How Lifting Weights Brings Me Happiness: A Personal Journey with ADHD

How Lifting Weights Brings Me Happiness: A Personal Journey with ADHD

Living with ADHD means my brain is constantly in overdrive, making it hard to find peace and focus in everyday life. But I've found an incredible remedy (which complements sleep, nutrition, and medication): lifting weights without distractions aka SOLO therapy with peaceful - joyful - yet DO NOT DISTURB vibes.   

Taking charge of filling our own cups first (while managing obligations) is a personal responsibility that we cannot outsource and can't be done on our behalf.

Implying that there's actually a real replacement for physical exercise, nutrition, and sleep which *precedes* survival: is a demonstration of a lack of medical credentials which is also a cue to stay quiet on topics we know nothing about. What genuine connection would want to disrupt an oxygen mask and your baseline mental health survival? 

I need to understand why someone who isn't my child, dependent, or from my own household should take priority over my personal responsibility towards the factors that keep me alive, surviving, and keep my brain functioning? Managing a disability is like having a part-time job on top of everything else, and my health is paramount. Without it, I risk burnout. I won't sacrifice my health for random connections who need to respect my gym time and work around my schedule. If there's no spare time, it needs to be accepted. I won't allow anyone to add more stress to my life.

I cannot outsource this quiet and meditative experience, so I keep a small circle who respects this - no questions asked. If anyone I just met thinks they're more important than the conditions to my basic survival, that's not someone I want in my life.

For my level of disability, there is no mental health without:

Sleep daily
Weekly crash day
Nutrition
Daily fitness

Extraneous nonsense does not take the place of the basics.

We give from overflow so our craft, business, and close circle gets our best first.

I experience swimming as healing due to water and I experience exercise as meditation, it's spiritual - emotional - and mental processing: it's beyond the physical realm and that's why it's sacred quiet time (loud minds require quiet and self-protective boundaries do not harm or infringe on anyone, they protect our own rights to manage our personal obligations first and in peace).  

Your mind and body cannot be separated, so your physical health clearly impacts your mental health and vice versa. Not basic science.

Self-care is having a non-negotiable oxygen mask/setting zones in your life that are private time and off-limits. Self-centered/self-serving is behaving as if you're entitled to anything that belongs to someone else: their harvest, their time... when you're not their dependent which means you're an optional connection as no one "owes" anyone a social connection without their prior mutual consent so good luck trying to manipulate people who do not play into scams like forced fake af friendships who come cloaked as helpers and supporters disguising an agenda - you'll notice there are strings attached with many (not all, but many), so guard your hearts and do not be ashamed of your mental wiring just because some want more from you that you do not have to give if you do not want to or have the space (any retaliation against boundaries is a sign that they had an agenda).

Anyone who interrupts your relaxation time—whether at the gym, the spa, or your home, which are sacred spaces for quiet time—and insists on forcing you into an unwanted connection does not truly care about your well-being. If they respected you, they would back off and honor your choice. There's no excuse for such insistent behavior. Even if someone genuinely likes your energy, they should respect your wishes and stop being a persistent, overbearing presence. These spaces are off-limits for intrusion (your alone time for mental peace and quiet recalibration), and a genuinely good person would understand and respect your need for personal time. You have every right to refuse unwanted social relationships at any point in your life, especially when you are busy and already fulfilled.

Again, true "kindness" backs off easily. In order for someone to get close to you, trick you, influence you, make suggestions for your life path that undermine your personal space and so on, you have to consent to that: so you have to be careful who you allow into your circle and that's why there's a vetting process. 

My closest most long-standing friends and connections know not to mess with my gym time un-rushed. If it's time "off-limits", then it's unavailable time and not meant to be, you can't change that. I do not take intrusion on my sacred gym time as potential connections as they're demonstrating an inability to read the room which is already a red flag. I cannot miss out on what I am unavailable for.

My rituals with a disability and two jobs are far more sophisticated and time-consuming than most as I'm choosing to work with a severe impairment and anyone who tries to get in the way - and is not a dependent or from my household - is someone I am not interested in automatically, why have clingy chaos creators in my life?

Your time limits so as to tend to your baseline functioning (like any responsible adult) are not negotiable and neither are your overall capacity limits. It's not selfish to respect yourself, those who imply that it is are not the ones tending to your health condition and bills.

