weekly wednesday blogging challenge

Hobbies I Used To Enjoy

This week’s Weekly Wednesday Blogging Challenge question is Hobbies I Used to Enjoy and uh… hi, my name’s Cassie and I have ADHD, allow me to introduce you to my hobby graveyard

So, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (or ADHD), for anyone who doesn’t actually know what it is or how it presents, is a mental health disorder that includes a combination of persistent problems, such as difficulty paying attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. And one of the major traits – especially in AFAB adults – is continually starting new tasks before finishing old ones. It’s a dopamine thing; the ADHD brain is constantly seeking the stimulation that will provide next hit of dopamine, and motivation is… difficult to sustain.

Although I would argue it’s not a deficit of attention – it’s the inability to control attention. If I’m doing something that’s giving the brain the happy juices, I can hyperfocus FOR hours – forget to move, eat, drink, anything.
On the other side of the coin, if it’s something that doesn’t give the dopamine, like idk paying bills, trying to corral the brain weasels is next to impossible – it’s not interesting, it’s not exciting, I can’t do it.

As a result, I’m always picking up new things, trying them, falling in love with them, buying all the things for it (we mentioned impulsivity, right?), making our entire personality about this thing, wanting to do it all the time, and then… discarding them when the next new shiny thing comes along to try. We call this a hyperfixation.

I fell into Duolingo hard. I was learning German, Italian and Welsh. I forked out for the paid account of Duolingo. I bought notebooks. I bought phrasebooks. I bought Richard Scarrey/Usbourne First Hundred Words books in the languages.
It lasted… maybe 6 weeks and all those books are languishing in my spare room.

Stardew Valley. I spent HOURS playing the game, I created multiple farms and multiple characters to play all the different variations of the story. I could literally – and I do mean literally sit for DAYS without doing anything else. Never intentionally, and there were times when I was sitting there thinking ‘Cassie, put the game down and go to sleep’, for example, but I couldn’t because there was SO MUCH HAPPY BRAIN JUICE.
That lasted… maybe 6 months.

Then the same thing happened with Animal Crossing. I played obsessively for 6 months, haven’t touched the game in nearly a year. And I found myself thinking the other week that I wanted to play again – but I don’t physically know how to pick it back up again.

Currently it’s Palia, and has been for 5 or so months. Like, we’re literally talking I UPGRADED MY LAPTOP TO PLAY THIS GAME. In a way, I’m really really glad I had it over the autumn when I was in so much pain with my hip because I don’t actually know how I’d have got through it. I’m still playing every single day and I have a fucking amazing spreadsheet tracking all the quests and stuff I’m doing in the game.

Then there’s the fear of the hyperfixation.

I’ve got one hell of a hyperfixation on Taylor Swift right now – I know I know – but was unsuccessful in the lottery and wasn’t able to buy tickets for the Eras tour. In August 2024. I still don’t know if I’m relieved about this or not because what if I’d spent £££s on tickets but by the time the gig rolled around, I’d lost interest?

Li and I went to Hobbycraft the other month and I picked up a whole bunch of kits of things I want to try – things that look fun. I spent probably £40-60 that day. It’s all sitting in the bag. Because what if I don’t like it? What if I DO like it? What if I try it and I’m no good at it.

And I’m terrified of the day that reading stops giving the dopamine hit.

So yeah. ADHD and abandoned hobbies. sigh I has them. All of them.