My ADD Ran Over My OCD

by Bill Brenner on December 19, 2012

As I struggle to get through all the stuff to be done at work and home before Christmas, something is occurring to me: My ADD runs over my OCD this time of year.

Mood music:


I guess I’ve understood what happens for a while now. It’s all part of the seasonal depression that whacks me upside the head come Christmastime. For most of the year my challenge is to control my OCD, to keep it from overtaking my mind and sending me into physical overdrive. But earlier this year, I learned from my doctors that I also have ADD. It feeds into the winter pattern where I’m much more easily tired and forgetful.

Unfortunately for me, December isn’t a time where I can kick back, enjoy my December-itis and let the world float by on pretty clouds. At work, we’re busy finishing up some big projects we’re using to kick off January. At home, there are appointments and Scouting activities to drive the boys to. There are gifts to wrap, laundry to fold, groceries to buy, homework for the kids to finish up and a house to clean.

I’m like Luke Skywalker after he escapes the wampa cave on Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back, flailing around and stumbling in the snow.

So what am I sitting here thinking about? I’m feeling whiny because the damn OCD doesn’t surface when I really need it. As insidious as the disorder can be, it’s pretty damn handy when there’s a lot to do. It gives you a drive other people don’t have.

In recent years I’ve had a lot more success harnessing that piece of it while keeping the darker traits locked away. But when winter roles through, the ADD kicks in and spoils everything.

Funny how this works. It’s like the person who longs for summer heat waves in the dead of winter, then pines for winter’s icy grip when he’s sweating through July and August. In the summer I want to be a little more mellow; in December I need the overdrive to get everything done.

What to do?

Fight it, of course.

Erin’s worried I’m not going to get done everything I have on my plate. I’m out to prove I can get it all done.

What could possibly go wrong?


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