Mindset

What Do You Hate about ADHD?

I recently finished reading 10 Things I Hate about ADHD (Plus 10 more) by Bryan Hutchinson. In case you haven’t heard, I recently made Bryan’s list of top ADD blogs, which I am (super) proud of. Check it out here at ADDer World.

Now before you assume this post is merely a gratuity for the honour he bestowed me, let me snuff out your suspicion. I have read several of Bryan’s previous books and enjoyed them immensely. Quite simply, Bryan is a funny writer. Plus, he is a very generous person who has his given a lot of his time to the online ADHD community. He has a way of making people feel like they have found a friend in him, and that shines through in his writing.

If there was an adjunctive reason for me to review his book (apart from the fact that I enjoyed it), it would be this:

We (ADDers) have been misunderstood for most of our lives. Sometimes, just feeling understood – like somebody else “gets” us – can be a more powerful than many years of therapy. And its certainly better than the ass-kicking we give ourselves. 

If there was one book that could bring you face-to-face with your ADHD personified, this book would be it. Bryan, as always, does a fantastic job of bringing ADHD to life with his witty prose. Are there laugh-out-loud moments in this book? You bet. And also some cringe-worthy ones, but then – haven’t we all had more than our share of those too?

10 Things I Hate About ADHD is concise – a perfect read for the impatient mind. But don’t be fooled by its brevity. Its impact is far-reaching in its objective to show us we are (definitely) not alone in the crazy quirkiness of our ADHD lives. Each of the 20 things he mentions are things that drive me crazy about ADHD too. I won’t spoil the book for you (go get it here!), but I’ll bet they are the things that you hate too.

I spend a lot of time writing about acceptance and embracing the positive side of ADHD, so it’s hard to admit to the things I hate about it. Nevertheless, there ARE things I hate, and I wonder if you hate them too?

I hate the restlessness. I hate how, at times, NOW is never good enough. I am always reaching for the next thing or eagerly pursuing the next moment rather than being in the present. Hell, I can’t even have a good time without wondering what is going to happen when the good time is over. (BTW, when is this post going to be over? I was ready to start painting my basement door three paragraphs ago!)

I hate not being able to transition. I hate when I am really into whatever I am doing, but have to stop. It violates all the tasks I do afterwards. All I can do is perseverate on getting back to that thing I was doing before. Likewise, I hate it when I have no perseverance. My kids would tell you that hanging out with me is a kind of playtime speed-dating – we do lots of things together, but nothing for longer than 12 and a half minutes.

 

Lastly, I hate the impatience. In fact, I can’t stand one more second of life with impatience! No one understands the ills of waiting like an ADDer. Our minds run like the bus in the movie Speed – if you take your foot off the gas for one second, the whole thing is going to blow. And if it does, its taking everyone else with it!

Those are my top three, but I am more curious about you. What are the things you hate the most about ADHD? Or, what things have you learned to stop hating over the years? Tell us all in the comments below. But please hurry up, I can’t wait a second longer for your reply because I have other things I need to move on to! 😉

Mindset

ADHD Restlessness – Sit & Stay Is Not Just For Dogs Anymore

If you’re restless and you know it clap your hands. If you’re restless and you know it stomp your feet. If you’re restless and you know it and you really want to show it, if your restlessness and you know it, do something else!

Doing something else has been the story of my life.

“What are you doing?” someone asks.

“I’m looking for something else to do, that’s what I’m doing”, I say.

I’m not talking about the distractible part of my ADHD brain. I can be completely focused and still have the urge to move on to the next thing. Even when I am interested in that thing I am doing, I still feel compelled to do something else. I can be having fun, a lot of fun for crying out loud, and still be thinking “When is this fun going to be over so I can move on to the next thing?”

This Restlessness has a Siamese twin following it everywhere. She is called Impatience and let me tell you: she is a b*tch. But I won’t get started on her right now. These two hijackers seemed to have permanent residency status in my psyche. Meaning, they are the part of my ADHD I have yet to achieve significant mastery over.

You too?

My ADHD Restlessness… is not what I thought

Recently I had an epiphany about those crazy sisters Restlessness and Impatience. Through talking with my own coach, I discovered a new awareness about myself. This was following a cognitive preference survey I took, and learned a few things about myself I had not known previously. Or paid much attention to anyway.

I am built on forward motion. It is a fibre that is weaved through every cell of my being. This is the H part of my ADHD. It doesn’t always look like it on the outside, but inside that engine is always revving. Always looking forward, always moving forward. I don’t dwell on the past because I can’t go back in time. But I can get to the future if I keep moving, so guess where I dwell?

It’s not necessarily helpful. You can’t stop and smell the proverbial roses in the future because it hasn’t happened yet. And who cares? By the time I reached the roses I would have already started looking for the lilacs anyway.

Mindfulness practice has helped, to a certain extent. But not as much a conversation with my coach did.

See, I thought I needed to master my restlessness. Find a way to manipulate and manage it, the way I have done with my organization skills and attention span. This is a perfect example of how a one-size-fits-all approach will never work, especially when you’re trying to fit the “size” on ADHD.

The logic behind my view of restlessness was that I needed a better “strategy”. Not so. See, it’s not so much that I need to be moving. It’s that I need (NEED!) to be going somewhere. I simply need to be going. And I’m seldom happy for long when I get there, and that’s why I am eternally searching for the next thing.

So in the end, I didn’t need a strategy, I needed a way to re-frame this restlessness. I wanted desperately to be able to sit and play with my kids, be in the moment with them, and not feel the constant urge to tidy up the toys or start a load of laundry. I wanted a way that I could enjoy laying on the beach, without continually thinking about moving on to another beach or wondering if we should have chosen some other outing for the day.

I wanted to be able to sit and stay.

Here was the clincher for me. In order to sit and stay, I needed to honour my need for forward movement, which can also be expressed as “growth” or “making gains”. By focusing on the personal growth I am achieving through sitting and staying, just a little bit longer than I normally would, I have learned to linger.

This lingering is helping me move forward in leaps and bounds on some major personal and relationship goals I have. I am turning my challenge in on itself, leveraging it is a strength.

I needed to see “staying” from a different perspective. With every moment I am able to linger, when old fibres compel me to move on, I am going forward personally – further than I have ever gone before. Because going is really about growing.

Tell me about your restlessness, where it shows up and how you manage it. Have you had any other challenges that you’ve turned in to strengths? Share your experiences in the comments below.