• Paakhi M

I Don't Like Attention.

Here we go.


"Well? Why don't you look at me when I speak to you? Why do your eyes wander like that?" he asks me, his hands calmly conjoined and resting on the table in front of me, his words kind, but confronting.


"I-um. There was something in my eye, I guess. I'm sorry," I reply, my fingers tapping restlessly on the same table, my leg jittering.


I can't very well tell him that I think I have ADHD.


"Okay...awesome. Well, like I was telling you, I think she..." he continues with his story of how he told his crush that he liked her. Even though I was the one that asked him that -- and even though I would like to listen to him, I can't get over the noise.


The freaking noise in the college café.


Students scampering out and ushering in, girls and boys laughing boisterously, and voices clamouring into one monstrous noise that disables me from focusing on anything, let alone words. I grip the wood of the table, the tips of my fingers turning white. My leg bounces uncontrollably, my friend's voice fading into the noise as I shut my eyes tightly, trying to escape. Trying to let my mind out of the haze it is in.


Irritated and suddenly so angry at the world, I stand up, the chair underneath me screeching loudly against the floor. "I'm sorry, Amay, I need to go. I-uh-I just remembered that I need to complete my assignment for today, sorry," I make an excuse, flinging my bag on my shoulder and walking away.


"Maybe I should come-"he tries to suggest but I interrupt him.


"No! I'll get distracted. You should go with your friends, I'll see you in class," I tell him, finally successfully escaping the café.



Praise the lord.


I rush to the library, the calmest place I can think of, and find an isolated corner for me to sit in. As I settle on the cushioned chair and see no one around me, I breathe deeply and loudly, tears escaping my eyes as I rock my body back and forth, trying to make some sense of anything, trying to train my mind into seeing clearly. With shaky hands, and in an effort to distract myself, I swipe open my phone and go through my assignments, seeing four due today but having no motivation to do them. My heart flings into my throat, my brain cooking up different scenarios of failure, but having no will to work.


Go to hell, ADHD.


I know I can't do anything right now. I know that once my mind decides to not work, there's no amount of motivation that will make it work. The realisation of my incapacity fills my eyes with tears, my frustration building up right up to my eyes as a sob finally breaks through, wracking my whole body as I begin to feel worthless.


Why does anyone talk to me?

I am as capable as a camel in the Arctic.


Speaking of the Arctic...I want to disappear there.


My fingernails find their way to my inner forearm, scratching restlessly as the skin there becomes red and angry. Angry at my for not controlling my emotions.


I am worthless.

But they say that I have potential.

...Potential?


Everyone says I have the potential to reach the stars, then why can't I? Why do I become paralysed when I decide to do something productive? Why do I blame myself to insanity when I realise that I wasted all my time? Why does it hurt?


What do I do?


How do I fix it?


How do I fix me?


"Pihu...?"


Oh, no.


"Oh-umm-hi! What are you doing here? I thought you said- sorry, I thought I told you to go meet your friends?"I ask my best friend between sniffles, using my hoodie's sleeve to wipe away any remnants of tears from my face.


"Are you crying?"he ignores my words and asks me, sitting down in front of me.


There's no point in lying.


"Umm, yeah. I just saw this post on Instagram, my favourite celebrity's mom just died, I was-"


Ha, you thought.


"Don't lie, Pihu. What's wrong? You've been off the past few days, you need to tell me what's wrong. I want to help you."


But I don't want to help myself, Amay. I can't.


What's next, hmm?


I tell my parents. Best case scenario, they take my to a psychiatrist. Worst case scenario, they tell me that I am justifying my behaviour through a mental illness.

Say they do take me to a psychiatrist, who in turn says that I don't have ADHD, because I had been surviving for so long without diagnosis. What's next then, hmm?


Eternal shame and inescapable darkness?

I can't help myself, Amay, how would you help me?


"Nothing, bro," I break out of my train of thoughts, "I told you, right? My favourite celebrity's mom just died. I was just feeling empathetic," I reiterate, cracking a smile.


"Okay," he acquiesces, "Anyway, where are you with your assignments?"



Right.

Those unfinished, unconquerable assignments.


Curse you, ADHD.


ADHD- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - is a common mental condition that can cause limited attention and hyperactivity. It contributes to problems in social and professional life, often leading to lower self-esteem - hence being characterised as ’bad behaviour’, and going undiagnosed.


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