Monday, December 29, 2014

Musical Monday: SAIL by AWOLnation - A.D.D. Sucks Rocks

When a fan-made video gets 146M views (at the time of this writing, in December, 2014), and no one even knows how to find your official video (a paltry 3M views), it's time to throw in the towel and license the fan video as your official video. In fact, I thought this fan-made video was the official video until I read the Wikipedia page for the song, and learned otherwise.

One of the funniest lines in the whole song is "blame it on my A.D.D., baby."

Except that Attention Deficit Disorder is actually not very funny. Oh, sure everyone jokes about it, whenever people seem flighty or flakey, or simply not paying attention, or because they're too busy listening to the noise in their own heads, but it's not funny. Hell, as I said, they even make a joke of it in this song, which is why I'm talking about it in this rant.

Adult Attention Deficit Disorder creates unnecessary conflict and misery. It can - quite literally - make it impossible to focus, or to remember things. It can - quite literally - make it impossible to remember a conversation from five minutes ago.  The person suffering the disorder of ADD can be fully engaged in said conversation, participate, contribute, and come to accord on important decisions - and then five minutes later the entire thing is gone from memory. I shit you not. A.D.D. SUCKS ROCKS BIG TIME.

For someone afflicted with ADD, her brain is her enemy. Recent studies using brain-scan technology have discovered the real problem isn't that the brain is over-stimulated, but that the damn thing keeps falling asleep, and so craves external stimulation to keep itself awake. That's why the eyes dart around, and the ears constantly pick up background sounds, and the thoughts race like hamsters in a wheel, and the body is always moving and touching things.  A person with ADD might desperately want to hold still, or to remember things, but the enemy in her skull won't do its damn job and ignores her wishes.

How do I know the ADD brain is the enemy and it's not just some personality deficiency or character flaw?

What's the old joke? "Give you three guesses, and the first two don't count."

Concerta (TM) is my second best friend in the world (after a human being with the patience of a saint, and piles of unconditional love).

Concerta is anti-ADD medication. Concerta makes it possible for me to focus. It makes it possible for me to remember things at all. Concerta enables me to exercise my considerable willpower over my poor impulse control. Concerta transforms my brain into my friend and ally , instead of my enemy.

I learned about Concerta less than a decade ago. The saint in my life parked my ass down and said "Watch this video." It was a clip from the Today show, where a doctor talked about ADD and new treatments available.

When it was over, I made him play it again.
Then I said "I really don't have to be like this, anymore?"
Then I cried.

Then I saw a doctor, and I got medication. Then my brain became my ally, instead of my enemy, and I could hold still, sit quietly, hold a train of thought or a memory in my head for longer than two minutes, and I discovered who I am (and I mean that literally, that's not even a metaphor).

Now, I panic if I forget to take my afternoon pill with me, and my "crash stash" has run out.   I will break your arm if you try to take my Concerta away. Kinda sad, I know, that the idea of a few hours with my old brain freaks me out so much. But that tells you how miserable I was being that way; I won't go back.

My brain still isn't perfect. As I have to remind my man every so often "tired trumps Concerta," so sometimes I have to focus hard to focus at all. But, now I've learned how I can act, and think and behave when my brain is working like a normal brain, and so I know how to modify my behavior for when the medication wears off.

"Blame it on my A.D.D., baby," is still part of my life, but at least it's not very often, and I can enjoy - and remember(!) - the other moments.

April, 2015, Edit:  It looks like the original video has been made private, and I can't find a new link to it.  I left the code embedded, below, just in case it gets unlocked.  I'm going to hazard a guess the AWOLNATION guys got it yanked, because it was kicking their ass all over the playground in page views (see my remarks above) (Also, in the comments section of this behind the scenes vid, someone remarks that Nanalew said on her FB page there was a problem with the record label.)

Okay, so here is the official video.  (I know, right?  Just that image screams "Ugh!")

I did find what looks like a copy of the Nanalew video, and the quality isn't quite as good.

And here is my original embedded link to Nanalew's tribute video.  I include it here, just in case it gets unlocked at some future point, and you can watch it again.



  1. What's funny is that this my all-time "most viewed" blog post. I give all credit to Nanalew and her team :-)

  2. So, some stats:
    * this is my "most viewed" post with over 2500 views - holy crap, that's awesome;
    * Nanalew's video currently has 355 million views;
    * AWOL Nation's official video still doesn't even have half that many views. Haha.