Category Archives: ADHD

When a problem can’t be overcome, it’s time to tango…

You’ve done all you can to overcome your problem.  And yet, day after day, it sits there like a faithful dog.  Waiting patiently for you to get out of bed so it can pounce on  you, lick your face, and leave hair all over your fancy work clothes.

How would you like to wake up to this guy?

Or this guy?

By definition, overcoming is the act prevailing over, overwhelming, or overpowering something.  When we overpower our emotions, we win and can keep fighting for another day.  Once we have won, we can walk away and leave the problem there.

But sometimes, something cannot be overcome.  Sometimes, we have to find a way to cope, to manage, to live with, to work with a problem.  Let me give you an example…

I have mentioned before that I have ADHD and some form of dyslexia. Brain chemistry cannot be permanently changed, it can only be managed.  I can take drugs to help reorganize, reduce, or increase the malfunctioning or missing chemicals.  However, if I stopped taking the medications, my brain would go back to the way it was before.  Medications help, but I still have to manage the emotional difficulties associated with this problem.

When two people tango, someone always leads, and it’s usually the guy.  Each partner has to “lock their frame” by making their arms strong and stiff in a semi-circle.  Like this:

Look spaghetti arms!  Lock your frame!

The leading partner gets to decide where the dancing couple is going, when they spin, or twirl, or dip.  The locked frame, the subtle pressures of the hands, certain movements indicate when the following partner is to move and where.  When managing your problem, you should be the leading partner, not the other way around.  You get to decide when you dip, and twirl, and go left.

But, you have decide that you want to lead, not follow.  You have decide that you want to make progress, not wallow in self-pity, or shame, or whatever you do with your problem.  You have to decide that you want to improve.  That’s the key.

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Tell me, do you have a problem that you have to manage?

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This brain runs on squirrel power, and other tales of ADHD.

My Brain.

My Brain.

Aw, darn! I forgot the nuts! Again!

What happened when I got to the “social gathering”:

Yup.  My brain runs on squirrel power.  Tiny little rodents are all skittering around in there trying remember to find the nuts.

Or, maybe I’m nuts.

Or, whatever.

Anyway, this is  my brain on ADHD.  Here’s a few other things I have to deal with:

  • Constantly being distracted by people entering/leaving a room
  • Having to ask people to repeat themselves multiple times
  • Forgetting appointments
  • Forgetting to call people
  • Forgetting to do stuff
  • Forgetting in general
  • Cleaning in circles and in multiple rooms at once
  • Reading the same page over and over and just not getting it
  • Taking twice as long to write a paper (or a blog for that matter) than anyone else.
  • Wandering thoughts
  • I put things away in a safe place, and then completely forget where the safe place is.
  • Showing up too early or too late for something
  • Not showing up at all
  • Being really, really bad at math (Maybe that’s not ADHD)
  • Can’t count past 10 without forgetting where I was and  having to start all over again…multiple times

I think you get the picture.

Anybody in their right mind would go nuts.  So what’s a poor girl to do?  I’m not medicated so I have to find ways to overcome these difficulties.  I have to find ways to cope so that I don’t look a total moron or a ditz.  And forget about trying to explain this other people or help them understand.  I have gotten over the first step of admitting there is a problem.  So, I’m okay there.  It took awhile, a lot of trial and error but I found ways around some of the problems that ADHD give me.  Here are some of the things I do:

  • Make lists.  Sometimes I make lists of lists.  Writing it down gets it out of my head.
  • I watch movies and TV shows on my computer when I’m writing.  Documentaries are especially helpful.  Instrumental music works for when I’m reading.
  • I put appointments in my iPhone as soon as they are made with at least 2 alerts.
  • I make schedules with cross off lists.
  • I use sticky notes.  Lots of sticky notes.
  • I just let myself clean in circles.  It works for me.
  • I keep reminding myself that I need to pay attention when it’s crucial to my task.
  • I give  myself small “brain breaks” for about 5 minutes every 20 minus.  I play a game or look at Facebook, or some other small thing.
  • I do certain things the same exact way every time whether needs it or not, such as locking the car door.

The point is, these strategies work for me.  They (read: mostly) get the job done.  I’m still  not perfect at this, but I function fairly well if I stick to my guidelines and boundaries.  

The point is, if you want to overcome something like ADHD, you got to first admit that there is a problem.  You also need to do research to understand the problem’s in and outs.  Then you got to find what works for you.  There is always a way around, under, through, or over a problem.

If I can do it, you can do it too…

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So tell me, are squirrelly in the brain?