boom, headshotHello / Blog / Adventures with ADHD.

Reality is a funny thing you don’t really think about. It’s the perception of the world around you, it’s entirely unique and, almost entirely, in your head. This perception changes, constantly, and affects every aspect of your life.

It wasn’t until recently that I started having conversations with some trusted friends and colleagues, including my wonderful wife, when I realized there was something wrong with how I perceived reality. There was something different about me. To illustrate what I mean, I pulled these from the large document I went through with my psychiatrist.

  • Time has almost no meaning. If it isn’t happening right now, it could have occurred at any time in the past. Yesterday, 6 months ago, when I was 16, I have no idea. Time can feel either extremely compressed (i.e. constantly running from activity to activity) or massively slowed down (“why is this taking soooo loooong” when it’s been 5 minutes) depending on what I’m doing.
  • Lack of attention to detail combined with an inability to care about completing (many, but not all) projects. Small details are often skipped when I subconsciously de-prioritize them, then they’re entirely gone. Like they never existed. I can re-read the spec and not even see them.
  • I become frustrated very quickly. A lot of people I say this to think I’m totally calm, cool and collected, but I promise you this one has been a BIG struggle.
  • Formulating thoughts and speaking are sometimes difficult or slow (not physically slow, just the process of thinking of something to say and saying it seems slow sometimes). This is very frustrating, feels like I’m fighting against my brain some days.
  • I have built multiple time trackers and developed personal time tracking processes to help me recall what I’ve done, because if it isn’t written down it may as well have not happened at all.

I could go on, but these are the top 5. Considering my job as a software developer, I think it’s an absolute miracle I’ve managed to stay in the industry.

While I never suspected I had ADHD, I’m very retrospective and aware of (a lot of) my flaws and generally do try to fix them. Long ago, a manager asked me what I’d done the week before and I had no idea, so I spent that week writing the first version of evertils at home. My wife mentioned how I can go from being totally calm to 100% fed up and frustrated in a span of seconds, so now I do a lot better job communicating when my moods and feelings change. These are not complete solutions to the problem, but they help.


Well, it turns out I am, in fact, one of the many ADHD-ers out there. It’s an old condition that’s gone through a number of re-brands, ADHD being the latest (but didn’t exist at all when I was a kid AFAIK).

My first run-in with the condition was in middle school, a friend of mine used to sell his Ritalin because he said it didn’t help. He was nothing like me. Brash, impulsive, loud, charming, the centre of attention, he was fun. I was the quiet kid who sat at the back of the class and had trouble making new friends. I was as I am now, decidedly not “fun”, but today I’m in a much better place and I do alright.

The problems listed above never really became things I would write down as problems, it was just how I was, until I started my professional career. I remember being given a document with some list of steps, and step 5 was “double check your work” which of course I ignored because I just did steps 1-4. Why would I need to double check? I’d done the same thing with steps 3 and 4, though, which would have been caught if I’d double checked. So I go back to my boss and confidently state that I was done, but it wasn’t and I was reprimanded. Very lightly of course, this was like week 2 in my second job in the industry. It bothered me though, how had I missed that? It was such a simple assignment. This became a fairly common theme in my career, even to this day.

It’s so quiet

I intend to document this more, for my own purposes mainly, but maybe someone else will read something here and think “wow that sounds a lot like me, maybe I should get checked out”. I talked to my family doctor first, who referred me to a mental health professional (with 1 year between booking and showing up for my appointment, thanks for scaring away all the doctors UCP government). I’ve only just started the medication but the first thing I’ve noticed is how quiet it is. The constant and erratic inner monologue, like a bored teenager changing TV channels, is.. gone. I actually just sat here for like 5 minutes not thinking about anything, it was amazing. I don’t know if I’ve ever been able to do that.

If this sounds like you, there is medication that can help. But more importantly, there are small but meaningful changes you can make in your life. I wrote my own software. Maybe for you it’s as simple as telling your significant other “I’m really angry and I don’t know why”. You’re not bad or broken, you’re just different (“neurodivergent”, as they say).