Hello, World!

It was more than a decade ago – in 2007, to be precise – that I wrote my first post on my first WordPress blog. The title of the post was “Hello World”, which used to be the default title of every WordPress blog’s default post. The blog itself was unimaginatively named ‘December’, after the month of my birth, and was the innocent creation of a naive college student trying to impress a female blogger. Back then, vanity was the central theme of life – after all, those were the days of Orkut, where single men used to write things like “love hurts more than a knife” in place of their names on their profiles, and the scrap and fan counters served as the equivalent of an ongoing weenie-measuring contest. Blogging, regardless of its initial purpose, appealed to me as something refined and sophisticated. While a part of the appeal stemmed from my juvenile self occupying the higher “I am a blogger” pedestal and looking down upon the Orkut proles (see my weenie, it’s exotic), most of it was genuine interest piqued by the freedom to spin words and express myself through them.

However, a few months later, after the initial excitement faded away, I stopped blogging. I can’t say I got bored of it, as whenever I would write it would be a thoroughly enjoyable experience. No, I just couldn’t do it. There were other things that caught my interest – not least of them was the female blogger whom I’d swept off my feet with my words – and chased after them like a cat chases butterflies. My blog had been deleted as it no longer fired my imagination. Until I swung right back, wanting to write again – like a dog that needs to be let into the house so it can whine to be let out immediately afterwards. I had a new blog, a new “Hello World”, and a fresh injection of creativity pulsing through my veins. And then, poof! I stopped again, and didn’t even bother to delete my blog, instead allowing it to rot away in a corner of cyberspace.

Now, many have done this – starting a blog, writing a few posts, and then losing interest. But it was different in my case, not in the sense that every time I began a blog I put all my creative energy into it (so much that I spend all my free waking hours obsessing about it) and abandoned them soon after. It was also not different in the sense that I ended up purchasing domains, taught myself web hosting out of the sheer excitement of starting yet another blog (“This is the blog that will live on!”) and then got so disinterested that I even forgot the very domain names themselves. It was different because I did all that about thirty times. I got a job, had more relationships, went places, built memories. And I wrote thirty “Hello Worlds”.

It was only last April, at the age of 30, that I finally understood what had been happening all these years. My laziness, a fundamental part of my life since my earliest memories which pushed down my grades drastically in school and college and which led to the wasting away of so many lovingly crafted blogs had permeated into every aspect of my life. I  was married to a wonderful woman and had somehow managing to keep my professional career relatively unharmed, and yet I was unable to fulfill the most basic of life’s responsibilities. It was not long before the boundless optimism which had been my fundamental defence mechanism all these years finally wore thin, and poisonous thoughts of myself being incapable of leading an adult life started taking hold of my mind. It was a slippery slope leading to a bottomless pit, but somehow I ended up looking up “why am I pathologically lazy” on Google. What I found was nothing short of revelation. Within a couple of weeks, I had visited both a psychiatrist and a clinical psychologist for the first time in my life, and I had the answer that changed my life: a positive ADHD diagnosis.

Nearly nine months on, I am still only beginning to learn how to manage my disorder. Of course, the very knowledge that I am not lazy, irresponsible or undeserving – and that it was just my ADHD that had been wrapping its web around me – is an enormous relief. But each day is still a battle I have to fight against an enemy that is part of my identity. Sometimes I wonder what I could have done had I not been born with this. But sometimes, I look back at my life and I find that my past failings don’t haunt me anymore. And more importantly, I look ahead and find that a new venture is no longer destined for certain failure. It is with this knowledge that I start this blog, as part of a resolution to write about my journey with ADHD, and with the hope that perhaps by writing about my struggles and successes, I may be able to help someone find the answers they are looking. I know optimism is just another kind madness, but I shall let it catch on. I do think I only have two words left to say.

Hello, World!