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Reply To: One of those days…

Reply To: One of those days…2013-11-30T16:50:13+00:00

The Forums Forums Emotional Journey I'm Sad One of those days… Reply To: One of those days…


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I know what it’s like to hear “you’re so smart, you’re so talented, why don’t you…” hurry up and become some kind of rock star creative person? Because time gets away. Or the mood isn’t there. Or the structures are not there. Or the goal isn’t clear, or the pieces are too overwhelming.

The main reason I’ve come as far as I have with my novel, although I wouldn’t admit it to my writing buddy because that would be weird, is that I have a writing buddy. We exchange emails about our progress a couple of times a week. There is no competition involved – touching base just keeps my mind on what I’m trying to do. Writing a project on this scale is very difficult – a huge challenge, and it’s easy to get discouraged, not only by the work load but also the awareness that even if I succeed, and complete the project, my chances of anyone reading it are extremely remote. I’m doing it because it matters to me. Because it’s more meaningful than watching back-to-back TV reruns. I’m kind of amazed I’m doing it. But I don’t discount the reality that the external structure reinforces my focus. Plus the habit of set work hours – when I gravitate to my computer because that’s when I have a time window, and the pattern has become familiar. (In the past few days, feeling burned out, I’ve slacked off, and regret the time spent goofing around – time I can’t get back – plus the habit gets weak from lack of repetition – it’s too risky to slack off, because the results could be disastrous). In a way, the sense of urgency contributes to keeping me on track – I don’t want to die without finishing this book.

I wish my life meant something. But the feeling of meaninglessness it pretty well tied to the blues in general. Just because I think something, that doesn’t mean it’s true objectively. Or even if it were, if I felt better, I wouldn’t care.

I know what you mean about having talents you feel like you can’t use. I think probably all of us with ADHD can relate to that. What’s the magic key to getting started on a project? It’s good to notice, when you are working, what happened to get you started?

But at the end of the day, you’ve got to be doing stuff because you care about it, not because someone somewhere gave you the message that you should. Whatever projects you do, they won’t inherently make you a better person – they’ll just make you someone who does those projects. So it has to be inherently satisfying.

I don’t know why, exactly, but the idea for my book has been with me since 2005 or 2006. If I didn’t believe in it, I wouldn’t do it.

There is a huge difference between “self-pity” and just feeling down. In our society we’re trained not to complain, not to express fear, doubt, sadness, etc. Many people don’t understand what it means to be depressed, or what it’s like to live with low motivation or a chronic sense of overwhelm, or the feelings of failure or the What Might Have Beens many of us grapple with. It’s good to have at least one person you can be honest with emotionally and not be judged by. I think a lot of what you are feeling is perfectly normal for someone with ADHD.  Just know that it doesn’t make you a bad person to feel bad. That’s part of the trick the mind can play when we are down.

I try not to guilt trip myself about feeling bad. Usually that’s a helpful first step toward feeling better. All the guilt and failure messages – that stuff is just crap and static. It serves no purpose. I used to think it would motivate me to straighten up and fly right. But it doesn’t. Resistance tends to increase my frustration. Sometimes it’s best just to let it ride.