Lifting Weights: More Than Just Physical Strength:

For me, lifting weights isn't about achieving a certain look or comparing myself to others in the gym. It's about finding a sanctuary where I can channel my energy and find clarity: it is very superficial and small-minded to view exercise as purely physical and with limited mental energy, I need to limit exposure to those who don't comprehend disabilities for my own sanity.

The rhythmic movements, the challenge of pushing my physiological limits, and the sense of accomplishment after a good lift bring me immense joy. It gives me mental clarity with ADHD.

If working out makes me happy and keeps me healthy, that's what I'm going to do and I'm going to do it for as many hours as I please on a weekly basis (while respecting my obligations of course) and I feel like everyone should find something that makes them happy. Slay.

Lifting weights is my way that fits *within my capacity* limits to push my comfort zone in a sense. That's the area where it makes sense for my disability to do so. All else requires stability.

I get my best solutions and ideas while I'm training by myself, so why would I train less just because training more goes against the grain? It's not my problem what someone else who doesn't fund my future, manage my disability, or pay my bills, understands or doesn't understand about me. The right ones will resonate with how you operate.

Exercise is my mind-clearing and quiet meditative headspace and when my energy is aligned, the right (not just any) inspired action happens easily. Taking action outside of energetic alignment brings about lesser quality results.

ADHD and Exercise: A Perfect Match:

Exercise, especially weightlifting, has been a game-changer in managing my ADHD. The physical activity helps regulate my mood, reduce the chances that ADHD turns into anxiety, and improve focus. Each session is like a quiet mental reset and vacation, helping me tackle the chaos in my mind. The endorphins released during a workout are a natural mood booster, making me feel happier and more grounded.

If someone has a severe disability and requires uninterrupted gym time almost on a daily basis to survive, that wouldn't be something I would look at intruding on or bothering, but that's just me as I have common sense and I respect the differences and space of others.

I think that those who are genuinely concerned with your well-being would never try to get in the way of your unique chosen methods. For those who question science, I would love to see their credentials. What medical school did they graduate from? 

It's OK to save people from their own self-destruction and that's not what I'm talking about here, I'm talking about the people who don't have something in their life that they're passionate about so they try to ruin yours.

For someone with ADHD, 45 minutes of cardio and 20 minutes of weights is minimal, but essential.

To me, 60 minutes of exercise per day 6 days a week is basic self-maintenance which adds quality to work and other areas of life and longevity aka burnout prevention as when this time got cut into, that's when my health started to decline: that's a never again for me. 👏

I think 60 minutes of self-maintenance being thought of as hard to achieve would mean that what isn't staying it its lane needs to be handled and put in its place as it may be encroaching on basic self-care - so all else needs to stay in their respective lanes as long as dependents and obligations are taken care of.

I do not play when it comes to health and the way to support people's wellness is not to demand their time, but respect the time they need as they take personal responsibility for their wellbeing which they're not out here dumping on other people or taking away from others: they are preserving their adult-like need to take care of themselves and so not getting in the way is the way to show support.

My life revolves around managing my disability, which means I often need a full crash day weekly and dedicated health time, so what.

This leaves little time for expanding my circle beyond my energetic limits or accepting things in my business that have nothing to do with the business I am even in, and it's important to accept that. 

Those without a disability may not understand the daily effort and guaranteed carved out time - un-interrupted by things not critical to my survival - it takes to manage it, so they should respect my need for personal space and not interfere with my unique well-being requirements. 

I can work more when I'm spending more time on fitness in terms of focus levels - not hours. I'm not saying that I'm going to do that needlessly (only in some seasons when it is direly necessary to preserve my capacity) - but fitness expands my mental capacity like nothing else.

Pushing myself physically is actually how I recover mentally - as long as I'm sleeping enough, that's not going to exhaust me. I get exhausted when I don't have time to push myself physically in the gym or when I don't have time to focus on my workouts: that's what's exhausting - it's exhausting as there's no carved out time for my basic oxygen mask and that's not right when you have a disability especially.

Breaking Idiotic Gender Stereotypes: Strength is Universal:

My passion for lifting has nothing to do with traditional gender roles or expectations. Strength is not gender-specific; it's a personal journey of growth and self-improvement.

Whether you lift to feel strong, empowered, or simply to enjoy the process, it’s a personal choice that deserves respect.

I'm not here to fit into anyone's preconceived notions of what I should or shouldn't be doing.

Do not let anyone downplay what you take seriously in your own life just because they don't in theirs. Fitness is a sport, an art, and therapy for me. I do it for mental and physical strength and I do it with an aim, a clear goal, and not for recreational playtime. It's my zone of focus so I don't need anyone in my way distracting me so that's my alone time, especially that I am not here neglecting dependents for it so optional connections certainly have no business hindering my sport. 

