Beginnings are damned hard! Look at how long we had to wait for the rain. There were days, weeks, months of possibilities of rain. It finally came today, our first real rain on this 20th day of June. We rushed onto the deck to witness and rejoice.
I feel somewhat akin to the dammed up sky, full of possibilites but unable to deliver. It’s a most uncomfortable and perplexing feeling. I’ve had days, weeks and maybe months of this. I hope I don’t have to wait till winter before I can unleash my whatever it is. It will be such a fury by then. I wonder if I’m a manic depressive. Hmm. Or it is just my ADHD symptons of trouble organizing and starting a task having a field day.
I’m trying to relax, gather and organize my thoughts so as not to waste time and energy going every which way. That is one of my handicaps. In between gaps here, I’ve vacuumed a couple of rooms and washed some Chinese broccoli for our lunch. My attention span is short and jerky. Doing some 4-7-8 breathing helps to relax and slow me down to concentrate better. The exercise has many other benefits of sleeping better, relieving anxiety and improving cardiovascular health. It takes only minutes in a day.
I have to make more of an effort in showing up here. I’ve said that a few times already, haven’t I? I know what to do but sometimes I can’t do it. I need a visual, physical written out agenda. That’s what this blog is for me, a roadmap, my GPS for my daily life. I need to get up, dress up, show up and tap here regularly for my mental and physical health. When I tap out my thoughts, wonderings, wishings, doings, it makes grooves and pathways in my brain to guide me. They anchor and comfort me. I can see by the words, sentences and photos that I have not been idle and useless. I have been busy living my life as best as I can.
I’ve been feeling stuck, immobile, yucky and not getting anywhere. Sometimes feelings can be false and misleading. Somehow amidst all these feelings, I have put in a flower bed, a garden, raised vegetable beds, and a few flower pots here and there. The moral of the story is not to believe all your feelings. They can be your saboteurs.
April Fools’ Day and first day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. The participants are called upon to write a post a day for the month. I am still on standby mode, having difficulty to move boldly forward. I am hoping the challenge will snap me to attention and breathe some life into me. I have such difficulties with all of life on any given day. But I do try my best on most days.
I do not always succeed to rise above myself. Therefore I’ve learned to accept my failings as well. I do not stay down though. I do rise like the Phoenix from the ashes of my failures. I take the lessons learned and apply them to my new endeavours. Each day is a new beginning, a new slate. A failure is an experience, gained knowledge and wisdom. Nothing is wasted. Every effort is rewarded somehow. I am never hopeless.
What are some of my lessons learned?
I am not a high energy person. I cannot multi task. I cannot take on too much on any given day. It is wasted time and energy if I do.
I have an ADHD brain. It is just a great
big mess. I have problems with executive function – especially in managing paperwork and finances, creating schedules and meeting deadlines, checking details and tracking progress, ensuring consistent, steady, uniform output.
I know what I’m suppose to do. I just can’t do it. I need to sit down and write out a plan. I just haven’t done it yet. I need to start small to get going.
I’ve probably said all this last month. I’ve said it again this month. There’s no better time to actually do it than the present time. April is the hardest and cruelest month, a month of challenges, goal setting and doing what I said I would.
This morning I am wondering if my ADHD cluttered brain leads me towards the path of depression. It is a very sunny gorgeous morning and I am not at all happy to be a victim of my defective brain. I don’t like to be at the mercy of the weather and other forces. I want to be the captain of my ship. I am hoping I will have more control at the helm with my practice of mindfulness.
To tell the truth, after my morning routines of 20 minutes of this and that, I am at a loss as to what to do. I have ‘much to do’ but they are a ‘clutter’ in my head. I envy people who talked about spring cleaning and can actually get it done. Mostly I talk about it and can never get pass one room. It really ticks me off. Then I fall into gloom, overwhelmed thinking of the rooms, the windows, the closets and tables of clutter and dust. I wonder how I can get past it all.
This morning after I’ve vacuumed the floor of Sheba’s hair and duff, I made a quick sweep of dust in the living room and part of the kitchen. Then I had to stop for a cuppa. And here I am now, tapping out my anguish. I’m remembering to Stop, Take a breath and relax. I tried to Observe this present moment. What am I hearing, seeing and feeling. I am Proceeding forward. STOP.
What I know for sure is, I do not want to do a Marie Kondo. To me, it seems obscene for a consultant to charge $100/hour for a minimum of 5 hours and $50 worth of travel outside of New York City. I wonder how many clutter bugs suffer from ADHD. Would it not be less costly to treat that than spending the money on stuff and then getting rid of them. But I am digressing. How will I solve my problem?
The thing I can’t see is the big picture. The picture is a great big undifferentiated blob in my mind. I have to chop it up into small squares and tackle each square at a time – much like the way I put my tablecloth together. When someone gives me verbal directions to anywhere or how to do anything, my eyes glaze over after the second sentence. I have tried many times to listen more intently but to no avail. However if it is written down, I am able to follow. Ah! Here is my answer. I should put that in practice. I have to figure out what I want to accomplish, break down the steps and write them down. Then DO them.
