From A.D.D. to A.D.O.D – Janet’s Journey.

Have you ever experienced the situation where a colleague comes into work with a completely new, fabulous hairstyle and moments after the initial surprise, you find it difficult to recall a mental picture of how they looked before? The new look is quickly adjusted to, (after several favourable comments) and life simply moves on.

The process of transforming from regular, home-grown. A.D.D with all its challenges and fabulousness, to the improved A.D.O.D version, (Attention Deficit with Organisation, Disorder) has been much the same for me. Recently, when my colleagues were presented with the task of assisting me with my new system of organisation, there was a pause and THAT look as they tried to remember the past system (there wasn’t one.) The bright colours and the organisation of the new system beckoned. Things moved on quickly and I must say, smoothly.IMG_0404

With my newly-acquired A.D.O.D, I am dazzling during once-dreaded meetings: Last week, when I was asked:

“Will you have the current assessments ready by next meeting?”

I answered by producing said assessments, already completed, and filed in bright beautiful folders with superb A.D.D-style graphics. There was the pause, THAT look. And as I confidently answered: “Oh yes I have them here already”, things moved on quickly and calmly.

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I do love this new version of my A.D.D I have retained all of my wonderful A.D.D. style but now I am supported with organisational skills. What has surprised me, is how quickly those around have accepted the change. For years my children have checked to see if I had money, a purse and debit card before shopping or eating at a restaurant. They don’t do that now. It’s simply expected that I’m organised and we have what we need to be successful. The awkward and embarrassing events of the past are slowly fading and being replaced by flourishes of competence.

It’s difficult to understand A.D.D if you don’t have it. Higher order skills like analysing data and reporting the findings to a group – that’s no problem. Knowing where my keys are so I can get to the meeting …at times simply not possible! It was Michele Toner in WA my A.D.D coach who understood that the lower order tasks everyone just takes for granted were in fact, harder than rocket science for me. With coaching, over just a few months my ability to smoothly incorporate lower order tasks into my daily life improved (with a few setbacks to keep things challenging.)

Through the coaching process I have been able to write a manual or set of guidelines that I can refer to if I ever need reminding of how I stay on track. Life happens and there will be setbacks, but I believe I have the resources to recover much faster now.

A friend who knows me well suggested:

“Ah now you can just drop the A.D.D part and just be organised.”

But I will always have A.D.D, and I’m ok with that. The positive aspects of A.D.D., when combined with organisation are incredibly dynamic and productive. I am having my cake and eating it. I am also enjoying those “What the…?” looks from colleagues when they realise something has changed.

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