Imagine if you will, that you are in a room with four other people. One is listening to the stereo, one has the TV on, one is playing a video game and one is trying to talk to you about something.
You hear the person talking to you but you become distracted by a song you like playing on the stereo. Inside your mind you are trying to sing along but then get distracted by a show on TV. You continue to try to hear what is going on with the TV show and then your attention is once again pulled back to you trying to listen the person talking to you.
As much as you try to focus on what your friend is saying to you, you can’t help but get distracted by all the chirping, whistling and beeping noises of the video game.
For most people, the solution sounds real simple. Just leave the room and go somewhere where there is less commotion so you can talk.
The problem is that I can be all alone in a room with none of the above mentioned electronics and it is still the same chaos. My mind will still wander off to at least four different places at once and it may be entirely different than the above scenario.
I might be at the grocery store thinking, “Did I feed the dog?”
“I need a new shirt to wear with my favorite pants.”
“Oh look! A sale on bananas. Better get a few pounds of those.”
“I need to wash the car today.”
“Shoot! I have to go back to the bakery for bread.”
Is it any wonder that I forget half what I wrote on the list?
It is extremely hard to focus when so much is happening inside my brain all at once. It takes a lot of work to block out all of the things going on around me. It is challenging (but not impossible) to just stick to grocery shopping and let the other thoughts go.
This may sound like I still have quite a colony of bats left in the belfry but over the last 10 months, I have greatly improved with ADHD treatment.