PART TWO: “I’M NOT A BAD GUY. I’M DOPAMINE CHALLENGED.”

Knowing eliminates suffering

In my previous Blog I noted, somewhat awkwardly, that knowing I have a place for my car keys doesn’t  mean they’re always there.  Or, when life gets nuts, even mostly there.

For example, ahem, I’ve had to borrow Ava’s key for the past two weeks.  Not the end of the world.  And yet, as I noted in the previous blog, it can fee like it.

ADHD can be such a pain.  Knowing what’s going on doesn’t automatically prevent me from making the same mistakes over and over again.  And again.

If knowing doesn’t lead to doing, why bother learning about ADHD?  Not just knowing that I score top of the class for Problems With Attention, Impulsivity, and Restlessness, but actually understanding the neurology?

Because it saves me from a lot of suffering.

We’re heading out to the airport.  We’re on a tight schedule.  Flying to Pennsylvania to give a big speech.  Everything’s packed.  And I can’t find my keys.  “Really? Oh man!”  I snap into aggravation, upset, or despair, “How dumb can I be?  How can I possibly produce TV shows if I can’t even find my stinking car keys?!  I shouldn’t even bother…”

A dozen years ago that torrent of torment would have gone unchecked and unchallenged for minutes. Hours.  Days.  Years.

Now, I can cut it off.  Sometimes in less than a minute.  Sometimes in seconds.  It gets better with practice snd happens less often because I do have a place for my car keys.  And one for my wallet, as well as others for the camera, receipts, phone, mail, memorabilia, ideas, tools…

Breaking the negativity transforms your brain

I interrupt the negativity.  What therapists call the Shame Spiral, or Loser Loops, or Self-Esteem Toilet Flush Swirling.  I realize, this is just neurology.  Chemistry.  Or lack of chemistry.  Click, I can switch off the upset.  Amazing, right?

It’s miraculous. “Oh, right, this upset is pointless, wasteful, and useless dramatics.” (Hysterics might be a better term.)

And here’s what’s amazing, new research is showing that being able to switch to positivity does miraculous things to you brain.  Everything from protecting your heart, increasing your immunity, and even improving your peripheral vision.  (So when I’m in a snit, I’ll be far less likely to notice where my keys are! Incredible, right?)

STAY CALM AND FIND YOUR KEYS

Research is proving that positivity is more than feeling better.  You are better emotionally, spiritually, and physically. It’s the key to success, health, productivity, and creating a life that matters.  And the opposite is true.  If you’ve ever been in Depression you know it’s a whole-body experience: stomach aches, pains, headaches, and more.  Your view of life narrows.  Your ability to imagine dries up, you can’t focus, become forgetful, and lose motivation and memory… In fact, you start to look like you have ADHD.

By interrupting the negatives you prevent damage to your mind and your body.

So for me, knowing what ADHD is gives me the ability to stop, interrupt, and reframe what’s going on. And all that energy I used to waste on anger, frustration, blame, and shame?  I get to save that for something better.  Which covers pretty much anything else.

Best

Rick Green

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6 Replies to “PART TWO: “I’M NOT A BAD GUY. I’M DOPAMINE CHALLENGED.””

  1. It’s easier when you are with a non-judgemental person who isn’t also freaking out…that doesn’t help at all! However taking care of the first judgemental person (me) is a step in the right direction alright.
    I am posting this blog on Facebook for all my long suffering friends and family to see…..hey it couldn’t hurt 😉
    thanks Rick

  2. That ability to pause and re-frame the way you see a situation is incredibly powerful. Once you see it from a different angle, you’re able to understand it better.

    So, instead of just helplessly worrying about it, you can do something to make it better. Maybe not *completely* better, but better.

    Here’s an amazing example of someone who courageously did just that:

    http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2013/04/28/carpenter_prepares_for_death_and_finds_immortality_in_his_homemade_casket.html

  3. I appreciate this a lot. It is hugely frustrating to continue to face the same sense of overwhelm, and the fact that my life is out of control, and I can’t fix it. Plus, I have special places where I keep my things, like keys – yet somehow managed to remove two important items from their usual place without having conscious awareness or memory of having done so…and then went bonkers trying to find them. Staying positive is important and definitely helps. I’m trying to accomplish some things that are difficult for so-called “normal” people, and it helps to remind myself that it is difficult and that’s to be expected and to not PANIC. Because that panic, not being able to take getting TEMPORARILY derailed in stride, complicates things. Shame is still a huge issue for me. But it’s better not to PANIC about feeling shame.

  4. This is timely indeed. I have lost the keys to the locker room in my condo, I was just assigned a new bigger unit and cannot move into it until I either find the keys or go to the president of council. As I am newish here…the old “shame” creature with all the old dialogue tends to perk its evil little head to lecture the soul. Yes reframing with new dialogue does help…lots of self talk, compassion and also reactivation is now to do something…oh yes, also lost a new prescription from the new doctor I went to a week ago…put that in a “safe” place. My goodness: Yoga Laughter is needed for this abode ! Thank you for sharing; I feel more normal with the similar actions & feelings: like a Talking Stick.

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