Being in the moment with ADHD and the Hokey Cokey

Is it possible to be in the moment and enjoy life when my ADHD brain is always overthinking? Can the Hokey Cokey help?

Being in the moment with ADHD and the Hokey Cokey

This week’s photos are from a trip to Sci-Fi Weekender.

Two people cosplay as Indiana Jones and his father.
Two people cosplay as Indiana Jones and his father.

Enjoying life with ADHD via the Hokey Cokey

Previously on Hello Computer;

It’s annoying that ADHD/Autism means I can be super into something in a way that others can’t, but I have no control over it. What it would be like to let go and be in the moment.

Who knew this would happen a week later and I would learn something about myself while doing… the Hokey Cokey.

Recently my wife and I spent the weekend at Sci-Fi Weekender, located at a caravan park in Great Yarmouth. Everything is a two-minute walk away and judging from the number of people I saw with accessibility needs, quite accessible. It’s a weekend of interviews with people from the sci-fi (or for some reason this year, crime thriller/horror) world, geeky-themed dancing, comedy panels and cosplay. There was so much cosplay going on that at one point I thought there were only 10 people there constantly changing outfits.

As it was a self-contained safe space you could go to the restaurant in cosplay gear, sit at the bar in cosplay gear, nip to the shop in cosplay gear, and be you for a bit without judgement. I didn’t do any cosplay, but I was wearing different themes each day and pushing my outfits in a way I wouldn’t perhaps do outside the event. I wore a micro, not mini, skirt one night and bold blue leggings another. It was great to not overthink things, much, and just try out new looks. Incredibly, people did not look at me with fear. I was seen as normal with the occasional compliment to my look. It took a day to get used to that, to be seen in a positive way. 3 days without fear or anxiety. It was refreshing.

Of course, the moment I was back in the real world men were all confused and staring at me. It was a sobering walk in a skirt through the service station on the way home. People like me, shouldn’t have to live in a constantly anxious state. I spent 3 days without fear and I was able to operate as a person. I talked to strangers about all sorts of fun things and asked people if I could photograph them. I did the conga in a sparkly blue top and bold blue leggings, and the hokey cokey in a silver micro-skirt. For a moment, my head was engaged in simply having fun with life.

Having spent 18 hours in a wonderful safe space I was in such a good mood enjoying music from Victor and the Bully. They announced their last song, the Hokey Cokey. Before I could overthink, my wife and I joined hands to join in on the fun. I forgot I had another hand and that was grabbed by one of the main acts of the weekend - Madam Misfit. An amazing singer with incredible amounts of energy. “Oh dip.” There was no time to think about anything other than “How do you hokey cokey again… whoaaaaaaa Jesus a hokey cokey…” The left side of me was being operated by a performer. It was such a silly random moment and I had no option other than to try and keep up. As a 6 ft 5 person carrying 16 stone of weight and a camera bag, I always feel like I’m in the way which is maybe why I don’t dance much or get into the middle of a rave. No time for those thoughts. “Whoaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!”

What it would be like to let go and be in the moment.

Losing myself in that silliness was great. No time to think about how I looked to everyone else. Not that it should/would matter because I was in a room filled with cosplayers. How could I worry about if I looked silly when I’ve got a Starfleet Captain coming at me putting his right leg in and out to then shake it all about, while a Dalek is shaking it all about with Black Cat next to a clown and a Jawa. Everything was just silly, and I went all in. The next night we all did the conga. Gandalf, Geordie La’Forge, Doc Brown, R2D2 and I. To stop and go “Oh I’ll look weird” would have been stupid.

It’s annoying that ADHD/Autism means I can be super into something in a way that others can’t, but I have no control over it.

Maybe I have some control over it in that I can choose the events that will tickle my autistic special interests and positively engage my ADHD. While I enjoyed the gig I went to the other week, it did not activate those parts of my brain. When those parts aren’t activated in a good way, they can be triggered by external stimuli. I notice all the irritations around me and start to overthink and compare myself to others. I’m not in a negative space of depression, more I’m letting the bad side of my ADHD run wild. It needs certain things, which might include;

  • Something new
  • Something wondrous
  • Something connected to a special interest

Working as a photographer in the arts ticks these boxes, and that’s why I love it. For everything else in life, sometimes I’ll tap my foot to the beat and sometimes I’ll do the hokey cokey. I need to find the events that’ll get me putting my whole self in, and my whole self out, because that’s what it’s all about.

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