My ADHD Driving Story

woman in a carI open the car door and sit down in the driver’s seat.

I put the key in the ignition.

So far, so good….

I pull out of the driveway and halfway down the block.

I get that feeling in my chest.

I have already forgotten where I am going…. So, I am not sure whether to turn right, left or go straight when I reach the corner.

A sense of panic takes me over for a few seconds.

Then I work real hard to review what I was thinking when I left the house.

Ah, I remember.

I am going to National Wholesale Liquidators to buy reading glasses.

So, I tell myself that I need to turn left and then right to get onto the highway.

I’m feeling insecure behind the wheel.

As usual, I’m uncertain about where my car is in relation to the road and to the other cars.

But I do manage to get onto the highway, despite all that honking from the other cars.

I never seem to figure out what I am doing that causes them to always be honking at me. Fortunately, I forget about them as soon as I pick up my cell phone to call my best friend.

It’s been 10 minutes and so I want to see what’s new.

Of course, there is always something to talk about.

Uh oh! I missed my exit.

Now I’m lost. How do I get to the opposite side of the highway to go in the other direction?

I get off the next exit and look for a street that will take me there.

To my dismay, the streets go around and around and around again and now I am not only lost, I am totally disoriented.

I see some landmarks that look like they are near the store I set out for.

I ride thinking I am getting closer.

But I pass the so called landmarks and realize they are not even close.

They are not landmarks, rather mirages.

I could ask someone for directions but I feel so stupid. This is a 15-minute ride, at most, and here it is entering the 2nd hour of this trip.

I am aware that most people would look at a map.

But that would really confuse me, and make me feel bad about myself.

Maps remind me of my high school history regents exam, when the cover page was a map, and we had to identify the locations on it.

I remember how I sat at that high school desk as all of the other students busily wrote their answers, or so it felt, and I just quietly cried inside, totally clueless.

Eventually, I took that exam three times before my teacher gave me a passing grade, which I could not have earned.

So, that is all a map will do for me is bring me back to that nightmare experience.

A map will not work for me right now – or ever!

I decide to ask someone for directions to the highway.

I am driving so I don’t have anything to write it on.

The nice man takes out a napkin and makes a picture of the roads to that highway.

I listen with all the focus that I can summon up.

I feel like I can do this.

But as I resume driving, it becomes clear that his directions, the way I heard them, have no similarity to the actual roads on which I am traveling.

Finally, I give up. It has been an hour and a half and I cannot find this store that is 15 minutes from my house.

I have to be back for an appointment with my ADHD client.

I have to get home for her, where I also work.

I see the highway to get me home – 17 North. That is familiar so I know that it will work and I get on.

As I am riding that highway with all hope of getting to National Wholesale Liquidators erased from my psyche, there it is!

I see National Wholesale Liquidators on my right, on 17 North.

I can’t believe it’s there.

I have five minutes to run in, get glasses and get back into the car to get to my client appointment.

I do it. I made it!

Now I made it in time to my home-office to coach my ADHD client!

Copyright © Chana Klein 2017