I will begin by making an assumption. There is risk in assuming, but I am mildly confident in my conclusions. After a relatively short period of contemplation, I am willing to infer that most of my readers will be familiar with ADHD, OCD, PTSD and the many other acronyms appearing in pharmaceutical commercials. There are a number of great blogs available on these subjects, for example you should read this blog about ADHD and Homework if you are interested. As concerning are the tragic stories about misdiagnosis of PTSD. If you are concerned you or a loved one might suffer from PTSD, the blog What PTSD taught me about doc’s might prove very helpful. This blog touches on neither of these subjects, and I do not intend to make light of any mental health issue. The reason these words appear on your screen is because I have my own affliction. I “suffer” from MDE syndrome.
What’s that? You have never heard of MDE. Well, I am positive you know someone who has MDE. MDE, or Must Do Everything, syndrome almost certainly affects some percentage of the population, yet medical diagnosis is uncommon. Formal recognition is so rare a search of the American Journal of Medicine and the American Psychiatric Journal returned no positive results. With such little research and almost no attention, I am sure you are wondering how I know of my “malady.” To help explain, I will relate a few instances from my life that illustrate MDE syndrome.
In my early 20’s I lived, worked and went to college in the shadow of the Big A. For those of you unfamiliar with the Los Angeles/California/Anaheim/Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, just to the east of the stadium, and visible for miles around, is a large A. This alphabetic monolith is topped by a halo, which surrounds the apex and is lit up when the beloved home team secures a win. Many a spring and/or summer evening was spent lounging in the stadium’s seats, eating a hot dog and enjoying the company of friends. Often, for additional amusement, my compatriots and I would endeavor to guess the manager’s next decision. For example, will the batter bunt, or should a relief pitcher begin warming up. It began as simple entertainment, yet due to increased attention or simple luck, my predictions became much more accurate. I began to believe I could manage a baseball team. I thought to myself, ‘I want to do that’. The following spring, my friends and I were at little league tryouts, evaluating 9 and 10 year old baseball players.
In every life there are turning points. Major events, which upon reflection, contribute to our present condition. Sometimes these waypoints in our life are momentous, and other times they are as insignificant as a book purchase. Yes, a book purchase. A few years after beginning my Little League managerial career, I bought a book. When I saw the book on the shelf I picked it up because it looked interesting, but I could not imagine the impact it would have on my life. Written by Durwood Merrill and Jim Dent, “You’re Out and You’re Ugly Too,” is a collection of mostly true anecdotes and subtle hyperbole, detailing the professional umpire career, and life, of Mr. Durwood Merrill. I devoured every word and upon finishing thought to myself, ‘Professional umpire, I want to do that.’ 18 months later I found myself in Kissimmee, Florida learning the art of baseball officiating.
For five years I roamed the country calling balls and strikes. I experienced some of the great places in the United States. Also included in my adventures were stops in places that are, shall we say, interesting and off the beaten path. My time on the road was simultaneously rewarding and challenging. Eventually all good things must come to an end and so too did my professional career. I walked off the field one sunny late summer afternoon in Clearwater, Florida feeling no regrets, and eager to see what the next phase of my life had in store for me.
Fast forward to the year 2012. Many notable events occurred during the year, but one of the most important, globally, was the London Olympics. I am a sucker for international sporting events. The pride and passion of athletes competing for their country creates intense sporting drama. One afternoon I found myself enjoying a beer in a patio bar. All of the televisions in the establishment were tuned to various Olympic events. One event caught my eye and kept my attention throughout the remainder of the afternoon. To me, fencing embodied power, grace, and finesse. I was hooked and I began to wonder if there were fencing clubs in my area. I thought to myself, ‘I want to do that.’
The above three examples are a small sampling of my MDE symptoms. My wife repeatedly reminds me about prioritizing. If it weren’t for her keeping me mentally grounded I would probably never sleep. I am consistently frustrated concerning the lack of time, as it always seems there are not enough hours in the day. But, alas, every time I write a letter to a congress, they are unable to add any hours to the day.
So, we have arrived at the end of the blog, and many of you may be wondering why I choose to discuss MDE syndrome. The answer to your query is this is my response to a question. I was asked to consider why I blog. Simply put, I love creating with the written word and after reading many blogs I started to think to myself, ‘I can do that.’
Do you suffer from MDE? What are your passions in life? Share your thoughts in the comments section. Thank you for stopping by.