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Reply To: No-one should have to live this life

Reply To: No-one should have to live this life2013-07-02T11:02:38+00:00

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Patte Rosebank
Post count: 1517

@Ridiculoushit, those ramblings of yours are really worth reading and responding to.  You sound like an interesting person, who’s been bumped around a lot, and needs some lifting up.  You sure came to the right place for that!

It’s not so much a case of “Misery loves company”, as it is “A trouble shared is a trouble halved”, and “By helping others, we help ourselves”.  And the biggie:  “Understand WHY you do those things, and then you can figure out HOW to work with them”.

Discussing things with other people who’ve been there and done that, helps us to see that things aren’t so scary and hopeless.  And maybe what worked for someone else can work for you too.  Talking about things is far more effective than bottling them up and blaming yourself (“admitting my shortcomings”).

First of all, please understand that it’s NOT a case of your having to “try harder”.  We ADDers are trying as hard as we possibly can—WAY harder than non-ADDers.  But we’re trying to do it the same way as non-ADDers do, when we should be finding ways that work for us.  Just as left-handers need to use a different nib and hand-position in order to write with a fountain pen.

ADHD is a primarily genetic condition, involving different brain wiring, and is on the Autism spectrum.  It isn’t a case of “personality” problems, so a “personality coach” won’t help, and will even harm you, because their methods are all wrong for treating ADHD—because they focus on your failures.

An ADHD Coach is specialized in understanding the unique brain wiring of ADDers, and knows how to work with it.  Most of the things that work for non-ADDers will not work for ADDers…leading to more frustration and self-blame.  If all that self-blame and focussing on our failures worked, then we’d have become fully-functioning, perfectly organized, punctual, and tidy individuals YEARS ago!

The key is to look at what has worked for you in the past, and to try to figure out why it worked then, and how to apply it to similar situations now.  ADHD is situational, because the ADHD brain is driven by INTEREST, not Importance.  So, in an interesting situation, you function very well, but in a boring one, you struggle.  That’s why I think of it more as “Interest-Driven Brain” than “Attention-Deficit Disorder”.

Meds can help, but they’re more like “training wheels” than “little magic pills”.  So, just taking a pill won’t work.  You need to figure out the best way to approach the situations & tasks in your life, and turn those approaches into habits.  (For example, we have trouble applying abstract concepts to the real world.  Time is an abstract concept, so we need timers, alarms, and schedules in order to perceive it.  Without those structures, we’re often late, or forget appointments, or lose track of the whole day as we hyper-focus on something interesting.)

The meds can help you to do this, but you’ll never get 100% results. But even if you can only follow these structures 20% of the time, it’s still better than not following them at all, right?  And, in time, you’ll find that you follow them more often than not, because you feel better, and you get more done, when you do.

As for the blurting, we do it because we have minimal working memory, and our brains work so fast that if we don’t get the ideas out immediately, we’ll lose them as another idea takes their place.  The trick is to jot down the idea, or capture it on a voice-recorder (which most smartphones have).  And to learn to pause & reflect a moment.

(I’m still working on that one, myself…)