I’ve recently recognized myself as having ADHD when I was listening to The Current on CBC Radio. Since then I’ve been listening to many lectures by Dr. Russell Barkley, an internationally recognized authority on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD) in children and adults. You can find them on his website or on YouTube. Rick Green is a Canadian comedian, satirist, actor, writer, and advocate for awareness of adult ADD. He is most well-known as co-creator of The Red Green Show. His website totallyadd.com contains a wealth of information.
So what have I done since I became aware of it in myself besides gathering all this information? I’ve been proactive in putting them into use since executing is my huge problem. Starting and stopping is also difficult for me. To stop overwhelm, I break things into small parts. To make a start in this space, I tap out a word, then a sentence. Sometimes it works. When it doesn’t, I get up and make myself a cuppa to settle the aggitation in my head.
I’m especially having trouble today. Not feeling super. I have so many f***king disorders. I’m not liking this sudden change to warmer temperatures. What a thing to complain about, eh? It’s a reality with me so I am learning to somehow thrive despite everything. I’m writing in that one inch picture frame that Anne Lamott talks about in Bird by Bird. It’s a very good book on writing and living. She writes:
“E.L. Doctorow said once said that ‘Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.’ You don’t have to see where you’re going, you don’t have to see your destination or everything you will pass along the way. You just have to see two or three feet ahead of you. This is right up there with the best advice on writing, or life, I have ever heard.”
I agree! It is the best dang advice for me, too. On many days I can’t see the whole picture, not the whole enchilada. I have to take a small bite at a time or else I could end up in a screaming malfunction. It’s not a pretty picture. I’m getting close to that point now. But before I stop, let me tell you that I’ve taken apart my Dyson Stick vacuum and cleaned all the parts and put them back together. A few days ago I phoned the company for a replacement part that was not working. I was delighted to find that I still have 7 months left on my warranty. The call took only minutes. In the past, I would not or could not have gotten there. Progress! But I have to keep at it.
I feel somewhat like Humpty Dumpty after his great fall. I am broken but I think I can put myself back together again. Last week I had this huge light bulb moment. It was at least 100 watts. I was sewing and listening to The Current on CBC radio. I heard this guy talking about his ADHD. He has this inability to hang up his towel to dry properly after a shower. It gets dropped to the floor. How he copes with this problem is to throw the towel in a hamper. That way, it would get laundered.
I perked up when I heard inability to pick up the towel. It might sound strange to people but not to me. I know that feeling well. Mine inability does not pertain to bath towels but other dropped objects. I have often wondered why it is so hard for me to bend down and pick it up. In my head it seems like an easy thing to do. In reality, I would look at it, walk around it, etc. for quite awhile before I could do it. It feels like a physical agony to bend over to pick up the object. I’ve often wondered about this peculiarity in me. It’s a relief to find that I’m not alone.
I’m glad to learn that it’s a brain thing. I probably knew that all along. What else could it be? I have no physical disability. But it’s been a huge struggle with ADL (activities of daily living). That’s what I talk about mostly, day in and day out. The same damn things and I’m almost still in the same damn spot. Not much improvement at all. It’s not that I don’t know what to do. I’ve done lots of research. I have lots of info, lots of how to. I’ve read a lot of books. Done lots of workshops.
The thing with me is: I know what to do but I fail at the performance point. I have to stop wasting my time gathering more instructions and information and use my time and energy to DO and follow through. I am just copying and pasting like in FB otherwise. I am not doing a damn thing towards my goal of executing an action. I’ve never really thought of myself having ADHD at all until now. But I answer a resounding YES to all these questions:
Do you have trouble paying attention and are you easily bored or distracted?
Is it hard for you to get organized?
Do you have trouble starting or finishing projects?
Do you dread paperwork and have trouble keeping up with your mail?
Do you frequently lose or misplace important items such as your keys or wallets?
Are you often late paying your bills and so charged with extra fees?
Do you frequently feel restless, have trouble relaxng and find that you have to keep busy all the time?
Do you need to change jobs more than others or have “too many interests”?
Do you interrup others when they are speaking or blurt things out even when you don’t want to?
Is it hard for you to manage your time well or not be chronically late?
Are you often bored, impatient, easily frustrated, or have trouble with emotional ups and downs?
These questions are from The Mindfulness Prescription for Adult ADHD. The author advises to do something different and not to skip the introductions or skip ahead. I am already having trouble with that. I often skip ahead. Sometimes I read the ending before I could finish the book. I think I have ADHD bad. I am a high functioning malfunctional person. On the outside I could pass for a successful person. I have done well in school and on the job. I’ve paid a high price for it. Now I want life not to be so difficult.
Having a name to my ‘condition’ and that aha moment helps alot. I’m on a mad tear on learning as much as I can. I have trouble starting and equal difficulty in stopping as well. Dr. Russell Barkley’s lectures on YouTube on ADHD are excellent. He calls ADHD the diabetes of the brain. It is a chronic condition. I’m going to stop here while I can.