That’s an odd title for this blog post, proclaiming that I can’t read. Because obviously I can read, I wouldn’t be able to type this if I couldn’t. So let me better explain. I can read but reading is extremely difficult, always has been. Unless you give me something that really captures my interest and give me a few hours of uninterrupted total silence, reading is a near impossible feat.
It’s odd, however, once I get started reading something, it’s nearly impossible to pull me away from it. My friends and family have had entire conversations with me where I had no idea what they were saying because I was so engrossed in whatever it is I am reading. This phenomenon is known as hyperfocus, something that is often not discussed with ADHD. I become so engrossed in whatever it is that I am reading, I lose track of the world around me. I have gone hours without moving, just staring at a book, without stopping for any breaks. More information about ADHD and hyperfocus can be found here.
This talent more or less in recent years has begun to diminish. It’s more the issue of finding the time to start the book than it is to be able to focus on it. With the advancements in technology, my phone or my laptop are usually calling to my attention than my books. And also, when I was younger, I didn’t have access to the information that the internet offers us today, I learned everything by reading. But now, I can find out facts, figures, and stories with a click of a button, usually in a more easy to read and shorter format. With this, I don’t fall into the hyperfocused trap that pulls me away from the world. So when people ask me to read something that is longer than a few paragraphs, I usually just tell them that “I can’t read” because it’s easier than explaining why reading is so difficult for me.