ADHD & MeBlog

Word of the Day: There is Only Now

According to research and listening, ‘time blindness’ is a common symptom of ADHD; recently, I read a twitter post in which someone started a thread because she didn’t like the term ‘blindness’ which I have to admit struck me as a strange complaint. After checking in with my actual feelings, I realized she had a really great point.

When someone is traditionally blind, they are unable to see anything—a person who is colour blind, cannot see colour. The concept of ‘time blindness’ is that certain people can’t feel time the way most people can {so we’re told} yet ‘feel’ and ‘see’ are two very different words, is there anyone out there who sees time? What does it look like? Excuse me, I’m being snarky.

My point is simple—people who come up with terms like this rarely experience the thing they’re describing, when I first learned of this term I found it kind of cute. “Blind to time’s movement” sure, and I’ve experienced our equivalent to ‘explaining colour to a blind person’ on behalf of this trait of mine.

According to numerous schools of thought; time is a construct of our collective imagination and is often mostly used to manipulate or control ‘the masses’ that are the billions of people on this planet. The phrase ‘a New York minute’ comes to mind, and I read an article a while back exploring the likelihood that a minute for New Yorkers is actually somewhere around 45 seconds. I grew up in New England yet settled in the Midwest, time flows differently out here and many people can prove it if they wanted to.

I blame the age of technology, if we must point a finger, because my laptop says it’s 6:31 {oddly enough, so does my cellphone; I could have sworn they weren’t time-friends} and the oven says something closer to 7am. The microwave has a clock, but it’s never set and we have a nifty old clock with a proper face and non-glowing numbers but it’s not activated either. There isn’t much activity before the sun comes up, not out in ‘these parts’ and I can feel the peace of this time of day because of that. Farmers wake with the sun, you know. Back east, however, there are plenty of people getting ready to start their day before the sun wakes up—the vast majority of the working population, I’m fairly sure, does this.

I may have gotten off-topic slightly; my objective is to point out how people are ruled by time and that is the reason why they can ‘feel time’ so accurately. I set daily alarms because I can’t feel the flow of time, and at 7:30 or so I’ll pack my gear for ‘outsiding’ until my 9am alarm goes off. Time spent with birds and trees help me balance my internal energies; life is stressful and scary, it terrifies me a lot which is draining and annoying.

Similar to how people become intensely connected to the flow of time, I think people can become disconnected as well—perhaps we are all ADHDers and everyone else can ‘feel time’ just fine. Long ago, time had a much different impact than it does now—primarily there were sunlit hours and dark hours. There was time to rest, usually during the dark hours, and time to work; work needed the light of day before houses full of lights and glowing screens. There was no 10:56am, only the wide window of ‘late morning.’

My theory is that some people are more connected to their spirit body than their physical one; forgetting to eat for five hours because you’ve been hyper-focused on a project is likely the wants of the spirit overriding the limitations of the flesh. I’ll wager that there are some ADHDers who don’t exhibit some symptoms because their spirit was forced to adapt so that the body didn’t die. What if you hyper-focus and forget to eat, then get tired and fall asleep? If you don’t have someone to take care of you, especially as a child, you’ll adapt as a means of survival. The spirit needs the body for the experience it seeks, theoretically.