NOTE: I take medication now to help with my ADD symptoms. This describes what it feels like without that.
“Normal Brain,” As I Imagine It To Be
Take a moment and picture a swimming pool. You know, the kind you’d expect to see at a hotel — long enough to swim laps and with a depth of 8 feet or so at its deepest point. Now throw a billiard ball (I almost said pool ball but thought that would be confusing, given the pool) into the water. Ripples, right? Throw another one in, anywhere you’d like. Then another. And one more. The ripples are now meeting each other — colliding — but lightly since there is so much space between the balls’ impact points. The billiard balls have sunk (I assume…I haven’t tried this) to the bottom. You could fit so many balls in there, as the pool is quite large.
My (Unmedicated) ADD Brain
Instead of a hotel swimming pool, imagine a kiddie pool. The small plastic ones that fit a couple of kids comfortably. Throw one billiard ball in there. Ripples. Now throw another. And one more. And one last ball. The ripples are now colliding much more since the balls landed in the water much closer to each other. And four billiard balls in that kiddie pool are actually noticeable. The odds of future balls touching each other are much greater since there isn’t as much room in there.
What Does This Mean?
The balls represent thoughts, ideas, to-do items, etc. They come into our minds, hang out and affect each other a little bit because we can only think of — and remember — so many things. It doesn’t take too many of those balls for the kiddie pool to feel cramped. The ripples come into contact more quickly and affect each other more.
Now, consider that my “pool” likely has 4-5 balls thrown into it for every one ball thrown into the average “pool.” My smaller pool fills up even faster, all the while having these ripples crashing into each other.
Eventually, the balls make the water level rise a little, and it starts to spill over the edge of the pool. But the balls keep coming. And just for good measure, someone reaches in and grabs some of those balls (disrupting the water even more) then throws them right back in. The same ball is causing problems again. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Meanwhile, the hotel swimming pool won’t even come close to filling up in a day. The frequency of the balls means that the ripples will have little effect on each other. The water level won’t be affected. Heck, there’s even room for people to get into the pool and they won’t be affected. The people in my kiddie pool? They have no place to sit, are getting all wet from the balls splashing water and are even getting hit by billiard balls.
That’s what my brain has felt like a lot of the time. Writing these posts may seem like yet another thing to do, but getting it out of my head helps tremendously. It’s almost like taking a few balls out of my pool and giving the ball-thrower some lunch so that he/she takes a break from throwing balls in my pool.