Been a lot of talk about ADHD in the social media lately. And the general consensus, especially on the Right, is that it is fake and/or gay.
Stuck a bee in my bonnet, and I got started making comics, but…
Too many words. Not funny. Not interesting.
This is a bad comic.
I feel like a series of comics springboarding from here would either be too preachy or too whiny. I want Bunny Trail Junction to be fun and entertaining.
But I feel the need to get this off my chest, and this is the blog of whatever I feel like, so…
If you’re the blind guy, or the guy with the missing leg, nobody wants to hear you bitch about the hand you’ve been dealt. You get respect for striving to overcome your challenge, but not sympathy for wallowing in it.
Of course, you can see a blind man’s white cane, or a lame man’s missing leg. ADHD is a list of behaviors. And there are a bunch of explanations for those behaviors.
- ADHD is just boys being rowdy and not allowed to play outside. Because public schools discriminate against boys.
- ADHD is the fact that humans are either hunters or gatherers. Most people are gatherers, but you’re a hunter. You’re not made for the cubicle life. But put you in the wilderness with a loincloth and a spear, and you will thrive!
- ADHD is just human nature, which wasn’t meant for the cubicle life at all. Some people adapt so badly, they need stimulants to hold down jobs, but it’s wrong for all of us.
- ADHD is a disability, but it comes with advantages of unbridled creativity and turbo energy!
- ADHD doesn’t exist at all, it was made up in the 70’s.
- ADHD is just laziness.
On top of this stack of theories, the medical and scientific industries are in a huge hurry to beclown themselves. More than 50% of published experiments are turning out to be unreproducible. The same medical system that intoned with serious tones in February of last year that Covid 19 was nothing at all, certainly not worth shutting down airports or buying masks are now intoning with equal seriousness that everyone needs three vaccines and two masks to walk alone in a park. So if I were to pick out an “expert” on ADHD and tell you what he’s published, it would be very reasonable of you to completely disregard everything he says.
Now, at the end of the day, this doesn’t really matter. If Anime Bob the Trad Cath Monarchist on Twitter doesn’t think ADHD is real, this cannot stop me from seeking treatment. After all, this is one area where I’m aligned with the System.
(Although not wholly. Doctors and psychiatrists believe in ADHD, as do lots of people with pronouns in their bios, but journalists go out of their way to talk about how easy it is to abuse an ADHD diagnosis for legal amphetamines — whilst popping handfuls of amphetamines in their mouths, no doubt. And journos are surely as much the priests of the System as doctors.)
Trolling for sympathy is useless. Spreading “awareness” is, in many cases, magical thinking. And while I have done extensive research into ADHD for my own purposes, I don’t have receipts to show you. I can say “the brain lights up here and here on the CAT scans,” but I don’t know offhand what “here and here” are called, how legit the study I’m referring to is, or even whether it happened as opposed to being fabricated for a book I once read.
But let me tell you something you already know. Mental retardation is real.
There are some people out there who got hit in the back of the head with the stupid stick. Maybe it was fetal alcohol syndrome. Maybe the winning sperm got hit with a stray gamma ray just before it landed. But sometimes a kid comes out of two healthy, normal people, and he ain’t normal. His parents are IQ 100, but he’s 50.
It happens all the time. We see it. We can’t deny it.
I am convinced that reduced IQ is not the only form of mental retardation. I am convinced it is possible for someone with a slightly smaller frontal lobe to have a perfectly normal — or even high — IQ, but experience retardation of the executive functions. His ability to say ignore distractions. His ability to consider the past and future when choosing an action. Even his inner voice, his ability to talk to himself and coach himself on what he should or shouldn’t do. All of these, reduced to a fraction of what a normal person is capable of.
And I am convinced I am retarded in this fashion.
It has nothing to do with cubicles. I don’t have enough credentials for a cubicle farm. I breezed into college with my high IQ, and tumbled out the moment the homework became more than incidental. I have college debt, but no degree, (There are other elements to that story, but…) and no cubicle.
