Finding nirvana as an ADHD sufferer

By Jim Russell
Empire Press Correspondent

On April 13, I wrote the following.

My daughter, bless her soul, suffers from dysfunctional attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) which she inherited from me. I feel guilty about passing it on to her.

Or sometimes I feel smug.

For example, recently I felt smug when she lost her keys because I’ve learned two rules to stop losing my keys. I didn’t explain my rules while she was tearful about losing hers, but maybe writing about them would work.


Experiencing Buddha’s nirvana: A missing key is found. (Jim Russell photo)

Experiencing Buddha’s nirvana: A missing key is found. (Jim Russell photo)


My rules to avoid suffering missing car keys — 1. Always hang keys on the same hook. 2. When I think of a better place to put them for whatever reason, never put them there and follow rule 1.

That’s simple.

Except it’s not that simple for me. I keep keys for our two cars on separate rings so that when I drive a car, that car’s key and ring fits snugly in my pocket.

But my key for Karen’s car is not on the hook right now.

I, like many ADHD sufferers, used to beat myself up for wasting time looking for my keys. A search would frustrate those around me. I would apologize and feel more guilty, which reduces the effectiveness of my search. It is not pleasant, which is why I always follow my two rules.

Right now, I’m not suffering because I’m practicing Buddha’s Four Noble Truths to avoid suffering. As I understand Buddha truths, we suffer. The causes of suffering are desire and ignorance. I want my key and I don’t know where it is. I can reduce suffering by reducing desire and gaining knowledge. Fourth, I need to follow the path to enlightenment.

My path is to deny desire for the key. I wonder where it is — in a coat pocket, vest, dresser or pants. I can’t remember the last time I drove Karen’s car, or gave her my key for that car.

Last night, I asked her if she knew where my key was and she said, “I hope I don’t have it.” She borrows mine because it takes up less room than her set of keys. I know her key is hanging on her hook because I’ve already checked.

She doesn’t appear to be suffering about my key either, so maybe she’s more advanced on Buddha’s path than I am.

My path seems enlightened. I’m enjoying writing this and I’m curious about where my key is.

On April 14, I wrote the following.

When I came home late last night, my missing key was hanging on its hook. Am I experiencing Buddha’s nirvana?