I spend my life on a constant “I will try harder next time” mental loop.
Every social interaction is fretted over for days afterwards as I berate myself for talking too much and not listening enough.
People who don’t overanalyse their every thought and action don’t really get it. If I mention my panic they offer suggestions on how to stop worrying and be more attentive in social situations.
Whatever it is that causes my actions isn’t calmed by their words of wisdom. Its compulsive, like my skin picking.
The youngest sent me a video recently by a bloke who has ADHD who described the way I act pretty accurately. It was scary how understood I felt as I watched it, although it seems unlikely that someone who never struggled with schoolwork has ADHD. It is more likely to be some sort of menopausal affliction in my case.
The bloke in the video said that he constantly interrupts people and talks over them. If he tries to moderate his behaviour he becomes so preoccupied with reigning himself in that he loses track of the conversations going on around him. He finds it much easier to hang out with other people with ADHD who all act the same way and don’t judge each other for it.
Journalists – and ex journalists – are MAJOR chatterboxes. It makes me wonder if a disproportionate number of them have ADHD. Put them in a room together and it’s very hard for a non-journalist to get a word in. Actually, it’s hard for the journalists themselves to get a word in because talking is their version of an Olympic sport. I reckon they’ve all learned to breathe exclusively through their noses to ensure they don’t have to pause during conversations.
Dating DD has been good for me. While I talk like I’m on speed for the first 30 minutes when I see him, I eventually calm down. On our holidays together I can even fall silent for brief stretches of time … in a good way.
I fell silent quite frequently towards the end of my married – not in a good way – and my ex would buy me Diet Coke on car trips, despite his disapproval of its chemical composition, in the hope it would get me talking. He found my quietness deeply unsettling.
The last few nights we spent together, between his announcement that he was going and him actually walking out the door, opened a floodgate of words. We talked for hours on end, in a way that might have saved our marriage if we’d done it sooner.
Talking was our glue and everything came unstuck when we stopped.
It may be hard to believe when I’m in full verbal flight, but I have actually slowed down in recent years.
I get a bit exhausted when I try to keep up with journalists in social situations these days. I stare at them in dazzled amazement as they fill the air with constant chatter and loud laughter. I also get a sense of how it must feel for other people when I machine gun them with words.
Anyways, I think what I’m trying to do with this blog post is make yet another blanket apology for all the times I’ve blurted out something inappropriate socially or talked over you or not asked you enough questions.
I am sorry. I will try harder next time.
Song of the day: Talk Talk “Talk Talk”
I’m there…I plan conversations ahead of time, I review conversation for years (seriously) afterwards……and I have a boss who does that talking over others all the time……..I don’t think she ever takes a breath…..but yeah, I’m always thinking, what did they mean by that?
I can’t even tell you how deeply I relate to what you just wrote 💛 At least next time I talk to you I will know that you are going through the same thing I am and that we will both be going over the conversation in our minds later that night!
Hearing your words makes me glad I wrote the blog post, as I was a little nervous after I posted it. But it’s so worthwhile to know that it has connected with someone and echoed their own experiences. It’s really important to feel you’re not alone.