Winter 2024 • Vol. XLVI No. 1 NonfictionNovember 28, 2023 |

Flight Risk

The truth is, I wanted it to be something that sounded complex, something that matched how I felt on the inside. “But I just don’t think we should rule out ADHD,” the psychologist would say gently, after I had rambled about another episode from my past. No, I would think. Not that alphabet soup. Too simple, too childish.  Whenever the acronym ADHD appears, I want to shuttle it aside and dress it up the way I lived it for thirty-six years, before a test decided what it was: Restlessness. An at-times maddening, at-times inspired, almost holy revving that ignores (or takes as a challenge) the limits of body, energy, sleep, and time. A restlessness akin to the mania of bipolar disorder, which I believed I had inherited from my mother’s side of the family. Bipolar disorder was a complexity I felt more prepared to understand. I quickly realized that was in jeopardy when my heart raced in response to one of the ADHD assessment questions: Do you often feel as if you’re dri

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Photo of Emily Stoddard

Emily Stoddard is a past recipient of The Kenyon Review Developmental Editing Fellowship for Emerging Writers in creative nonfiction, and leads workshops as an affiliate of Amherst Writers & Artists. Her work has appeared in Belt Magazine, Tupelo Quarterly, The Baltimore Review, Nimrod, Whitefish Review, and elsewhere. Her debut book of poetry, Divination with a Human Heart Attached (Game Over Books), was released in 2023.

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The truth is, I wanted it to be something that sounded complex, something that matched how I felt on the inside. “But I just don’t think we should rule out […]

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