Speaking with a fountain pen

I was asked for my opinion on the brick size my colleague choose for his project a while ago. I asked him if I could see the brick, feel it’s texture, what his balconies would be made of, what material and color he choose for his windows, what size their size was and what type of glass he would be using. Do these thing relate to his question in any way? No. I just got interested in his project and I wanted to know the details. I never gave him an answer but I spent 30 minutes working in his model. Adding lighting, plants, furniture, people and in the end 3 different brick sizes. From the 3 images I have him, he decided himself to go for a different size than what he had started his question with.

Distractions

My ADHD devil seems to be very well trained in diverting my attention when it comes to questions, or conversations in general. He is a master in creating enough chaos to prevent me from having a normal conversation about just one topic. The devil is very good in distracting me from listening to another person but he is even better, much better, in diverting my words from the topic I’m talking about.

I can not believe the amount of times I abruptly ended my minutes long stream of words with: “I’m afraid this did not answer your question at all.” Sometimes I’m allowed to try over and sometimes I will succeed in the end, but often people give up and a lot of their questions remain unanswered, as well as my answers remaining unheard.

I am listening

The funny thing is, that most of the times, I do actually listen to these questions, I do understand what is asked and at first I do kind of know what I have to say to answer them. But once I start speaking, I get distracted, and while I’m talking my words drift further and further away from the topic they were supposed to be about.

Benefits of blabbering

Fortunately, often my uncontrolled stream of words don’t bother me or the people around me. In my work, my drifting-off topic is very much appreciated, since it makes my colleagues see the things they forgot about but are actually very important. In my private life it makes me fun. A serious conversation about feelings can turn into joking about unimportant things and the not so serious conversations can change topic about every sentence, and my friends start to see the connections between things that usually only make sense inside my mind.

Often my uncontrolled blabbering makes things better, easier, more interesting or just fun. But there are also situations in which it is important to talk about one topic, to express my opinion and feelings on one particular thing, without getting distracted until everything is said and I have truly expressed my thoughts. Sometimes my blabbering is preventing me to be taken serious or receiving the help I desperately need.

I can not express myself

I am going trough a very rough period in my life and now more than ever I feel what a terrible talker I am. It has become extremely important for me to talk clearly and fully about what is going on in my life and what I am experiencing. I have to talk about my feelings to my boss, my physician, my psychologist, my boyfriend, my family and my friends but now I realize how difficult this is for me, how it has always been impossible.

When things get real, when people come close, I start to make jokes, I change the topic and I cover up my true feelings. I am not only distracted by my devil, distracted to share my opinion. I am also scared to do so and this gives the devil the space he needs to succeed in his plan, to divert me from the topic I have to talk about. When it comes to feelings and thoughts, I’m actually happy with his distractions but I never get the help I need and I’ll never open up completely.

The talk schedule

In the beginning of the relationship with my boyfriend, I noticed how many time it was important for me to actually talk, to truly express myself. However, I was never able to. I could write him the longest messages that explained everything but as soon as he would call or tried to discuss something in real time, I froze, or changes the topic. I simply just couldn’t express my feelings.

The week before our holiday I felt really insecure about it, about my first time in the snow and my first time spending so much time with another person, but whenever I tried to express my feelings, the wrong things came out. My boyfriend saw my struggles and told me one night to go home, to write down everything, all the questions and feelings I had about our first trip together.

When we started talking the next day, I tried to follow the points that I had written down, I kept loosing my words, I kept changing the topic but every time I did I could look at my notebook and get back to the subject I was supposed to talk about. This conversations was the first one in which I truly said everything I wanted to say, the first time I ended a conversation without so many unsaid things remaining inside my head, bothering me for days.

Finally honest

I am a writer, not a talker. I have proven to be only able to express myself through my writing, and I started to use this as much as possible. Writing for me, is the only way to open up, to myself and the people around me. I have never felt more honest than I feel when I write. I feel relieved that I have finally found a way to communicate the many hidden thoughts that are bothering me, relieved I have finally found a way to be true.

When I have to talk to my therapist, I make sure I have written down the most important feelings and struggles I want to discuss with her. When I find myself hiding or changing the topic, I force myself to just read the text I wrote before our appointment, this way I’m sure that I will be honest to her and that she will know everything I have to tell her to get the help I need.

The same goes for the conversations I have with my boyfriend, parents or boss, when I know I have to discuss something emotional, I prepare with a text that covers everything I must tell. And when I don’t have a text, when I did not have the time to prepare, I ask for this time and continue the conversation once I am prepared. This way I’m no longer hiding.

I do notice that I can not prepare for every conversation, and I can not always ask people to only talk to me about the things that I did write down. Unfortunately this is not how human interaction works. But luckily it is not not always bad to drift away from the topic in every situation and I believe that by writing in general, I increase my ability to be true and honest in every conversation.

Listening to myself

I feel like the reason I was never able to talk about feelings was not a lack of concentration. I believe I wasn’t able to express my thoughts because I simply didn’t know them, I never allowed my feelings to exist for myself so how could I be able to express them to other people?

The ADHD devil was never strong enough to distract me during serious conversations, I was just too weak to really feel and this is why I allowed him to distract me, or maybe even distracted myself. I used my devil to get away from the truth, to avoid a confrontation with myself, to avoid my feelings and to hide them. And once I started to write, instead of thinking or talking, I finally stopped hiding and I finally started listening.

I notice how expressing thoughts that I don’t have on a paper in front of me, becomes more easy. Probably because I have bene writing about them before and I finally started to recognize them in my writing. This process, this journey or expedition through my own mind with a fountain pen and a shitload of notebooks, allowed me to finally listen and acknowledge everything that has been hiding inside me. After about 80 blogposts I finally start to figure out what has been bothering me for almost 30 years, I finally start to show myself my true self and I am becoming more of a person because of this. My fountain pen slowly connects me to the real me, it slowly brings me back to the honest, nice and fun person I once was.

A big mess and millions words bringing me back to myself.

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