Rick Green – Founder of TotallyADD
@blackdog, I found it so hard to read what you’ve written because I’ve been there myself. And though my story is different the emotions you are experiencing are familiar to everyone of us I suspect. Regret. Anger. Despair. Glimmers of Hope. Then waves of hopelessness. Frustration. Exhaustion. One step forward and two steps back. A feeling that nothing is getting better… even though others around you may see improvement. And even dismissing every step forward as a fluke or no big deal. Or not enough. Not meaningful. Nothing to be proud of.
When this happens to me there is only one way out. Getting out of my head. Speaking it aloud to my coach, or my wife, or even just doing what you’re doing and writing it down. And then taking apart each sentence I’ve written, questioning whether it is in fact the immutable truth, or could there be a better explanation, or a better perspective.
I wonder also if there isn’t a streak of idealism and perfectionism in most ADHD folks, and whens something doesn’t work out exactly as we imagined, we deem it a failure, or rather, we deem ourselves as failures. For a long time I could barely stand to watch a lot of the television shows I made because they were never as good as I’d hoped. Or if something really did work, it only made me think, “Why couldn’t it have all been as good as that? I should have tried harder. Or planned better. Or done another draft of the script…”
I do know that when I worry alone it gets worse and worse and worse. When I can speak it aloud even to myself, it sounds different. And when I speak it to a good coach or therapist who doesn’t try to convince me that, “Hey, it’s not the end of the world. Look at the bright side,” but instead gets that, “I can see this is really upsetting you,” which is true, then I’m willing or able to see that while it’s true that I REALLY am feeling despondent, the thoughts that lead me to this feeling may not be true. They may just be an interpretation based on a lifetime of seeing the glass half empty, of trying to measure up and be like everyone else, and having these lofty goals and ambitions which are find and dandy, but which make me miserable.
Dunno if any of this helps. But I’m really glad you found the courage to share your thoughts. You did a very good thing here. And I know thousands of people will read your post and hear themselves.
Please keep us posted.