Date: March 4, 2021

ADHD Reality#6 - Drive You Round the Bend

I like to think I’m a pretty good driver. I’ve been at it for 40 years now and for some of that time I’ve even had a driving licence. But actually I’m probably not a good driver. Oh sure I understand the physics of driving, how to corner properly and all that stuff, but the technicalities are not the issue here.

I like to speed. I’m not as bad now, but when I was in my teens and early 20s I was an absolute nightmare on the roads. I loved driving fast and fortunately for me (but not so much for literally every other road-user), my mum used to own a 5.3litre Jaguar XJ12. That car weighed about 50 tonnes but sweet jesus could it move. I can’t remember what the top speed was that I hit in that car, but I do recall taking it to 130mph once on the A1(M) motorway in the UK and that massive engine still had more to give. On one occasion I was driving it down the motorway and the hydraulic failure lights all came on — that meant I had no brakes. I was still going 100mph at the top of the slip-road that was my exit. So I hurtled down that short stretch of road and straight out onto the roundabout and fortunately there was nothing coming the other way or it would have been a catastrophe. Mind you, the Jag went round that roundabout at about 90mph like it was on rails — what a car.

Up until about 10 years ago I never had to commute anywhere by car. This meant that my opportunity to speed was limited to day trips and visits to the supermarket and I therefore had a relatively unblemished driving record. Then I got a job two hours away in Sydney and had to commute several times a week. Long story short, I lost all my points and was put on a 12-month good-behaviour licence that meant that any further infringements would result in a six month ban and a $1500 fine. Through sheer force of will I managed to escape a ban but I had a nervous breakdown at work not long afterwards, thanks to a total nazi of a boss, so it was all a bit of a moot point. Another job gone.

ADHD as you may or may not know is hereditary. I am certain that my mother had it and, once I told the family about my diagnosis, my younger brother decided to get checked out too. Bad driving (by which I mean, reckless driving) runs in the family. On one occasion, after a Christmas Day lunch at relatives, we had a family race home down the motorway (my mum, dad and youngest brother in one car, me in another, my brother and sister in their own cars) which resulted in my mum crashing her car on the slip-road off the motorway. I’ve had many accidents over the years, the most recent of which was a 12 car pile-up in which I was the last car in the chain. We flew back to the UK to visit family about five years ago and got leant a Porsche Cayenne Turbo for the duration of our stay. Within a couple of hours of getting that car I was racing a Mercedes with diplomatic plates down the M4 near Heathrow at about 30mph over the limit.

That said I am genuinely not as bad as I used to be. When I think back on the way I drove during my teens and twenties I am honestly amazed that I am still here and that I wasn’t responsible for harm to others. Dumb luck meant I didn’t kill myself or other people, but I have no doubt that there are people with ADHD in prison right now who weren’t so lucky.

2 comments on “ADHD Reality#6 - Drive You Round the Bend”

  1. Hi. My name is Tina. I wached some of your YouTube videos. I was diagnosed with adhd at 23. Im 41. You know how the research talk about hiw people with adhd brains diverge from rge base line normal right? Tge problem is this: baseline normal brains are thise who do not have adhd. But the problem with this is that how the fuck can anyine use non adhd brains as the norm to measure against when the adhd brain is completley structurally different. Thats like measuring tge divergence between romain lettuce and iceburg lettuce. Sure tgwy are both letucce but thats where tge similarities end. Adhd brains and non adhd brains are brains sure, but the only way yiu can say theres any divergence is if tge adhd brain had the exact same structure(as in blueprint) as the other but with differences. Instead the adhd brain blueprint is different in all areas. Im curious what would happen if an experiment was done where the adhd brain was the base line and what differences the non adhd brain had that would hold then back. The only reason why there is s8ch a huge stigma with adhd people is that our whole educational and social system is made to. Cater to their weaknesses. Adhd children can start a conversation and not see eachother for a month only to pick up that same convo and know exactly what they were talking about. The current school system doesnt work for people like us. Ill give you an example. From senior kindergarten to grade four i went to a Montessori school. Jk and sk were in one class. Grades 1-3 were taught together and grades 4-6 were taught together. This setup actuality nourishes an adhd mind. There was some structure but you were free to jump from one interest to another based on your interest as long as you were learning. If you wanted to expand on what you already knew(even if it was more advanced all you had to do was ask). If you left the clas room you didn't have to single yourself out. U just put a stick with ur name on it in the slot of your destination(bathroom, library, the other grade 1-3 class) and that was that. Because I was mostly ignired as a young child i had learned to read at 2 because I would be dead otherwise - how sad that learning to read was a survival mechanism. But in those 5 years i read over 5000 books. Including texts. Fast forward to gr7
    Normal school. They couldn't understand why my math answers were right but the numbers in the steps were gibberish. I was doing it in my head.

    Had there been a school that was structured for people like me. Instead of worrying about having the steps written down and celebrating the fact that i could put the answer without them maybe my life would be different. Adhd is only a disorder and problem if you allow it to shape you that way

    1. Sorry for the very late response - this was flagged as spam for some reason. I totally agree with you regarding education. I used to look at Montessori style schools and think they were stupid hippy inventions that led kids down - now I see things the polar opposite - they got it right and the current education system is not fit for purpose.

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