Friday, June 26, 2015

And Other Drugs

My last time GMing was back in April, if I remember correctly. In other words, too long. It's time to come back.

My plan for July is start a game on Tuesday evenings. After my friend's Star Wars game concludes in August, I'm going to start another game on Sundays. 

The question, as always, is what to play? 

Let me circle back to that question in a moment. Right now, I want to talk about my gamer-ADD. As I've written before, I've had a very difficult time committing to one RPG because I want to play them all, all the time. As it turns out, my gamer-ADD isn't a joke; I literally have been diagnosed with ADD by my psychiatrist. Inattentive ADHD, to be exact. I didn't even know that was a thing. 

If you didn't, either, here's what I discovered. The stereotype of ADD is the hyper-active kid who bounces off the walls and can't sit still long enough to focus on something. That stereotype, however, is just that: a stereotype. Turns out there are several forms of ADD. The form I have, inattentive ADHD, basically boils down to this: I can't focus on stuff that doesn't sufficiently stimulate me. I begin to wander off. Do other things. In other words, I can't pay attention to shit that I find boring.

I thought that was life! I thought everyone was like that. I didn't know people could routinely focus on boring shit and make it work. I seriously, literally thought that people who become doctors, lawyers, accountants, plumbers, carpenters, or whatever either had an undying passion for their vocation or had a natural gift for their chosen discipline and focusing wasn't so difficult for them. That has definitely been the case with my writing. I just thought the world worked like that. 

I finally got my eyes opened by a friend of mine. When, after a few drinks, I drunkenly slurred that I can't handle doing boring shit, she laughed at me and said I must have ADHD. I went to my psychiatrist a week later and told her about this conversation. She gave me a questionaire. I filled it out, my doctor glanced at the answers for barely a minute and said "yep, you definitely have the symptoms of inattentive ADHD." Two days later, I'm taking Adderall.

I'm not ready to say that Adderall has radically changed my life, but things are definitely different now. All the little reasons why I wouldn't want to do something seem so trivial and minor now. When I don't have something to do, I actually seek out things to do, rather than just putzing around. Chores and menial tasks...I used to have to force myself to do them. Now I'll do them naturally, without even thinking about them. I'm not necessarily more energetic; I'm just less lazy, if that makes any sense. The way I feel about things hasn't changed, my mood isn't really affected; just my general capacity to physically, logistically handle life's little hurdles has transformed. It's pretty bad-ass.

And now, it's going to apply to my hobby, too. I've been joking with my friends that thanks to Adderall, I'm actually going to be able to stick with a campaign, long-term. I'm not going to just ditch a game the moment it's not amusing me anymore; I'll actually be able to build something that lasts and persists, through lazy moods and bad days and the distraction of shiny new games. 

I'm not sure what exactly I'm going to play once I begin a regular session (Adderall may help with my follow-through, but the decision-making is still all me), but I am confident that whatever I choose is going to be awesome. 

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