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ADHD Vent

I read an email today from an ADHD coach that talked about ADHD being a gift.

Sure, ADHD’s name is misguiding, but it is a DISORDER. People may learn how to live good lives or become successful according to today’s society, but if they do it’s not because they have ADHD, it’s in spite of it.

Learning how you function, and how to make that work in this world, is everyone’s struggle. We are all trying to figure out where we fit in society, in our cultures. But for people with disorders we can’t just follow the majority’s example because generally we just don’t function like they do. So we take longer to work things out, or we never do.

But my daily struggle to function in a society that demands I be many things I simply naturally am not, like organised, punctual, attentive, socially aware, reliable and consistent, is not a gift.

So why do they call it a gift?

There are aspects where if you manage to exploit your malfunctioning brain you can put that to use. For example, hyper-focus. Hyper-focus is awesome if you’re pouring all that energy and focus on a single project, rather than on a computer game. But the odds of you picking the best project to work on depends on a good ability to prioritise, which most ADHDers lack. Also, you may get the project done, but it’s likely to be after missing outside responsibilities: the children haven’t been fed, the cat’s peed in the laundry cos you never noticed she needed to be let  out, and by the way, your first stop needs to be to the toilet too else you’ll have an even bigger mess. And so you need to use time management and reminders to knock you out of hyper-focus when necessary, which means back to things that we’re not particularly capable of!

Another thing they say is an ADHD gift is ‘creativity’. This, I just don’t buy. Not all creative people are ADHD, and not all ADHD people are creative. I know at least one ADHD person who is not creative. You may be both, like I am, but that doesn’t mean the creativity is dependent on the ADHD (or vice versa for that matter).

Ok, so my rant has to be over now, simply because it’s small child’s bedtime, and if I magnanimously say, ‘I’ll come back to this’, I know I never will. That I’m posting it now is not a gift, it’s simply knowing myself and working with what I know.

*deep breaths*

 
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Posted by on 12/11/2013 in Mental Health

 

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Gnosis?

I was asked the other day what gnosis is. Until I went to answer the question, I thought it was an easy answer. Then I realised I wasn’t quite sure how to go about explaining it.

Defining it is probably fairly subjective. It would depend on your teachers, your personal knowledge and psychology, and what you hoped to achieve through practicing gnosis.

Basically, the philosophy is, to know god/the universe look within yourself. If you know, really know and comprehend, yourself then the mysteries of the universe will become known. Classes consist of a lot of psychology discussion, teaching of what other gnostic masters (such a Buddha and Jesus) discovered as truth, and other teachings to help us understand the different aspects of the world and ourselves. Currently we’re learning about chakras.

Instead of picking a single text or god or person to follow, gnosis looks at all esoteric philosophies and sees within them similar beliefs, symbols and recorded experiences. Thus it is not a religion, but a philosophy which guides one’s life.

For the most part what this means is meditating (calming the mind and settling into the space between the thoughts), and examining your own mind and responses in daily life in order to see the habitual ego that takes over in different situations (this examination can also take place during meditations).

What someone hopes to get out of this will inevitably vary. Some people may want to become enlightened and obtain full comprehension of the world. Some people may want to unlock faculties such as clairvoyance or seeing auras etc. Some people just want to learn how to live in the moment, and be able to let everything go and reflect on what’s actually happening.

Of course if you’ve read this far I’m sure you’re wondering what my particular hope is. Why do I go to gnosis?

My ultimate goal is to find serenity (despite my blog’s name, and a beautiful “Serenity” banner I have, I only just worked this goal out over the last couple of months!). I want to move through my life without destroying it or others’. I want to be self-aware in a way that’s not judgmental and scolding, and grow to be a better person because of that awareness.

Gnosis has taught me a lot about my mind. I’ve had some significant ‘Ah-ha!’ moments about my behaviour. Meditation has given me faith that even I, Miss Hyper-Brain, can quiet my brain for 30 minutes plus. I’ve started using meditation as part of my going to sleep routine; instead of lying awake for hours meandering over stressful thoughts and perusing fun thoughts, I find the quiet and observe the thoughts without engaging them. They get bored, I get to sleep. Hooray!

I’m still wondering if the mediation thing will work off meds, but I’m not willing to try that out yet. Maybe in a year or so 😛

So that’s gnosis, for me. There is the included bonus of meeting wonderful people, and getting to see my teachers, and good friends, every week, who are amazing. 🙂

 
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Posted by on 10/11/2013 in Gnosis

 

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Finding Structure

Structure is something my life has never really had. At least not my personally life. There’s been times when I was working full-time, and that forces structure into the majority of your life. But there’s still those hours in which you’re your own person in your own space and it’s much like a tornado in a teacup.

Being a “full-time” mum throws all structure out the window. It doesn’t matter how much people say ‘routine is the best thing for children’, ‘you must be consistent’, etc. it doesn’t change the fact that I’m ADHD. “Routine” may as well be in a foreign language to me. “Consistency” is a word I only use when I’m stirring cake mixture.

All is lost! It’s too hard, why bother.

Well, actually, I’ve passed that point in my thinking.

I have a couple of responsibilities out of the house now, which forces some structure into my life. But I’ve been trying, really trying hard, to get some control over my home.

Every ADHD person knows the chaos that takes over in their own home. Every naturally disorganised person knows what I’m talking about (you don’t have to have ADHD to cause chaos!) I just want to be able to get through a day where I don’t have to search through Mount Clean-Washing for two socks that match, twice (once for myself and once for my son), along with not having to wash every dish I want to use when I want to use it, and not have to dance between junk (toys mostly) strewn across the floor, and be able to sit at the table and eat a meal which I made in a clean kitchen without first having to shove piles out of the way. All on the same day!

Imagine that!

