Learning More About ADHD
ADHD and anxiety may have overlapping symptoms, but for me: one is often dominant, the other secondary and not everyone “shows” it the same way.
My main struggle is:
• distractions that can take hours to refocus from (time-blocks help with this)
• over-drive (exhaustion)
• sleep (ADHD classic)
And it's not light insomnia, this brain needs a daily nap to function and we can fall asleep mid-day on the spot / crash into things / feels like impaired driving honestly ... so if it's not handled - it can lead to physical burnout, this is why we don't give any credibility to hustle culture who thinks that pushing through health challenges is a wise move. We know when to do so, and we also know when to pull back.
Many other anxiety diagnoses (which I mistakenly thought was the primary for me until recently) have anxiety dominant symptoms at the forefront.
Hyper-focus can look like OCD, over-drive can look like OCD, foggy thinking can look like anxiety, but the sleep deprivation causing it is ADHD-driven.
Lack of having a clear focus being the kiss of death for me is ADHD, but when not handled, it can spiral into anxiety. They're interconnected, but one is dominant.
What helps me manage it (my specific exercise prescription that maintains a consistent heart rate for an unbroken period of time, specific diet, and medication routine) may not work for everyone...
So find out what works for your own unique health, it's a deeply personal and unique thing where we cannot copy and paste someone else's regimen, we can be inspired and uplifted by knowing no one has a mess-free life and that we're not weird for having this journey to begin with.
When a mental health professional insinuated my ADHD was not exactly easy to detect at first glance, I began to understand how complex it can be.
You don’t “cure” conditions like this, you “manage” it and channel it and mitigate it, it’s like a part-time job sometimes, but when it is good, it is REALLY worth the struggle.
Hyper-focus is how I get anything done. I rely on hyper-focus to balance my dysfunction during other times, but sometimes, I can focus for 4 hours straight and it’s very fun and thrilling.
I think that the accomplishments of ADHD people make it hard for others to see what we struggle with and why, but it’s real.
We look for innovative hacks as systems / routines / singular focus is what saves us.
When to push through or when to fall back:
When going after lofty goals, push through, when learning about health limitations (and it's not a life or death situation or a major life event that you're about to miss) respect those, it's called sustainability.
The goals can still be huge, but we tailor "how" we get there.
Never fall for: if you were a good X, you’d do Y... or if you don’t do X, then you don’t value Y.
No, absolutely not. This is unhinged thinking. I don't know how else to say it...
Everything and any value is DEFINED uniquely by each individual and we all show our care differently.
I can care about X, while valuing my health more since I can’t outsource my health... since that's what precedes everything especially my craft... and we all need different things for our health as well, so being in a wellness-focused space is a welcome change!
Health limits are not a burden or actual limitation to potential, they FORCE efficiency and focus, and focus amplifies our power.
I was on high levels of serotonin when the medication trial problems happened, my deficiency is norepinephrine because ADHD burns out the adrenals... Before the classic weekly ADHD crashes, we’re running purely on adrenaline / noradrenaline. We need it restored. Logic at last.
Scattered energy burns my brain cells, there's a reason it stings someone with my wiring more than most so I stay away from games of whack-a-mole and I go for clear structure. I do my thing, hoping to inspire others to be true their nature too.
Own it, rock it.
Authenticity attracts real and repels fake.
We want the fortress of our health to keep what is meant for us and repel all else.
Fitting our lives around our wiring, rather than chopping ourselves up to suit those who view our medical condition as a dainty spoiled brat type preference / as a cop out / easy way out (try living with this first and then make your assumptions) / the personality police, feels way better.
We're levelling the playing field and invisible struggles are no less valid and flaws do not make us unworthy of dignity. The right people "get it", the rest are not worthy of explanations because we're not here to manage their filters, worldview, or limited thinking.
I don’t know that good and innovative business decisions are made without sleep, the right people will never expect you to sacrifice any component of your personal health, and innovation matters more than long hours. Reflection / direction matters more than directionless speed.
Quality over quantity in general when managing health conditions. Carving out time for waves of busy prevents backlogs and when you don’t try to be “all things” : you experience energetic alignment / joy which is the place where inspired ideas live.
The right people appreciate the limits of your availability, if not, they're probably entitled takers anyway whom you can live without.
How is functioning even possible without some pre-set guaranteed uninterrupted time without notifications to yourself both for segments of your work and life? It’s not when you have ADHD, and I think anyone who doesn’t comprehend this is not a fully matured adult, because those who take these things personally have no place in my life.
You will be drifting around in life with no real vision if you allow other people to run up in your life, run your calendar, your values, and run you over with their expectations, you had a unique purpose before they had an opinion.
I embrace hard work - but during designated hours, even from my business: my phone / mind is off from anything that resembles work when I am at the gym/swimming : as we are all worthy of “unavailable”/"no notifications” time to recharge to come back refreshed, I define success as health and a measure of time freedom.
Consciously working on recharging and refreshing my mind in peace is highly important work that deserves to be uninterrupted the same way that my focus blocks deserve to be un-interrupted so that I can get to the next segment of my life on time.
Being present for focused projects/tasks without notifications may have you “miss out” on other things, but who cares if that’s what keeps you sane and present as constantly diluting focus is not how I want to live. What is truly meant for you can’t be missed out on though.
The wrong people will be quick to judge your values or make value judgements, but when we live our lives our way in compliance with our mind's wiring and how hard interruptions are to refocus from, we weed out the people who use the fear of inadequacy to push us around. They will change their definitions of values to suit whatever agenda they have at the time, so the best thing is to live in compliance with how your brain is wired, rather than their perceptions.
It's OK that one thing is more important than another thing, what’s not OK is for someone to run up in your life expecting to be more important than your chosen priorities/health (yes, we get to choose), they are the ones with the problem if they believe they can run over those. A true break is = brain being in rest mode. ✅
Nothing that shifts your attention back on any of your work should be allowed during that sacred ritual, which will 10x your joy overall. We're human first, not walking computers or robots.
You can always do “more” or “expand” but a zone of focus and a zone of genius feels higher quality (the right people don’t make the priorities of others mean anything about them as the less emotionally mature people of this world would play the victim to a healthy boundary as they don't view people as free-willed individuals, the understanding is innate).
Put on your own oxygen mask first is probably the biggest thing I learned and focus not being a limit but expansive because we can simplify to amplify. This forces me to be extremely efficient and cut out all the fluff. All else is just irresponsible for your existing commitments, basic health, and will earn you burnout. No one can care for your health on your behalf, exercise, or sleep for you (the basic things that fill your cup that no one else can do for you and that talk therapy doesn't replace). I think anyone who doesn’t “get” this concept likely is missing a lot of life experience and probably doesn't have your best interests in mind anyway.
Once you’ve filled your self-care cup (because no one can exercise, eat well, sleep well on your behalf), then you decide how/when you want to give back/in which direction... and so on.
Let's thrive as who we are. Not who we're not.