A DISTINCT LACK OF CONCENTRATION
I’ve effectively achieved nothing over the past 2 days… in fact it’s taken 2 days to start writing this article. It took 3 attempts to find a picture… and by find I mean start a Google search and type in ‘concentration’… then I lost focus, minimised the screen in favour of something else and forgot about it. I think lack of concentration is becoming my most hated symptom of bipolar disorder. Sure, episodes of depression can be horrific and make me constantly exhausted, but I can still function - paint a smile on for my customers, pull pints, complete my VAT return (somewhat slowly but it gets done!). But when I have no concentration I struggle to do just about everything work related. I can’t hold more than 2 drink orders in my head at once and my customers think I’m an idiot when I have to ask for the 3rd time “Sorry, was that cream or ice cream with the sticky toffee pudding?” and I get none of my office jobs done - even writing this feels like I’m wading through treacle.
I consider myself to be fairly intelligent, I have a pretty high IQ and can fathom most things in the world out with a little research (except religion, why the stairwell lights go on of their own accord and ‘what came first, the chicken or the egg?’)- so why is it that I can’t concentrate on anything for more than 2 minutes yet my kitten who has a brain the size of a walnut, and is frequently surprised by the presence of his own tail, has just spent the last hour completely focussed on batting a screwed up receipt around the room?
Looking back, I think this goes a long way to explaining why I really struggled when it came to revision for exams at school (even at GCSE before my other bipolar symptoms set in). I could never understand how my friends could sit there for hours on end revising, yet I could barely get through the first paragraph. It’s a bit of a psychological kick in the nuts when you to really want to do well, and know that you have the potential to do well, but you’re brain’s refusing to let you take on any new information or use what you already know for more than a couple of minutes. In hindsight, I probably should have said something to my parents, though at the time I don’t think I honestly believed (or wanted to believe) that there was actually anything wrong with me. So instead I took the “I don’t give a damn about school” attitude so at least I had an excuse for not working. I came out with OK grades (by my school’s standards, pretty good grades by the rest of the world’s standards) but could have done so much better.
Sorry Mum and Dad for keeping my mouth shut and wasting your hard earned money! I’ll speak up in future! xxx
Time for a little research I think… so don’t expect my “10 ways to improve concentration” article any time in the next week! But I’ll get there eventually…