It has nothing to do with public schools. I was homeschooled from 3rd Grade on. I learned the material my mother gave me, but I didn’t write the essays or do the practice problems. If she didn’t have more kids to wrangle, and I were required to prove my education to the state with anything more intense than multiple choice exams, I would have flunked out of home school.
It has nothing to do with being a spoiled millennial, never disciplined. I never cleaned my room no matter how many times my dad tanned my hide. Nor how many times I watched him throw all my toys in the garbage.
It wasn’t caused by being raised by the television or video games. My family didn’t own a TV for most of my childhood, and the first videogame I played I bought with money from the first steady day job I got.
Maybe I’m lazy? I’ve implemented a new program of self help every couple of months for the last twenty to twenty-five years of my life. Some of my employers have called me lazy, but most of them would say I work hard, fast, and enthusiastically, but am very scatterbrained.
Maybe I’m just a bad person.
This has been my go-to explanation all my life. After all, I didn’t start being creative yesterday. I’ve had great ideas for products since I was ten. If I had produced a fraction of them, and could manage money at all, I’d be reasonably well off my now. But I’m a bad person. I break my promises, even to myself. I don’t finish what I start.
I’m not looking to excuse it. I don’t care about excusing it. I’m Lutheran. You know, the guys that got kicked out of Rome because we claimed Salvation was a free gift in spite of good works? The story among the Papists is that Luther was scrupulous (this meant he felt guilty for things that were not sins) and so he invented a religion that allowed him to sin as much as he wanted because it was the only way to escape his scrupulous conscience.
That’s the religion I belong to. I deny the charges, of course. I think it’s the Catholic Faith, taught by Christ, Christ’s Apostles, the Fathers, and all the church even in parts of Rome to this day, and not the invention of Dr. Luther. But whatever. I go to confession, I don’t get assigned Our Fathers and Hail Marys. I hear the words “I forgive you.” I go to church, and the pastor follows our group confession with “In the stead and by the command of our lord, Jesus Christ, I forgive you all your sins.”
And I believe that’s real. My sins are really forgiven. They are really nailed to Christ’s cross. I am perpetually cleaned by the waters of Baptism.
And there will be temporal consequences. I will have bills to pay that a normal person wouldn’t. I may lose jobs or go to jail. But the shame, the guilt… those have no hold on me.
“Ahah! I have diagnosed your problem,” you say. “That shame and guilt are supposed to bring you to repentance. Your problem isn’t that you’re ADHD. It’s that you’re Lutheran!”
But you’re wrong. I’m almost 40. I’ve had these problems all my life. But I’ve been a Lutheran for maybe ten years. For most of my life, I was a Baptist.
And with Baptists, if you don’t have good works to point to, you’re not even saved. For all of my memory before becoming a Lutheran, and indeed, a full two or three years after converting, but before I grasped the implications of the Sacraments, I was dead certain that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, and I was dead certain I was going to Hell. Because no matter how badly I yearned to do good, I saw I did nothing but evil.
The Papist Gospel is better than that. In Rome, I’d be assigned my Hail Marys. I’d fail to do many of them. And then I’d end up in Purgatory. But at least I’d be saved. At least I’d make it to the Resurrection in the end. I’d be the lowest worm in the pit of purgatory, but the lowest worm in the pit of purgatory has still triumphed.
That’s a very long way of proving I don’t care about excusing it.
Look, if I had Kleptomania, theft would still be sin. Harmful to the possessions of my neighbor and to the fabric of my soul. And the fact that due to this or that brain trauma I couldn’t help it wouldn’t change this fact.
Same with ADHD. My broken promises, my failed contracts. These are still sins. I’m not looking to a doctor or a pill to excuse my sins.
I already know how to be rid of that burden.
I’m looking to a doctor or a pill to help me sin less. I’m looking for a way to be a grown up for once. I am not trying to excuse the past, I am trying to correct the future.
And I am persuaded that I am being hindered by a defect in my brain, and that certain disciplines and chemicals have proven useful in lessoning that hindrance. And I am resolved to act accordingly.