Dr. Umesh Jain is now exclusively responsible for TotallyADD.com and its content

In The Abyss or In The Zone. Turning a Frustrating Challenge into a Game.

So we are working on a sequel to ADD & Loving It?! A Part 2. The next step.  Taking it to the next level.

ADD & Loving It?! won awards because it dared to suggest ADHD & ADD are real, they’re impairing, they run in families, they can ruin families, they show up in odd and unsuspecting ways, they’re tricky to diagnose, knowing you have it can save your life, and there’s a ton that can be done to manage ADHD.

But it’s not easy.

Thus, the next video, ADD & Mastering It! Hopefully ready for June and airing on PBS stations starting in August and September.  A week ago, I would have said that was a pipe dream. I was stuck.  In overwhelm.  I was walking through the valley of the shadow of deadlines.

We’d hit a huge problem. Two competing ideas that couldn’t be stitched together. One was an introduction to the basics of ADHD, a whole separate. The other was a video about what to do about ADD. A slew of tools, tips, strategies and ways to transform not only your habits, but your view of the ‘disorder’.

We couldn’t just get to the good stuff, the tips, we had to include some background, get people up to speed. But it wasn’t working. It felt like you had to sit through a lesson before the fun began.

Our regular editor Jimi is off in Europe.  Ava, an editor by trade, was too busy with a thousand other things around revamping the website. (Ohhhh, lots coming!) So I called my friend Marcus, another great editor, and we hammered away at the project for four days. (And this was after weeks of editing with Jimi, before he traipsed off to nibble on bonbons in Paris.)

Finally, Marcus looked at me and said, very diplomatically, “I think we’re trying to force this.” That was an understatement. I could feel it. I’d been trying to force it for days. I was waking up in the night, thinking about it, I was going 12 hours a day with no real progress.

Force doesn’t work. If it has to be forced, there’s something wrong. I know this. Or I knew it, but of course when I’m in the middle of a deadline and trying to cut things together that were never meant to go together… well, who has time to think, let alone eat, breathe or go to the bathroom.

Overwhelmed, I’d look at the same shots on the monitor and in the editing timeline, asking, again and again, “What was this one?… Oh, right… What was before it?… Oh, right…” My brain was now concrete mixed with chewing gum, tar and asbestos. A good sign that I was stuck was that I was afraid to cut out anything. It’s like when you get clutter in your house. This was clutter on the editing screens. How could I cut something out when I wasn’t sure what I was doing, how it was going to work and what I might need?

Easy to de-clutter if you know that you are specifically moving from a big house to a small bungalow, or a one bedroom apartment, or a small van. Once you have the parameters a lot of the decisions are made for you. “This 14 foot L-Shaped, couch is not going to fit in our mobile home.”

So try as I might, trying wasn’t working. “We’re trying to make this into something it’s not.” Marcus was being polite. And I knew he was right. He didn’t suggest we abandon weeks of work. He let me decide that. Sigh….


I stopped fighting, stopped pushing and sat back. I started asking questions. We bandied about ideas. Suddenly, something clicked. I had a notion, then had a cascade of ideas flow out of it. Marcus could instantly tell I was on to something. Twenty minutes later ideas where tumbling out so fast I was having to scribble them down and two hours later… I was energized, in the zone, having fun, making connections, and now clearly able to toss one choice clip after another. “We’ll save that for the website. That’s a whole separate video…. We don’t need to explain this… We need a couple of Hallowell clips that aren’t here, I’ll go find them… Actually, John Ratey has a great example of that… “

And so it went.

What had become a draining, frustrating challenge turned into an exciting game. Like putting together a giant jigsaw puzzle. Only we weren’t trying to match the photograph on the cover of the jigsaw box, we were creating a whole new picture. A moving picture.

We went the rest of the day and all the next day, and it was joyful. I didn’t’ stop for lunch until late afternoon. And that, my friends, is not like me.

Tomorrow we’re back at it. And it’s fun. Exciting. I’m in the zone.

But to get here, to where we should be, to what is working and easy and flows naturally… we had to struggle, and then we had to be willing to stop, realize it wasn’t working, and step back. And then, start over.

And all those days we spent editing up to that point? A waste? Nope. The process. The game. Playful. Alas, I had lost sight of that and gotten all serious. Deadlines.

A reminder to play, to make sure every moment is fun, and to not get attached to one idea, one point of view, one belief, or even what you think are ‘the facts.’



ADHD Community

For as little as the cost of a cup of coffee a month you can take part in live Patreon community discussions with Rick Green + see our new videos first + other perks

ADHD Video

TotallyADD.com is an independent website created & owned by Big Brain Productions Inc. (Rick Green).  We tell you this because so many people ask if pharmaceutical companies paid for any of this and the answer is absolutely not.  Purchases in our shop, and our Patreon community pays for content creation.

Suggested Posts


  1. ADDcoachCandace May 6, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Great story Rick. What an eloquent description of the difference between a joyous struggle, and a struggle that’s just a plain old draining pain. Working hard is no guarantee that we’re doing the right thing or moving in the right direction.
    I agree that if we have to ask, “Are we having fun yet?”, we’re probably not, and it’s time to switch tracks or tactics.
    Have fun. Can’t wait for the unveiling!
    Candace Taylor

  2. Orion May 7, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Cooool! I can’t wait!.

  3. Gary May 8, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    Ok, I just want to say Rick’s description of neural overload – What was this one?… Oh, right… What was before it?… Oh, right…” My brain was now concrete mixed with chewing gum, tar and asbestos” is spot on. The harder you push it, the firmer it becomes. I’ve finally learned I’m far better off to back away and hit it fresh another day- that is, once I recognize what it is I’m wading in.
    Oh, regarding the upcoming sequel, it’s happy-dance time !
    No pressure- just know that, as i write this, there are thousands of people lining up in front of their PBS affiliates (think Apple iEvent scale queues) hoping to be the first to own a copy.
    Hmmmm….med’s have worn off. Time to reload.

  4. McNalley May 20, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    I look forward to a sequel. Keep working on it — many will enjoy it. One idea — Let Canadians know how to access medical support for ADD in the different provinces. I live in AB and to find anywhere in the province specialist in the area is exhausting. One psychiatrist in Edmonton so far is the only contact and she is so overworked and so ADD that when you can get an appointment success is dependent on how regulated she is at the time. Further, there are so many GP’s who roll their eyes at the ADD medication profiles. Presently, I am going through hell trying to withdraw from Paxil which was part of the med routine two years ago with Adderall and a series of other drugs. The more I read in bookstores, and on line the more scary the whole scenario becomes. If your sequel could also give educators direcction on how to help young adults get the help they need that would be so welcome. To just say find a doctor is like sending a troubled youth from the sidelines and into the fire. Even information on which psychologists have some training in the ADD area would help. The online possibilities are endless, but they are riddled with so much junk and unsupported research/evidence that someone finding help just keeps going in circles. Not to mention that unless you are willing to wait ten months to a year you can’t even get into a specialist (and then whether ADD is an area of current training and focus is questionable). We need your media support. ADD and Loving It brought so much attention (much needed – thank you) but the increase in demand and need by potential patients is very problematic in matching that demand with trained medical people who can deal with the demand. I am actively seeking help in Vancouver and Tornoto but that is very difficult when you are not a permanent resident in those provinces. Any comments on this much appreciated.

Leave A Comment