhD –pending
  3. Drink less (I am aiming to be a moderate drinker by this time next year).
  4. Go back to the psychiatrist and explain that the reason I never answered their letters was because of the ADHD they diagnosed and that this is proof of the pudding that is my need for my prescription to be resumed.
  5. Be less neurotic (take it from me, by the end of this year I’ll be updating my blog daily with, like, affirmations of my own positivity and going with the flow and just being generally so relaxed that I’ll maybe fall asleep on the keyboard thusly: nnnnnnnnnkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkllllllllll but hey, who cares, right? Zen.

Right I’m bored of making resolutions now. I will just resolve to try to have a nice day as many times as possible in the coming 365 (one day down but this year is a leap year so I think my sums are accurate). And not to die. I would quite like not to die too.

So continue reading after the jump if you want to see a back-up of my brain from  27th December, otherwise –

 

Many happy returns of the New Year!

Read the rest of this entry »

Well knock me down with a feather, Internet. I done good.

 

I got up at 4.30am this morning. That is 4.30 A.M. That is 4.30 A.M. IN THE MORNING! This in itself is quite an achievement for me.* I said I was going to get up at 5.30 and I got up at 4.30. That means I started the day with my time-management balance a whole hour in credit!

 

And then, because the rest of the world was asleep, and because the Internet held no interest (I’ve already read all the good bits), I sat down and did some work. Just like that! No procrastinating, no distractions. I am still in shock. I just keep running through it in my head, trying to recall each stage of the process in the hope that I can recreate it. It went something like this:

 

1. Open computer

2. Quit Firefox

3. Quit Email

4. Open new word document.

5. Start writing.

6. Finish writing with 500 precious little words in the PhD bank – kerCHING!

 

Examining this process more closely, I see where it usually breaks down:

 

[Note: What follows here is an analysis of the above process. Because that’s what I specialise in  – totally pointless analysis of mostly pointless writing. Just watch me in action]

 

Step 1, it could be argued, seldom presents difficulty. Indeed, there exists empirical evidence to support this theory. However, steps 2 and 3 are likely to prove more problematic, particularly where the subject engages in a process of reflexive looping in which the legitimate pursuit of knowledge inevitably gives rise to a decrease in productivity. Entirely optional, step 4 can often be beneficial, particularly where the subject might suffer epistemological crises in relation to previous attempts at expression. Nevertheless, the real problem here rests not, as one might assume, with the successful execution of step 5, but in fact with the slippage resulting from what is represented here as a seamless causal relation between step 5 and 6. It would appear, in fact, that there exists several hundred sub-steps between these parent sets, sub-steps not anticipated by the model above. Such sub-steps may include but are by no means limited to: examination of eyebrows to see if they need plucking; preparation of multiple cups of tea; investigation of back of the wardrobe; assorted activities associated with animal husbandry. Etc etc etc

 

What total bollocks. Sometimes I really do hate myself.

 

 

 

*Granted this is probably owing to me going to bed at the unusual hour of 8pm last night. And there’s probably only so much sleep one person can have in one night. But so what? I’m awarding myself a bonus cat treat from the cupboard under the microwave.

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.

Hello there, people in the Internet.

Guess what? Actually, no don’t. The announcement is never as exciting as the guesses. Well, you know how I’m usually telling myself off in this blog, giving myself a stern talking to etc etc? Well, reader, Jeg700 (hiya! *waves*) pointed out that negative reinforcement might not always be the best plan so I had a think about my Point=Rewards system and realised that it only works if it’s about actually rewarding myself for good behavior rather than punishing myself for bad behavior. I’m not sure what to do about that other than make sure the rewards are sort of bonus activities rather than things like going to the pub on a Friday (which I tend to do anyway). Aaanyway, the point is that that got me thinking that I should  balance out the somewhat pessimistic nature of this blog and stop being so snarky at myself for being totally crap not as efficient as I might be. Sooo, I am going to list my achievements since yesterday’s blog post:

1. Wrote 600 words yesterday, thus achieving target word count for the day.

2. Went to the pub BUT…..left before last orders (this represents a BIG achievement. If I was a cat, I’d give myself a little treat from the cupboard under the microwave for this. Good girl, Rose. Etc)

3. Did 45 minutes of exercise this morning, despite waking up late AGAIN (keep forgetting I’m supposed to be focusing on the positives today). As an aside, it was a home exercise DVD that requires you to dance about like a total dick and I have no curtains. And my window is on a level with the upper decks of the buses outside. And there are traffic lights directly outside. Oh well.

