Living Precariously with ADHD

There are large and small risks associated with ADHD. I recall events in my life that could have been disastrous, and one recent event that only affected my appearance temporarily.

Here is my hyperbolic short list of dangerous events and situations, up to age 30:

  1. When I was a toddler, my brother and I competed to see who could get the front wheel of his tricycle closest to the edge of our front porch without toppling down the steps. I lost!
  2. As a pre-teen I took walks on the railroad tracks that bordered our back yard.
  3. As a teen I sometimes sped across railroad tracks when the signal was flashing and the gates were descending, to avoid having to wait for a train to pass.
  4. At 16 I was an occasional passenger with fearless drivers of fast cars with few safety features.
  5. One night at 17 I could hardly keep my eyes on the road because my date was so stunning. I ran into the back of a car at a traffic light. It was one of many last first dates.
  6. One night at age 20, I thought I was on a main road rather than a similar looking street one block over. I passed a stop sign, jumped a ditch, and plowed up someone’s front yard!
  7. I took many risks as a naive 28-year-old driving across the country and up and down the west coast. I was a magnet for Stephen King characters in Santa Cruz.
  8. I got to know my wife after we married, rather than before. I proposed a few months after meeting her. She remains with me 38 years later.

Here is a recent minor event that changed my appearance in 5 mindless seconds:

I could have passed up trimming my beard one morning last week when I was in a rush to get to the office. But trimming with electric clippers was fast, and my 3/8-inch attachment allowed for a precise cut. I removed the attachment to blow off debris from a previous trimming. I turned on the switch, and in one motion I made a path up the right side of my chin. I was shocked to see the result of forgetting to put the attachment back on. There was no time to fully evaluate the beard’s viability, but it wasn’t very pretty. So, I continued clipping as fast as I could until there was nothing left but nubs to shave off with my razor. If only I had started getting ready earlier, or proceeded at a mindful pace…

So it goes.

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