The public library is out to get me. Really. I have, to add to a growing collection (no pun intended) of similar documents, a letter from a “recovery” agency – this time working on behalf of our public library – to get me to pay $65.27 in late fines. I have reached a new moral low. The library, for crying out loud. Damn the mortgage! Never mind the water bill! Conan the Librarian is displeased.
My favourite book from the offending stack of only recently returned books about adult ADHD – which sat in a pile on my bedside table for some weeks – is You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!: The Classic Self-Help Book for Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder. It sounds like an excellent book. It looks like an excellent book. The most salient part for me is its title. It grabbed my attention at the library, offering some odd sort of redemption, hope, maybe even pride. (Wow! ADHD! This is good! I thought I was a chronic underachiever all this time! If it turns out I have ADHD, I must be some kind of goddam GENIUS!). It sat in plain view and boldly encouraged me for weeks (okay, probably months) with it’s warm yellow title, offset by a deep blue background. I love that colour combination. Did the publishers know that would be so inspiring to someone like me?
What would have happened to my self diagnosis of ADHD if I had actually read the book? We will never know. Who writes self help books about ADHD for people with ADHD??? And what moron lets us/them take said books out of the library??? Let’s not even get into a discussion about the concept of free library cards for the “me’s” of this world (surely I can’t be the only one!?) Had I, irresponsibly, bought the book, I could still be enjoying the promise and encouragement of its title for the low, low price of $20(ish). Sorry Conan. Please do not crush me and drive me out.
If you have read this far, you may be feeling moral outrage reserved specially for abusers of the public library. I know. I share your disdain. It is shameful. Worse than non-voters (not me!… usually…) and people who fall behind on their bills yet still eat randomly at McDonald’s or buy Crunchie Bars on a Tuesday (me.).
Well, as I said today to the teller who threatened to freeze my bank accounts and yesterday to the Alberta Works (a.k.a. welfare) receptionist who, at 12:30pm told me I was irresponsible for not showing up at 8:15am to join the day-long lineup for the mere possibility of meeting with a counselor like “everyone else” (what horrible stresses are they not addressing while they sit in line? What ordinary daily tasks are not getting done in their lives?)…
may you never understand
To the lady-who-lunches who took time out of her busy day to outfit me with hand-me-down professional clothes at the awesome charity (really! I’m grateful!), Dress for Success: I do, actually hope that her life comes – ever so briefly, mind you – to a point where she understands. And that wish I make for her because upon seeing my Michael Kors handbag she blurted out,
What did you do to get that??!
I worked, Bitch. I paid my way through university. I got an MA. I taught your kids at a university (you’re welcome!). I sacrificed it to build a marriage and raise my kids and support my husband through his mid-life career change. I lived for twelve soul-crushing years with that brilliant, capable man even though he only really wanted to stay with his mommy. I left that “upwardly mobile” existence so I could show my beautiful growing girls what a strong, happy woman looks like.
And now I’m dodging-Conan-the-Librarian-so-that-I-can-buy-groceries-instead-of-paying-bills-because-you-have-to-phone-the-Food-Bank-in-order-to-get-a-hamper-but-the-line-is-always-busy.
It comforts me somewhat to think that there may be an EASY button. A diagnosis. It relieves me to consider that I might actually “have”, or “be” ADHD (each perspective has it’s merit). Weird, huh? It’s cool that I have a psychiatrist who thinks I might be right (my primary therapist in group therapy seems skeptical…). Got a prescription today, even! Dexedrine. Nice. Crush THAT, Conan!