I’m finally getting through Michele Novotni‘s book What Does Everybody Else Know That I Don’t?: Social Skills Help for Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. In her chapter on disorganization, she relates a story about a woman who was getting a divorce. Now, this woman knew that the marriage was over, but she was hesitant about the divorce. She knew that part of the process would be to sell their home and divide the proceeds of the sale. She described her home as having piles of stuff “thigh high” with narrow pathways between for walking through. Walls were lined with stacks of boxes. She knew that in order to sell the house, she would have to clear out all of her piles of stuff first. THAT was going to be the hard part of the divorce!

Much as it pains me to admit it, that description fits my apartment to a T. The mere thought of moving can send me into a panic.

One more anecdote from the book that hit me hard:

An employee who thinks that he might have ADHD goes to see his company’s psychologist. The psychologist has a simple three-question test to make the diagnosis.

Look at your desk and ask yourself:

  • How many piles of stuff do you have there?
  • How big are the piles?
  • How old is the stuff at the bottom?

I have unopened mail that is at least two years old. I just recently threw away print-outs of email messages from 2003.

And to think that I was thisclose to becoming a full-fledged psychiatrist …


  1. Interesting. My former editor had huge stacks of magazines, newspaper, papers, and heaven-knows-what on his desk. When he’d go on vacation we’ve dig through a few layers to see what he’d lost in the mess.

    Thanks for stopping by Prozac Palace. I hope you’ll come by again.

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