By Rick Green
So here’s the ADHD dilemma. Or at least, my ADHD dilemma. I’m behind in stuff. In a lot of stuff. Not always. And not everywhere. But especially before I got the diagnosis and started working on this, most of the time I was in overwhelm, playing catch-up, handling the next urgent crisis and doing whatever had the next immediate deadline.
I used adrenaline to self medicate. And it worked. Mostly. It worked in the sense that stuff usually got delivered on time. Seven hundred episodes of television and radio were delivered on time, because, well, they had to be. There was a deadline. And no broadcaster is willing to put nothing on the air. ‘Battle of The Test Patterns’ is not going to fly with anyone. So it had to be delivered and it was.
Family vacations I promised to be part of, visits with friends, commitments to clubs or family or even proposals for new ideas and new programs… all those fell by the wayside.
Bills and paperwork? When it got bad enough, it got handled. Again, adrenaline.
Now I’m putting structures in place. Routines to handle the routine stuff, the boring stuff, the stuff I am not good at. I’m handing things off, or breaking them down, or hiring someone else to do it. And I’ve resisted hiring someone, because, well, it’s boring, routine stuff, I should be able to do that when I’m tired and need a break, some kind of mindless activity. But doing tax paperwork is not mindless. It takes concentration and a level of interest I can’t muster. No matter how hard I try.
What’s ridiculous is that I kept trying for decades, convinced I could finally do it, especially once I had the diagnosis. “Ah, now I understand why I hate doing billing and invoicing. Now I get what’s going on. So now I’ll be able to master it.”
Nope. Not a chance.
Knowing isn’t doing. If it was, no one would eat too much. Cause we know it’s not good for us.
Knowledge is not power if it just remains information you know.
And I know a ton of information. Especially about my ADHD.
The hardest thing for me these days is letting go of stuff, and not seeing it as a failure, but rather seeing it as a huge weight I’m letting go of, a burden I’m not longer having to carry, and a sword that is no longer dangling over my head waiting for the next urgent letter from the tax department. I re-framed it in my mind. I’m not abandoning this. Or failing. It’s actually a gift I’m giving myself. It costs a bit of money to have a bookkeeper keep my books. But it costs me that much every month in fines for late filing! Madness, right?
Are there places where you’re struggling, trying to power your way through, simply because you have that belief that seems so common amongst ADD adults, that you should be able to do this, because it’s simple, and you’re smart, and heck, it’ll actually be a way to build willpower?
What could you let go of?
Even better, what would you do with the time and energy you free up?
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