Understand

Understand

A Poem by AquamanEffect
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A frustrated rant about my journey with ADHD.

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For those of you who can't see me with your eyes,
ADHD has been floating through my bloodstream for longer than I can remember.
It is such a misunderstood woodpecker, constantly pecking at my brain, making it hard to concentrate on anything, unless it’s….woah that’s blue! oh right, unless it’s efforts are spent focusing on the fact that I can’t concentrate on anything. It loves that worm.
I’ve always wanted to explain the reasons why I’m so late,
why I can’t seem to remember where I put my wallet or my phone or my sock or my motivation or my love or even my joy but it’s here….somewhere…?

Laying on my desk or under my bed or in the closet or with my girlfriend or completely gone sometimes but you’d never know that through the smiles I ignite behind my “happy” eyes with imaginary lighters designed to deceive all the people who “understand.”
…Do you understand?

Last night while wasting time on wikipedia for 4 hours straight I learned that it takes 1 to 2 milliseconds for a message from your brain to be received by your body.
You’re probably used to that. Being able to tell your arm to “pick up that apple” or catch that basketball” or “put that piece of chocolate into your mouth” but you would be pretty malnourished and exhausted if every time you told your hand to do something it took a week to do it. Live like that, emaciated, frustrated, and self-loathing, for 22 years and you will begin to “understand.”

The funny thing about this 4 lettered monster is it creeps into every single part of my life.“I don’t understand your late problem,” or “people will start to respect you less if you stand them up, I just don’t understand the issue here,” or “can’t you just do it? and turn it in on time? How is that hard? I just don’t…


Understand father, mother, boss, love, professor, best friend that I tried! I tried with all the strength behind my ignited eyes but when I stuck my broken hand into the box inside my mind where the motivation is supposed to “hi!” I stopped. I just….couldn’t reach…deep enough I guess? Because looking at pictures of snowflakes for 3 hours was so much easier than trying to find anything in there. Last week I sat down to write a 2 page paper at 10pm and didn’t start till 4 in the morning, I think it’s because I didn’t try hard enough. Or maybe I did try, but my try isn’t as good as yours because your hand always listens to your brain. We’re not the same.

You see, ADHD isn’t some clove of garlic, hiding in the corner, stinking up my life that you’ll be able to point out and toss out with your harsh questions, disappointed eyes, and frustrated consequences. Those are blood-suckers. Draining my will dry every time you encourage me to try. I already have this vampire, I don’t need another.

The truth is, ADHD has been my slave master for as long as I can remember.

"Wade in the water.."
I wasn’t there, 200 years ago, to feel the mind-numbing pain the whip brought to the back of a man who looked a lot like me. Strip away the privilege, leave the color behind, and you'll begin to see it. Violently shoved back into the dirt every single time he tried to stand up.

18! 19! 21! 22!

22 lashes for being born a slave.

So as I attempt to finish, and for the sake of this illustration, imagine for a moment that you are that man. It would be beyond absurd for me to come upon you in your agony, and say "have you ever just tried not being a slave?"

I suppose then you'd look at me with all the fire sapped from your swollen eyes and whisper

"You just don't understand."

© 2014 AquamanEffect


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Added on March 17, 2014
Last Updated on March 17, 2014
Tags: mental health, ADHD, understand, spoken word, frustation