Rethinking My Internal Nemesis

Jonita Davis
4 min readApr 24, 2022

Until recently, I have always seen the impulse part of my ADHD as a burden-more like an Achilles heel. I could be sailing along in great relationships with my friends, really rocking the productivity at work, and just smashing it out of the park in my scheduling and time management. That is the moment when my impulsivity decides to drop in and say, “Hey!” This is where the problems occurred and also the root of the nemesis distinction.

Impulse always comes in, to f*ck sh*t up when I am really at my best, and producing. It’s like that relative who always comes over when you’ve cooked a good meal or when you’ve earned a big bonus. They come under the guise of helping, but the result is always damage, destruction, and derailment. All the food is gone and somehow half the bonus. Or so I thought.

Recently, I had a chance to revise my relationship with my nemesis, impulsivity. I met someone who wanted to hire me to write for their website. We talked via email. and somehow it led to texting. Pretty soon, not a lot was being said about the project. Then, one day, after a text that had nothing to do with writing for this person’s site, I said, “I just got another big project so I won’t be able to work on your project.”

No thoughts or decisions preceded this text reply. It just happened before I realized it. That’s how impulsivity works. Well, this person grew angry and I ended up having to block them. Turns out, the emails and texts were never about a gig. My nemesis saved me the headache of further dealing with this person.

That’s when I realize that I only dwell on the negative impulses that come with my neurodivergence. However, there are several times that impulsivity has saved me from otherwise negative outcomes. I went as far back as my teens years.

One evening, a friend from school rolled up in a car full of people I didn’t know. They were also the type of people I would never go around. I was a book nerd and A-student. This friend was also one of those people I hung out with at school but we never spoke once off the bus. This is despite living super close. She lived fast and hard for a 14-year-old. I could not.

That day, my parental figure was preoccupied with his own nonsense, and my mother was gone. Usually, my mother never let me go anywhere…

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Jonita Davis

Jonita Davis is a writer, film critic, and professor. She’s a member of NABJ, AAFCA, a Rotten Tomatoes critic, author, DetourXP Columnist.