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.