4. Today’s goal is 800 words (therefore 8 points) and although I currently only have 400, I am optimistic about reaching my goal in the next hour or two. Funny how it takes me about 256billion hours to start writing and then all the words just sort of tumble out at once. (I don’t know if this achievement counts until I have the full eight points, does it? It’s kinda like counting chickens before they’ve hatched. Weeeel, perhaps it’s only like counting chickens before they’ve all hatched. Which is quite a different kettle of fish. Fuck. I have 8 eggs in a kettle and 4 of them have hatched into fish and I’m starting to wonder whether drinking 2 cups of coffee to every 100 words was a good idea)

5. Notice that end-bracket there ^ at the end of the bit about eggs and fish, the bit successfully enclosed within parentheses? Usually I forget the end bracket. Achievement number 5 – Booom!

 

 

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.

Aaaagh!

February 1, 2010

Number of days since chapter deadline: 3
Number of words unwritten: approx 5000
Number of items lost today: 2
Number of items found: 1
Number of hours spent looking for lost stuff: 3
Number of miracles needed: 1 would do.
Number of miracles anticipated: 0
Number of expletives uttered during course of day: Approx 5000

Fuck.

5001.

[…] to write a work of genius is almost always a feat of prodigious difficulty. Everything is against the likelihood that it will come from the writer’s mind whole and entire. Generally material circumstances are against it. Dogs will bark; people will interrupt; money must be made; health will break down. […] But for women, I thought, looking at the empty shelves, these difficulties were infinitely more formidable […][1]

And for a woman with ADHD….? Well, I don’t know about a work of genius. I’d just settle for getting this chapter of the PhD written and handed to my supervisor but here’s some things I’m going to add to the great VW’s list of distractions…

Facebook – Love it or hate it (personally, I bloody hate it) those email notifications make producing any completed work (even of distinctly dubious quality) fairly unlikely. Do you think that spending hours untagging yourself from dodgy photographic likenesses counts as extenuating circumstances?

Emails – Again, probably not something old ViWo had to contend with. Letters don’t count for her because they ended up being pored over by scholars and therefore contribute towards her already formidable corpus. Alright for some, eh?

Cats – Miaow when they want in, miaow when they want out. The warmest place to sit is the laptop keyboard except when you’re looking for that quote you can’t find, because then they’d much prefer to snooze on page 324-5.

Sharpening pencils – Or its modern day equivalent, devising a new electronic filing system for one’s pdfs.

Blackberry – Is the plural of Blackberry, still Blackberries? Even when we’re referring to the brand name? In any case, you wouldn’t catch Virginia in the drawing room IM-ing Leonard in his study  because she couldn’t be arsed to walk downstairs. No, she’d just send one of the staff. Unfortunately, my staff aren’t as compliant – they’re too busy miaowing outside the living room door and vomiting hairballs onto freshly laundered clothes.

Wikipedia – If my supervisor, advisor, or examiner is reading this then let me add the disclaimer that I do not ever resort to, will not ever resort to, and do not ever condone, usage of the people’s encyclopaedia of  everthingness. Nuh-uh. Not me. Still…all that restraint is bloody distracting, no?

Having A Room of One’s Own – A Room + Sole Possession (and therefore sole responsibility for domestic maintenance of said room) + ADHD + Impending Essay Deadline = Inevitable Temptation to Clean Vs Inevitable Conversion of Remaining Order to Total Chaos. This is known in ADHD circles as The Law of Terminal Procrastination. Guess Woolf never saw the potential irony of this one in her original thesis.

I will be adding to this list from time to time in the name of procrastination therapeutic discussion. What have I missed? Add your own entries in the comments…


[1] Woolf, V. (1929) 1998. A Room Of One’s Own and Three Guineas, New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 66-7.

2010: I Resolve…

January 10, 2010

Right, I’m sidling up a little late here on the New Year resolutions. But hey, I have ADHD so that’ s ok. Just as my day seems to start  2 hours later than most people’s, and my bills are paid several days later than most people’s, so too will my 2010 start on January 10th. So without further ado, HAPPY NEW YEAR, Internet!

Here are my resolutions for the next 355 days:

1) Finish first draft of PhD

2) Be happy

Ok, so these are sort of vague, but this is a blog about ADHD and many of my posts here end up kinda long, so for my fellow ADHD-ers out there, I thought I’d cut to the chase and keep it simple. However, in the spirit of January hyper-organisation (which inevitably gives way to February lethargy), I have made a list of a series of sub-resolutions which I hope will enable me to achieve those two main goals for 2010.

