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Tribal Traits. Do Emotions Get a Bad Rap?

Stacey Turis talks about ADHD and Emotions

Emotions get a bad rap.  Emotions are associated with weakness, vulnerability and sensitivity; all of the traits we’re told are unsavory, yet the traits that make us most human.  What kind of nonsense is that?  It makes me crazy when I hear that people consider stuffing their emotions as a sign of strength.  I’m sorry…huh?  I call that sticking your head in the sand. 

Have you ever seen what that looks like from behind?  Not exactly like a mighty warrior.  Unless you ate dairy earlier.  In that case, you have a genuine weapon… my sense of smell is supernatural and I have what my dentist calls a “terrific gag reflex”.  Let’s just say the combination is lethal when simultaneously triggered.

Our ADHD Tribe has certain traits, and sensitivities are one.  They come to us in all shapes and sizes and affect us differently.  Sensory issues, like my supernatural smell and hearing; depression, anxiety, moodiness, anger, PMS, and empathic tendencies to name a few that I can recall right this second.

Living with that amplified perception of our environment can make us feel like we’re in a constant state of turbulence.  Our reactions mimic the pattern of the turbulence, thus we come across as moody.  Some in our Tribe are even misdiagnosed as bi-polar because of it (raises hand). 

I’m not saying some of us aren’t bi-polar, I’m just saying that in our Tribe, moodiness comes with the territory of constantly regulating your surroundings.

With the internal turbulence sometimes comes a sense of dread.  Maybe you get into a funk.  Maybe you even reach the lowest low where you get a feeling…not that you want to die, but that you’re just too damn exhausted to live. 

We fight to stay away from that place, but I always say, mental strength is not the ability to stay out of the darkness; but the ability to sit present in the darkness, knowing the light will shine again.  Where we are at any given moment is where we think we’ll be forever. 

A lot of us are familiar with depression and even thoughts of suicide, and it’s hard to step back from that feeling of someone having their thumb on you pinning you to the ground, but being present in the dark requires us to acknowledge where we are – to say “this is temporary” and believe it.

Stacey Turis, ADHD, ADHD Blog, ADHD and Emotions

Stacey Turis is the Author of Here’s to Not Catching Our Hair on Fire: An Absent-Minded Tale of Life with Giftedness and Attention Deficit – Oh Look! A Chicken!

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  1. Larynxa April 1, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    I have two tricks for handling the emotional ups & downs.
    First, I’ve spent most of my life developing the habit of trying to see the humour in bad situations—if not at that moment, then later…sometimes MUCH later.
    Second, as a writer & actress, I know I’ll be able to turn that bad emotional experience into something useful, because I can call upon it in my writing & acting. And I have, frequently.

  2. wiredonjava December 23, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    I think the worst gift someone with ADHD can receive is a spa treatment package. Correct me if I’m wrong but I spent a day of complete torture having a stranger tell me to put a robe on so they could irritate the heck out of me for 5 hours and control my environment. I do not like having to lay still and have someone unpredictable manipulate my body and push my cuticles back. I do not appreciate someone cutting my nails or fussing over me all day. I resented the wasted time thinking of all the other things I could be doing instead and I feel this is far from relaxing. Is this typical behavior or am I out in left field as usual? I wish I knew beforehand so I could have donated this gift to somebody would could have enjoyed this so-called pampering. Bad memory! Ugg

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