Unfortunately it is all down to habits. Cleaning up isn’t ultimately the problem. Keeping it that way is the hard part! When your habit is to dump the washing on the couch and forget about it for a week, then remembering to fold it is hard.

And to be honest, the bad habits are often stronger than my willpower to overcome them.

Today I’m content knowing that at home my bench is clear of dishes. I even did the breakfast dishes before we rushed out the door late for Kindy. If only the floor was clear, the table was clear and the washing was in the drawers.

It is honestly really hard!

Part of my seeking structure has resulted in a new, craft only, blog. Here: http://sweetfatkinson.wordpress.com/

Check it out, and if you’re crafty at all, follow it 😉 it will make me smile! 🙂

 
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Posted by on 05/11/2013 in Mental Health

 

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A Gnostic Approach

Being finished with the psych team I had has left me quite alone in trying to live with my burdens and the only person I have to answer to is myself — my husband doesn’t hold me accountable for much.

When I stumbled on gnosticism a lot of things around me clicked together to make it really easy to become involved in. It’s run by a friend of mine so there was already a foundation of trust. With no car, most things are out of range for me, especially things that are on in the evenings; the gnostic centre is just around the corner from my house, close enough that walking there & back in the dark, while a little nerve-wracking, is not impossible. There also happened to be a new class starting.

But why get into something that borders on religion, and could be seen in ignorance as some kind of cult? (when I Googled it later some of the results made it sound a bit culty)

What gnostics do is what I was already doing. I’ve been on a gnostic path for years, I just didn’t know that term for it. “Gnostic” means “knowledge”, and the philosophy of gnosticism is that in knowing yourself you can know the universe. I’m not fussed on the latter part of that. What do I care about the universe? It gets on with its thing regardless of my actions, so I’m happy to just leave it alone. Knowing myself on the other hand, that’s what I’ve been trying to do all this time. I understand that only in knowing myself and understanding my psychology can I deal with the hurdles I’m faced with, and I continue to try in the hope that there is peace to be found somewhere along the way. The prospect of learning new techniques to gain self-knowledge, and new tools to deal with what’s uncovered was very appealing.

So I go along to these gnostic classes, and most times I learn something significant about myself. Sure, I’ll admit that I take the mystical element with more than a little skepticism, but that’s what they want. We are not told to believe them, but rather reminded that we are on the path to knowing the truth for ourselves.

It’s the psychological aspect that fascinates me. The realisation that we are not just a single ego, but many egos, and that is why we are so often in conflict with ourselves. Along with the understanding (as of this week) that my egos are more than happy to exploit my ADHD to justify laziness and other unproductive behaviours.

I’ll admit I’m not in a good space at the moment, and my hope for achieving peace in this lifetime is dwindling, but I’m still persevering. If I stop trying then there is indeed no hope.

My self-loathing was beginning to reach damaging heights as I struggled through each day having little to show for myself at the end of each struggle. My house was (is still, really, but I’ve been working on that) an embarrassing state: CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome). So often I’m was home all afternoon and do nothing to remedy the CHAOS. While my brain doesn’t cooperate during the ‘procrastinating’ or ‘hyper-focus on less important things’ (ie. busy laziness), and it rarely remembers that now is actually a good time to do other things that need doing. But even when Brain was doing its job and trying to remind me to do important activities I would mechanically and selfishly ignore it. At the end of the day I would justify it all with, “well I am ADHD. What more can I do?” But I would be disgusted with myself and my lack of determination and self-control.

Now I’m aware of what my egos are up to and I can actively refuse to cooperate.

The path of change starts with self-awareness. Once you’re aware of something you would like to change, and you accept that it’s your responsibility to change it, only then can you find a way to achieve change.

This journey is harder and longer than I want, but the payoff will be a more peaceful life. Egos are subtle and cunning, but now I’m onto them. Understand the enemy and the war is half won, etc.

Remembering how to smile…

🙂

 

 
 

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And Then Things Kinda… Imploded…

There are moments in everybody’s life when things get to be too much. Even the most together people can’t handle stress for long periods of time without starting to fray.

My husband is normally “the stable one in our relationship.” But over the six months or so his work has been wearing him down, beating him down, until: “It was either quit or kill myself.”

Those words carved a chasm of silence that allowed the words to echo in my head for a long time. Too long. I’d known things were bad, but this, this was a whole new level of bad. But I also understood. He was actually speaking my language, from a head-space I know well: a head-space of self-loathing, desperation and exhaustion.

Once I got my head around the fact that the half of my marriage that was normally very together had actually been collapsing for quite a while, I did what I wish someone had done for me about 15 years ago: I dragged him to the doctor. He doesn’t do doctors, hasn’t been in about 10 years, so I couldn’t just send him to the doctor. I had to stride up to the receptionist and tell her (with my shaking trying-not-to-cry voice) “my husband needs to see the doctor.” Fortunately B~ was able to come and take Jake off our hands as we waited, and waited, for like, 2 hours!
We left with a prescription for anti-depressants and a referral to a counselor. Perhaps time will repair things now rather than the more typical depreciation that goes on around here.

B~ kindly spent a few hours after that doing some intensive EFT on me and the shift has been remarkable. I’d spent the weekend shattering into some millions of pieces, and she gradually put me back together. Now I’m calmer, able to think. I wish I’d realised before the weekend that I was pretty thick in depression myself an done something about it so I could be supportive rather than being critical and selfish and ultimately uncaring of anything, even my husband and his issues.

Change is inevitable in immediate future. Come the 10th August we’ll have no actual income, or my husband will have a new job. Hopefully the latter. I will look for work if I need to, but we do have a plan and the first part of that is him having full-time work, not me.

Smile for me, I haven’t the heart.

 
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Posted by on 26/07/2013 in Mental Health

 

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