Internal Battles of My ADHD Brain
Working in an office leaves me mentally exhausted by the end of the day. Being wrongfully terminated from a job of sixteen years still has its scars. With each friendly suggestion made, each mistake I make or with each “out of the box” idea suggested, leaves me wondering what others think of me. Having been this way since childhood doesn’t make it easier. In fact, when a life event happens, this ramps things up a notch. The emotional battles of my ADHD brain get worse and I have had to learn new coping mechanisms to keep things in perspective. If not, the situation will get worse.
Each time I see others at work learning at a faster pace, not struggling with concepts as I do and moving forward faster than me, hurts. Known for being the “different” one leaves me with an invisible I have created to protect myself. Harmless remarks from others take its toll. Trying to slow down my revving ADHD brain when trying to explain something to someone is daunting. Not wanting to forget any information leaves my words coming out faster that I anticipate and being on the receiving end can be hard to comprehend at times.
5 Strategies I Use To Cope
- Take a bathroom break. Sometimes I have to sit and count to 5 and put my big girl panties on.
- When I am frustrated by not feeling understood, I turn to Jessica McCabe who makes me feel like I am not a failure. Jessica’s videos on You-Tube help calm me down and she “gets” how people can make you feel like a failure.
- Not taking everything to heart. Embracing my sensitivity and learning how to quickly analyze things in my mind helps. (Not everyone is talking about me as I think!)
- Having read the book, “Driven To Distraction” by doctors Edward Hallowell and John Rately, has made it easier to set up my work environment and realize my limits.
- Being mindful of my limits in what I can do versus the exciting, explosive list of things or items I think I want, need or can do. Also, do NOT make mental notes of things to get done, as they never do and I usually forget what I wanted to do.
As I grow older, I am learning to accept myself, faults and all. Learning to give myself credit for everything I have accomplished on my own. As I was visiting my aunt on this 4th of July, during our morning coffee my aunt made a statement that brought me to tears. She shared with me how much credit she gives me for raising my son alone, sticking in there with him, not giving up and believing in him. My aunt expressed that if it were her, she would have thrown in the towel and ran for the hills.
That brings me to one of the great qualities of having ADHD – ENDURANCE! ADHD people have superhuman qualities that others don’t which allow us to cope in trying times. Endurance was one of these qualities that provides strength and mental energy when I needed it most.
One of the many books I have read and helped me is Driven To Distraction by Dr. Hallowell. Dr. Hallowell makes me feel “normal” and he has an amazing understanding of the ADHD brain.
Please share any tips, comments or suggestions as to how you cope with ADHD and what you have learned about yourself in this journey.
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