Growing up I was often told, or it was indicated, that I wasn’t good enough. My efforts weren’t good enough; I wasn’t doing a good enough job; 90% is not good enough etc. As an adult this is one of my core beliefs: I am not good enough. Sad but true, and it’s something I’ve worked on with a psychologist before, and, after my last session with my current psychologist, I’ve got the feeling I’ll be working on it a bit more in the coming months.
Rationally, as an adult, I look back on what memories I do have, and add it to what knowledge I now have and assure myself that I can’t have epically failed all the time.
A major aspect of ADHD is that it’s pretty much impossible to be consistent. Now, I’m really pushing myself here to say this, but not only am I good enough at most things in life, I’m really good at quite a few things. I’m a really good friend to my friends. I’m really good at doing housework, when I do it (ha! that’s the clincher.) The thing is, I can be really good at something one day/week, and then drop the ball completely.
This is my ADHD. The big problem with this inconsistency is that when I do things, it shows that I can do it, and do it well, and when I drop the ball I see myself as a complete failure, undeserving of everything I have because I’m simply not good enough, and I assume that everyone else must share my view.
This is relevant to this last week. For a few days I was doing the dishes every day. The washing was under control with my system that works amazing, when I use it. The bed was made daily and the bathroom was getting cleaner rather than worse. This particular week there’s a tangible reason for this coming to a stop. I limit myself to 1 social thing a day, ie. I won’t plan anything for Thursday afternoons as we have Mainly Music in the mornings. This is to try keep me sane. The facade of “normal” me that I’ve built is so habitual it just happens, but it’s exhausting. After being sociable I have to come home and recharge. This week I kept to that, but I had 1 thing a day too many days in a row. I hit Thursday afternoon and couldn’t bring myself to do housework. On Friday my brain said ‘stuff this’ and spent a day not talking to me.
My working memory failed. I couldn’t plan, let alone follow through, and had no focusing ability. Jake had a TV day, and I drifted in and out of sleep on the LayZBoy. I achieved absolutely nothing, and the chaos of my house hung over me like a dark shadow. Without rational thought I can’t challenge the negative thoughts that come from having such negative core beliefs. So by the end of the day I believed I was a crap mum, crapper housewife, and not worth a place in this world. So I crawled into bed hanging out for some escapism in sleep.
I am crazy lucky that I have this amazing husband that has no issues with me having a day like yesterday. No judgement. Just happy that I looked after Jake, in that I changed his nappy and fed him. Yesterday was exceptional in that I was so simply exhausted. A normal non-functioning day is caused because I get hyper-focused on irrelevant stuff and don’t think about housework until Dale gets home and I look at the mess and think, ‘good lord, how did I get through the whole day without doing anything about this?’. He looks at all I’ve achieved, and in his eyes I’m good enough, despite the fact that I did nothing yet other days I can do everything.
It’s weird to me. I expect him to come home and get angry about it all. I expect chastisement even after 10 years of him being content with what I do achieve. Before I had Jake some days it was simply getting out of bed and moving to the couch, and maybe remembering to eat (if he found out I hadn’t eaten he would get a bit crabby, and would make me food, which is why he now cooks dinner). Now days I am achieving so much more than I used to, even on days like yesterday. I got up, and dressed, and ate, as well as looking after the baby.
Anyway, I let myself have one of these non-functioning days a week at the moment, without beating myself up about it. As long as Jake’s getting what he needs it’s not that big a deal if I take a day off everything else. This will have to change as I take on more responsibilities, such as next year when I may be studying, but for now it’s a fair compromise that I’m allowing myself. I’m learning to not look on these days as proof that I’m ‘not good enough’ or any other extreme negativity.
We’ve all got to cut ourselves a little bit of slack. And maybe if I allow myself days to be inconsistent it will make it easier to be consistent on the other days.
Keep smiling everyone, if I can do it you can. 😀