I am a bit ADHD. It’s untreated by choice because I view it more a personality trait than an illness. If ten percent of the population can be diagnosed with something, it does seem to me more of a trait. In any event, it works well for me. I can change topics or tasks very quickly. I can also work with ease in two or more programming languages within the same page or project.
I’m also OCD. I don’t have much in the way of ongoing compulsive habits, like hand-washing (although that was one for a year or two) but I develop random-seeming obsessions like golf, ultrarunning, lightweight-backpacking, homebrewing, and cyclical obsessions with fishing. The ADHD and the OCD work together well for me in that I can obsess over multiple short-term projects on parallel tracks. At least to some degree. Distractions are real and frequent so I have to manage those like anyone else with ADHD.
I’m also a daydreamer, but I prefer the term “visionary.”
These three things combined make golf challenging. I find it hard to be in the moment throughout four hours or so of playing. Hell, I find it hard to stay in the moment over a single shot. Damnably hard. It’s not so much the external world that distracts me, but all the stuff going on in my head. The constant inner dialogue about things on my mind. The demons of insecurity, doubt, and unearned-glory are ever-present. I can be standing over the ball ready to swing and a thought creeps in, one totally unrelated to anything going on. It just appears. Too often, I’m already committed and the shot goes astray. I need to learn to back off, or at least to not let the thoughts in.
For good or ill, I would argue that this freedom of thought, or lack of discipline, or just ADHD, has worked well for me overall. It has helped me find connections and see relationships, especially in data, that others don’t see. So, I really don’t want to mess with it.
Ummm, yes. So, just accept those bad shots and work to eliminate those caused by bad mechanics or sloppy setup.
Today, the putting woes from last week were gone. Absolutely gone. Putting was gorgeous with only one bad putt. Short game was also good. The demons though were in full-throated voice during the first several holes. I couldn’t concentrate as I couldn’t put a problem aside that I have been chewing on a few weeks now. I finally gave up trying to put it out of mind and just ran with it. All but ignored my playing partners (was unaware when Zach broke a club upon impact with the ball) and just churned through thoughts, almost making the game secondary. That took a lot of stress off the shots and actually allowed me to concentrate better on each shot. Seven-shot stroke difference from the back to the front. Could have been more save for just a millimeter or two of difference in the putter face or if I had ignored my partners better on 16.
Sometimes the best way to manage your inner demons is to embrace them and say, “Hey buds, lets’ party!”