Do you want to know what having executive function looks like?
It’s getting ready to go to the grocery store (on my bicycle, it’s a local store) and realising it’s dark out. It’s making the connection between “it’s dark out” and bicycle lights. It’s remembering that the last time I rode my bike, the batteries in the red light on the back were nearly dead. It’s walking back into the living room to get the spare batteries from the big fruit bowl, and putting them in the bicycle light. It’s putting the dead batteries in my coat pocket. It’s remembering the dead batteries are in my coat pocket as I enter the grocery store. It’s walking to the recycling bin and dropping the batteries in.
It’s not crisscrossing the grocery store trying to think of everything I need to buy, because I didn’t bother making a list. A little executive function fail there. But let’s go on.
It’s heading towards the checkout lane with a basket full of food, and stopping to pick up extra batteries. It’s putting the new batteries in the big fruit bowl when I get home. It’s throwing the old empty packaging in the bin.
All my life, I wondered why things that other people claimed were so simple, for me were so incredibly hard to do. I thought I was making a fuss over nothing. I thought I was being lazy. I thought I was procrastinating. But this little scenario? Can I honestly say that NOT doing all of this would have been procrastination? Laziness? Making a fuss over nothing?
Seriously. I can think of far more interesting things to procrastinate on. I can think of far more efficient ways to be gloriously lazy.
This little scenario. Most people probably wouldn’t understand why I’m even mentioning it. Because they don’t even think about it. It’s normal for them. It’s how they live their lives. But me? If you had told me a month ago that I’d be capable of doing this, I would have laughed at you. I had spent 37 years trying to learn how to do this, and I knew I’d failed. This was not something I was capable of.
And now I know why.
Executive function. And medication has fixed it.