On one of my Facebook groups for moms with ADHD, the topic of counting sheep came up. We collectively remain unsure if counting sheep works for neurotypical people or not, but we came to the conclusion that it doesn’t work for those of us with ADHD. So, for your amusement, I am listing here our account of what happens when we ADHDers count sheep.
“My sheep turn into other animals or forget all about the fence and go off doing other things.” –Bethany
“I always think, ‘Where are these sheep? Who do they belong to? Why are they jumping the fence? Should we stop them from jumping over the fence? Is that how sheep actually look when they jump? What is this fence made out of?’ etc., etc., etc.” –Jillian
“ Every time the sheep try to jump, they jump straight into the threshold head first. I can’t for the life of me get an imaginary lamb to successfully clear the jump! I never even get to count to two! They have always done this to me!” –Stephanie
“I have always wondered what was so relaxing about counting sheep, and how on earth anyone could fall asleep with such chaos and mayhem?” –Brandi
“Counting sheep has never made sense to me. I never get past five because they always wander off and get into trouble…” –Stacey
“I could never get past figuring out why the stupid sheep are jumping a fence. What’s the point of the fence if the sheep can jump over. And if they can jump the fence, why would they do it one at a time. Wouldn’t they as the mood led them? Why isn’t the shepherd paying attention to the fact his sheep are all escaping, one at a time? Nope. I think the sheep actually keep me up later.” –Jenn
“Mine jump faster than I can’t count. It’s all just a blur.” –Rachel
“My sheep float away into space.” –Sarah
“My sheep never do what they’re told either! They jump sideways, or run off!” –Jenny
“My sheep talk back.” –S
“When I was a kid….all the way through my high school years…. I always just told myself a story. That worked so well for me as a child. Almost too well…there were times that I couldn’t wait to get to bed because I wanted to continue my story! Never, ever did I finish them. I just changed to a new plot when I got bored of them.” –Tina
“My sheep don’t go over the fence because they start chatting with the other sheep and don’t notice a wolf sneaking up. The shepherding dog desperately tries to get their attention but they keep talking and all the sudden are running for their lives and then…” –Randie
“My sheep usually try hard to jump this fence but just can’t do it. Either they don’t have the skills or the fence grows as they are jumping. And then I get angry and give up trying to jump my sheep.” –J
“My sheep crash into things! Also I have a lot of anxiety about when I inevitably lose track of the sheep. Was that 4 sheep or 6?? (If I get that far.) How will I know if some of my sheep have wandered off if I lose track while I am counting them??” –Rebekah
“Mine stop and start asking questions like ‘Why do we have to jump? It’s exhausting!’ and ‘Who chooses the order in which we jump? Maybe I wanted to be number 62 not 3.’” –Jessica
“Are they going to be safe on the other side??” –Chelsea
“I can count sheep, but after like three, my mind forgets there are sheep and wanders to something else. They’re probably still jumping, I’m just not paying any attention to them!” –Stacy
This is a glimpse into the mind of a person with ADHD. Our brains work like this 24-7, and we greatly struggle to shut them off. I hope you found this entertaining and insightful. You’re welcome –I think.
P.S. All the quotes are used by permission. Thanks to the ladies from Homeschool Moms with ADHD Facebook group for their contribution to this post.