How you make it difficult for me to enjoy a public performance (I’m looking at YOU Chris Rock)

scheduleJanuary 27, 2018

Ten years ago I received a prescription that changed my life. I am a 43 year old disabled vet that has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder. I have spent twenty years looking for the drug (under the supervision of a psychiatrist) that will give me that, “I’m normal now,” feeling. I tried many pharmaceuticals and have met with limited (no) success.

If I were to describe Attention Deficit Disorder it would translate to the familiar refrain, “capable of better and or more work.” My life is a story of missed opportunity, wasted energy, and spectacular failure. I am, by some accounts, my own worst enemy. I have had an average of two different employers each year for two decades.

The problem I have is one of executive function. I have been told something that I WANTED to know, and five minutes later can’t remember what was just said. I can make plans that sound completely reasonable, and fail to follow through because… I forgot. I can create exceptionally. My IQ was tested, it’s a non-issue.

When I heard of someone using a prosthesis to remediate the problem, I was intrigued. If I could find something that made it possible for me to interact with people in a manner that made them comfortable, did I not owe it to the people that matter to me? Should I not at least TRY this revolutionary device in the hopes that I would be at least average?

The psychiatrist that was attending me wrote a prescription for a “digital assistant.” It could be a tablet, a phone, or any other type of device that would assist me with executive function. I was elated. The ensuing decade has been amazing. I have done things that I could not have done, because I could not have followed through.

Now I discover that there need to be “smart phone free” zones. I can’t enjoy a public performance because I NEED to have a device with me. That people think they have all the answers on how I REALLY need to solve my problem, if I just did it their way, is both demeaning and insulting.

So I ask, could someone explain it to me like I’m seven, so that I can explain to my seven year old daughter why dad can’t take her to public performances?