So, if you’re casting about for some resolutions of your own, or you’re naturally curious, or if you have finished the rest of the internet and are running out of distractions to fuel your compulsive procrastination, then read on. Those sub-resolutions can be summarised as follows:

1. Sleep Well, Eat Well.

At the risk of sounding like a January issue of a trashy women’s mag, I reckon this one is pretty important. I am currently half-way through a two-week detox. Very modern and trendy of me. I’m not doing one of these totally hardcore all-juice diets with skin brushing etc. I just want to be able to get up in the morning without a struggle. Even when I go to bed at 10pm (very rarely) it’s a completely traumatic experience to get up before 10am. And since nobody needs 12 hours sleep and lots and lots of other people manage to get up at 6am on a regular basis and still have a life, I think I need to address this asap. I definitely need to make some improvements to my health and fitness and since I’m an all or nothing kinda gal I decided to go the whole hog and cut out the booze, the coffee (by far the hardest), salt (suprisingly easy since I used up our salt de-icing the steps), processed food, bad carbohydrates, and most other fun things. The result was a horrible headache for the first two days but now I am fully embracing the fennel salads and the chamomile tea. I am even going to bed at about 10pm (instead of 3am) and yesterday I woke up feeling a million roubles. V good start to the year – am patting myself on the back with smug smile (cannot wait to sit down to a lovely Sunday Roast made with marmite roast potatoes though- mmmmmmm). Is J’s birthday on Saturday so am finishing this healthy eating lark on Friday so that we can go out for a nice bit of dinner and a beer. However I am definitely going to allow myself NO MORE than two cups of coffee a day for the rest of the year, and will keep taking multi-vits, eating brown rice, going to the gym (yak) and getting into other healthy little habits, particularly as all these things are supposed to help with the ADHD.

2. Get Organised

Ok, this is another one that crops up on everybody’s list every year but I reckon that it’s worth giving it another go. And let’s face it, when other people say they need to be more organised they’re talking about a whole different kettle of fish to the chaotic life, house and finances of the average ADHDer. In previous years I have spent three days obsessively writing hundreds of lists and crafting elaborate filing systems that even I didn’t understand by the end of the week and had no hope of maintaining. So this year I have devised a simple yet foolproof filofax/google calendar double whammy that cannot fail to help me achieve all my lifetime dreams. No, honest it’s great. Actually I’ll do another post on this. Other things in this category include working through this book and implementing the advice therein.

3. Make Life Simpler

Sometimes I don’t know how much of my problem is ADHD alone and how much is that my life is genuinely cluttered with stuff that I have to do but that I don’t really want to do and that I only have to do because it is something that: a) I didn’t say no to when asked; b) was incredibly enthusiastic about to begin with but predictably got bored with; c) agreed to do out of a sense of guilt; or d) feel that I ought to do in order to be the kind of person who is involved in hundred of different exciting projects while still living in a whirl of social events when in actual fact I just want to stay at home with my cats and my slippers and my J and meet up with some mates to do the occasional pub quiz every so often. Well, maybe I need to find a healthy balance of the two somehow. Nevertheless, I am absolutely not going to say yes to another thing or invite stressful events/people into my life this year. Not unless it would be an unmissable professional/social opportunity, and only then if another commitment can be ditched to make room. Also, I probably need to address the fact that there are a few people in my life who take more than I’m willing/able to give for whatever reason. I need to do a post on that too. Remind me.

4. Trash Clutter

Every single day I hereby resolve to delete junk emails, and emails that do not interest me or apply to me (seminars on Medieval literature etc) and to unsubscribe from email lists that I never bother to read anyway. Ditto snail mail. I will also clear out my wardrobe and excavate my desk. Oh, and I will FINALLY put up the mail organiser/mirror type thing that I bought in 2007 to go behind the front door.

5. Time It

I will use a timer to set myself tasks for 15 minutes. Even I should be able to find the motivation to tidy up for 15 minutes, and if I set a timer when I decide to have five minutes to play on the Internet then I stand a chance of not accidentally losing 2 hours. This might work for studying too. Set the timer for 45 minutes at a time and see how much I can get done in that time. After each of the 45 min slots, I can have 15mins to fuck about. Brill.

I am feeling very positive about all this de-cluttering and have high hopes, which is nice. Maybe it’s all those herbal teas and salads but I feel sort of….happy! Tomorrow I’m going to visit my granny who is currently snowed on. She can’t get out to get any food or speak to people. I’ll be a bit like red riding hood taking her a basket of goodies – hope I don’t meet any nasty wolves on the train to Suffolk. Gotta get up early to get to Liverpool St station so am off to have a bath and read a book till bedtime. Lovely.

Bonsoir, Internet x