How many hours you spend in the gym or whatever else makes you happy is a non-factor if you're managing your obligations and dependents if any, I am not sure why this is even an issue.

My friends are grown and can take care of themselves, I don't want connections with overgrown children who need me too much as I have a severe health issue so unless it's an actual dependent, I am not a fit for clingy people who can't wipe their own behind as adults and do things on their own - I am not talking about genuine hard times, I am talking about human parasites who want to take from you even if it disrupts your oxygen mas and ability to function and provide for yourself (they do not like your energy, they're indirect saboteurs with a friendly smile so it's harder to detect).

Mental connections are less taxing and so don't befriend me if you're looking for someone to do your homework. Times of need are one thing, but on the regular, I am not a fit for people who aren't self-reliant and a mental/emotional/spiritual connection doesn't require constant contact

Again...

In times of need, I am there, but otherwise, I need equally self-reliant people as I would not imagine clingy people being a fit for those with multiple lanes and a disability requiring strict health routines which we can't outsource and make no apologies for. 

I find it too distracting to work out with someone else. Plus, I dislike being on anyone else's schedule as if my own was not complicated enough with daily insomnia buffers—the meet-up time, coordinating the workout, and so on is a hassle.

For me, working out is like a medical prescription for quiet time to shut off my brain. I’m not looking for more distractions and prefer to exercise alone and while some may like others tagging along, I do not as this is my "mental recharge" space.

Respecting Individual Choices:

I lift weights because it makes me happy, and that's all that matters. I'm not bothered by how others choose to exercise or live their lives, and I expect the same courtesy in return (mind your business). Everyone's fitness journey is unique, and we all have our reasons for doing what we do. So, let's respect each other's choices and support one another in finding our own paths to happiness.

I've learned that the right people will understand and appreciate my journey without needing lengthy explanations.

Don't worry about how long people spend in the gym or how long their workouts are, worry about why you're not worried about yourself. Don't worry about what they prioritize in life, worry about why you're not worried about yourself.

Genuine situations and connections respect your designated mental health quiet time. Anyone encroaching on it has an agenda. Hijacking time needed for introspection and peace is not caring.

I avoid group therapy or group fitness because my ADHD brain is loud enough and I do not need screaming in my ears, and gym time is my therapy (self-awareness and knowing who I am is not a comfort zone, that verbiage is thrown around by manipulators who think that they can change who you are because they assume you care about their approval above the basic conditions to your mental health which is false).

Respect means staying away from that time, especially if you're not my child or dependent. My closest friends respect my workout schedule because I juggle two jobs (by choice) and a disability, and insomnia takes a day from me each week. Anyone making my life and logistics harder will be quickly shown the door. We have enough stress and need people who respect our differences. If not, at least do not get in the way like a leech.

I prefer to go alone. With headphones playing music in my ears, I set my own pace and I do not follow a set schedule and I don't need to either. The gym is my second sanctuary, my hour of the day that is solely mine without interruptions or being slowed down. Health is a private and personal regime, not social hour for me. That said, I like training around people who are focused on their own lane as well and mind their own business, while being around one another's atmosphere of focus and discipline. 

For those who don't understand or choose to judge, their opinions don't define me or my happiness and using my limited time and mental energy to justify myself to non-factors in my life isn't something I am interested in.

Lift for Happiness, Lift for You:

Lifting weights has transformed my life in ways I never imagined. It's more than just a physical activity; it's a source of joy, a way to manage my ADHD, and a statement of self-empowerment.

So, to anyone reading this, find what makes you happy and pursue it relentlessly.

Ignore the noise and detractors, embrace your journey, and remember that you *don't* owe anyone an explanation for choosing happiness as they do not manage your health or bills.

Again, I am differentiating naysayers from those who stopped me from my workaholicism, this is not the same concept. 

I'm addressing those who feel threatened by others' health journeys, thinking it makes them look bad because they perceive it as too much. That's not my issue. I'm here managing my own disability and don't have time for others to project their insecurities onto me; they should work through those.

Some people play golf, I like starting businesses and some people play soccer, but I like lifting weights. I feel like everyone's different and that's OK.

The "anything is possible" vibrancy and love for life and passion for living is what focusing on health does for me.

You are not here to be controlled by others who don't know your needs and may hinder you indirectly or directly, life is too short.