[Audio] Brought to you in part by ADHD; Last week’s top stories

Humboldt Last Week features quick local stories and typically ends with a longer one. Downloadable and on podcast networks for later listening.

In the latest episode of Humboldt Last Week

As a kid I took a stimulating medication for a few years after being diagnosed with ADHD. You probably know that stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder because it’s such a common deal. They used to call it “ADD.” People close to it know it’s not just a kid thing; Adults have it too.

These damn smartphones can’t be helping our attention spans either. Hold on, I see something interesting online.

Back now.

Even if you’ve never had the diagnosis I bet our smartphone society sometimes has you joining me in some of these symptoms -- a short attention span, social awkwardness, forgetfulness, multitasking when you should be focusing on one thing, sleeplessness, low self esteem, all that jazz.

There’s help. Lifehack.org has a nice list with suggestions to improve our attention spans. Exercise, hydrate, prioritize, limit distractions, do one thing at a time, take small steps, re-focus on the task at hand. Music and meditation can be helpful. Another tip I’ve seen is to take the time to read longer stories.

Following a customized list with some of those things can help us function to the best of our abilities. It’s better than scary medications if you can avoid ‘em. We’ve got responsibilities. We’ve gotta be on top of our game.

Then if we have a list that works a short attention span is no scapegoat for mistakes. If our mistakes are attention-span related we can remind ourselves to be better about following the list If we mess up while following the list maybe there’s something bigger that needs our attention.

I’m aware of people that think my old ADHD diagnosis is part of a problem with overdiagnosis or a certain coddling by society. Let me be real with you, my brain is not easy to be attached to at times. It gives me headaches, it makes me daydream when I shouldn’t, it impacts my ability to be a good friend, it’s gotten me into trouble.

On the upside ADHD eventually pushed me toward personal discipline. There’s the great detail I can give to activities I find interesting. There’s the physical benefits of more activity. Plus with ADHD I have the now-funny childhood stories of sawing furniture with a butterknife the first time my stepmom watched me or attempting to trip my grandma down the stairs to “see how far she’d fall.” Yikes, right?

Honestly most of the local news stories I cover for Humboldt Last Week take me a lot of effort to fully grasp. I wish I could just read an article and quickly report the main facts back to you but in reality I have paste information into a document and do multiple rewrites in my own words. After that I analyze those notes to decide if they’re valuable enough to broadcast. I make mistakes. Earlier in my 20s I lucked out practicing that process a lot working as a radio host full time. I got quicker. I enjoy knowing what’s going on around me so it’s a process I fell in love with.

That’s why this show features “quick local stories.” It’s what’s best suited for my brain. That said, reading quality in-depth news reporting is the medicine that makes it possible.

I’m lucky to have a list and program that helps me overcome the majority of those symptoms I mentioned. Not everyone with an obstacle is dealing with something that’s manageable and a lot of the struggles people deal with aren’t viewable from the surface. I’m seeing a lot of efforts to raise awareness about the inner struggles our neighbors could be dealing with. Plus I’m seeing more people taking their mental and physical health seriously. Let’s keep that up.

Other stories in Episode 103

A homicide in the thick of Arcata’s nightlife, a hash lab explosion near a school, PBS gets in on the Kinetic Grand Championship, the possibility of a sanctuary county status is debated, Humboldt-raised star Sara Bareilles released a new song, a notorious former resident is headed trial for murder again, and much more.

Humboldt Last Week also has some lightheartedness, new music picks, and event suggestions. On the radio throughout the day on 99.1 KISS FM Mondays.

Episode partners: Bongo Boy Studio - Tuyas Mexican Restaurant